Practicing your DJ Skills Smarter, Not Harder

Everyone has heard the phrase “Practice Smarter, Not Harder” – and a recently posted article by The Creativity Post does an excellent jog of breaking down exactly what practicing smarter is.

To compete and make a name for yourself as a DJ you constantly need to refine and work on your various DJ skills, especially with the depth of functionality and intricacies found in DJ software like DEX 3 today.  Truly putting forth the time and effort to practice well is something every DJ needs to write into their busy schedule.   Making time to practice, usually early in your day, is one of the 6 Powerful Daily Habits of Successful DJs as defined by   DJing is your craft, and passing on too many practice sessions will lead to complacency behind the digital decks – and other DJs passing you by.

So what is practicing smarter?  

The Creativity Post article sums things up with this quote:

“Success does not consist in never making mistakes but in never making the same one a second time.” -George Bernard Shaw

The study done by The Creativity Post with Piano players applies perfectly to practice habits of pro DJs — the best pianists learned from their mistakes faster, even if they started out making as many mistakes as lesser players.

The best pianists would “Strategically slowing things down”.

From Creativity Post’s Article:

After making a mistake, the top performers would play the passage again, but slow down or hesitate – without stopping – right before the place where they made a mistake the previous time.

This seemed to allow them to play the challenging section more accurately, and presumably coordinate the correct motor movements at a tempo they could handle, rather than continuing to make mistakes and failing to identify the precise nature of the mistake, the underlying technical problem, and what they ought to do differently in the next trial.

Basically, keep going back to that mix point or crab scratch, or whatever DJ skill you’re trying to perfect, and focus on only that until perfect practice makes perfect execution. Do not attempt more advanced techniques until the basics are second nature.  Keep practicing – as some other up-and-coming DJ most certainly is.

The article is a great read for DJs and musicians alike, read the entire “8 Things Top Practicers Do Differently” article HERE