Becoming a Better DJ!
The most obvious way to improve your DJing skills is... you guessed it...PRACTICE! However, few DJs know how to effectively practice to improve their skills.
Practice sessions don't have to be marathons, 30 minutes a day goes a long way. That being said, if you are a club DJ that DJs for 4-6 hours, a practice session that long would not hurt. It takes some stamina to entertain for that long, so you need to get your body used to gigging for extended periods of time.
Use themed practice sessions. This will help you become a more versatile DJ. Choose a different genre or style every time you practice, for instance, a throwback practice session on Thursday, Top 40 on Tuesdays, and Rap/Hip-Hop on Fridays. Of course, tweak the genres and days you practice to your liking, but you get the picture.
RECORD! Every single time you practice, record it! It will help you find your weaknesses, or you may end up playing the perfect set and now you will have it forever! Once you finish your session, throw it on a flash drive or your phone and review it.
Find a great DJ to emulate. Keyword here is emulate, NOT COPY! It's perfectly fine to have a DJ that you pattern yourself after. I dissected DJ Jazzy Jeff when I was coming up in the DJ game. His style mirrored the image of what I saw for myself as a DJ. Now to copy everything he does would be a disservice to him and to myself. When I would listen to his(DJ jazzy Jeff) sets, it would challenge me creatively , and I would then go practice, taking certain parts of his routines and/or mixes and tweak them to make them my own.
These are a few practice habits that worked for me. I'm curious to know if you have any to add to this list....Comment below, lets keep the conversation going!