[Editors Note: This article was written by Redbull]

How do I beatmatch? How do I get my first booking? And how do I get paid? Six of the UK’s best DJs share what they wish they knew before they first stepped behind the decks.

1. Just get started

“I started a lot later than I should have, as I thought it was too late and I’d missed the boat. Even sometimes now I get really frustrated that I’m technically not as good as I’d like. But I have to remind myself that I’ve only been DJing for four years. The DJs I love and admire have been DJing for 15 to 20 years – so in DJ terms I’m still a baby! Don’t listen to that inner voice that tells you it’s too late or too hard!“ – Jamz Supernova

London-born Manchester-based grime producer and DJ, Anz.
Anz© INDIA GREENHALGH

2. Choose the right equipment

“Try and grab yourself the cheapest set of decks and a mixer, rather than a controller. Rudimentary CDJs or vinyl decks will have lots less mad functions than a controller, but for learning how to beatmatch there’s nothing better than the simplest equipment. I felt so much more comfortable playing out for the first time on decks that looked like (admittedly very futuristic) versions of mine at home.“ – Anz

3. Listen back to your mixes

“Record your first couple of mixes, even if you’re just jamming and practising at home. Listening back will allow you to hear where you’ve gone wrong and make mental notes. Why did it go wrong? Which track was faster than the other? At what point did you lose the blend? Try and keep the tunes in the mix for as long as possible so you can really develop your skill. Top tip: when it comes to beat-matching, look for the claps in the songs. The claps are really noticeable and if you match the claps together, it makes beatmatching a whole lot easier.“ – Madam X

4. Stay sober – at least beforehand

“It’s quite exciting playing a show for the first time. You can get overexcited, pre-drink with your friends and turn up a bit wasted. But it’s important to be professional and you can do all that after. Turn up sober, give yourself enough time to set up your equipment and get comfortable with the equipment you’re playing on.“ – Barely Legal

5. Know your shit

“Sometimes you gotta look backwards to go forwards. Know your history. If you’re looking to be a specialist DJ, don’t be so militant in sticking to one genre. Everything’s influenced by something else. It’s important to know where things come from, how grime evolved from UK Garage, dancehall, jungle etc. Why and how dubstep exploded into this crazy, uncontrollable Brostep nightmare. Know your shit, basically, and give credit where credit’s due.“ – Madam X

6. Play as often as you can

“DJ competitions are a great way to get your name out there, even if you don’t win I’m sure a lot of people take time to check you out and see what you’re up to. Enter the DJ comps for the ones you’d love to play at but also enter the ones that are of a smaller scale. Everyone starts somewhere, so don’t be too afraid to play to empty rooms, you’re still getting great practice playing on sound systems.“ – Mollie Collins

7. Don’t go in too hard too early

“With your warm-up sets, make sure you’re playing right to a warm up crowd and don’t go in too loud. Look at where you’re playing on the line-up, between each DJ, and make sure you’re catering to them too. When you’re a bit bigger, you can be like ‘this is my hour’ and play your sound, but when you’re starting out it’s important to build the crowd really for the DJ after you.“ – Barely Legal

Manchester's grime, techno, bass and garage mixing DJ Madam X is already a regular on BBC 1Xtra.
Madam X© STEVE STILLS/RED BULL CONTENT POOL

8. Social media is your friend

“Keep your social media fresh and updated as much as you can. Make sure all your platforms are similar and under the same name so you’re easy to find. Also be careful what you’re posting on there – don’t post anything negative, remember everyone has different opinions! I also use social media to connect to my fans and try and reply to them as much as possible. It’s always good to appreciate the people that support you when you can!“ – Mollie Collins

9. Know your value

“Don’t get coaxed into doing lots for free but also don’t price yourself out by asking for too much. Fees can fluctuate a lot even at the top level.“ – Coco Cole

10. Keep it real

“This might seem like an obvious one, but always play the music that you love and care about. While it’s important to take heed of your surrounding line-up, people have booked you for a reason so have faith in your taste. Whether you’re playing the tracks that make you smile or the bangers that make your face scrunch up like a raisin, that joy will always shine through and it’s kinda contagious.“ – Anz