First bit of advice. Check out www.DjForums.com
or the "DJ" section at www.futureproducers.com
to hook up with local DJ's, etc.
What kind of turntables/setup/speakers should I be purchasing?
When starting out, make sure you dont fall victim to "Dj in a box" set ups. What you want to do is invest money in a good set of "Direct Drive Turntables". Avoid Belt Drive turntables completley.
When it comes to good Direct Drives the industry standard is Technics 1200s.
However its not necessary. Vestax and Numark also make very high-end turntables that are priced considerably cheaper than 1200s.
For home use, get whatever works for your living enviornment. Its only you hearing it so it doesnt really matter. For house parties your going to need to get a good set of non-powered speakers as well as a pre-amp. This can run you some major cash.
However for nighclubs and clubs in general, you never bring your own soundsystem. You dont bring your own turntables and mixer either for that matter.
Get a good 2-4 channel mixer. Ask for advice at djforums.com, the guys there will know the latest stuff and give you some advice according to your price range.
Shure M44-7s are the standard. However they are not necessary. Starting out with good cartridges is ideal, even if you fuck the needles up, you will only have to replace the styli which is the needle itself and which is relativley cheap.
-I've seen some nice deals on amazon but im unsure if i should buy from there
Not sure what kind of deals your talking about. But if its like a DJ in a box thing, where its like a pre assembled package with tables, mixer, headphones then I would def. PASS.
Even if you cant afford to purchase everything at once, make sure you get good equipment from the get-go.
Even if your starting out with 1 turntable and a mixer, you can always connect a cd player to LINE 2 and practice your fading and scratching while saving up for Table number 2.
Is a Macbook necessary?
No not necessary, but it def would help in the longrun.
Since Mac's hardly ever crash, these are ideal if you are going to use Final Scratch / Serato, etc.
You dont want your shitty dell to crash on you in a middle of a set.
Vinyl is great, and there are die-hard vinyl dj's out there, but its just not practical anymore.
Before serato, I would have to lug crates of records to parties.
But now I just take about 40 records and my powermac.
You can do so much more with a part vinyl part mp3 / serato set-up.
How can i quickly become aware of the muisc people want at parties?
Party music is tricky. The demographic and type of party will determine your set. Its always good to have current radio hits as well as old school classicss. You want upbeat music to get people dancing and then down-tempo to slow the pace down.
-Wouldn't want to look dumb at parties when people ask me for songs and I dont have it
It happens. Although with serato it could make things much easier. Lets say someone has an ipod with a song they want to be played. YOu can import it, and then drag it to your set.
How would I get my name out there to be booked?
often local record stores may find you work. Also make business cards ( Free at vistaprint.com, tell family and friends your dj'ing, get yourself in the yellow pages, etc. )
What techniques/skills are necessary to properly dj?
You need to know how to mix properly. That is the most important. Matching the Beats per minute between 2 songs so they flow into eachother sounding as 1 song. Scratching is great, but you dont scratch at parties. no one really wants to hear scratching for the most part. This isnt the DMC.
Also building a good set is ideal. Knowing the types of songs that flow into eachother, and creating mixes and fades that are unique, fresh and new.
Any other tips?
good luck, and stick with it. Dj'ing might look easy, but for some the learning curve is quite big. Just keep practicing in your bedroom until those mixes sounds fluent. Record yourself. Post it on music forums for freedback from other dj's. Buy DJ qberts scatch dvd volume 1 to learn scatching. Watch videos online to learn the basics of mixing.
Other good websites:
And if you need any other help / advice feel free to contact me