I’m over 40 and I started to DJ when I was in my early 30’s. Nothing wrong with it, and I never felt that this was too old, or that I was too old to DJ. Our modern culture is so obsessed with Youth that people that are, let’s say, less young feel like starting everything when over at a certain age is just a waste of time. We should, according to some, just quietly wait until it’s our time to go.
That’s just bullshit. Granted, young minds probably learn quicker and are more flexible, and usually (not always) have fewer responsibilities than older people, such as work, family, bills, taxes… But older minds have a few things going for themselves that make them perfect for picking up DJing. Le’ts review.
If you are over 40, and interested in music in more than average way, you have 4 decades of musical influence under your belt. Think about it. You were born in the seventies or earlier, and experienced first hand the birth of disco and electronic music. You saw, danced and listened to a mishmash of genres in the eighties and adored idols that made music that is considered classic and legendary today. Then came the nineties counterculture, with a return to rock and guitars, and you took it all in.
Which means that when it comes to building a diverse music library, you have an obvious and undeniable advantage over the average 17-year old that was brought up with, well, whatever came out after 2000…
Djing, as a hobby or as a profession, costs money. And while you can buy a controller for less than 300 dollars, if you are serious about your hobby you go for something with a little more class, such as a pair of turntables and a mixer. Throw in a computer, a DVS interface, and some control vinyl and you have the best of both worlds, old school mixed with the digital age in a perfect technological blend.
But it will cost you.
While kids have to put money aside for months, or ask mommy and daddy, or wait for next Christmas, you can just take out your credit card and buy what you want!
While it’s perfectly OK to DJ at home exclusively, DJing in public is what DJing is all about. The interaction with the crowd, giving people a good time, and most importantly, having a good time yourself is what DJing is all about.
As a 40-year-old, you have amassed a vast amount of friends and acquaintances over different networks (work, hobbies, school, university, associations..). As a DJ, these are all circles that could in some way or form benefit from your DJ skills.
People find excuses to throw parties all the time, and guess who they will turn to for music and DJing? Indeed. Additionally, these people are mostly your age, and they expect someone with a vast musical knowledge, spanning different decades. This will allow you to build a reputation, and who knows, make a career out of it.
If you are looking for a nice topic for your mid-life crisis episode, why not pick up DJing? Buying a bike or a sports car is so cliche, everyone is doing it.
Be careful though to take the family aspect into account. If you are a married guy with kids, DJing will most certainly annoy your wife. You claim extra space, make a lot of noise while practicing, and most importantly, spend time behind the decks that could otherwise be spent on family activities. On the other hand, you are doing it at home, and it costs less than a brand new sportscar. So you might get away with it like I did 🙂
Oh and if you have kids, what could be cooler than having a Djing dad? I mean that’s something they can brag about to their friends with boring dads, right?
Satisfy your inner geek
Djing in 2017 is all about technology. The absolute BEST excuse for buying an iPad Pro 12 inch is that you absolutely need it to run the latest version of your favorite DJing app. And your DJ controller and DJ software will just not work without the very latest Macbook Pro model, right? So Djing will give you not only the latest Apple shiny, you will spend your money with the knowledge it will make you a better equipped and therefore more knowledgeable DJ. Notice I didn’t say a better DJ…
Men and Women
If you feel like I’m only speaking to men in this article, you are dead wrong. Yes, most of my audience is male, but I really can’t stress it enough: we need more female DJs. And I think that there is no better therapy for a stressed out mom with a few kids and desperately looking for a hobby than getting behind the decks for an impromptu jam session.
Over 40, but over 50 and 60?
I guess my point that starting to DJ has absolutely no age. Anyone can learn it, and all it takes is some insight into technology (although you can DJ with records, turntables, and mixers if you want to) and a love for the music of all times. Remember DJing is not only about techniques and perfect beatmatching, it’s also, and I would mostly, about choosing the right track at the right moment.
So what if you don’t see that well anymore, or don’t hear that well anymore, or if your joint pains prevent you from picking up scratching. If you have an open mind and a love for music, you can learn to DJ, end of story. No such things as being too old.
Finally, learning to DJ at an older age will help you to connect with your younger self, and also with music lovers from younger generations. Be it at the DJ course you attend, or the records store, or in a club (if you picked up DJing you have the perfect excuse to go clubbing again, after all, there is nothing more formative than observing other DJs going through their sets in a “live” situation). You will meet like-minded people that are probably much younger than you, but you might be surprised how well you will connect to them. And that, in turn, might help with something that many older people, especially those that are will into their sixties have to endure far too much: loneliness.
If you love music, love to entertain people and have a passion for tech and innovation, then DJing is cut out for you, no matter how old/young you are. Be it DJing at home, at the next family gathering or in your local club/bar, it’s a perfect way to channel your creativity and do something that will not only make you a happier person, but also those that will enjoy your mixes/performances.
If you feel that this is for you, and you are ready to get the ball rolling, be sure to read our Starting to DJ guide and learn all you need to know about hardware and software. Enjoy the ride!
Any experiences to share, or maybe you don’t agree with something in this article? Be sure to comment below!