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The fine art of DJing with Will E Tell

Author: michelle pirovich
Tuesday, April 1, 2003
Throughout the better part of the nineties Will E Tell was responsible for the emergence of a breed of curious clubbing creatures. Today they are somewhat an endangered species, but back in the day they multiplied at an alarming rate. To the Melbourne stomping massive they were the 'Deck Dorks.'

The scenario was a familiar one. As throngs of brightly clad stompers pounded the dance floor in time to Will E Tell's relentless onslaught of hammering beats, the 'Deck Dorks' battled for prime position by the decks.

As Will E Tell expertly manipulated each and every sound that boomed from the speakers, they stood in awe. Manically trying to figure out what was going on; they hoped to discover a trick or two that they could try out at home.

With the set over, multitudes of questions were thrown Will E Tell's way. 'What sort of mixer did you learn on-' 'Why does my mixing sound like a day at the races-' 'What does that knob do there-'

After two decades of awe inspiring sets and a mass wanting to emulate the skills of their hero, Will E Tell opened up his own DJ Skool. Providing an opportunity for those who want to learn from arguably the best DJ Australia has known.

'I started up the DJ Skool because I had been asked from many people if I would show them a thing or 2. I thought to myself, well, I have used secrets and certain skills to my advantage over the last 14 years, I felt it was now time to on lay my knowledge to kids that wanted to learn and especially turbo charge their knowledge.'

It goes without saying that the classes have been enormously successful to date, after all you are learning from the man who practically wrote the DJing book.

'The classes have been very successful. We have a max of 6 students per class and it's important that we do not allow anymore into a class, as it becomes quite hard to teach with more than 6 students. The students have been very keen and positive which filters out to their friends, who end up doing the classes as well.'

The course runs for the duration of five intensive 'turbo charged' weeks, covering not only the techniques that make a good DJ, but students are also provided with relevant industry information as Will E Tell explains.

'2 turntables are set up with a mixer. In the classes, I teach mixing, bar counting, scratching, double beating, and a range of tricks. I also teach the students how to use a mixer, the EQ knobs, plus all of the mixers faders. We also help students to gain an insight as to what the industry is about and how to proactively get a gig.'

Although there is a lot of fun stuff to be learnt, it's the mixing that Will E Tell concentrates on the most, and for the majority of students nailing this is the most rewarding part of the course.

'I concentrate mostly on the mixing side of things because it is the most important part, but we do get to the tricks.'

'The students come out with a lot of knowledge. In most cases they come out knowing how to mix 2 records, which is really a big achievement for them and that's great. Students have come to me, mixed at home 6 months prior and have left knowing that they can quite confidently start mixing in a club. I show students how to turbo charge their skills, which is what anyone wants when they learn something.'

If you're thinking you don't have what it takes to become a DJ, think again, as Will E Tell explains, its one of those things that with a little hard work anyone can achieve.'

'Can anyone learn how to drive a car- Anyone can learn. All you need is a little patience and a lot of determination! What makes a good DJ is his ability to read a crowd. As well as that, how he structures his records, depending on how much vibe each record has and very, very good mixing. You can normally tell a professional, by the way his hands work on the turntables, he knows every bar in his records, he just makes it look very easy.'

Similar to any other course, there is homework to do, and