Why you need to take DJ gigs outside of your comfort zone

If you're a beginner DJ looking to get your first DJ gig, or more for that matter, this one’s for you. I will suggest why you should take just about any DJ gig that comes your way, and I will also suggest the impact it will have on your DJ skills later down the track.

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The DJ Experience

The number one thing you need to focus on as a DJ is your experience. Being selective and waiting for the perfect DJ gig is a massive mistake that a lot of beginner DJ’s make when starting out. You know what I am talking about, when you announce to your friends you are now a DJ, and word gets around quickly within your circle of family and friends. In a matter of months, you have friends, family or acquaintances asking you “Can you DJ at my friends 21st?” or “Can you DJ at my friend's wedding?”

You may feel reluctant to take those DJ gigs, but, initially, you need to, and here is why. You need to learn how to play in front of a live audience, you need to learn crowd interaction, and how to play outside of your comfort zone.  

Any DJ gigs are scarce

And the ones that you want the most are the hardest to get, I will be honest a lot of DJ’s never get them. If you want to rock a crowd like a pro DJ and play to 1000 people, you need to learn how to express playing in front of 10 first. People and DJ’s often ask me the question, how do you play the right song at the right time?
I always respond by many years of trial and error, stuffing up, failing and gaining much valuable experience from the times that sucked and I was uncomfortable with. It all comes down to timing and learning how to interact with the crowd’s energy as a DJ.

This is how you get into the zone, and it happens the more you understand and experience playing in front of a live audience. It does not matter about the genre too much; it is about getting comfortable with the uncomfortable. This will stretch your DJ skills further. If you can adapt to playing other genres of music and get the experience playing any DJ set under your belt, you will become a better skilled DJ.

You always start from the bottom

You are far better off getting more DJ gigs coming from the area of parties, weddings, and functions initially. As a beginner DJ, it is better to be over prepared than under prepared for your chance to finally play at that nightclub DJ gig you have always wanted. And here is why. You may only ever get one shot at a nightclub residency opportunity, and it is one that you want to go in with complete confidence.

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If you have no experience whatsoever playing in front of people in a nightclub, you will freeze up, panic, and be left guessing what to do up there in a situation that does not go to plan. I know lots of things never go to plan but, once again, experience under pressure pays to the people who prepare for it. You will always start at the bottom when first getting in with a nightclub or event promoter. So, if you can show you are a cool customer and know how to play and handle yourself, you will have a greater chance of impressing a promoter, then have him come to you for more opportunities later on.

What’s the take away from this?

Put your ego aside and gain experience playing whatever you can get to begin with. You don't have to post necessarily where you play on social media if you are not comfortable announcing that you are playing your first DJ gig at a friend’s wedding. Play it on the down low, gain valuable learning experiences, and when the time comes for you to shine, you will go in with more confidence and be a better DJ.

Have you go my FREE eBook The DJ's Guide To Your First Gig?


And as always, feel free to leave a comment below?


Posted on May 31, 2016 and filed under DJ skills.