As you're reading this, I am sure there has been a time where you wanted to prove to a promoter and the patrons you are the real deal at your first DJ gig. Your first DJ gig with any new promoter or event is vital to make a great first impression, and first impressions always last. It determines whether there will be a future for you with that promoter or event. This blog is all about your performance in a DJ set, and why we all need to play to our time slots.
Unexperienced DJs tend to get overexcited
It is a common trait I have seen quite a lot of over the past 9 nine years being a DJ in Melbourne. Some DJs can get a little carried away up on stage when playing. I am not going to lie, I have done it before, and I think we all have once or twice. By that, I don't mean jumping up and down in the air like a mad man, I am talking about not playing to our time slot. Although it is more common for a novice or beginner DJ, it can still happen amongst the more experienced. The problem here is the DJ finally gets to prove themselves and wants to make a great first impression for a new promoter or event to get that return DJ gig.
Instead of fulfilling the need of their duty and playing to their time slot, they can overstep the mark by playing one to two energy levels above what they should be. In other words, too hard for their time slot. In the video - Do you pass to get the job of the warm up DJ, I talk about the importance of a warm-up DJ set. However, when we get given a set and a specific duty to fulfil, he or she has to do it successfully to help the night run smoothly and to respect all other DJs in the lineup.
The DJs that screw it up
It will not only damage the flow of the night and other DJ sets but will piss off the promoter, thus never getting another set off that promoter ever again. As DJ gigs are scarce, with everyone else wanting your position, it is so important to be irreplaceable and earn your keep. This is how you can become a resident, by being someone who can own a time slot because no other DJ can play like you if you do it properly.
How to keep your DJ gigs
It’s not only about playing great music for your time slot, but it is also more about DJs becoming more disciplined and respectful to others. Not feeding your own ego, but serving others instead. Working with other DJs, if you are unsure how you will approach your DJ set, contact and speak with others on the line up. Hit them up on Facebook, email them, ask them how are you going to start your off your set, let them know what songs you may play when you want to approach the end of your set and see if it can work. The other alternative is to model from an expert that can deliver a quality performance week in, week out. Find a DJ playing a similar time slot to you and genre that owns that position.
See what he or she does that others are not doing to keep that position, how are they playing before the other DJs, how do they not overstep the boundaries yet maintain a quality performance. It is all about quality research, not just listening to DJ mixes online. You need to understand how to read body language and watch, so when the time comes for you to shine, you will know how you can interact the same way others do. And how you can handle yourself under pressure and in those situations, listening to a mix will never show that.
I hope this has helped you out.
Have you ever overstepped the mark? I know I have :)
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