I remember when I started recording my first DJ mix; it was a very frustrating and cringe-worthy experience. I wanted to create great DJ mixes first time, every time. If there was one little error, I would stop the entire recording and do it all again. Does this sound familiar to you? Are you a perfectionist when it comes DJing? In this blog, I will explain what I have learnt in overcoming perfectionism and how you can do the same.
Realise there is no such thing as a perfect DJ mixes
Sure, you can record your DJ mixes through your D.A.W to get flawless beat matching and volume levels every time, but what about the perfect placement of your music with harmonic mixing and controlling energy levels throughout the entire mix? Plus, your music selection process and trying to find the sweet spot, where both you and your audience will love the music equally.
Perfectionism lies in the eyes of the beholder. You can spend hours trying to please yourself and others through selecting and perfectly mixing music, but will you and your audience find there was never any room for improvement?
I think not.
Every time you put pressure on yourself, you make a mess of it
Are you a person who can practise well, but when it comes to show time, you choke under pressure, especially your own? Well, I can tell you I did and still can, sometimes. The reality is, you can practise all you want and still mess up on game day. When you put yourself under a microscope and say this is it, it has to be perfect, it has to be my best work, I have to impress others, more than likely, I will be the time when you will make more stuff ups than ever before.
Change your mindset to the draft DJ mix approach
I have found the less I care about the outcome of my work, the better it turns out. I know it sounds counter-intuitive, but it works. If you record your mixes when you are in practice mode, you will find they will most likely be your best mixes. It is about taking the pressure off yourself to be more present in your craft and create a better DJ mix. Try it; it works.
Change your perception
Understand that you are your own worst critic and no one will judge your music as harshly as you. You are going to pick up on your mistakes more than anyone else will, and you will be the one who is the most unsatisfied with small errors and song selection. It can help to put yourself in your listeners’ shoes to change your perception and not to seem as bad as what it is.
Errors show authenticity
Small errors show your mixes are human and are done live with real skill and effort. It shows a promoter you can play a set live in front of an audience to a satisfactory level when it come to your DJ skills. In a world were technology is taking over, it shows you are more authentic in your approach to performing live and really showcases your current DJ skill level.
It is also a measure of progress when you come back to your mixes a year from now; you can see just how much you have improved with your skill level over time. If you are constantly relying on technology to do the hard work for you, it takes the satisfaction away from that feeling of progress and achievement.