Going Into Your First DJ Gig
Not too long ago, i was attending a concert. The concert started great! Good looking people, good food and drinks, great performances - I mean, what else could you ask for? After all the performances, it was time for the DJ to get the party started - this was where everything pretty much went downhill. Here's the interesting part though; I've seen him play a few times before, he's good, but what happened? Find Out!
So, you finally got what you wanted, the first gig. As you step behind the decks, in front of an expectant crowd you're probably thinking the same as everyone else - "don't mess up". The only way not to do that and have them rocking in no time is to follow these simple steps:
Make Sure You Are Prepared
The saying that goes "Practice makes perfect", definitely had DJing in mind. Preparing for your first gig or any gig is something you should take seriously. How do you get yourself prepared? Plan your set.
You have to make sure all the music you are going to be playing has been properly prepared. This should include any cue points, hot cues, and loops that you might have added - this gives you one less thing to worry about in the heat of the moment.
Having a clear understanding with the agent, promoter, venue or whoever hired you is very important to your preparations as well. When you understand what they expect from you, it makes your job easier. The worst thing that could happen is to arrive at the venue and you play the wrong kind of music. Not everyone you work with would have an idea of the music they want, then you can use your initiative.
I'll advise you to avoid taking on last-minute gigs as much as possible. Give yourself some time (at least three days) to practice and plan before playing a gig.
Show Up On Time
The importance of arriving early for a DJ gig cannot be overemphasized.
Being on time allows you to set up properly and running some sound checks which gives you a feel of the venue. It's also an opportunity to hear what's working and not working for the DJ whose set is before yours.
The last thing you want before you step behind the decks is to be under pressure and trying to tie up last-minute loose ends. It also keeps the promotor happy and if your planning on getting booked again then being early is always a plus.
As funny obvious as this sounds, even professional DJs sometimes can't seem to remember everything they need to play a set.
You probably have a lot of equipment, cables, accessories, cases, and the likes, you really don't want to arrive at your gig and realize you've forgotten something. I always suggest making a checklist. This would help make sure everything you need makes it to the gig and back home.
It's a good way to keep your equipment in check.
Yes, you can do all of this planning by yourself and having a person available to help you isn’t necessary, but it will make a whole lot of difference.
This person could be paid for or you can always ask a friend if he/she wouldn't mind helping you out. Thay could help before the gig with set up, listening to you practice, and help critique you. During the course of the gig, it'll be great to have someone there who can watch your stuff and make sure everything keeps running smoothly. This person can also act as a middleman between you and the audience - they could help receive requests and suggestions without having to shift your focus from the decks to the audience. Having someone with you will cut your preparation time and definitely be of help.
Enjoy yourself! At the end of the day, we all do it because we love to DJ. No one likes to see a moody DJ on the decks, if it looks like you're not enjoying your own set then the possibilities of the crowd enjoying it are slim.
Whether it's your first time, or you've had a few gigs in your back pocket, these tips can be applied to help make the whole process more smooth and less nerve-racking. Now go out there and smash it!
So, what do you think happened to the Dj in the concert mentioned earlier? Lack of preparation? overconfidence? Think otherwise? let's know what you think in the comments section