Playing your first club gig can often be nerve-racking. Getting behind the decks, in front of an eager, impatient crowd, with your heart palpitating like a steam-engine might sound daunting. But, as the saying goes, “Skills develop from consistent and deliberate practice!” And with more practice, comes more confidence.
Here are a bunch of great tips from our experts to help you get through this process!
TAKE YOUR TIME
Don’t rush anything.
Make sure you pick the right gigs, research the artists you are opening for to see if your sound fits the night.
Only take up gigs when you are ready to put yourself out there. Be confident!
USE FAMILIAR GEAR
Don’t challenge yourself on the first gig!
Play on a setup that you are confident with or well seasoned.
It is crucial to know your gear in case of any last-minute technical errors, you should be able to figure out what might have gone wrong.
A BACKUP PLAN
Backing up USB’s, Cables & music
Always have more than one backup of your music on as many different mediums as possible and plenty of spare functional cables.
In any unforeseen instance, you will never be caught off-guard.
MAKE A CHECKLIST
Cultivate the habit of a checklist
Create a checklist beforehand of everything that you will need for the gig.
Your music, cables, headphones, USB’s, chargers and adapter pins. Double-check this list to reduce anxiety at your gig.
Always arrive earlier than expected
Coming in early is a great practice! You have the advantage of getting a good feel of the venue before you go on.
Soundchecks are a very important part of one’s preparations, coming early facilitates you to this peacefully.
PICK YOUR VIBE
Curate music to the sound you’re playing.
Research your headliner. Never play the same sound like them, ever!
Preferably, pick a sound/style you are comfortable with and curate your playlist accordingly. Maintaining a sound through your set shows consistency and makes for a great set.
ASK FOR FEEDBACK
Ask for feedback post your performance.
Ask your audience politely for feedback of your performance after you are done. Having a few brutally honest friends helps!
Feedback is quintessential for any DJ to get better and develop his/her skill.
Do you have any tips for DJ’s that we haven’t covered? Let us know in the comments below.
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I have been in the entertainment business for more than a decade. From playing in clubs to managing them and from being a part of competitions to judging them, I’ve come a long way in being on both sides of the industry. A headstrong personality to deal with and a perfectionist. I monitor DJ student progress, help them find placements, and brand building activities.