The day has finally come and you’re invited to DJ your first gig in public. For most of us, this is exciting news, but also a bit scary – am I going to do all right? What if I screw up? Don’t worry, here are a couple of pointers to get you ready for your first public performance.
Turn it down if you’re not ready. If you just started practicing or, worse yet, barely know what DJing is all about, turn down the gig and play when you are more prepared. And no, you won’t be more prepared in a week – becoming more or less confident with the basics takes months.
Preparation is key. Don’t plan your whole set in advance but do have a general understanding of what you will be playing. That said, leave yourself room to maneuver and bring a wider variety of music than just your favorite Egyptian minimal techno tracks. You never know what direction the crowd will lead you in.
I got into DJing because I fell in love with house music and I wanted to share this love with other people. The question of what kind music to play had never entered my mind – I always played the tracks that I love.
Thus it makes me cringe when I see newbie DJs asking on forums what music they should play, or for playlists to play music from. I get it – there are situations where you’re just unsure, but in all of them, you’re approaching it from the wrong end. Let me explain.
If you want to get into DJing for the girls/money/glitter and don’t care much for the music, that’s a dead end. You see, if you don’t know and appreciate your tracks, neither will your audience. Your sets will be dull and boring, and long-term, that’s a path to nowhere.