DJing is not rocket science. In the end, all it boils down to is playing one track after another for the dancefloor. And after you get comfortable with the basic techniques, you’ll be surprised at how much extra time you have on your hands during a DJ set. What do you do after you’ve lined up the next tune, and it’s still 4 minutes till the end of the currently playing one?
In this (admittedly toungue-in-cheek) article, I’m listing my favorite ideas for how to occupy yourself when DJing. Here goes:
- Use the bathroom. This is just basic wisdom: When nature calls and you have the time, rather do it now than end up in trouble later. Hopefully you’ve established some rapport with the venue’s bathroom attendant beforehand so you can get some priority there.
- Throw in some FX. Make sure you turning the knobs is very visible to the dancefloor. It helps to do it as if they require your full force to operate, elbows sticking out and such. The only word of warning is to not overdue the FX; otherwise, it’s a perfectly acceptable way to show that you aren’t being paid for nothing.
- Have a sip of your cocktail or water. This one is my favorite. First, it’s important to stay hydrated. Second, you can make unscrewing the bottle cap and screwing it back on as slow as you want, making it look like real work. Third, when you eat or drink, your brain assumes that you can’t possibly be in danger. This helps you lower your stress level and come across as more confident to the crowd.
- Get on the dancefloor to check the sound. The dancefloor acoustics change as more people get in, so it’s important to monitor the sound from time to time. Is there enough bass? Should you turn up the volume a bit? Oh, and you get to catch the glances and pointings from the crowd observing the DJ descend to them from the booth heaven.
- Chat with some friends in the DJ booth. To tell the truth, those will be booth wankers far more often than your friends, but it doesn’t matter. A little bit of friendly chit-chat about the software you’re using or where you got that cool tune from still helps you kill time and look relaxed and in control to the crowd.
- Establish eye contact with the people. All joking aside, look up! Smile. Establish eye contact with the people on the dancefloor. Let the them know that you understand it’s about them, not you.
- Transition to the next track earlier. If all else fails, just go to the next tune earlier. This also helps if you see that the current track isn’t working for the crowd. You know that you don’t have to wait till the outro of the outgoing track to transition to the new one, right? Here are a few tips.
Next time you’re stuck behind the decks with nothing to do for the next few minutes, just try one of these ideas. I’m sure they will not only help you kill time but actually improve your performance and help you come across as a more confident DJ!
What do you do when you have some extra time during your set? Share your favorite tips and tricks in the comments below…