5 Secrets That Keep Live DJs in Business

Why Other Live DJs Are Getting Your Gigs


One of the most difficult things for new DJs to understand is that no matter how technically proficient you are as a DJ, it is the intangibles that make or break a DJ career. While new live DJs sit back and try to emulate what the big name guys are doing, they forget the little things that can improve their performance and infuse life into every set.

It may not be fair, but personality plays a big role in how any given crowd will respond to you, which means it also plays a significant role in whether or not you get booked again. You don’t have to act like some wild party guy, but I’ve put together a few tips that help keep live DJs booked months in advance.

Cut The Laptop Cord

Okay I don’t meant to literally cut the cord, but rather to cut the metaphorical cord that has you tied to your laptop screen all night. If you’re hunched over squinting at the screen then you look like you’re working and let’s be honest, no one wants to see that when they’re out trying to have a good time.

Sure you are working, but you’re a live DJ you should be having fun or at least bobbing your head to the beat. Your laptop is there as an instrument of your craft; don’t become so reliant on it that you ignore what’s going on around you. Live DJs know that interacting with the crowd means actually looking at them, instead of playing solitaire and Facebooking throughout the gig.

Learn Your Sets

The best way to make you feel more comfortable taking time away from your laptop is to know your music, particularly the music you’ve planned for the gig you’re playing. If you don’t know your music then you don’t feel as prepared as you could be, hence you stare at your DJ software all night making sure everything goes off without a hitch.

Live DJs know that a gig is not the right time to experiment with the unfamiliar; that means don’t be searching for a track if you hadn’t planned to play it. If it isn’t part of your planned set or back up tracks…forget it. If you want to simply wing it, that’s fine if you can swing it, but make sure you know your library inside and out and have it organized well enough that you don’t spend ten minutes looking for some obscure song that’s listed by song lyric rather than artist or title.

Your focus should be on music planned for the night, not every single piece of music you’ve ever downloaded or created.


Know Back Up Tracks

Live DJs always have back up tracks because sometimes music genius misses the mark. There’s nothing wrong with that especially if you have tracks to play instead to save your hide.

You want to always be prepared for someone to tell you that a song isn’t appropriate for the audience or the venue or…whatever. It is your job to make sure everyone is having a good time and if a particular track is preventing that, to change it.

Live DJs always have back up tracks and, more importantly, they know what those tracks are and where to find them so they can be easily located and put into the set. This will keep your eyes on the crowd and off your laptop, iPad or other gadget distracting you.

Have Fun…or Fake It

It is a reasonable assumption to say that any DJ is not only a student, but a fan of music, right? Then why is it so difficult for you to actually have fun and enjoy yourself in the DJ booth? It shouldn’t be. Period.

You want the crowd to feel the music, yet you don’t. How well is that going to go over with the person in charge? Trust me, not very well.

Once you have your set list and back up tracks sorted, all you need to do is set up and enjoy the night. Don’t be afraid to crack a smile, because if you look like you’re having fun and that is contagious. And one thing all Live DJs know is that the more fun the crowd has, the more money they spend. It sounds all capitalistic and mercenary, and it is, but it is also a good way to ensure you get booked again and again.

Stay Focused

Focused on what, you ask? Why the crowd of course! If you have your DJ kit set up properly and you know your equipment and tracks, most of your job is done. Now it’s time to work the party angle of being a live DJ.

You don’t have to put on sunglasses and crowd surf to have a good time, but you do have to be paying attention to the crowd. Has the dance floor cleared considerably the last two tracks? If so you need to be aware so you can switch it up, and you can’t do that if your face is buried behind the laptop.

This is especially true during the first hour of a gig when you and the crowd are feeling each other out. Make sure you’re focused on what’s happening in the club so you can respond accordingly.

Live DJs who work regularly work hard to keep the crowd engaged because if the crowd is happy, the owner is happy. And trust me when I tell you the last thing a club owner wants to do is constantly look for new talent. Use these secrets and you can quickly become a live DJ with nonstop gigs.

I hope I helped you get more gigs as a live DJ. Email in the box below to get access to Free video DJ lessons that will answer all of your questions on how to become a disk jockey!

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