How To Get The Best DJ Gigs

How Do You Get Better Gigs?


You are a DJ and your life is defined by the music you create. But if you are a DJ without gigs…where does that leave you?

Every DJ knows that it is one endless grind after another to get gigs. If you live in a big city you have to compete with the well-known DJs plus the imports and the up and comers. If you live in a small town there are probably a couple of big fish taking up all the gigs. So what do you do?

Contrary to what you have been told there are things you can do—totally within your control—to improve your chances of getting gigs. The question is, are you prepared to do them?

Be Bold – Don’t sit back and just expect that the DJ gig fairy is going to pat on you on the head with a sparkly pair of DJ headphones: go out there and get your gigs. No one has ever made it anywhere by being shy and unassuming. So when you hit the scene, make sure you are not just seen but also acknowledged. If you see someone you know—especially a promoter, another DJ, wait staff or venue owner—stop and shoot the shizzle.

The time to be bold is NOW as your career is on an upward swing.

Negotiate – If you’re not sure how to get more of the best DJ gigs then you need to learn the art and science of negotiation. I don’t mean undercut the going rate for DJs in your area, but find out what the person hiring you needs. The promoter might want you to guarantee a specific number of people in the door…sent by you. The venue owner might need an opener for a bigger act on a random night.

Let the person who does the booking what you are (and are not) willing to do to secure a gig. Learn to negotiate terms that will get you that next DJ gig. Sometimes getting a gig is as simple as saying “hey I don’t need a sound guy, I’m all set”.


Have A Good Sound, Really GoodYou probably think your sound is unique and different from anyone else out there, but is it really? This is not a trick question but it is one you need to ask yourself and provide an honest answer. You don’t have to be the best DJ technically, but you should be good at the music.

Think of your five favorite DJs and tell me, what is so great about them? What sets them apart from your least favorite DJs? There is something; some indefinable trait their music carries that draws you in. If you don’t have that it should be your goal as a professional DJ to seek it out, create it and show it off.

Be Known – I know you’re thinking you can’t be known if you can’t get DJ gigs and I understand that, really I do. But this is a big part of being a DJ. Huge. When you hit up the local clubs do people know who you are? Do you greet the bouncers and bartenders by name? Do other DJs nod to you in recognition? If not you are not known.

You want to be that guy; the one everyone knows and speaks to when he walks into the room. But you want people to say “that guy is cool” not “that guy is a tool” so make sure they know you for the right reasons. When people know you and care about you, they want you to do well and they will do what they can to help. That may mean dropping your name off to some of the promoters they know, rounding up people to attend your DJ gigs and even making extra careful no fights breakout while you’re in the DJ booth.

When you’re out there begging for gigs it may seem as though you’ll never the good gigs at the big name clubs. The truth is that it is really hard but that is why you need to do whatever you can to make a lasting impression. When you are friendly and nice to people, they will remember that. More importantly a venue owner will be impressed with your ability to negotiate just to get a gig.

It may not seem like much but sometimes doing a little more than sending out a few press packets is all you’ll need to step your career up to the next level.

There are two vitally important things to club owners and promoters: booze and entertainment. There’s not much you can do about the booze other than make sure tons of people show up and therefore buy it. But you can play really great music that people love. That’s not all either; show up on time and sober to prove that being a DJ is something you take seriously.

Once you have proven that you are a reliable and likeable DJ, you will start to get the best DJ gigs.

I hope I helped you get better DJ gigs. 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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