DJs often forget that they are booked first and foremost to do a job- play great music. You’re not there to party, get laid, or take cool selfies on Instagram. The digital age has rushed in an increasing amount of jokers to EDM culture- all who want to be rock stars without learning how to rock.
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Success is hard fought, and your card can get pulled quicker than you can say “Serato”. So in case you need some help increasing the suck, here are five great ways to tank your DJ career:
1. Act unprofessional
The quickest way to get fired from a gig is by being unprofessional. Clubs and bars are businesses, and they are hiring you to do a job- that includes being on time, prepared and treating co-workers with respect. Word travels fast, and if you show up late, demand drinks on arrival and always forget your music library, well . . . goodbye next gig.
2. Get Wasted
Having a few drinks at a gig is one of the perks of being a DJ, but never get wasted. Stay in control! Your job is to DJ, read the crowd and make people lose their minds with your tunes mixed to perfection (yes, even if you DJ in Ableton). The end of the night is also a good time to network with promoters (especially if you killed it!). You’re not going slur your way to success.
3. Play the same set every night
Any DJ is going to have his or her “go to” mixes and tracks that can really get the crowd hyped. But remember, you are managing space and time with your music. Every night is different, your set should be to. Promoters and fans will catch on to “DJ Same Set Sammy’ with a quickness- guaranteed you’ll be begging for a job at a local sports bar within a month.
4. Develop An Ego
The great DJ AM always said “Starve the ego, feed the soul”. Nothing is worse then a cocky dickhead who shows up thinking he’s God’s gift to music. Not to get all spiritual, but remember you’re usually playing music made by others- channel their creative processes, feed off the energy of the crowd. Only when you develop your humility will greatness come.
5. Be a Douche
The DJ game is cutthroat, but patience is key- Don’t buy social media followers, under cut DJ’s rates, or book gigs by blackmailing promoters (it happens). People will know what you’re doing, and your reputation precedes you. Let your career evolve naturally. Work hard and people will notice. And by now we shouldn’t need to say this- don’t take your shirt off during sets!