How to play a great set with a screwed up mindset
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  1. #1
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    Default How to play a great set with a screwed up mindset

    Hi guys!

    I've been a (bedroom) dj for the last 6 years. In this time I played approximately 200 gigs, with an audience from lets say 10-1000 people. Looking back on all of these gigs, I had to play at least 10 of them with a really bad mindset, where I was angry, upset or sad for various reasons. Things happen all the time, like a deceased grandmother, a girlfriend who broke up with me, things like that. Each and every time, when one of these things happened to me, I found myself in a position where all I really wanted was to go home. To be precise, all I wanted was not to pretend to be in a party mood. But I guess, we as DJs, are performers, and also some sort of actors. So what I did I do in those situations? I drank a couple of Jägers, and tried to put a big smile on my face, even if I wanted to cry. Usually it helped. I started my set, the Jäger kicked in, and after the first couple of tunes I kinda forgot about my problems. I would consider each and every of these sets as my worst I've every played. Now my question:
    Is that the best way to deal with such a problem?
    I mean, I'm not the kind of guy that prefers to drink or smoke my problems away, but in those specific situations I felt like I had no other opportunity. What do u guys do when you have to entertain a party crowd, but you not in a party mood at all?
    I can't really image how this works for Pro-DJs with 3-5 gigs per week. They must have bad days/weeks and problems as well. I mean, they can't be stoned and hammered all the time... at least not all of them.

    Regards

  2. #2
    Moderator keithace's Avatar
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    It's called "being a professional". The dancefloor doesn't care if you are having a bad day. The dancefloor doesn't care if you are in a bad mood. The dancefloor doesn't care if your girlfriend left you. You are being paid to do a job. You are in charge of people for the duration of your set. Do a good job and be proud of the job you did.

    If you weren't being paid, you have every right to back out if you weren't feeling up to it.
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  3. #3
    Tech Guru William Gibson's Avatar
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    Keith hit it.

    its like this with every job in the world. Shit happens, you get put in a bad mood but you have to check it at the door of your work. I have been either an owner or manager of a business fir the past 7 years and that right there, in my opinion, is the difference between an average worker and a spectacular worker. The ability to have the worste day in the world but the second you get into the parking lotnof work you put on the smile and no one is the wiser. A girl that worked fir me the past 2 years was amazing at this. She was in an amazing mood all day no matter what. She was given far more opportunities then the others that were notorious for moping around all day.

    Im blessed to say that no matter what happens to me, music is the one thing that puts me in a good mood no matter what. One time I had a girlfriend of 2 years break up with me literally 10 feet from the entrance of a Zeds Dead concert. I was bummed for 15 minutes but as soon as that music hit I was feeling fine.

    But we all deal with things different...

  4. #4
    Tech Guru 031999's Avatar
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    No matter what my mindset is...as soon as I hear the first beat come through the speakers, nothing else in the world matters.

    Music is my drug, and I know that might sound a bit cliche but its true for me.

  5. #5
    Tech Guru Timbo21's Avatar
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    I don't play out anymore, but when I did I had to feel it. For me good DJ'ing is when I get that 'Yeaahh' inside me. If I don't get that then it was just 'meh'

    For me good Dj'ing is making that 'Yeaahh' inside yourself and translating it to the audience. I think we've all experienced professional DJ's who turned up, did their 'professional' set and went home. Ideally you need a personality where you can put aside your woes and make the enthusiasm no matter what, but everyone's different.
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  6. #6

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    Well I don't know maybe my mindset is different.... When I play a set I let my emotional state kind of guide it.... Your mood picks the tracks and then build from that and go wherever it takes you..

    A set should always be a journey of emotions... If you can't convey your message through your emotional state maybe your looking at it wrong?

    I never go in with a pre determined set list of course there are tracks I k ow I want to play but if the mood isn't right I don't press them... My best sets are ones where I just kinda go with it if o force it I become disengaged with it and therefore my attention to details drop dramatically.

    I have always felt if I'm feeling down or sad let the music show it and make it better start slow kinda deep and bring yourself up to some uplifting feelings let the tones pierce your soul or else you won't be able to let it help you while you help others

  7. #7

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    I may start off not really into it but in time I start grooving it and feeling it and letting it guide me as much as I am guiding it.... I find sets that are predetermined lack the emotional feel of it... Much so with any live music if the artist is simply playing same songs in same sequence day after day it likely begins to show and they become less of a artist in my mind..... The really great bands or groups go out there and let the crowd determine the set list let the crowd influence the emotions....

  8. #8
    Tech Convert djs7ven's Avatar
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    Default Let it go

    I totally feel where you are coming from. When I get into it with my wife I loose my creative drive. But I learned that using that feeling is the best remedy. You music that you play can give you a great set and you don't even know it and also take you away and make you forget everything else.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by djs7ven View Post
    I totally feel where you are coming from. When I get into it with my wife I loose my creative drive. But I learned that using that feeling is the best remedy. You music that you play can give you a great set and you don't even know it and also take you away and make you forget everything else.
    Exactly it's strange how playing your music that way molds into something really great... I do a monthly radio show and the times I've kinda forced the set I've never really been happy with it and I know some of other guys have commented so I said fuck it I'm going to play it how I feel and every time always get mad props on it being better then last and so on. So I guess I have seen first hand the difference it can make.

    If your in a state where you can't play because of your problems maybe you shouldn't be playing out as much until you can get a grip and harness it for the good

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by 031999 View Post
    No matter what my mindset is...as soon as I hear the first beat come through the speakers, nothing else in the world matters.

    Music is my drug, and I know that might sound a bit cliche but its true for me.
    Amen!

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