New to DJing and overwhelmed--help!
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  1. #1
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    Apr 2017
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    Default New to DJing and overwhelmed--help!

    Hi all,

    just joined the forum sorry if I'm posting out of topic

    I've been producing EDM for the past 4 years and am now at a point where I want to get out and start DJing. My dream is to play at EDM festivals and clubs. I just moved to LA to pursue my dream and just bought a controller.

    I DJ'ed a bit in college--mostly house and frat parties--never in club settings. So I'm ready to start hustling, BUT I JUST DON'T KNOW WHERE TO START. To all the people who get gigs--how did you get yourself out there? What did you do to get your first gigs?

    Would appreciate any advice from you all, peace

  2. #2

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    LA is savage it's not easy to get booked. From what I've heard, you're going to have to do some major d*** sucking just to open a 30 minute timeslot. Unfortunately, you don't need many DJ skills to get booked. Start recording mixes and LISTEN TO THEM. This was this single thing that sky rocketed my skills. Once you are happy with a mix, send it to every promoter in town but express more of your original tunes as they are more likely to get you booked than any DJ skills. Start going to clubs and being a regular with the people in charge. Good luck!

  3. #3
    Tech Convert
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    Jun 2015
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    You didn't mention what you play... EDM is such a horse manure term.
    If you play "big room/Dutch" house, I'd concentrate on learning another style.. and fast!

    Throw a single charity night at a bar with a music license; get your friends to run the door, you may even find that takes-off and you don't need to involve other promoters.
    Talk to bar owners and discuss your plan, bring someone from the charity with you...see what they think. "Phone cards for heroes", "Help an inner-city child", "a kidney for Johnny"... (perhaps)- make some money for the cause, be creative, but don't lie or fail to actually deliver the goods.
    You will need to do some actual 'leg work' and promote the evening, this is where you either win or fail.

    Always make sure you get press coverage about charity events and always send pictures as a follow-up.
    Word spreads about successful nights and other promoters will check you out, but you may find that you prefer to do your own thing and make a comfortable living from it - plus you get to play your music and not adhere to their stupid music policy.

    I agree with Mastah about listening to your mixes, but when you're sending them out, don't worry too much about making long mixes. Most bookers (I'm one for instance) don't listen to them, we just scan to see what you're playing. Stick to the mini-mix if you can, 30 mins maximum, 10 tunes, do it in Ableton or a similar platform. This does not apply if you play techno as layered sound is a major part of what you do.

    Mixing isn't brain surgery, but playing the right tune at the right time is your true value.... unless you've published a some incredible floor-filling monsters and can guarantee to bring >100 bodies.

    You do not need to offer fellatio to anyone for a gig (or pay to play). Your job should be to entertain and make sure that paying customers enjoy their evening.
    Do it yourself and you can bask in the warm glow (and knowledge) that you are a genuine success - that wasn't paid for by someone else or a trust fund.
    Final tip; no matter how much of an arrogant arse another DJ is, don't slag them off to anyone. The DJ 'culture' is brimming with these people, complaining about [them] will make you depressed and others will see you as a petulant bell-end.
    You could always do this if that all fails:
    Last edited by Admiralty; 04-19-2017 at 05:28 AM. Reason: typo...oops.

  4. #4
    Tech Convert
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    Jan 2017
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    MA, USA
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    I got my first gig by networking. I got involved in the scene - engaged in other DJs and partiers and the management of clubs. It took me almost a year of doing that before it payed off.

    Now I am relocated and am just a mobile DJ. I miss the clubs, but I am older now and don't/can't get involved in the scene here.

    I just get my music heard online and that's enough for me. I get to play what I want in my freetime and get paid for mobile djing.

  5. #5
    Moderator keithace's Avatar
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    Find record labels that throw parties in LA on a regular basis. Look for the promotions crews that promote in the area. Get good enough to present yourself with some confidence.

    and like dude above said, don't talk down other DJs. It makes YOU look bad.
    If rhymes were Valiums I'd be comfortably numb

  6. #6
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    Apr 2017
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    Quote Originally Posted by Admiralty View Post
    You didn't mention what you play... EDM is such a horse manure term.
    If you play "big room/Dutch" house, I'd concentrate on learning another style.. and fast!
    If there one genre of EDM I despise...

    Yesterday I went out for coffee with a DJ I met recently. After askingme some questions he made me realize that first and foremost I'm an artist. Many acts like the Chainsmokers, Troyboi, Flume, ODESZA, Adventure Club, etc., got where first and foremost as artists. They gathered enough following to where they could go on tour and play their music for their fans and DJing for them was a way to be able to play their work.

    That is what I want to do. My dream is to be on stage playing my sounds. So he suggested I buckle the #### down and work on getting myself out as an artist and the DJ gigs will come in time.

  7. #7
    Tech Guru Patch's Avatar
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    Don't forget, you actually have to be able to DJ. How are you getting on with that controller? What software are you using to DJ?
    DJ'ing: 2x1200MK2, DJM 850, Dicers, F1, Zomo MC-1000, Sony MDR-v700, i7 Win 10 HP Envy
    Production: Ableton Live 8 and a mouse, Sennheiser HD400, Sony VAIO

    Click HERE to D/L Free Tracks from Soundcloud!!!
    https://www.facebook.com/Patchdj

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