Opening DJ (first time like woah)
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 14
  1. #1
    Tech Mentor nicoga3000's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Indianapolis, IN
    Posts
    114

    Default Opening DJ (first time like woah)

    Hi all!

    I have my first gig on Saturday at a small club nearby, and I'm opening up for the other two DJ's. I start at 10 and only go for 30-45 minutes, but a gig is a gig! I gotta start somewhere!

    I'm not even sure how busy the club will be by the time I start/finish, but doing my thing in front of people (read: anyone) is going to be a new experience. I know there have been a few topics about this, but I've got a few unique questions of my own that I'd like to address!

    First, my set. I plan to put together 2-3 playlists of songs I can go through and between that will work for my set. I don't like to pre-plan as that feels a bit...Cheater? I don't know, what are the thoughts on this for a first gig? The only thing I'm going to for sure plan is my closing song since that way, when I know I need to wrap it up, I have something to go to.

    Second - I got an email from the owner with the following info (regarding setup):

    "Set up wise think it'll be okay to check it out the day of. We have normal xlr outputs and have a DI if you only have RCA."

    I only found out about this on Sunday night, and they're only open weekends, so I have no chance to get to the club to check the hookups. I'm running an S4 with my MBP (which he knows and is cool with, none of that CDJ's or bust mentality at his place), so I want to make sure I'll have the necessary cables. This is what he told me, so I'm hoping someone can give me direction as to if I need to bring (or should bring) anything in particular!

    Also, since I'm opening (and have a shorter set), I don't want to step on the toes of the other DJ's that night. I obviously intend NOT to play any huge bangers, but am I at fault if I play a song that was "on the charts" within the past few months, or does that make me the ultimate dick DJ? I wouldn't be pounding out Party Rock Anthem or anything (since that's still a hugely popular tune and I won't be on long enough), but you get the idea!

    Finally, any other good tips for this sort of situation? I've only ever mixed in my living room for myself, so doing this in front of ANYONE is completely new, and especially for me at a club experience. Should I bring anything to hand out? Should I have a sound plug ready to drop my DJ name? Should I pretend none of that stuff even exists?

    One other thing...If it goes well, in other noob experiences, should I ever approach the owner about coming back for a longer gig at some point, or should I expect him to contact me? And should I get him some sort of reference card/sheet/whatever so he has a way of getting in touch with me later?


    Thanks for the tips all!

  2. #2
    Tech Guru Lecko's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    England/Midlands
    Posts
    537

    Default

    Music wise, if it was me I'd play them "new or underground" gems that wouldn't really work in a peak time set but are quality tunes, you know the ones that get popular in 3 month time or so

    Maybe some mixes on cd's with inlays if you have no cards to hand out or a sharpie and draw on people :P
    MacBook Pro 15" 2.0GHZ i7. Kontrol S4. Traktor Scratch Pro 2.5. MidiFighter Classic. Aiaiai TMA-1.

  3. #3
    Tech Mentor
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Washington, DC
    Posts
    324

    Default

    I don't really see any problem with maybe a known song or two dabbled in there, but like you said, don't drop huge bangers. Maybe put in like a throwback? Like I'm working Disco Inferno into my set, and I expect good results

  4. #4
    Tech Mentor nicoga3000's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Indianapolis, IN
    Posts
    114

    Default

    The only recent stuff I'll play are probably the lesser known stuff. Besides that, I only play remixes, so some people may not even realize what I'm playing, hahaha. I don't give enough credit to the general populace.

    I play a TON of unknown stuff that is super dancey. That's the electrohouse and dutch I love!

    What about the issue regarding hookups?

  5. #5

    Default

    Yes, no big bangers. But interesting music, stuff nobody else plays and sounds good.

  6. #6
    Tech Guru completej's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    San Antonio, TX
    Posts
    827

    Default

    Ditto on the underground gems.
    Play something that has some color to it, but isn't over the top.
    Get something that starts with the energy, but never turns into a banger.
    Don't go massive sound yet, let the other guys do that.
    Stay within your style, make it a tight mix, and stick to a preset playlist if there aren't enough people to really gauge a response off of.
    Pick some solid warm-up or intro tracks that you know will get people moving, maybe some vocal tech house tracks or some bouncy house tracks (tossing those out there, no clue what your style is).
    Get there an hour early, get your gear prepared and set up, then get a few drinks in you to loosen up as people arrive.
    Try to mingle with some of the people, talk to bartenders and get on their good side with an early tip, and ask for feedback later if they don't mind giving it.
    If you have a demo mix / business card that you've worked on, bring it. Bring it. Pass it out. If someone approaches you, hand them the demo cd first as you're introducing yourself (:P).

    Just some things I've seen recently around town.
    [ 17" 2010 MBP ][ Mixcloud ][ CompleteJ ][ Soundcloud ][ Traktor Kontrol S4 ]

  7. #7
    Tech Wizard
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    49

    Default

    As a warm-up, you only want to get a rhythm going in the venue, I think of it as getting people moving without them realising they're moving. Think of yourself as a punter walking into a club. You're settling down, getting a drink, chatting to your mates, you want some catchy tunes in the background that you can just bop away to quietly while you settle down. By the end of your set, the dancefloor should be starting to fill. That's all you want: a nice atmosphere so the crowd are happy and the main DJs can come on and blow the roof off.

    So just keep the mixes tight (don't pre-plan, but stick to mixes you've already practised and are sure of for your first gig), the playlist light and upbeat, nice remixes of older chart tracks are perfect here and you can even spin a couple tracks that would've been floorfillers say 6 months to a year ago. There's quite a large scope of tunes you can get away with. Play it safe and stick to what you know (instead of seeing it as 'your big chance' and trying to blow them all away...which I did myself starting out trying to be too clever) and you'll be fine.
    "Today, we do what they won't, so tomorrow we can achieve what they can't..."
    DJ | Writer | Podcaster | Facebook | Twitter

  8. #8
    Tech Mentor nicoga3000's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Indianapolis, IN
    Posts
    114

    Default

    Thanks for the kind words and encouragement! I won't lie, I am a bit nervous, especially because the guys I'm opening for have been spinning for a lot longer than I have (from what I can tell). I'm usually not one to care about what others think, but this is one of those times when I'll feel a bit more inclined to care!

    Also, going into it with the attitude of not looking for my big break really does help. I'll still play the electrohouse that I know so well, but knowing that I can start with some nice smooth dutch house to get things going and build without worrying about "losing" the energy is somewhat reassuring.

    I'll spend some time getting some cards together with info on where to find me online and [hopefully] burn some demo tracks to hand out.

    Oh, here's something I didn't think of...The transition between DJ's. What do I do here? Do I just let my track fade to black?

  9. #9
    Tech Guru 3heads's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Leipzig, Germany
    Posts
    1,379

    Default

    Relax, if you only play the first 30-45 minutes of the night (which to me is really way to short, especially when opening - but that's another matter) there's not that much you can do wrong. Chances are - even if you do everything right - the dancefloor will not exactly be packed. But that's not your fault but the timeslot's

    I was in the same boat as you only a few months ago (playing my first club gig, opening hours 11-1) and I was frightened as hell. Have been gigging quite regularly since I started playing out, but the stage fright is still there - every time. For me it usually stops a couple hours before the gig when I know there is no time for further preparations. Then I get somewhat calm as I know there's nothing left to do except to wing it

    Musicwise I'd go with what the others said, play some nice stuff which probably wouldn't go down at peaktime (starting out with an empty dancefloor is actually not a bad thing, I think, there's less pressure, you have more freedom to play what you want - clearing a dancefloor is way worse than needing some time to motivate the first people to dance). When you got a couple dancers on the dancefloor throw in something which people should, to motivate more people to join in the dancing. Apart from that go with what you feel is right at that moment, at least for me pre-prepared playlists did not work well.

    Quote Originally Posted by nicoga3000 View Post
    Oh, here's something I didn't think of...The transition between DJ's. What do I do here? Do I just let my track fade to black?
    That's not your problem but rather that of the guy playing after you. Maybe put on a longer track and something rather low key.
    13,3" MacBookPro (Mid 2012) # 2x Technics 1210 # NI Audio 8 DJ # Ecler Nuo 2.0 # NI Traktor Kontrol X1 # Sennheiser HD-25
    http://soundcloud.com/vincent-lebaron/

  10. #10
    Tech Mentor JohnnyDrama's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Brussels
    Posts
    215

    Default

    Just try to have fun and you will be good...
    Don't worry to much about trivial things, be on time and know your gear.

    One more thing...don't push your output level in the red zone, I reeeeeealy hate that when switching.

    Congrats one the first gig btw !

    Everyone has a first time, if the fellow dj's are the way they should...they will help you out, give some pointers, ...

    Ps. there is no problem in playing good records, just don't try to light the house on fire when it's to early and the few present just want to sip their drinks and debate why they came so early
    Last edited by JohnnyDrama; 09-27-2011 at 01:34 PM.
    If they don’t want to see the light…..just make them feel the beat…..

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •