First Long Gig
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Thread: First Long Gig

  1. #1
    Tech Mentor Frank112916's Avatar
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    Default First Long Gig

    Just got back from my first set that was over an hour (it was 4 hours)... wow... Honestly I can't stress how important experience is. Organization is key when doing 3+ hours of music. I don't want to really talk about it, it was pretty standard and boring fare. I like the 1 hour sets much more. I like having a dancefloor. I hate being at a bar. But honestly - and I'm sorry if this incoherent, I am tired as fuck - anyone who asks "am I ready to DJ at a club" - yes, you are.

    There is no substitute for experience. It will teach you time and again how much you need to improve as a DJ. It will show you how much depth your library lacks, how much your ear needs to be trained, how much your song selection needs to be honed. I know I am probably beating a dead horse, and most of you real experienced guys will laugh, but tonight was an experience I won't forget. I can't wait for the next event - because I can't wait to get better.

    Anyone who is a bedroom DJ and is "stuck in a rut" - get out! Go find a gig if you can and play. Even if you suck - you won't get better in your bedroom. This was a brand new environment for me - I've played gigs, but never like this, and it was fun, disheartening, and motivating all at the same time. I realized how unprepared I was. I just thought this would be a good story for those of you who haven't ventured out into the world of playing in front of people that aren't your friends. Just do it. Don't be afraid to suck. The only way to get better is to fail miserably. I've said it before - club goers having one bad night will fade in their memory - but for a DJ it will stick with them forever. It will teach you more than you could ever learn in the bedroom.

  2. #2
    Tech Guru sarasin's Avatar
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    Word!

    I find an hour in a club is cool. The evening is not that long and it works well for the progression.

    When playing at a outdoor festival that is 3 days long, a 3 hour set is pretty wicked.
    You can REALLY take the crowd on a journey.

    But after that 3 hours, I am usually spent.....totally.
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    Tech Guru Alex Wild's Avatar
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    I'm really glad that you took this away from the experience instead of getting disheartened! Sounds like it went well in the end?
    Couldn't agree more about preparation, except for me prep just means buying loads of tunes every week and tagging them so they're easy to find. It's almost impossible to do any other sort of prep [like playlisting] for long sets as it almost always doesn't go how you thought it would.
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    Tech Guru deevey's Avatar
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    Anything less than 3 hours and I don't feel completely unsatisfied ... 3-4 hours to feel like I've done something worthwhile, any less and I'm feeling the job was half finished :P

    When it comes to playing bars (pre-club/lounge style) rather than packed dance floors, I find playing defensively is almost always the key, don't push the boundaries "too" far, keep peoples heads bobbing. You generally get watch peoples body language more & a chance to try some "not in your face" creativity & get a few "oh that sounds cool" looks.

    And above all don't offend thee who ask for really silly stuff, leave the ego at the door and put on the nice guy face and start coming up with stock excuses hehe

    Experience is key, and sounds like you learned well from yours, best of luck with the next one.

  5. #5
    Tech Guru 3heads's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frank112916 View Post
    I like the 1 hour sets much more.
    Seriously?

    I don't really consider sets less than 2 hours worthwile and the longer the playtime the better. Only annoying thing is trying to find time for toilet breaks.

    Quote Originally Posted by Alex Wild View Post
    Couldn't agree more about preparation, except for me prep just means buying loads of tunes every week and tagging them so they're easy to find. It's almost impossible to do any other sort of prep [like playlisting] for long sets as it almost always doesn't go how you thought it would.
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  6. #6
    Tech Mentor DJ ATX's Avatar
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    Bah!! 4hrs is nothing. I do 5hrs weekly at my club residency playing open format.

    Welcome to DJing Frank!! That first all night set on your own is definitely an eye opener. You can do hour sets, but that is just fractional DJing. Those are easy compared to controlling an entire night.

    I all seriousness, it is very easy to do an hour set. Specially if you don't even take request. The true test of a DJ is to be able to take request, do open format, and be able to continually entertain a crowd in that 4hrs+ time frame. Resident DJs never get enough respect for the things we do. We also need to know how to open and/or close for headliners. Not many DJs can kill the night closing, after all the hits have been played by the headliner. What do you do for the next hour or two after that?

    Frank112916 is dead on, when he said "go out there" If you can flow with the crowd, work in request, keep energy pumpin for an extended period, then you can call yourself a DJ. Otherwise, nothing personal, you should classify yourself as a bedroom DJ or an entertainer. Oh and you gotta get booed at least once in your career. If you can come back for that, then welcome to DJing my friend. After 10yrs in the game, I finally got booed last New Years Eve when Traktor froze on me mid set. Good thing I always carry a back up CD. So I just switched from laptop to mixing CDs the rest of the night. Had about 30secs+ dead air w/ "bboooosss" in the background.
    Last edited by DJ ATX; 12-16-2011 at 09:27 AM.
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  7. #7
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    everything DJ ATX said + 100.

    I play open format as well and 4 hours is a standard set on Fridays for me, this saturday I'm playing 6 hours. Another place I play at I open or close for headliners and that shift is much trickier than playing the hits.

    But bottom line ---- experience will teach you MUCH more than any practice sessions you will have at home. Preparation is KEY and like everything the more you do it, the easier it gets.

    Good post Frank.
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  8. #8
    Tech Mentor Frank112916's Avatar
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    thanks for the support guys. And speaking of request: some girl kept requesting gaga all night, lol. She was dancing out of her tree, the only one in the bar dancing. It was pretty funny.

  9. #9
    Tech Guru brian_johnstone's Avatar
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    I hear ya! my first ever gig was 6 hours, i did 6 hours last night and got 8 tonight, i never really have a set list but i have folders for warm up, peak set etc... but every now and then it all goes to shit, last night was a 6th form party 250 guests that walked in going mental and bouncing around, dream gig! started at 9, into the peak set by 9.30, had to totally re-think the entire set on the fly, but ended up playing tracks that i had totally forgotten about, was some of the most fun ive had for a while! my head was spinning for 2 hours after though
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  10. #10
    DJTT Infectious Moderator photojojo's Avatar
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    I used o do 5-7 hours a few times a week before I got burned out and quit.
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