Starting off as a DJ- Tips?
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  1. #1
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    Default Starting off as a DJ- Tips (venues, pricing)?

    I've decided on trying out to become a DJ. I'm most probably getting a Numark NS6 for christmas to start off with. I've played around with scatch live and taken a few lessons on how to mix tracks and whatnot so I'm not completely clueless about everything. Although I need some tips on how to get myself out there. Should I just ask friends and family to tell people I'm willing to DJ for a low price? For events like birthday parties, weddings, company parties, house parties, etc. Eventually when I get a bit more cash I'll start purchasing speakers so I can take along with me to house parties and lights so I can have a whole set up, but since I don't have the cash how should I figure out whether or not it'll work out? Do you think that 25/hr is a fair price to charge if they're willing to pay that much? Thank you.
    Last edited by djaball; 12-18-2011 at 02:06 AM.

  2. #2
    Tech Guru Coldfuzion's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by djaball View Post
    I've decided on trying out to become a DJ. I'm most probably getting a Numark NS6 for christmas to start off with. I've played around with scatch live and taken a few lessons on how to mix tracks and whatnot so I'm not completely clueless about everything. Although I need some tips on how to get myself out there. Should I just ask friends and family to tell people I'm willing to DJ for a low price? For events like birthday parties, weddings, company parties, house parties, etc. Eventually when I get a bit more cash I'll start purchasing speakers so I can take along with me to house parties and lights so I can have a whole set up, but since I don't have the cash how should I figure out whether or not it'll work out? Do you think that 25/hr is a fair price to charge if they're willing to pay that much? Thank you.
    Let me get this straight, you just started DJing and feel you're ready to charge people to DJ their parties while you have no idea what you're doing?

  3. #3
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    I do know what I'm doing. I have a few friends that DJ and I've practiced on their controllers and sets. And I'm obviously going to practice before I put myself out there. I'm not going to DJ a party the day after I get my equipment, but I'm not going to DJ for free for everything. I'm willing to do it for free for certain events to start off with.

  4. #4
    DJTT Admin Scammer scamo's Avatar
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    Wow. I have been a living room DJ for almost a year now and I am just starting to look for gigs and I don't plan to charge for the first few. I wouldn't have the confidence to charge for something I am not sure I can pull off successfully, even if I've practiced for hours on end. My perspective is, DJ'ing in the living room or on friend's equipment or in front of a crowd, any crowd, are totally different experiences and unless I have successful experiences with a crowd under my belt, I couldn't rightfully charge for it. But that is just my perspective on "going live".

    Also, without speakers, how do you expect to make yourself heard? About the only venue you could show up at without PA equipment is in a night club and they won't hire you without some credentials (or they are really desperate). So how many other people do you think want to hire entertainment, who wouldn't have all their own equipment with them? It's like a band saying, "You can hire us, but we need a guitar, keyboard, bass guitar and drums and a PA system. If you have that, we'll come. Oh, and by the way, we also cost X dollars an hour too. And, actually, we've only practiced together once in a while in a friends garage with his equipment." It's simply not going to happen.

    My advice. Get your NS6, practice a lot and at the same time, save up for speakers and the other equipment you'll need, like cables, mic, headphones, etc. When you have pretty much everything together to do a live gig, then you are ready for the world, at least in terms of equipment. I'd still not charge for the first couple of gigs though. I'd actually make it very clear to whomever is booking me, it is my first or second live gig and because there is a risk of mistakes, they are getting my service for free. If the gigs go really well, without any mistakes, which I am sure there will be, then the next clients don't need to necessarily know what my references are. But if they asked, I'd have at least two or three live gigs behind me as references.

    Edit/ I'd avoid weddings at first too. You, as the DJ, if you are the only entertainment they have, are responsible for making their wedding memorable. I couldn't fathom doing my first live gig at a wedding. No way, no how.

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    Last edited by scamo; 12-18-2011 at 03:10 AM.
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    Thank you very much.

  6. #6
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    Friends and family is great for those first 5 gigs or so, but lower the bar, say you 'll DJ for free or say I have no set in stone rate pay me as much as you want to pay me.

    At my first gig I got 50 for 2 hours, but I would 've been happy to do it for free.

  7. #7
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    do it for free.. most likely they will give you $100-$150 maybe $200 for your time just to be nice. i helped my cousin dj his company holiday party. it was all my gear we used besides his macbook. he got $100 for it and i got $50. i don't mind what they pay me as long as it gets my name out. they even asked me how much i normally charge b/c they would like us to do the party next yr.

    and not to be cocky or showy but i dj with macbook pro, technics m5gs/dicers with serato sl1 denon 3500s/dicers with sl3 (as backup), ddm4000, pair of jbl eon 515, pair of krk rokit6, two wireless shure mics for them to use during the night. so for me to charge free-$150 is a huge favor.

    your gonna need more then an ns6 to get a partying going. but most importantly.... HAVE FUN!!! ..

    when i started out back in HS in 2002 i had to bite the bullet and spend $2000+ on gear just to show that i have the means to dj a party. now, 9 yrs later i'm constantly upgrading my gear.
    Last edited by jsa83; 12-18-2011 at 12:42 PM.

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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by jsa83 View Post
    your gonna need more then an ns6 to get a partying going. but most importantly.... HAVE FUN!!! ..
    Wait can you explain why he is going to need more than an NS6? The NS6 is a great piece of all in one gear...

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