Committing to a genre...
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  1. #1
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    Default Committing to a genre...

    Hey guys,

    So this is my first post on this forum, so please be nice!
    And if there's already a thread covering this topic (or this thread should be in a different group) then just let me know.

    I play techno mostly (and some deep house) and want to focus on this genre to develop my name.
    I played at a student night on Friday last week, where what they wanted was mostly mainstream chart 40s.
    So in the end, I made a compromise to play some more electro/house type tracks.

    I understand that as a DJ you should be reading the crowd and adjusting your mix accordingly (never plan out a set from beginning to end, etc).
    But at the same time, I don't want to start confusing people with the different genres and style of sets I play.

    I'm more interested in club DJing but obviously took on the student night, as it was also good experience to be playing out.
    Has anyone else had a similar situation? And any advice?

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Moderator keithace's Avatar
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    I think you forgot to check your expectations for the crowd you were playing for.
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by keithace View Post
    I think you forgot to check your expectations for the crowd you were playing for.
    Thanks for the message. Yeah, it was obviously something that was in the back of my mind in the run up to the night.
    Also the reason I decided to take a few more electro/house tracks just in case; lucky I did.

    Just a thought for future gigs; whether I should focus more on the relevant venues/crowd.
    Or to keep taking on gigs at other events such as student nights, etc, even if it means playing a different genre to what I want to focus on.

  4. #4
    Tech Mentor overcast's Avatar
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    You should take the gigs that you want to represent your work, but sometimes those don't always pop up. When i was in college I turned down gigs that weren't really up my alley (for instance a party where the theme was "Speak Easy on a Train" and they wanted 1920s era jazz, but also top 40/dance hits) and instead we started our own parties and gigs and got invited to do cooler things because of that (playing a school spring festival, a show at an art museum, etc.)

  5. #5
    Tech Guru astromech's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by overcast View Post
    You should take the gigs that you want to represent your work, but sometimes those don't always pop up. When i was in college I turned down gigs that weren't really up my alley (for instance a party where the theme was "Speak Easy on a Train" and they wanted 1920s era jazz, but also top 40/dance hits) and instead we started our own parties and gigs and got invited to do cooler things because of that (playing a school spring festival, a show at an art museum, etc.)
    Oh man, with a 1920s gig you could go all Swing House up in that bizz.

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  6. #6

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    Play what you get hired to play. If they pay you to play an 80's party, don't play techno.

    Start producing original tracks in the style you love. If your music gets hot, so will your name.

    Then you can tell the 80's parties to keep the $300 and use it to buy tickets to your festival.

  7. #7
    Tech Wizard
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    It is always good to have a collection/knowledge of several different generes so you can do different events without struggling.

    Back in the early 90's when I started DJing, I was into freestyle, NY house, hip house, club & vocals, and euro techno and did a lot of events - sometimes just one genere, other ones were a blending of several.

    As a wise older DJ told me when I started to have what people want to hear (and pay for) and collect what you really like. I really hated going to the record store and seeing the club DJs who only bought what they were paid to play and had no real love of music. Might as well be a wedding/birthday/bar mitzvah DJ at that point...

  8. #8
    Tech Guru DJAdeSands's Avatar
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    Know your audience, (music wise), give em what they want, and use yopr imagination, and talent to 'push' that boundary, push for reactions, and try something that generic DJ's just don't do. Don't try to educate em with what you personally love, that won't work.
    If you play music you hate, you are doing it wrong.

    Quote Originally Posted by Monkey Mouse View Post
    As a wise older DJ told me when I started to have what people want to hear (and pay for) and collect what you really like. I really hated going to the record store and seeing the club DJs who only bought what they were paid to play and had no real love of music. Might as well be a wedding/birthday/bar mitzvah DJ at that point...
    Nothing wrong with being a wedding/party DJ, if you love some of that music, and love entertaining to the best of your ability. There's an awful lot of shit DJ's who think a wedding/birthday party is an easy gig and easy money, who play generic shit, with no imagination, with their head stuck in a phone, without good equipment, and no good knowledge of music or DJ'ing. It's not an easy gig if you do it right. If you are in it just for the money, and not sor the love of the craft, then, you shouldn't be entertaining people at all.
    I've been to weddings and events where DJ's were lazy, and overall, shit, it was noticed, not just by me. I felt sorry for the person who hired the DJ, having been ripped off by someone who promised more than what they could deliver. Grrr..
    Last edited by DJAdeSands; 02-15-2016 at 05:39 AM.
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  9. #9
    Tech Wizard
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    You can also turn down a gig if it doesn't fit to your musical taste. I used to find myself in the same situation, earlier I only played a kind of specific techno and house subgenre/sound and turned down gigs from time to time. If it is the same situation as you described and I show up playing my music (I don't have a collection of popular mainstream tracks and I do not want to invest my time in music that I don't like), nobody is going to have fun. Turning down the gig and politly explaining that probably your musical style probably is nog going to fit their party is just the right thing to do.

    This also further elaborates that you take your DJ'ing seriously and know what you're talking about. Which will mean that if they organize an event which does fit your style, they will call again!

  10. #10
    Tech Guru Patch's Avatar
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    Sounds like you've got 2 choices:

    1) You can play what you want to play, or;
    2) You can play what the crowd wants to hear.

    What you can't do, is play what you want to play, to a crowd that wants to hear what they want to hear. 'cos if you try that, you'll end up playing to an empty room.

    And who wants to do that week in, week out???
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