As DJing becomes more popular, countless pieces of advice have begun cropping up to help new or emerging artists. With so much advice, it’s often difficult to wade through it all. Here’s a list of tips from the industry’s best DJs.
When preparing for a gig, DJ Shiftee suggests creating a large playlist out of songs he wants to play. Within that playlist, he’ll create smaller playlists organized by energy, genre, etc. Organizing these songs into more compact playlists allows for greater efficiency when finding the desired song at the venue.
Similarly, Martin Perna also recommends breaking large playlists into smaller subfolders based on more specific features. Whether it’s genre, location, artist, etc., creating more palpable, easily navigated subfolders allows you to create mixes that have common threads and helps with overall organization.
Justin James advises having a vision for what music you want to play prior to beginning a gig. Keeping a vision allows you to stay focused when picking music, and also remain calm and collected when navigating the music in front of the crowd.
Before a gig, DJ Endo uses Sample Decks to create loops from tracks he’ll be using for live performances.
When it comes to volume control, Adam Freeland firmly believes that louder audio does not automatically mean better or more entertaining music. As most sound systems have a compressor, he advises it’s best to keep the volume at a reasonable level rather than cranking it to its max.
Keeping Your Computer Awake
If your computer falls asleep, it could freeze or drop audio. DJ Kiva recommends changing your laptop’s system preference to ensure your computer doesn’t go to sleep while you’re DJing.
Read the Crowd
Mike Huckaby stresses the importance of reading the crowd when DJing. Studying a large mass of people can feel overwhelming, but there are usually a few key individuals you can look out for. These people will set the mood and pace for the rest of the crowd, and you can accurately gauge their interest and command the room without feeling overwhelmed.
Alex Burkat also recommends reading the crowd to ensure proper performance. If the crowd’s still warming up, he suggests easing them into the music. Catering to the crowd’s mood and energy will keep them engaged in the long run.
Learn to Produce
When looking to make a name for yourself in the industry, Matt Cellitti advises you should not only work on your DJing, but also learn how to produce your own music.
Don’t Force It
DJ Solis advises against forcing the music. Instead, he suggests allowing yourself to get into the zone and let the music tell you where to go.