Tip number 1 is to first know what kind of gig you’re getting at here.
So ask the person who booked you what type of music they want you to play. And if the booker says something vague like “house, EDM, hip hop, top 40”. Well, try to pry in and ask for specific songs, and artists.
And in that way you can better discern the vibe of music they want. And speaking of vibe. Know what time you’re going to play.
If it’s early, then you’re doing an opening set, which should typically be a set where you warm up the crowd with good music. Just get their head nodding and bodies swaying at this point.
If you’re playing the prime time set which is typically later during the night, then it’ll be time to play more well known songs that will make the crowd dance.
But if you’re playing really late into the night, or playing till closing, then try to keep up with the vibe and momentum of the prime time set, so just keep the crowd happy and on the dance floor.
Tip Number 2!
Download and prepare your tracks!
Now that you know what kind of DJ set the booker wants you to play, it’s time to prepare accordingly,
So search up those songs and artists, and find similar artists and similar songs. I usually do this through searching music websites and checking out their charts. And also through just browsing around Youtube and Spotify.
Now after you download all your songs, put them into one playlist, and make sure to analyze all of them. This will ensure that your all your tracks will be loaded quickly, and efficiently when you select them and play them.
Tip Number 3!
Now that your songs are organized and analyzed, it’s time practice with them.
And there is no shortcut to practicing. Mastering mixing will take time and repetition. But nothing will make you feel more confident in performing by knowing you’ve practiced a crap ton of hours.
So make sure to master mixing each song with each other.
Now, Usually during this practice session, I record myself transitioning, so I can later on hear and critique how I do things.
And I also send that practice recording to my brutally honest friends who aren’t afraid of critiquing my work
Feedback may hurt, but feedback will make you better as long as you are open to criticism and becoming a better DJ and person.
Now what I hate about new DJs when they play, is how uncomfortable and awkward they look when they’re DJing.
They’re just standing still and playing music. And it looks so lifeless and robotic to me, and if I was a booker or event attendant of the party, I would be pretty turned off.
So for your first gig, please loosen up. And actually try to have fun when you DJ.
I know you’re feeling the pressure of mixing and transitioning and getting things exactly right to the smallest detail that only you know about. But DJing is more than just mixing.
It’s also about setting a good vibe, and more importantly giving people a good time.
And the only way you can do that is to have a good time yourself.
So good luck on your first gig, and have a great setmore