Maybe you’re new. Maybe you’ve been doing this for 20 fucking years. Maybe you’re fucking famous. Maybe you play at tiny bars. It don’t matter. If you suck, you suck. It could be for a number of reasons. Let’s investigate together.
1. YOU THINK EQUIPMENT MAKES THE DJ
Maybe you’re like “I have to use vinyl man!” or you’re like “Look at all these controllers!”. You might have 2 cdjs, 4 turntables, a controller multiple other things for FX and shit. Can you use them well though? That’s really what matters. Sure, people are gonna come into the club and be like “Whoa this guy’s setup is crazy!” (actually it won’t be “people”, it will be like 2 bros) but if you can’t mix properly people are gonna fucking hate your guts. Fuck man, if you can dj from an iPhone app and crush a party every fucking time then you’ve fucking done good. Even those assholes using iTunes that just choose tracks are better than some fuck who has a ton of gear and plays like shit. Not only that, but you’re probably that guy who at every gig is like “Wait, I can’t go on yet because my shit isn’t working” and you’re probably walking all around the peeps playing before or after you putting together, taking apart and trouble shooting your unnecessarily intricate setup. After all that and you go on and you can’t even dj well? GTFO. Just get the most simple setup you can that allows you to do what you want to do, become a master and collect $$$$.
2. YOU PLAY FOR YOU AND NOT THE CROWD
Unless you are some famous ass motherfucker headlining nights around the world, you gotta play to the crowd bro (or broette). Your friends are there to see you and they might know a bit of your unique musical tastes but otherwise no one wants to hear a whole set of that shit. I’m not saying you gotta go full lowest common denominator-tard but you gotta give them something they want. You can even play one big tune and one underground tune and another big tune and so on. Or you can start with some big tunes and once you own them you drop some of your own fave shit. Djing is like sex, you gotta give if you want something back, otherwise you’re just jerkin off and no one wants to pay you to do that. Hell, you do it for free all the time.
3. YOU GET TOO DAMN SHIT FACED
Like Future, I’m just gonna be honest. I like a drink or 6 when I dj. There’s something to be said about putting yourself into the mindset as the crowd and nothing wrong with having a bit of fun. Sure, if you dj everyday you will eventually prob have some health issues (especially if you’re doing mad drugs) if you get fucked up every time but as long as you maintain control you’re fine. If you’ve forgotten how to fucking mix or start picking stuff because drunk logic is making you think it’s the right choice that same crowd that you just connected with will fucking turn on you and you will fail again.
4. YOU HAVE A WHOLE FUCKING SET PLANNED BEFOREHAND
There’s nothing wrong with having an idea of what tracks you might play on a given night. That’s totally fucking fine and is, in fact, recommended. But if you’re one of those people who plan every fucking track and transition beforehand you’re not only setting yourself up to fail but you’re also fucking the other people playing with you. I’ve fucking played a gig where dude hit the end of his “set” and was like “you have to go on, I only have one song left”. Not even gonna mention how fucking garbage your time will be if people aren’t digging what you had planned and now you’re still stuck playing it for a fucking hour. Oh wait I did.
5. YA TALK TOO DAMN MUCH
Yeah. Nothing wrong with fucking connecting with the crowd. In fact it can help make a mediocre set better. But if you fucking talk too much and you fucking suck then it’s gonna make everyone hate you. The only people who can talk a lot are dancehall djs. If you’re not that, then shut the fuck up. Not like you’re gonna somehow convince us the night was rad with words. Show, don’t tell.
6. YOU FUCK WITH THE EFFECTS KNOBS BUT YOU FORGET TO MIX PROPERLY
Sure you’re doing all this fucking shit with the knobs but it doesn’t mean shit if you don’t know when to bring a song in. Like, if you can’t count to 4 or 8 or 16 or 32 but you can throw on the flanger at will then you’re still fucked and you’re still gonna sound like shit because stuff will just not sound right and will be happening wrong. Like really fucking focus on that. In fact knowing timing is 80% of djing.
That’s all I can think of right now. What do you think?