5 Reasons DJs Get the Axe (And How to Avoid Them)
You spin gold, you are the bees-knees, you’re the hottest DJ in town, but if you’re name isn’t Tiesto you’re likely to get fired if you mess up too much or piss off your employer. Sometimes DJs forget that they have a job to do and that’s regulating the atmosphere of the club, wedding, festival, or any other event they were hired to play. If you avoid the pitfalls below, you should be safe from getting the axe.
1. Playing what you want to hear and not what the crowd wants.
Yes, your musical knowledge is incomparable. You’re a musical encyclopedia of the hottest, top of the chart, and trending songs of the week. But that does not always mean the crowd will be into it especially if you’re playing Skrillex at a retirement party. Play to the crowd and do your homework before the show!
Ask yourself these questions; what is your audience’s demographic? How old are they? Where are they from? What is the actual occasion, i.e. a wedding reception, birthday party, etc?
The more you know about the event and audience beforehand the better your set will be. You just got to make a good plan of attack!
2. Having a bad attitude
This can tie into number 1 on this list. Are people complaining about your set? Does the bride or groom have an issue with your set? The last thing you ever want to do is talk back. Be flexible and make sure your client is happy. If there are complaints, handle them with professionalism and tact. Remember, you are in charge of the mood and atmosphere. Make sure it’s to your client and audience’s liking.
3. Partying too much
It’s ok to have a beer or two to loosen up, but stay professional. The last thing you want is to black out in the middle of a set. Do not go overboard. If a few people come up to you and offer you a shot or cocktail of some sort, politely turn them down (at least until you’re done with your set). The sharper you are during your set, the better your set will sound. It will also attract more opportunities for other shows and events.
4. Not being punctual
Just like any other profession, being punctual is a must. You definitely do not want to show up to your gigs late, especially if you’re trying to make a name for yourself. A good reputation involves being punctual to your meetings, appointments, and sets. Try showing up early. The old saying, “If you’re on time, you’re late” is very true for this reason. Make it a habit to show up 15-20 minutes early to every commitment and you will never be late again.
5. Not being prepared
This is a given, but just in case you need a reminder. Practice, practice, practice. Your set should be seamless. It should leave audiences in awe. Make it routine to practice your set. Get those transitions down. Refine your beat-matching skills. Learn more about trending songs by staying on top of the latest music news.
Be fluid and be adaptable. Don’t make the error of having a pre-set set-list only to find that all the songs are not hitting the mark for your audience and leaving the air stale. Have backup plans, a plan B, a plan C…you get the point.
Remember. DJing is more than a hobby. It’s a professional career that deserves respect. There are many factors for being a successful DJ and making it into a full-time career. The few listed above are some of the factors we thought of. Share some of your helpful tips for other up-and-coming DJs who might need some guidance.