Tuesday DJ Tips
Tuesdays are DJ Tips days on Lets Go Big tunes, from beginner to expert, they are bound to be of help.
Step 8: Hustle
This is probably the most crucial step in the whole process. Make yourself valuable to your scene or demographic.
If you’re trying to break in to a particular scene, you need to make yourself valuable to that scene before you expect to start playing shows.
There’s no one specific way to approach this. Suffice it to say, if nobody knows who you are, you’re not going to get many gigs.
Early in my journey as a small town DJ, I was attempting to break into a desolate scene. Absolutely nothing was going on… crickets!
My approach was to go to a struggling night club and offer to promote my own event series.
I ran a monthly Thursday night for about a year. It wasn’t a raging success. But, it got me used to club DJing, hooking up to a real PA, and small-scale promotion.
In the bar/club world, it’s largely about who you know. That’s just the way that things often work. Befriend some like-minded people in the scene, and make yourself valuable to them.
Find those people out there who think like you, for there’s power in that synergy. It’s amazing what can happen in the name of common interest.
If you do it right, you’ll end up with some great new friends. Start supporting their shows and gigs. Above all, think about how you can make yourself useful to them and your potential audience.
What are you doing that is valuable for your scene of interest? When it comes to the club scene, collaboration is almost always preferable to competition.
The DJ hustle never really ends. Staying humble and having a value-based approach, will keep you fresh and positive!
Step 9: Getting Your First DJ Gigs
Now is the time to put you in front of some actual people. That’s what it’s all about!
If house parties are your thing, that can be a great way to get some immediate experience under your belt. Book a few local DJs to play, and “warm up” for them. Set them up, just as if you were opening for a headliner.
If you’re getting into mobile DJing, try to think outside the box. One of my favorite places to play happens to be a consignment shop. Weird, right?
Many cities have regular nights for booking local DJs. These normally aren’t paying gigs… but they can be valuable experiences.
In the club scene, throwing your own night is another great way to get some gigs, gain experience, and become known.
Start shaking hands or handing out business cards to promoters, DJs, and friends at their events. Show them that you were willing to support them… people will notice.
Recommended Listening: Gig Preparedness (The Passionate DJ Podcast, Ep. 61)
More Tips For Getting DJ Gigs
Club DJs: make an effort to get to know the prime movers in your scene. How can you be a resource to them? Don’t just sell yourself as a DJ… sell yourself as a brand! (See step 7). You’re probably going to play your share of empty rooms. Don’t panic! Don’t forget to ask. Gigs don’t fall in your lap! You’ve gotta go get them.
Hope these helped along your journey to becoming a great DJ. There will be more next week on Let's Go Big Tunes blog, see you then.