Digital DJ Tips reader DJ Rinzler writes: “Hi Phil! I’ve been into EDM for about two years now and got my first controller about six months ago. I am very dedicated to DJing even though I’m very new. I know you have a lot of info about how to get the first gig but here’s the problem: I’m 18. I don’t think any club or bar is going to want an 18-year-old to DJ for them. So my question is this: how does an 18-year-old get a first gig?”
Digital DJ Tips says:
Or a 21 year old, or a 25 year old… why would any venue take the chance on a new DJ, whatever their age? Look at it from their point of view – what have they got to gain by booking any unproven DJ – especially one that’s so young? I’m not being negative, just realistic. So unless your dad owns a club, you need to find another way. The best way I know is to throw your own parties and build up a local following. When you have that, the clubs will be more likely to book you. That will be because you’ll then have a following, but also, you’ll be a good DJ.
Because right now, you may be dedicated, but until you’ve got those “air miles” under your belt, you’re not a good DJ – public practice makes good DJs, not bedroom practice. Right now you’re a DJ with (hopefully) bags of potential. Time to turn that into something real.
I’d like our readers to share with you too, as I know many people reading this have had to get their first breaks or did so when they were around your age.
So – over to you. Were you 18 when you first got a booking? Are you an 18-year-old who’s successfully managed to get paid DJ work? Or like DJ Rinzler, are you struggling? Please share your thoughts, experiences and advice in the comments.