Your Questions: How Can I Find a Better Bar to DJ In?

Phil Morse | Read time: 2 mins
dj questions
Last updated 1 December, 2017


After spending 2010 of playing at a rock club, reader Konstantinos is ready for a change in 2011.
After spending 2010 of playing at a rock club, reader Konstantinos is ready for a change in 2011.

Reader Konstantinos write: “Well, I bought my Hercules RMX a year ago and I started practising with Virtual DJ. I’ve learned some skills and then I decided to find a job. So I started in a rock bar (although I’m not a rock DJ) and I was working there for almost a year. After that I played in 2 big student congresses (with success, I can say) and that’s all! The problem is, I lack the confidence to go out there and find a “real” good job, and by that I mean to find a job in a bigger bar or club. I just don’t know where and how to begin. Is there any specific method I have to follow? Or just go there and start asking for a job?”

Digital DJ Tips says:

After a year of DJing in public you’re ready to play in better places! Here are some thoughts.

1. Playing in bigger venues often centres around how professional and business-headed you are.
It sounds to me like so far you’ve played a kind of music you don’t really like, and taken a couple of one-off gigs, but have yet to start really doing what you want to. Now’s the time to start!

Play some house parties with “your” sound, make a mixtape and get it on Mixcloud or somewhere similar, start a page for yourself on Facebook and start gathering and interacting with fans. It may only be your friends and family to start with, but your DJ fan list is your passport to bigger venues. Because when you can bring a crowd (even if it’s only 10 or 20 people) with you, others will follow. Knowing you have a following can give you confidence too! These posts go into it in more detail:

7 Ways to Stop Being a Freejay & Start Being a DJ

7 Easy Steps Towards Your First DJ Booking
The Definitive Guide To Making a Mixtape – Part 1

2. Don’t be scared to use your digital gear, but it IS worth learning to use CDJs and beatmatch.

Many digital DJs don’t like the idea of carrying around and setting up their digital gear in DJ boxes. They feel they’re “expected” to use CDJs or whatever the equipment is in the bar or club they’re approaching. I think many digital DJs make this into more of an issue than it is. I would not even mention it until you turn up with your gear (in plenty of time to set up, of course). Once the owner hears you play once, hopefully he won’t care what you’re playing on. But also, it IS worth learning how to use CDJs, record decks and the like because you never know where you’re going to be asked to DJ and it opens you up to more gigs. Again, it doesn’t harm your confidence either. Have a look at these posts:

DJing in Nightclubs with Controllers and Laptops
6 Reasons Why All DJs Should Learn To Beatmatch By Ear

Good luck!

Has anyone got any more advice for Konstantinos? How did YOU start playing what you really wanted, where you really wanted? Let us know in the comments.

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