Your Questions: How Do I Get a Gig Playing My Type of Music?

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getting gigs
Last updated 29 November, 2017

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The best way to get a name for being a great house party DJ is to throw one yourself! Pic: Jason White
The best way to get a name for being a great house party DJ is to throw one yourself! Pic: Jason White

Reader DJ Brostradamus writes: “I’m messaging you to ask your advice as far as marketing myself. I’m primarily an electro-house/dance/dubstep DJ but I’ve found that I’m not getting hired for parties around campus because I do not play hip-hop and top 40 as much. Apart from caving in and playing such music (which I’m not proficient in mixing… yet) is there any way to quell the fears of the house owners and make them believe that I’ll provide an amazing party?”

Digital DJ Tips says:

If you’re talking about private parties in people’s houses, you’ve just got to go for it – throw your own party and prove it that way!

When it comes to playing small commercial venues (bars etc), you need to show how good you are, and “bums on seats” is what does that. Basically, you need to talk business, not music with the venue managers. Take a look at 7 Easy Steps Towards Your First DJ Booking for the 7 steps to booking a first gig in any small venue.

It’s easy to sell yourself short when chasing gigs, which is a habit you really don’t want to get into. We wrote about getting what you’re worth in 7 Ways to Stop Being a Freejay & Start Being a DJ. Finally, I wouldn’t be too proud about caving in and playing any gigs you can get, either. It’s all good practice! How To Play Your First Digital DJ Set has got tips for making any new gig go well.

Good luck, and please let us know how you get on.

Should DJs change their music to get gigs, or is it important to do what you love and work harder to get the gigs that are in your style? Is there a happy ground somewhere in-between the two extremes? How have you managed it in your DJing? Let us know in the comments below.

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