Digital DJ Tips reader Dannyboy writes: “A friend of mine asked me to DJ her graduation party, which is great since I can get my name out there to my market since I’ve only been DJing for about a year. The downside is that her younger brother also wants to be a DJ, and they want us both to play. I don’t think this is a good idea because I just did a party last weekend and it is difficult enough having my own brother ‘help’ (which he does sometimes) and the old saying about having too many chiefs and not enough indians comes to mind.”
“What makes matters more complicated is that I run a laptop and a Mixtrack Pro (plus the amp etc for the speakers) while her brother DJs off of a desktop computer and he wants to use my set-up! I don’t know how to handle this situation. Should i just not do it and miss the good publicity opportunity?”
Digital DJ Tips says:
One of the skills of being a DJ, especially when you’re starting out, is handling other DJs who want to play too. Much as you may like to think you’re the only “pro” in the room, everyone else who has any desire at all to play records in public also thinks they’ve got what it takes – and if one of the other potential DJs happens to be the brother of the person who’s party it is, you need to tread carefully.
Personally I would very rarely have turned down a gig when I was just starting out because someone else wanted to play too. Sure, sometimes I missed out on a good slot, but more often than not I got to play for the majority of the night, or the other DJ got bored and I played anyway, or we just did half and half and had a great time. As long as you are around when they’re using your gear and you trust them not to break it, I don’t see a big issue.
The wider point here is that learning to view other DJs, party goers, party organisers and so on as potentially people who can help your career and become your fans rather than people you’d rather not have getting in your way is a trait every successful DJ I know has.
So if it were me, I’d do it, lay down the ground rules, organise “set times”, and have fun.
Have you been in a similar situation? How would you advise Dannyboy? Please share your thoughts in the comments.