Your Questions: How Do I Know I’m Ready For My First DJ Gig?

Last updated 16 November, 2017

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Party people
Playing a party is a great way to break out of the bedroom and start playing with the big boys – so what are you waiting for?

Digital DJ Tips reader DJ Grimm writes: “How do I know when I am ready to do a DJ gig? I have the skills down, but I am not sure if I am ready as I never have performed before. In addition to this, I don’t even have a traditional mixer, just my N4 and a lot of my recording gear for Ableton. However, the gig is just a party so it isn’t like a club or anything. So although the DJ at a party is important, it’s not like I’ll be the focal point. Anyway, how do I know if I am ready to take the gig?”

Digital DJ tips says:

Let me ask you a few questions and see what you think about these situations. How does a guy playing with a ball in his back yard know it’s time to join an amateur local football team? How does a new language student decide when he or she should try and talk to someone in the language they’re learning? When does a writer know the time’s right to finally hit “publish” on their first blog post? At some point, everyone who does anything that’s meant to be done in public has to take a deep breath and just do it. Remember, it’s DJing, not flying as plane – nobody will get hurt if it goes wrong. And you’ll learn more from that first gig than any afterwards – good and bad (but hopefully more good). And when you wake up the next morning? I can promise you two things. One, you’ll be a DJ. A real DJ. One that, you know, does it in front of other people. And two, you will want to do it again – fast.

You say yourself it’s just a party, and that’s a good place to start, where you’re really close to people and can interact. And you say you have the skills down, but you’ll start learning the real skills for the first time at that party. Remember, it’s not about tricks, it’s about the music choice and the people in front of you. Basic skills are enough.

You’re a curator, not a pop star…
Finally, can I just add that to me (and may others), the best parties, clubs, gigs whatever are where the DJ isn’t the focus of attention – the DJ is curating the party, sure, but the people are the focus of attention. When you get that balance right in a room, you know you’ve got something special on your hands.

So – do it. Good luck, and please come back and tell us how it went.

(Oh and the three examples at the beginning? That was me, in 1995, 2005 and 2010, the last one hitting “publish” on the first ever Digital DJ Tips blog post. I now write for a living, and speak fluent Spanish. Got to be honest though, I’m still not a very good footballer! 😉 )

• Don’t forget our How To Digital DJ Fast training is designed solely to get the complete beginner to first gig in four weeks flat. If you want to DJ outside of your room but have been putting it off for weeks, months, years, this is for you.

Do you remember your first gig? Did you leave it too long out of fear or insecurity? How did it go? Any advice to add? Please share in the comments.

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