One of our Digital DJ Masterclass students writes: “I don’t know if anyone else deals with this problem or it’s just me, but every time I practise or listen back to my mixes I struggle to listen and lose all confidence. It gets to the point where I stop practising because I feel like a failure. I’m sure everyone doesn’t love everything they mix or hear flaws in their mixes but wondering if it’s just me that it mentally gets to that point or if anyone else struggles with that.”
Digital DJ Tips says
I’ve been at the game for many decades, and am still making mistakes or mixes I don’t like. Yet when you look up at the crowd, normally nobody even blinks. We are way harder on ourselves than the average party audience is.
Frankly, the number one skill, in my humble opinion, is to know what comes next. Track selection trumps everything. A great next track with a botched transition will still work and get you kudos from the audience. A bad next track with a perfectly executed transition can empty the floor. It’s that simple.
And, unfortunately, you can’t practise that at home.
Best thing is to grab whatever chance you have to play in front of real people. Sure, practice is important, eventually mastering the techniques makes the other part easier. If you are fluent in mixing and can do it on “auto-pilot”, you have more (mental) energy and focus left over for crowd interaction, track selection and showmanship/entertainment. So I am not advocating not practising. But I do believe you have to go easy on yourself.
Keep enjoying what you do, and be grateful for mistakes (as the only thing that makes you learn and grow is mistakes). Nobody learns a thing from success, other than that it feel good – but the truth is that the road between successes is paved with lots of mistakes. Or, one of my favourite definitions of success: “Success is getting up one more times than you fell down.” Keep on spinnin’!
Have you ever felt like this? How did you deal with it? Please feel free to offer your own advice in the comments.