9 Things I Learned Playing My First House Party

Phil Morse | Founder & Tutor
Read time: 3 mins
Last updated 10 April, 2018

With New Year’s Eve just hours away and many of our readers heading out to play parties, we thought we’d reprint a story from one of our VIP member about his first every party just recently…

Over on the Digital DJ Tips Platinum Facebook Group, one of our members Aaron Nicdao recently recounted for us playing his first house party – and tells of how he bagged himself a paid New Year’s Eve gig through it! Here we reprint what he wrote. Over to you, Aaron…

“I just played my first house party last night, and it was a hell of a ride! It seemed like all the stories about what to expect as well as the unexpected came together! So here’s what I was expecting… and how things actually turned out…

Expected: Set-up would take half an hour
Unexpected: Set-up took 50 minutes
Learned: Don’t take more equipment then needed

Expected: Drunk friends would hassle me all night with requests
Unexpected: Drunk friends of friends would hassle me with requests
Learned: Take my hard drive of all my songs for unexpected Spice Girls request just in case

Expected: Friends would want to play on my equipment
Unexpected: Friends of a friend would muscle in on my booth with their own controller to play off each other
Learned: Not worth it to make a scene if they are mostly respectful (albeit a little overexcited about playing out for the first time too)

Expected: Unsolicited advice on how to DJ
Unexpected: Tag team DJ cranking on my EQs when I step out of the booth for a drink and another time telling me it’s incorrect to DJ with the channel fader all the way up
Learned: Have lots to learn myself and probably look back at the times I criticise the DJ (in my head) when watching them play with a little more humility

Expected: Drunk friends telling me what type of music to play
Unexpected: Having the host tell me to switch from EDM to hip hop as the drunk chick felt like throwing up every time I switched back to EDM
Learned: Probably best to keep the drunk chick happy and not have chunks blown all across my controller

Expected: Party would get loud
Unexpected: It’s the young couple on one side of our building and not the grandparents on the other side who text us to put the bass down so they can sleep
Learned: It’s fun when it’s loud but having been on the other side myself, probably best to keep it reasonable when it gets late…

Expected: DJing a party for friends would be fun
Unexpected: Wanted to be outside the booth to hang out with buddies a bit more
Learned: Bring a mixtape for those times I need an extended beak

Expected: This would be the longest gig I would play
Unexpected: When I shut it down at 3am (needed to get up at 7:30am the next day) there were boos, with everyone asking the host how to hook up their iPhones to a ghetto blaster or sound system…
Learned: You’re the lifeline of the party and you’re expected to play until everyone leaves… I finally left at 4am and they were still rocking to an iPhone!

Expected: People to ask me if I can DJ their parties, too
Unexpected: Was asked to DJ on New Year’s Eve, for cash!
Learned: Playing for free can get you paid gigs

A final word from Aaron:

“So… if not nothing earth-shattering here, I thought I’d share my experience. Hope everyone had as much fun playing their gigs as I did this weekend!”

Indeed, Aaron! Thanks for sharing, and whatever everyone’s up to tonight, have a great party and see you in 2016!

Let us know your experiences, whether you’ve played over Christmas or will be playing tonight at a New Year’s Eve party yourself…

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