First Gigs For Teen DJs
April 9, 2014 at 4:03 am #2022381
Hey guys at Digital DJ Tips! I feel motivated to post this as I just recently got back home from DJing a big night of soccer and lacrosse at my high school, I rocked all of the warm ups and halftimes, and towards the end I got to thinking about my journey from downloading that first Virtual DJ Home Free Edition to spinning at the biggest parties at my school. Although I am not anywhere near “Pro” I feel like it is important for me to share my story to others, especially teenagers trying to figure out where to start. P.S. this website is a great place to start!
Sooo I first got into DJing after watching a few of my classmates playing a video of Tiesto at ultrafest. I immediately fell in love with EDM(Used to be a classic rock guy) and the idea of DJing. I went home and downloaded VDJ free edition, and started playing around with it. Shortly thereafter I bought a Numark MixTrack, started buying more music, and practicing A LOT! I also proceeded to get through to booking the middle school dance with a crappy mix that I made and gave to some kids on student council. Needless to say it didn’t go too well. I started playing warm up tunes for half an hour while they were already ready to party(Angry tweens are not pleasant..). Although I quickly recovered with the help of my friend(EDM Producer) who had an interest in DJing with me after I started DJing. We got the party back under control and the last 2 and a quarter hours went very well. After that I was at a loss for gigs, so I found a need for a DJ at our school’s sporting events, and I got booked to play at nearly every big game(Close to twice a week!) right off the bat! On my first night DJing I played “We are the Champions” after our lacrosse team lost 12-6! HORRIBLE IDEA!!! Messed that up! I was lucky the team didn’t beat me up, probably because I’m friends with most of them, but still, damn! Despite that major F up the athletic director told me “Don’t do that again. I’ll see you next Friday for those big games, right?” Of course I said “Yes Sir!” Thankfully they gave me a second chance, because if they didn’t I would’ve been set back quite a bit… I didn’t mess up like that ever again, and I was also really lucky to have a friend that helped me set up a lot, help out with choosing tracks, and just being there when s**t got crazy. After that gig we got parents asking me about BDay parties and other events, I gained a tremendous amount of experience, and gigs for friends. Ever since then I have been rocking house parties, sporting events, birthdays, pool parties, and dances.
In conclusion, for all of you teenagers that want become DJs, BOOK NICHE GIGS. Get booked easily in places that will say yes to anyone who they know will show up and not be worse than their current situation(BTW Ask for free concessions, and don’t charge a lot or you will have no chance of getting booked). Sporting events are by far the best gigs to start out with because they are relatively low pressure and very few people will care(unless you really mess up…ie play we are the champs when the home team loses…). Know at these gigs often the people will be rather lenient and will be understanding of honest mistakes, just make sure that you improve! They will not give more than one second chance… These gigs will set up your future, at least they did for me. They are where I got my big bookings from people who saw that I was out there, and I had skill. As you begin to graduate from these cheap gigs just make sure to keep practicing and giving it your 100% best at every gig… Most people will be very hesitant to book someone that they don’t believe is good enough, even if you know you are. Although it’s tough to talk about everything I know in one post, but I’d like to put something out for all of you teenagers thinking about becoming a money making DJ.April 9, 2014 at 7:23 am #2022408Justin GonzalesParticipant
Hey, Dr. Screechex, thanks for sharing this! I’m 14 and I’ve been ready for (well, “ready”) a first gig for a while, but I’ve been at a loss for ideas at where to start. This gave me some new ideas… Thanks. 😀April 9, 2014 at 4:42 pm #2022486
Hi there, thanks for sharing. Good story. Your f-up was almost as big as mine during the first home game of my American Football team (where I do a charity appearance). They were behind 22-6 and the game was in it’s last few minutes. Although a decent loss, nothing too shocking. Especially since no one had expected us to win anyway. We were in possession and with a bit of luck could run out the game with this score on the board. I cued up the next track by way of a wink. The old tracks was running out as we threw a pass and … interception! The other team ran it all the way downfield for a touchdown. At which point is was left with the choice of making music or total silence. Muscle memory and DJ aversion to silence took over and I hit play. And out of the speakers comes:
Monty Python’s “Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life” (theme from the movie “Life Of Brian”)
Needless to say, it turned every head on the field 😀 . Good thing I love the attention, hehehehehehehe.
This sunday they played again and we were up 33-6, so I played it again. To make up to them.
Ah, what would life be without these funny incidents.
Greetinx.April 9, 2014 at 11:48 pm #2022556
Hey there Nighthawk, I’m glad that I could help you out! Just give it your best, and I have no doubt that you could get booked. If you are considering playing at your school’s events just send an email/talk with your athletic director. That’s what I did, and even though he barely knew what I was going to do(I did send a demo mix, but not sure he listened to it lol) he just gave me the 1.5mm stereo jack to the huge PA and I started playing. Have fun with whatever sort of gigs you try to pursue, but I really believe that events where the music isn’t one of the key factors are the best places to start out. Once you get comfortable with a crowd, and your skills improve, people will notice and start to ask you to play for their xxx event. Good luck mate!
DJ vintage what great story too! I agree these moments keep interesting! Gotta love the attention of being “da djay”, even when it involves some screwups hahahaApril 15, 2014 at 4:43 am #2023285
Good to hear a story from a fresh young mind here in DDJT, keep up the good work young pandawa
PS: and old classic rock n roll fans crossed over to EDM huh ? Most of the friends I know who big fans of classic rock n roll hated EDM ! Period! would like to know more in detail how it got you crossed over the line ?April 15, 2014 at 9:05 pm #2023379
Uhm … something wrong with the not-quite-so-fresh, less-than-young minds in here?April 16, 2014 at 4:23 am #2023438
Uhm … something wrong with the not-quite-so-fresh, less-than-young minds in here?
Nothing wrong at all Chuck ^_^April 18, 2014 at 12:30 am #2023741
Djrizki, I owe my love EDM to my older sister who had been into it much longer than I have. Before I used to share the common trait of classic rock guys, an all encompassing dislike of all things EDM, but one time I was with my sister and she said, “just have a listen, and open yourself up to another world.” Reluctantly, I went with it and she some EDM tune, honestly I can’t remember the name of it, but I decided to give EDM a try and I listened to a lot more of it and after a while it became such that I just fell in love with EDM. I do not however have a hate towards classic rock, I still enjoy it the same way I did all along.April 21, 2014 at 9:50 am #2024271
I do not however have a hate towards classic rock
I didnt say u hated them, I was saying most of my buddies who a big fans of classic rock n roll, hate EDM, lol
Its too bad you cant remembered the EDM tunes that got you hooked that your sis introduced it to you, I can use the same tunes to influences my rock n roll buddiesApril 25, 2014 at 11:32 pm #2025021
Yeah, I understand… I meant more to say that I still like, and did not completely stop listening to it. Now that I think about I am almost certain that some of those first tunes were by Bassnectar, and I talked to her recently about this and she said that she first began to like EDM after she went to see Bassnectar live, reluctantly, with some friends. Also you could try playing an electronic remix of one of their fav tracks… P.S. unless your buddies are into heavy metal do not play them any crazy wub wub dubstep stuff, because most people who don’t like those types of intense beats as well as EDM will leave the room.April 28, 2014 at 5:39 am #2025310
P.S. unless your buddies are into heavy metal do not play them any crazy wub wub dubstep stuff,
So if one of my buddies are into Otep, Kitties, the dub-step treatment would be okay right ?April 28, 2014 at 8:10 pm #2025407WarsuitParticipant
Maybe…I used to do a black/death metal radio show and I can tell you right up front that there is very very little crossover. Fans of dark dance music tend to be open minded and be okay with metal…but the opposite isn’t that true. Most of the most judgmental music fans I’ve ever met have all been deep metallers. The deep metallers hate dubstep more than most.
That being said, aim for the crossover bone anyway…the producer you are now looking for is Heavygrinder. Buy her music. Great hard electro refix of Otep, some really nice dubstep remixes of metal and rock tracks. So solid. Her recent dubstep treatment of Into The Void by NIN is great. Etcetera.April 29, 2014 at 12:58 pm #2025496
Reading the last few comments, I wonder what this has to do with First Gig For Teen DJ anymore?
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