Home Forums The DJ Booth Most common newbie DJ mistakes (and how to handle them?)

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    Glorina Julian

    Hi all,

    Just wanted to ask all you experienced DJs what were some of your most stressful, embarrassing mistakes you made? And how best for a DJ to handle them /avoid them?

    The most common one I would think is a train wreck which obviously knowing how to beat match would solve that but in the heat of the moment, how best to handle?

    Thanks in advance!

    DJ Vintage

    Quite frankly a train wreck is not the most embarrassing moment. Letting a track run out because you were too late picking the next tune (or, as has happened, decided another tune was even better but you couldn’t get it cued up in time) is pretty bad.
    But my all-time favorite would still be hitting play on the wrong player (effectively hitting pause) and the entire floor going silent. Hopefully you have the count/beat in your head. Just count til the next downbeat and hit play again and smile broadly.

    It hurts though hahahaha


    Forgot to bring back the crossfader to the middle, so there was no sound when I brought in the next track 😛


    I have managed to stop the wrong record many times before, the worst time was with 700 people pogo dancing to the Prodigy and muggings here lifts up the wrong needle.

    Possibly my biggest fail was turning up at a gig and then discovering I had left my vinyl bag at home.

    Mistakes are many and varied and the best bit is that even after 20 years I still make them. Just grin and laugh at yourself, ultimately nobody will really care 🙂

    Dj Emazing

    Forgetting to bring up the volume fader or eqs, embarrassing when you cut to the next track with the crossfader and your volume fader is all the way down or your high, mids, and lows are on full kill. Only way out is hoping the next track is a really good one and has a good intro or speaking into the mic and telling the crowd “yall not ready for it yet! lol

    DJ James Bowers

    ONE thing that is EASILY done and is HORRENDOUS happened to me when I was playing a one-off in a bar where I’d come on after another DJ – I wasn’t used to using their mixer and the warmup DJ had left the crossfader assign buttons in the middle (i.e. doesn’t matter where the crossfader is turned to, the tracks will play). I just happen to mix USING the crossfader as opposed to the volume AND crossfader – and it was a really noisy environment, so I couldn’t hear until halfway through my set that every time I’d been cueing tracks up, it had been coming through the speakers!!

    The crowd barely noticed to be honest – and although I was horrified once I learnt what was going on, you just have to shrug it off! At the end of the day, this was in the days when I didn’t have much experience with big mixers (I had a cheap Traktor controller at the time and was just starting out) – so I just thought of it as a learning curve and still to this day have to check, and re-check, the crossfader settings. lol

    (I would strongly recommend MAKING the time before you jump on, though, to just glance over all the settings on the mixer and if you don’t know what they are, memorize what they’re set to. That way, if you accidentally knock something whilst your hands are flying about, you can correct it quickly!)


    Overpreparation of tracks – you have to read the crowd.
    Underpreparation of equipment – if no tech is there bring enough cables and know how to hook up a PA.

    Look here for input:

    Tuomas Helander

    That hitting play is quite typical beginner mistake, it has happened to me several times, when I wasn’t so fluent with my workflow, though not on any gig.

    I’ve also qued songs out loud, in a wedding dinner… luckily there was nobody in the room atm, since everyone was out for some other program. I was probably cueing up something really awkward like heavy metal or a kids song… ^_^

    I sometimes also miss the play button (on a denon controller), of fail to hit it properly, so the controller doesn’t register the hit, luckily this is often the track coming in with volume fader down, so I have a few seconds to fix it up.

    Tuomas Helander

    Oh not to mention cueing a banger tune in, and dropping it straight with volume full, just after scratching on the previous track… crossfader ofc left far right…

    Guy Hagen

    The absolute WORST was when I forgot to configure the latency settings of my soundcard. They were much too low so when I hit play, the sound was COMPLETELY destroyed. I’m talking everything- the bass was gone, and the mids/highs were all scrambled. And I didn’t realize what was going on until it was too late. I went on to a packed dancefloor, and after five minutes it was empty.

    Have you ever had that “I wish I could melt into the floor” feeling? Those were the longest five minutes of my life.


    I have had similar to Guy – but instead of playing on (I noticed during sound check) I just changed it… Audience didn’t notice a thing (There wasn’t one to notice – I do mobile type work so I can check everything before people arrive)

    That particular time it was caused by windows trying to run my soundcard at 44.1KHz and Virtual Dj at 96KHz.. so the soundcard was running at 44.1 but with audio fed into it at 96.. not a pretty sound!!

    Note to self: Don’t let windows use my DJ soundcard as a default device in future.. 🙂


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