My first gig... sort of!

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LittleTreeGuy

DJ Extraordinaire
Jul 30, 2021
64
152
44
So I've been practicing for a couple of months now, and starting to acquire my own equipment. I joined up with two established DJ's and have been shadowing them and will start getting out to weddings with them in the weeks to come. Last week one was playing at a local bar so I went to shadow and observe. He let me take over about an hour into it and I ran with it for the last 3 hours! What a blast! It was a small crowd. Not a lot of dancing on the dance floor, but a lot of singing, and having a good time. Took several requests and worked them in. It was fun getting requests all over the genre and bpm range and then working my to that song. I just love seeing people have a good time... and knowing I was giving them something to enjoy....well, to me, that's why I want to do this.

It definitely gave me some things to think about when moving to different genres. I also learned that I need a lot more practice MC'ing. It's funny... I will stand up just about anywhere and say just about anything and don't have much problem speaking in public, but put a mic in my hand and I get nervous. Fortunately my mic's should be here this week so I can start practicing that part a little more. The silly part is, it's not what I'm saying that makes me nervous, it's that I don't feel like I have a good "PA voice" if that makes sense. Anyways, thanks to so many of you for your suggestions, posts, and knowledge. Ever since I left the bar that night, I can't wait to do it again!
 

MIXMASTERMACHOM

DJ Extraordinaire
Oct 16, 2011
11,952
1,546
63
So I've been practicing for a couple of months now, and starting to acquire my own equipment. I joined up with two established DJ's and have been shadowing them and will start getting out to weddings with them in the weeks to come. Last week one was playing at a local bar so I went to shadow and observe. He let me take over about an hour into it and I ran with it for the last 3 hours! What a blast! It was a small crowd. Not a lot of dancing on the dance floor, but a lot of singing, and having a good time. Took several requests and worked them in. It was fun getting requests all over the genre and bpm range and then working my to that song. I just love seeing people have a good time... and knowing I was giving them something to enjoy....well, to me, that's why I want to do this.

It definitely gave me some things to think about when moving to different genres. I also learned that I need a lot more practice MC'ing. It's funny... I will stand up just about anywhere and say just about anything and don't have much problem speaking in public, but put a mic in my hand and I get nervous. Fortunately my mic's should be here this week so I can start practicing that part a little more. The silly part is, it's not what I'm saying that makes me nervous, it's that I don't feel like I have a good "PA voice" if that makes sense. Anyways, thanks to so many of you for your suggestions, posts, and knowledge. Ever since I left the bar that night, I can't wait to do it again!
I don't have the greatest voice myself and certainly can't sing. What gear did you decide on getting and what mics did you get? You said there wasn't a whole lot of dancing just a lot of singing. Do you know that is? Not beating you up since you're just getting started. It's just important to find out why and in time knowing how to read a crowd is very important. Lastly what kind of bar was this?
 

Jeff Romard

Administrator
Staff member
ODJT Supporter
Sep 4, 2006
20,449
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Sydney, Nova Scotia
So I've been practicing for a couple of months now, and starting to acquire my own equipment. I joined up with two established DJ's and have been shadowing them and will start getting out to weddings with them in the weeks to come. Last week one was playing at a local bar so I went to shadow and observe. He let me take over about an hour into it and I ran with it for the last 3 hours! What a blast! It was a small crowd. Not a lot of dancing on the dance floor, but a lot of singing, and having a good time. Took several requests and worked them in. It was fun getting requests all over the genre and bpm range and then working my to that song. I just love seeing people have a good time... and knowing I was giving them something to enjoy....well, to me, that's why I want to do this.

It definitely gave me some things to think about when moving to different genres. I also learned that I need a lot more practice MC'ing. It's funny... I will stand up just about anywhere and say just about anything and don't have much problem speaking in public, but put a mic in my hand and I get nervous. Fortunately my mic's should be here this week so I can start practicing that part a little more. The silly part is, it's not what I'm saying that makes me nervous, it's that I don't feel like I have a good "PA voice" if that makes sense. Anyways, thanks to so many of you for your suggestions, posts, and knowledge. Ever since I left the bar that night, I can't wait to do it again!
Welcome to the darkside :)

I have a few ideas that might help but I'm on the way out the door more later :)
 

LittleTreeGuy

DJ Extraordinaire
Jul 30, 2021
64
152
44
I don't have the greatest voice myself and certainly can't sing. What gear did you decide on getting and what mics did you get? You said there wasn't a whole lot of dancing just a lot of singing. Do you know that is? Not beating you up since you're just getting started. It's just important to find out why and in time knowing how to read a crowd is very important. Lastly what kind of bar was this?
@MIXMASTERMACHOM - It was a small-town local bar and we knew everyone there. Just folks who never really dance. A few couples danced a few times... but nothing crazy. Both of my mentors were there and said I did a great job and it was as good of a night as they have seen there. They gave me some pointers through the night. I was able to keep the folks engaged al evening. Got lots of kudos (and some $$ tips) from the patrons.

I was using my friends setup... but I decided on two ETX-12p's and two ETX-18sp's for myself. Ordered them today.
 

Jeff Romard

Administrator
Staff member
ODJT Supporter
Sep 4, 2006
20,449
18,288
51
Sydney, Nova Scotia
So I've been practicing for a couple of months now, and starting to acquire my own equipment. I joined up with two established DJ's and have been shadowing them and will start getting out to weddings with them in the weeks to come. Last week one was playing at a local bar so I went to shadow and observe. He let me take over about an hour into it and I ran with it for the last 3 hours! What a blast! It was a small crowd. Not a lot of dancing on the dance floor, but a lot of singing, and having a good time. Took several requests and worked them in. It was fun getting requests all over the genre and bpm range and then working my to that song. I just love seeing people have a good time... and knowing I was giving them something to enjoy....well, to me, that's why I want to do this.

It definitely gave me some things to think about when moving to different genres. I also learned that I need a lot more practice MC'ing. It's funny... I will stand up just about anywhere and say just about anything and don't have much problem speaking in public, but put a mic in my hand and I get nervous. Fortunately my mic's should be here this week so I can start practicing that part a little more. The silly part is, it's not what I'm saying that makes me nervous, it's that I don't feel like I have a good "PA voice" if that makes sense. Anyways, thanks to so many of you for your suggestions, posts, and knowledge. Ever since I left the bar that night, I can't wait to do it again!
You're taking a great approach being mentored

I always found switching genres when you are mixing short a little harder when you are mixing for the majority of the song find good stuff to crossover to for example if you are switching to country from a rock set something like All Summer Long in to Save A Horse then move on from there. BPM is important but so is key and also just the sonic ability for them to mix. Some songs just sound good together. Billie Jean, Uptown Funk, Sexy Back, Can't Fight The Feeling are all close in BPM and near sonically perfect for mixing and transitioning from older to newer. It does take some time and listening to know where to bring them in

Don't worry about your voice unless you sound like Chief Wiggum. Speak clearly and concisely talk at a decent pace not too fast, generally people that aren't used to it speed through. Practice with the mics a lot and record yourself to listen after. You will hate your voice recorded but most others wont
 

MIXMASTERMACHOM

DJ Extraordinaire
Oct 16, 2011
11,952
1,546
63
@MIXMASTERMACHOM - It was a small-town local bar and we knew everyone there. Just folks who never really dance. A few couples danced a few times... but nothing crazy. Both of my mentors were there and said I did a great job and it was as good of a night as they have seen there. They gave me some pointers through the night. I was able to keep the folks engaged al evening. Got lots of kudos (and some $$ tips) from the patrons.

I was using my friends setup... but I decided on two ETX-12p's and two ETX-18sp's for myself. Ordered them today.
Great choices. I have a EV speaker I bought to use for a monitor. It sounds great. The one issue is for some reason when trying to take the wire back out of the speaker it's very difficult for some reason.
 

Scott Hanna

DJ Extraordinaire
ODJT Supporter
Oct 25, 2006
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Cleveland, OH
www.djincleveland.com
So I've been practicing for a couple of months now, and starting to acquire my own equipment. I joined up with two established DJ's and have been shadowing them and will start getting out to weddings with them in the weeks to come. Last week one was playing at a local bar so I went to shadow and observe. He let me take over about an hour into it and I ran with it for the last 3 hours! What a blast! It was a small crowd. Not a lot of dancing on the dance floor, but a lot of singing, and having a good time. Took several requests and worked them in. It was fun getting requests all over the genre and bpm range and then working my to that song. I just love seeing people have a good time... and knowing I was giving them something to enjoy....well, to me, that's why I want to do this.

It definitely gave me some things to think about when moving to different genres. I also learned that I need a lot more practice MC'ing. It's funny... I will stand up just about anywhere and say just about anything and don't have much problem speaking in public, but put a mic in my hand and I get nervous. Fortunately my mic's should be here this week so I can start practicing that part a little more. The silly part is, it's not what I'm saying that makes me nervous, it's that I don't feel like I have a good "PA voice" if that makes sense. Anyways, thanks to so many of you for your suggestions, posts, and knowledge. Ever since I left the bar that night, I can't wait to do it again!
Something that took me a while to learn about the mic. It's not about having that perfect voice. Next to no one does. It's about sounding confident.
I was awful at first. I sounded better eventually, but it wasn't my real voice. It sounded fake. The reality is when you learn to use your own voice confidently, it will be better.

It's also about WHAT you say. I hear DJ's saying canned things over and over again. It's the quickest way to get people to stop listening. If you don't have something interesting to say, consider not saying anything. Not saying everything has to wow everyone, but you get the idea.
Listen to others on the mic. You'll hear great ones and the "cheesy" DJ voice.

Today, some people tell me I'm a natural at this. While I appreciate the compliment, inside I have to laugh.
 
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Jeff Romard

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Sep 4, 2006
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It's also about WHAT you say. I hear DJ's saying canned things over and over again. It's the quickest way to get people to stop listening. If you don't have something interesting to say, consider not saying anything. Not saying everything has to wow everyone, but you get the idea.
My mentor told me if you don't have anything to say don't say it. It wasn't grammatically correct but I got the point ;)
 

MIXMASTERMACHOM

DJ Extraordinaire
Oct 16, 2011
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What music did you play that there wasn't a lot of dancing? I'm not asking for a play list. Just some titles and genres played. Now to be fair it's not about having people dancing up a storm. It's about how much money the bar makes. I was playing in a place one night covering for another DJ who had another job to do. A regular that came in the place said for me to get the people dancing. I knew they would eventually get to dancing and they did. I had played there enough times. So they knew me. I was not worried about them not dancing. They were spending good money at the bar. That's the k and make ey. If the bar doesn't make enough money to justify having you be the DJ, they will get someone else. The DJ working in the place needs to be someone who can get a crowd to come and want to hear that DJ play. Also the bar needs to make plenty of money so the bills can get paid.

I wasn't there on a Friday. This manager wanted me for both Friday and Saturday. I didn't do Friday because they had another DJ come in to play there on Friday. I get there on Saturday and had to find out last night was a big mess. I was told that this DJ came there with some gear in a taxi. He was playing and I was told he would play some music people liked and quickly switch to something else that totally didn't fit. I was told 30 people walked out and finally they turned the jukebox on. That was the first time I ever heard such a thing. I was told by a bartender I had to really come up. All I know is I knew I didn't have to worry about that happening to me.

When I talked about making the bar happy, I was talking about turning the bar over. It's OK for people to be dancing having a good time from the music you. It's not OK for people to not spend money at the bar and just dancing. Glad you had fun while you played there.
 

Albatross

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Sep 7, 2016
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Reading your enthusiasm for it reminds me of my own. I haven't totally gotten back to the joy of DJing since the start of the pandemic. A bunch of stuff in my life has changed and while I've had a few good gigs lately, I'm going to need to find that spark to have longevity beyond a year or two more of this.

Exciting stuff, keep sharing as you learn more.
 

DJ Ricky B

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Mar 9, 2015
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Reading your enthusiasm for it reminds me of my own. I haven't totally gotten back to the joy of DJing since the start of the pandemic. A bunch of stuff in my life has changed and while I've had a few good gigs lately, I'm going to need to find that spark to have longevity beyond a year or two more of this.

Exciting stuff, keep sharing as you learn more.

That is basically how I feel. I believe in my current position/feelings about deejaying and life in general I can go more than 2 more years, probably another 5 or 6, but the joy of deejaying is diminished a good bit. I also don't have it in me any more for working so many weekends or 45+ events a year any more.
 
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Jeff Romard

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I also don't have it in me any more for working so many weekends or 45+ events a year any more.
I think a lot of us feel that way after the long layoff we learned what the difference between want and need is. I don't plan on quitting anytime soon but I will likely be doing less from here on in.
 

sawdust123

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Nov 10, 2006
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Little Tree, we all started out awkward on the mic. Some try to sound like wrestling announcers, some like airport public address announcements. As Scott said, find your own voice. I finally found my own voice when I stopped thinking of myself as an announcer. Instead, I pretend I am having a conversation with the guests. I often start out instead with a question. For instance, instead of saying, "ladies and gentlemen, at this time, the buffet line is open," I may simply say, "Is it just me, or does something smell awfully good over there?" It really doesn't matter what that first sentence is, you are just giving people a few seconds to start paying attention to the loud voice from the speakers. Then I can go into the details of how the tables will be called up.
 

PhaseIIPro

DJ Extraordinaire
Apr 19, 2015
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What music did you play that there wasn't a lot of dancing? I'm not asking for a play list. Just some titles and genres played. Now to be fair it's not about having people dancing up a storm. It's about how much money the bar makes. I was playing in a place one night covering for another DJ who had another job to do. A regular that came in the place said for me to get the people dancing. I knew they would eventually get to dancing and they did. I had played there enough times. So they knew me. I was not worried about them not dancing. They were spending good money at the bar. That's the k and make ey. If the bar doesn't make enough money to justify having you be the DJ, they will get someone else. The DJ working in the place needs to be someone who can get a crowd to come and want to hear that DJ play. Also the bar needs to make plenty of money so the bills can get paid.

I wasn't there on a Friday. This manager wanted me for both Friday and Saturday. I didn't do Friday because they had another DJ come in to play there on Friday. I get there on Saturday and had to find out last night was a big mess. I was told that this DJ came there with some gear in a taxi. He was playing and I was told he would play some music people liked and quickly switch to something else that totally didn't fit. I was told 30 people walked out and finally they turned the jukebox on. That was the first time I ever heard such a thing. I was told by a bartender I had to really come up. All I know is I knew I didn't have to worry about that happening to me.

When I talked about making the bar happy, I was talking about turning the bar over. It's OK for people to be dancing having a good time from the music you. It's not OK for people to not spend money at the bar and just dancing. Glad you had fun while you played there.

Macho, Are you sleep typing or something? Lots of that makes absolutely no sense at all.
 
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azdeejay

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Apr 1, 2015
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I think a lot of us feel that way after the long layoff we learned what the difference between want and need is. I don't plan on quitting anytime soon but I will likely be doing less from here on in.
Keeping this train going, I too feel the same way, not ready to quit, but not sure I have still have the spark , Ive been planning on doing a complete rebrand( including name change) after my Nov wedding, figured I will give it the length of my states DBA(5 yrs) and probably call it quits then.