DJing has resulted in some of the best nights of my life. Here are a few tips that have taken me from good to great!
1. Playing the right songs is key
I’ve become an expert in song selection, figuring out which songs are universally liked and playing them. I love pleasantly surprising my audience with old-school hits that are nostalgic and easy to sing along to. As a DJ, I strive to make it damn near impossible for anyone to leave the dance floor.
2. Using transitions is essential for a seamless experience
I’ve mastered the art of transitioning from one song to the next without the crowd even realizing it. I usually find great spots for transitions after a hook, during the bridge, or at the beginning of an outro. However, if the intro of the next song is so iconic that it deserves to be played from the beginning, I don’t neglect that.
3. Understanding Beats Per Minute (BPM) is crucial
BPM relates to the tempo of a song, and knowing which songs have similar BPMs makes transitioning easier. It’s also important to remember that a 70 BPM song can transition well with a 140 BPM song.
4. The 2 Minute Rule works wonders
Our brains love repetition, so I always play through at least one verse and two hooks. Anything fewer sounds rushed, and nobody likes a DJ who switches songs too quickly.
5. Maintaining the vibe is essential
Just because two songs transition well doesn’t mean they carry the same vibe. I’m mindful of this when selecting and mixing songs. For example, going from a high-tempo song (140 BPM) to a low-tempo song (70 BPM) might confuse my audience. The music should rise and fall gradually throughout the night.
6. I never take requests
Unless they are the ones paying me. This helps me maintain control over the atmosphere and ensures a consistent experience for everyone.
7. Using the right equipment is crucial
I always make sure to have my controller, RCA cables, 2 XLR cables, and either Serato or Virtual DJ software. I also bring a USB A to B cable for easy connectivity.
8. Sequencing songs is where the real magic happens
It’s a challenging task that separates good DJs from great ones. I’ve learned that it’s not just about knowing which songs to play but also knowing exactly when to play them. I take the time to discern which songs go together and create a seamless flow for an extended period of time. Categorizing my songs helps with this process.
9. I’m mindful of significant times in the night
The warm-up period is from 11:00 to 12:00, followed by the climax from 12:00 to 1:00. The raunchy section goes from 1:00 to 1:55, and the sing-along section takes place from 1:55 to 2:00.
10. Recording my mix is a personal choice that I find valuable
Once I have selected universally liked songs and sequenced them with transitions, I record my mix. This not only allows me to press play and have fun, but it also eliminates human error during my set.
Thanks for reading my tips, and good luck!