Energy, Personality, Good Attitude,
Creativity, Kick Ass Tunes &
Lots Of Practise... These make,
for me... a Good DJ! Its so
important to be really passionate
about music & about wanting
to share your music with other people...
make them dance & make them
very happy & have the best bloody
More Advice I got
from a Dj Agent in the UK a few
of an agent as the key to your success.
YOU ARE! Agents, PR, Managers, Labels
theyre all Polishers.
They can only polish the product.
Clubs usually dont
book Djs because they are
good, they book Djs because
they are well known & will draw
people to their club.
Normally agents come
to the artists, not the other way
round. The artist need to work on
their own to develop a profile.
You need to be perfect technically
these days & you need to have
a wide range of musical style.
You should find a
residency or start your own night
& develop a crowd that follows
you to each of your other gigs.
This will grow if you are good.
Most importantly you
need to Produce. Its very
hard to market your style as a Dj
alone. You will only get so far
as a Dj without releases. (Eddie
Halliwell & James Zabiela are
exceptions but you know why). Make
tracks play them at your gigs, But
impose very high standards &
dont work within rules &
don't confine yourself to one Genre
Production is so important.
Very few Djs who dont produce
make it on a global scale. You may
be able to last a few years domestically
without production but its
unlikely to last longterm.
MAKING A MIX DEMO!
1. START WITH A BANG!
... Very important to grab the listeners
attention from the word go! If its
boring most people will turn off
or start skipping though after the
first 15mins if you havnt
given them an exciting taster of
whats to come! REMEMBER: engage
your listeners from the very beginning!
2. PACE YOURSELF ...
As much as a good start is vital
its also important not to
play all your aces at once! If you
play all your best tracks at the
start it will leave you with nowhere
to go & ultimately disappoint
the listener. Save some exclusive
tracks, edits & reworks for
the 2 nd half. Planning can be really
plan how you want
it to flow & use which tracks
3. DONT BE A
SNOB ... Finding all the weirdest,
rarest, cutting edge tunes is great,
but its good to play something
people know too but in a different
way a strange cover version
of a well - known song. Having a
balance between the dancefloor &
the music heads is important!
4. SUBTLETY IS GOOD
... You can afford to be more intricate
on a cd layer things up &
be clever, make a musical connection.
Dj tricks are usually lost in a
club environment between distorsion,
drugs & booze but on a cd hopefully
it will be listened to over &
5. GET THE FLOW ...
Like a club set its important
your mixtape has peaks & mellow
parts. Mellow parts are good to
give the listeners a break occasionally,
if too much is going on, the ears
can get tired & the listener
will switch off!
6. WRONG IS RIGHT
... Dont be too serious! Throw
in something just a little wrong
at the right moment. Speech / Spoken
Word can be entertaining too. Eg.
Poetry, childrens stories, bits
from audio books, or even dialogue
from TV, Radio or films!
7. BE A MASTER CHEF
... Mix it up Literally!
Try not to play the same style of
music at the same bpm for a whole
can be very dull.
8. CUT THE SCRATCHING
... Nobody wants to hear endless
scratch solos unless you are actually
Q-Bert, so keep scratches to a minimum!
Keep them short, sharp & funky!
9. FOCUS YOUR MIX
... Who are you making this mix
for? Yourself? Your Partner? Promoter?
Make sure you know your audience.
10. END ON A HIGH!
... Make the last track count! Make
it one to remember. If you leave
your listener on a high theyll
be back to listen to your mix again!
MORE NEW DJING TIPS!
its very important as a Dj
to find the sound engineer when
you get to the club you are playing
at. Introduce yourself, tell them
you are one of the Djs going
to play & ask them to help you
with the sound, work together to
get the best possible sound during
your set. After all these people
usually know the sound for that
club the best & if they do ask
you to do something
the bass down
well do it &
respect the equipment in the club,
treat it like your own.
Never buy your own
Flight! If a Promoter or Dj Agency
overseas wants you to come play
for him/her never ever pay for your
own flight unless you really know
& trust this person 100% or
else you could end up losing a lot
of money. The promoter should always
buy your flight in advance.
There are a lot of
dodgy promoters out there but there
are also a lot of nice promoters,
so always make sure you thank the
Promoter for booking you as it usually
involves a lot of money
Hotel, Food, Fee etc
the promoters there would be no
parties for Djs to play at &
sometimes the promoters can lose
a lot of money. Try & build
up a good relationship with the
promoters, advertise their party
on your website if you have one,
take photos, do a write up about
their party, I do this anyway as
its news for my website &
promoters always thank me.
Take criticism with
a pinch of salt after all its
just one persons opinion usually
& you dont know what kind
of mood they were in when they heard
your set or listened to your track.
Plus stay away from message boards
my god people can be so nasty &
rip people apart on there. At the
end of the day, if you are a Dj
& play out & spend all your
money & time on practising &
you def love it
& always want to play your best
& make people enjoy & have
fun. But there is always some smart
ass who doesnt think about
this & wants to bring you down.
I listen to peoples comments
but they are not always right &
best thing to do is believe in yourself
& keep following your heart.
No matter how well
you play you cant please everyone,
just go with the feeling of the
If you have never
played for this promoter before
try & talk with him/her to find
out what kind of music they want
& will work at their party.
Do some research or try talk with
some other Djs who have played there.
No point in playing a hard techno
set to a funky house crowd.
Be prepared for everything,
bring some warm up records / tunes
as well as peak time even if you
are booked for a peak time set.
I was caught out before, booked
for a peak time set then 3 hours
before the party was due to start
I was told I was going to play warm
up???? It was so unfair
had maybe 3 warm up records with
and I had 4 very pissed
tourists dancing like crazy infront
Get on myspace.com
its FREE & really excellent
for promoting your self. When you
sign up especially if you produce
your own music go to the artist
signup so you get a Music
Myspace so you can upload
your tracks, if you just get a regular
myspace then you can download an
Mp3 player to play your tracks.
Contact all your fav Djs & Producers,
most of them actually reply! Its
really great as everyone is kinda
on the same level & its
a great way to make new friends.
Mine is www.myspace.com/djclodagh
Get a website &
upload your mixes, its amazing
how many people download your mixes
from all over the world! Its
also much quicker than posting a
demo mix Cd to a promoter, they
can go directly to your site &
download your mix.
If you do post a CD
to a promoter, make sure you listen
to it before you send it, once I
sent some mix CDs to a promoter
in Brazil & realised after,
I had put a 2sec pause in between
it looks so unprofessional!
Its hard to
stay motivated all the time, when
you feel you are getting bored &
uninspired it means you need to
give yourself a kick in the ass
& go out & find music that
will inspire you. Mr.C told me this
Go to the record shop &
find really wicked tracks that you
cant wait to play to people
the madder the better!
get yer asses down to your nearest
record shop or search on the internet
for new music & be inspired
One thing that made
me stand out from the 300 DJs
that entered the "Joy of Decks"
TV Show, was my energy. When I play
I really try to put my heart and
soul into it... let the music take
over & show the people that
you really love it! That it makes
you really happy. Even when things
are going wrong or the equipment
youre playing on isnt
very good, youve gotta be
professional and not let it show
- cos you dont want
to spread your bad vibes into the
party. I can usually tell instantly
when a DJ isnt enjoying him
or herself and its a real
Try to be as creative
as you possibly can and, although
you should feel comfortable, challenge
yourself too. Taking risks makes
life more exciting and it can get
boring doing the same thing over
and over. Being technical is good
but not essential, but for me personally,
I love technically daring DJs, theyre
very entertaining when its
done right... e.g. scratching, 3
decks, effects units, turntables,
cdjs & samples.
its done right it sounds really
wicked... but when its done
bad... it sounds awful! Nothing
worse than a DJ overdoing bad scratching
during a set... it just gets really
annoying. I use very basic little
scratches at the moment to add a
little extra to my sets. So practise,
Dont just always
buy the new tunes or the obvious
ones. Go to the second hand shops,
you really can get some goodies
and pretty cheap too! Dont
be afraid to mix up your styles!
When I used to play at my Spiritualised
parties I play a mixture of trance,
techno, acid techno, house, hip
hop, breaks, drumnbass
and even hardcore sometimes! It
makes it more varied, changes the
pace and people dont know
what youre gonna do next and
thats keeps it exciting!!
As Roni Size said... "It doesnt
matter what youre playing
as long as people are dancing!"
I think a DJ should
be visually entertaining too! Nothing
worse than seeing a miserable ass
DJ with a fag hanging out of his
or her mouth, with their head stuck
in their record bag or mixer??!!!
Dance, move, smile, have fun with
the crowd! Its a party for
gawd sake! People go there to have
fun, so give it to them! Play every
set like its gonna be your
Get into production...
start making your own tracks! Itll
make you understand music better
and its great fun!
Get out there and
watch and listen to other DJs
playing. Its a great way to
learn! No one ever showed me how
to mix, I would and still do dance
right up near the front so I can
watch the DJ! Learn, Learn, Learn...
Soak in everything!! Then go home
and practise it in your way... Create
your own original style!
When youre sending
Demos to promoters maybe even make
3 demos... 1. for warm up 2. main
set and 3. for the end of the night!
Lesley Wright, Editor of DJ Mag
told me this, because a promoter
will usually have booked a big name
DJ for the Main Set, so youd
have more of a chance of getting
booked for a warm up set or an end
of the night set. Show them you
can play at any time!!
Even better, start
your own night... yes its
a lot of stress and time, but its
a great experience and you learn
a lot of different stuff from lighting
and decorations to promotion and
safety and what the crowd really
I started my party,
Spiritualised, 2 weeks after I bought
my first set of decks, threw a small
house party for friends and 3 years
later we were hiring bigger
venues! Start small then go with
Play for free!...
get the experience! Every time you
play out you learn something new!
And girlies... please
dont be afraid to give it
a go.. I think its really
is lack of confidence that stops
more girls from playing!... WE REALLY
CAN DO IT JUST AS GOOD AND EVEN
BETTER THAN THE GUYS!!!
The best advice I
can give was given to me in an email
from Carl Cox, the day before the
big JOY OF DECKS FINAL in Liverpool...
"Just play some kick ass tunes
and have a lot of fun, because when
you have fun, the people have fun
You really can achieve
anything you want if you work hard
& believe in yourself. Play
from your heart & you cant
go wrong! Bringing people together
& making people dance &
have fun to your music is a wonderful
thing! Enjoy it!