DJ Skills – Preparing Your Set For a Live Show

In the minds of an audience a DJ is only as good as their last show. This is a hard truth that needs to be faced up to. DJ you need to prepare your set for each live show so you will not flop. Read every word of this article as I reveal my success formula.

As a successful DJ, I know that when I play a live set I make it look easy. My mixes flow and get the crowd on their feet pretty much guaranteed every time. The reason it looks easy is because I have put in a massive amount of hard work in advance to ensure that I do a brilliant job for my audience.

You see for me the alternative is not an option. Earlier on in my career I played a couple of shows where I presumed too much. I presumed that I understood what the audience at the venue would like I presumed that they would respond as positively to the last successful set I played. In the DJ game we should never take our fickle audiences for granted.


So here is my success formula.

1) Get to know your audience – I play to majority black crowds across three or four styles of music. What I have discovered is that a style which is big in one City may not be the flavour in another. Therefore I take time out to research a new city in advance. This is easier than you think now we have social networking. I simply study what my friends from that area are listening too. I check out their mix-tapes and local DJ’s and take a listen.

2) Bring something new – I am not trying to contradict myself from point one so do not worry. What I mean by this is that if I discover a certain style of music or a specific track is big in an area where I am about to visit then I make sure that I get an exclusive remix done that will blow the place apart. So successful has this strategy been for me that years down the line I still get people saying things like “I remembered when you came here and played that big remix”. Creating this positive kind of memory builds up your ‘legendary’ status as a DJ and will create anticipation on your return.

3) Do not rest on your previous success – What worked last time will not necessarily work this time. Be diligent make sure you do your research and stay current. Sadly your audiences are fickle and will quickly dismiss you if you fail to keep on top of your music.

4) Cover the basics – Before you set out on a show make sure you go through a checklist that ensures everything is present and correct. Do you have your headphones, are they working and so on. Last month I was all set to go and play somewhere only to discover a fault with the laser on one of my pioneer CDJ Decks, fortunately I do have a backup. I am glad I checked as discovering this fault whilst playing live would have been a nightmare.

These ideas are based on my real experiences i.e. I have learned the hard way. I trust they will be useful to you and help you to become a successful DJ.