Get DJ Gigs

DJ Bookings And How To Get Better DJ Gigs

by Matt · 2 comments

in DJ Gigs

Getting good DJ bookings is tough. You really have to learn how to network. Relying on luck and hoping one day that top gigs will come along just isn’t good enough.

First of all, grab your FREE guide Twelve Proven Techniques To Get Top DJ Gigs In Night Clubs.

There are plenty of frustrated, good DJs out there who aren’t getting the gigs they deserve.

DJ bookings

There are numerous DJs who can mix better and can boast a far better tune selection that the guys that get to play in clubs and even those in bars.

We’ve all been there, trying to dance in a club listening to the DJ who’s playing the same tune as he did an hour ago, hoping that no one realises.

We’d be drinking at the bar, listening to what’s going on and hearing a DJ try to be eclectic and cool like the others who play in that club, but failing embarrassingly.

We’ve all seen DJs playing sets for themselves, dancing away and punching the air, while no one in the room even cares.

How many times has this happened to you?

Life just isn’t fair for DJs

Do you think you’re better than most of the DJs that you hear when you go out?

If you grind your teeth and wince at their mixing, knowing you could do a better job then I hear you.

This is the case for over 90% of DJs.

Why? Because in many places, you need to know someone to get a gig. It doesn’t always matter how good you are or how great your demo CD is.

Knowing the decision makers and winning their trust and possibly their friendship is more important.

Sure it helps to look good, to mix like a demon, to be able to mix with 4 decks. But all this is useless unless you know how to hustle for gigs.

Making friends to get gigs

For many people, hearing the suggestion that they should “know how to network” causes them to freeze up immediately.

Many people are shy, uncomfortable and can’t get on with everyone. Lots of DJs are like that. If you are, then don’t worry, you’re not alone.

Networking is about making friends

The easiest way to see it is that networking is not about walking right up to some high powered, arrogant, rich club owner and smooth talking him or her round to your way of thinking.

If you can do that then it’s great. But you won’t need to most of the time.

What you need to do is make some new friends to get DJ bookings.

How does this work?

First of all, make it your goal to make a lot of new friends. That’s not difficult. It’s normal.

You might need to break outside your circle of drinkers, stoners and nutters and meet people who are a bit different.

You need to seek out music fans and other DJs.

Knowing other DJs is the best way to get gigs

Knowing how to network to get DJ bookings is much easier if you know other DJs.

Make it a priority to get to know DJs in your town. Make friends and talk about music, gear and just life in general.

Don’t ask them to play gigs together. You need to win their friendship first.

If you become friends with a DJ who gets better gigs than you, there’s every chance that later on he or she will be open to the suggestion that you play together.

But don’t charge in asking to play the first time you meet, that would be a mistake.

A mentor DJ who you make friends with will introduce you to promoters, owners and other important decision makers.

When you chat to other DJs after they play a gig, you’ll see that talk to plenty of people passing by. Some of these will be decision makers.

How to network with other DJs

Finding other DJ friends is easy once you get rolling.

Hang out in the places you want to play at

The more often you go out in the places you like, the more chance you have of getting better gigs.

Chat to the DJ who’s just about to come on. Give them feedback on how they played. Tell them you like a tune or original remix that they dropped.

Be frank and speak to them in DJ parlance. They want to know how people react to their set, that’s how they see the dancefloor.

Ask them how they think their set went. Then get chatting about other stuff: DJ gear, mixing and the rest.

Then get their email or mobile number. All in a chilled out, friendly way.

Club and even bar DJs get plenty of people trying to talk to them, so you may not hear back from them right away.

Go on DJ forums to find other DJs

Forums are very useful for finding other DJs to look for and local DJ bookings and events you’d like to play at.

Be ready to contribute positively to DJ forums and to show you’re open to gigs in the area.

Some DJs are surprisingly open at making buddies on forums and then meeting up for gigs.

Offer to warm up for them

When you get to know DJs better, rather than jumping in and suggesting you take over their set and get paid half their cash, go easy.

Charging in and being annoying is a great way to be totally ignored by your new deejay friends. What you can do is suggest warming up for them because you understand each other’s tastes. That’s what can get you DJ bookings in clubs.

And it all goes from there.

Get DJ bookings with bar/club owners

2 of my breaks in getting great DJ bookings came from doing this. Hanging out in places you like and being open and friendly gets you recognised with the owner or promoter.

If they see you a few times they’re more likely to chat to you. Once you decide you get on well enough for you to ask for a gig or DJ booking, then drop the suggestion in. See how they react.

Make sure they don’t think you’re friends with them only to get gigs, that would be a sure way to be ignored the next time you see them.

Instead, say that you’re good at creating a nice atmos, making people dance and importantly, that you can bring in good friends.

Most promoters and owners are mainly interested in how much cash you can make them as well as how you can improve their image for long term success.

If you have with you several blonde cute girls and a few well dressed guy friends who spend money on drinks then it’s a great start.

If they’re still not sure, and they’re hesitating then you can offer to play for free the first gig only as a test. Use this as a last resort though.

Speak their language, tell them how many people you’ll get in. Obviously you’ll need to bring quite a few people down, so make sure it’s the real deal.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 DJ-juist November 11, 2011 at 7:20 am

I was always confused about certain DJing tips and etc but when I randomely decided to go on the net and do a bit of research I found this website and now I am never worried about another thing when I’m DJing. lol

You guys at the T-DJ team did a great job putting up this website.

Thanx for all your help


2 Matt November 11, 2011 at 11:39 am

Glad it helped DJ Juist. Just trying to share what worked for me and for others.


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