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How To Warm Up DJ! Tease And Build..
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How To Warm Up DJ! Tease And Build..

by Matt · 2 comments

in How To DJ

Loads of spinners, beginners or more experienced, will need to know how to warm up DJ and will be sweating like crazy on how to choose the music.

What does a warm up DJ do? What’s the point? Why not be the main main in the house? Is he cool? How does he or she choose the right music?

Warming up is still a club gig

Reading the free guide on how to get Dj gigs in clubs is a great step towards having a higher DJ profile.

After all, when the club doesn’t have many people at the start of the night, you’ll be more relaxed and can take some hot pics of you, film yourself mixing and add this club to your resumé.

Then you can use this to promote yourself and put it on your website or facebook page.

All in all, any gig, warm up or not, will help you to boost your DJ promotion.

Is the guy playing first important?

For most people who haven’t played in clubs before, it’s unlikely in your early gigs that you’ll be the main guy DJing.

More often than not, your first gigs will be you warming up for the guy who’ll come on later.

But that doesn’t mean you’re not important. You are. Your purpose as awarm up DJ is to get people in the right mood for dancing.

Let me just repeat that: in the right mood for dancing.

The best DJs all have their preferred warm up DJ playing before them.

These guys make the crowd anticipate the real event. They heat up slowly but surely, teasing the crowd and giving them just little tasters of what is to come next.

Why is the warm up DJ important?

Whoever’s playing before the big man or girl is essential. Their job is not to make the crowd go crazy by playing all the hottest new hits at 135bpm. Never, ever do that if you want to play again.

Your job is to flatter the big man or girl by gently getting the crowd in a mood so they’re ready for more by the time you finish.

They are allowed to dance a bit, but don’t make them go crazy. That’s reserved for the next guy.

I know a DJ is meant to rock the place and make people dance, but if you’re warming up then do just that: provide some dancefloor warmth. 

Is this when no one is in the club?

Let’s be pretty clear about it. You’ll arrive as the first guy playing and when the club will be relatively empty.

You’ll see the club in its barest form before the flashing lights go on, looking a bit weird and smelling a bit strange.

The bar staff all look a bit different to that last time you came and are getting ready for a busy night.

You’ll sweat about getting the DJ gear working a bit. When you manage to hook up the equipment, turn the sound on and put on your first tune, no one is likely to be in the club.

Then, slowly, people start to come in. One or two may venture to the dancefloor. They may dance just a bit, then go to get a drink.

But remember, keep them a bit frustrated. You have to hold back putting on anything too lively. The real dancing comes when you pack up your stuff and make way for the next guy.

So what kind of music do I play?

The tunes you play will depend on the crowd and where you’re playing. If you follow what I say about reading the crowd carefully, then you should have an idea of what genre suits the people in front of you.

But again, keep it slow. Have an excellent choice of tunes which showcases some depth and knowledge and bear in mind that you are starting their trip tonight. Keep it rare, funky and not over the top.

If you become a pro at teasing the crowd a bit, giving them little tasters of what great music is, but without ever taking them up too far, then you’re on the right track.

What are the advantages to warming up?

What’s great about warming up is you start off more relaxed as no one is in the club.

I don’t know about you, but I’ve been very nervous before gigs before. I’ve had massive butterflies pounding my chest.

You may be wondering if the equipment is going to work for you, if people are going to like what you do and praying you don’t make a mistake.

But as a warm up DJ, you’ll be able to chill and get familiar with the equipment. I’ve had equipment issues countless times, and had to wait up to 30 minutes to get hooked up properly before. This is fine when you’re the first guy on as no one really notices.

Being more relaxed is far better for DJing. Being tense is a nightmare as you might forget all the tunes you need to play.

But as the first guy on, you can relax and explore your tunes a bit, trying out stuff you wouldn’t normally play and seeing the reaction of people.

Not only this, but if you do a good job, the next guy may ask for you to start for him again. He will most likely be someone with better contacts than you who gets better gigs. Do a great job and he might just invite you to Coachella festival to warm up.

Imagine that.

Have you ever warmed up before? Did you like it and were you successful? Let me know either way and leave me a comment.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Indamix December 1, 2011 at 4:37 am

I will have my first gig in 2 weeks and I’m organizing it too , too heavy .. i have dinosaurs in my stomach not just butterflies lool , the warm up thing was too blur for me about what i should play buy thank you i have a good idea now 🙂

Great articles it’s been 2 hours and a half of reading Great stuf and smoking good sh** 😀


2 Matt December 1, 2011 at 10:17 am

Hi Indamix, thanks for your comment and glad you like the articles.

As for the warmup gig advice, the idea is to make you think what you should play. Giving specific examples about what you should play isn’t possible because it has to come from you. The best I can do is make you think in a way that you produce your own set which reflects you.

I could easily give you 10 tunes that I like to warm up with, and I really like bringing up the energy slowly. However, each DJ has his or her own style and expression. I like playing Aeroplane, Jolie Cherie, Nu Shooz, Breakbot, The Twelves and so on towards the end of the warming up part.

You may like playing completely different stuff to me. I’m sure you’ll do a good job if you’re a bit nervous. It’s a good sign. Just relax enough to have an open mind and not to stick rigidly to a set list as that would be a mistake. Enjoy 🙂


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