Thursday, March 6, 2014

The Downward Spiral Of The Undercutting DJ

We have all heard stories or have been affected by those DJs that offer services at cut rate prices, and ans the saying goes "You get what you pay for" always rings true.

Many DJs are quick to blame those cheaper DJs for them losing their gig, but the 1st person to blame is themselves for making an owner give thought to hiring one at a cheaper rate. The 2nd person to blame is the one who hires them, and that is the one that starts the downward spiral. Here is an example of how this vicious cycle works.

Let's say a DJ is making $300 a night as the resident, the club is doing good, people enjoy the music and bartenders are happy with the money they make. Then that little devil called greed walks in, another DJ offers to play there for $150 a night and without looking at the big picture the owner hires them thinking they will be saving more money. The new undercutting DJ is not as good as the $300 DJ and the club loses a few regulars and the profit drops off. After a while another undercutting DJ sees an opportunity and offers their services for $100 a night, once again, the quality is not there and business drops off more, until another DJ is hired for $75 a night, then $50 a night and by then the club has fallen off so bad that it is forced to close its doors. This sounds crazy but it happens more than you think. And what is really bad is looking at the big picture, an entire nightclub closed it's doors because the owner wanted to save $150. Not a smart way to run a business, but looking at this simple theory you see how a nightclub gets ran into the ground and how there is a lot of turnover in the DJ booth.

And the vicious circle never ends, once one nightclub closes this same scenario starts all over again at another venue and the downward spiral continues once again.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

The 7 Deadly Sins Of DJing

1. Sync Button - You will never learn any true DJ skills when you allow a button to do it for you.

2. Train Wrecking - Nothing is as painful to ones ears as to hearing beats crashing into each other.

3. Dead Air - The kind of attention that no DJ wants is when a song ends and nothing else comes on.

4. Stealing - You will draw the ire of any DJ by stealing their music, gear or gig.

5. Undercutting - You will never gain any respect if you get gigs by playing cheaper than anyone else.

6. Spamming - It's good to promote your event, but not to the point that nobody wants to go.

7. Trash Talking - Words will always come back to haunt you, you might talk about your skills or another DJs lack of them, either way if those words are false you will be sure to hear about them.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

The DJ Experiment


Recently we tried an experiment, we placed an ad on Craigslist for 1 day looking for a DJ for a new nightclub. We placed very specific instructions but yet they were very common ones every DJ should use in a resume.

1. Years Experience
2. Places you have worked
3. Equipment you are familiar with or own
4. Genre you have the most experience with
5. Link to webpage or online mixes

MUST HAVE PRIOR NIGHTCLUB EXPERIENCE. NO MOBILE OR WEDDING DJs NEED APPLY

Out of 137 replies only 1 person responded with those guidelines included correctly and they just wanted to be kept in the loop for future consideration because they were currently enlisted in the military.

A couple of the replies were from DJs I personally knew that flat out lied about experience and where they worked.

A majority of the ones that replied, were in fact mobile and wedding DJs with NO club experience which was clearly stated for them not to.

The bottom line is if you can't follow simple directions you are not going to be hired, if you put lies out there, it is way too easy to confirm them with a simple online search or a phone call.

Handle yourself in a professional manner if you come off as a novice you will be treated as such , be honest and don't try being something that you are not..The truth will shoot you down when it comes out.

Monday, April 22, 2013

The Types Of Guys That Request Songs


The Types Of Guys That Request Songs

1. The Jackass -  The most common one, he wants to hear music that no woman wants to dance to, mainly wants the dancefloor to himself so he can fall down trying dance moves. After running all the women off he blames the DJ for playing bad music. Loves to shuffle dance.

2. The Wannabe Rapper -  The unsigned rapper you never heard of that wants you to play his song or his friends song that sounds like it was recorded on a 1980's boom box. Also wants to bust a freestyle, usually gets kicked out for bugging women.

3. The Player -  He thinks he is a chick magnet, he is quite the opposite as women avoid him quickly. He has the clothes, he has the moves, he just has no clue how to talk to women. Usually requests Usher.

4. The DJ - Claims to be a DJ and keeps asking for songs that in no way fits what you are playing and then tries to impress you by telling who he knows. Then asks if he can play a few.

5. The Fist Bumper - Constantly trying to fist bump or high five you while you are mixing, wants to hear dubstep and dance by himself.

6.  The Wingman -  We all know this one, " Dude If you play this song I will get laid"  his song doesn't get played and guy goes home alone.

7.  The Yeller - Yells requests from across the club, boos when requests are ignored, gets kicked out for being a jerk.

8.  The Pariah -  The one all women avoid, has breath that will drop a bear and enough cologne on to clear the sinuses of anyone within 10 feet.  Wants to hear very obscure stuff and can't figure out why no women will dance with him.

9. The Stalker -  Dude asks for R&B then stalks women on the floor often just standing next to them acting like they should use him like a stripper pole.

10. The Non Tipper -  Always say they will tip you for a playing a song but never do, these are th same guys that walk bar tabs.

The Types Of Women That Request Songs


The Types Of Women That Request Songs

1. The Birthday Girl -  Acts like just because she was born today you have to play every song she asks for most of which are songs she loved in middle school. She usually ends up passed out before closing time.

2.  The Cougar -  The older woman looking for a young man and sometimes the DJ, usually dressed in clothes way too small and enough makeup on to look like a clown. Always wants to hear music that was popular 20 years ago.

3. The Ghetto Girl - Regardless of her skin color she demands you play "booty" music so she can show her stripper moves usually to the dismay of others. Will call you racist if you don't play what she wants. Usually gets kicked out for starting fights with other women.

4. The Bitch- The leader of the pack of a group of women, wants you to cater to them or she will take her party elsewhere. Has no regard for other patrons and is never satisfied and wants her song next. Usually can be found in a bachelorette party.

5. The Drunk Girl -  The most annoying one, She can barely speak or stand and directs her drunken dance moves that she thinks are sexy towards you. Some guy will usually drag her out if he she doesn't pass out first.

6. The Attention Whore - Wants everyone to see her and how little clothes she has on, wants to make sure the DJ is watching her and will invite herself into the DJ booth , she thinks the club will not exist without her presence. Will take at least 100 pictures even with people she doesn't know.

7. The Music Expert - Regardless of your music knowledge and experience this woman thinks she knows more than you and what you should be playing. Will intercept others by the DJ booth and tell them they want to hear as well. She has an iTunes library filled with songs you would never play.

8. The Party Pooper - The dancefloor is packed then this one wants to hear music that will clear the floor. Will ask you to turn the music down, not use as many lights or complain about others having too much fun. Usually this is an unattractive person.

9. The Owners / Managers Girl -  Somehow by opening her legs to someone she thinks she is entitled to tell you what to do and what to play. Another one that gets so drunk she gets removed for being an embarrassment.

10.  The Slut - Will offer sexual favors to hear songs or drinks ,most times she is a regular that you see making out with 5 different guys in the night and leaving with a different one every week.

11. The Spoiled Brat - A product of bad parenting, this one has been given everything she wants in life and expects the same in a nightclub. Will threaten to tell a manager if you don't play her song. Will usually leave pissed off or crying.

12. The Shocked One - This one really wants to hear a song you would never play and her mouth always drops open when you tell her you don't have it. Will always try to tell you why you should get the song to no avail.

13. The Next Girl - This one bugs you all night asking what is next or trying to look and see what you have cued up so that she can go tell her friends like they are going to be impressed by her acquired knowledge. Will constantly ask if her song is next.

14. The Clueless One - She has no idea what the song is called or who the artist is, but it's her favorite song. Usually asks for a song title by misheard lyrics. Even if the song is played she doesn't realize it.

15. The VIP -  She knows the owner/manager/bartender/doorman she says she is there all of the time though you have never seen her but her request must be played or heads will roll.




Wednesday, April 17, 2013

3 Detrimental DJ Decisions That Will Determine Your Career


3 Detrimental DJ Decisions ( The 3D's )


DJs make mistakes. We are not perfect and never will be. Today there are so many more DJs that even with advances in technology mistakes are still there and quite possibly are more common as there are less experienced DJs getting gigs. These tips I give you will not help you with the physical performance ( practice will help with that ) but rather these tips will help you keep a gig with basic DJ etiquette and common sense which is something lacking these days.

1. DRINKING/DRUGGING HEAVILY WHILE DJing - We are the life of the party but sometimes when we party too much we become the death of the party. Over the years I have seen so many talented DJs have their career shortened by drinking too much. While peer pressure is a big key in this, you have to know how to drink in moderation. Club patrons love to give you shots because they want to connect with you, other employees will give you drinks as well, sometimes you got to learn to say no. I don't have to tell you what mistakes you make while performing, we have all heard dead air and such by drunken DJs and it's not a good thing. Those that do fall into drinking a lot become a liability for a venue rather than an asset and then earn a bad reputation that will follow them and make it harder to get a gig. Another bad idea is to post your drunken thoughts online while you have been drinking at a gig. Not only do you look like an idiot and msy humor a few, you will usually draw the ire of who is paying you and most likely will never hire you again. The common sense in all of this is BE A PRO, NOT A CON.

2. BEING OVERLY COCKY AND ARROGANT - So many times DJs will feed there own egos until their head is so full of it that they can't focus on the actual task of DJing. Posting onine how you work at the hottest club and how great you are is like putting a target on your head. Other DJs will be offended that you think you are better and will attempt to take your gig. You never really hear of anyone trying to take the gigs away from DJs that are well liked and respected, that is what you should strive to be LOVED AND RESPECTED. Other forms of arrogance will not make you greater but lesser is bragging how busy a club will be, before you actually get there. Nobody can 100% assure how a night will be. Not only will you make yourself look bad if someone shows up to a club they believe is going to be busy and it isn't, but you make the club look bad too. Some DJs will hype up their skills to levels they can't climb, this too will make you seem lesser in the eyes of the public. We have all seen it and heard it, some DJ tells you how great they are and then you go hear them with great expectations only to be let down with mediocrity. The best way to have a longer career as a DJ is very simple....BE HUMBLE.

3.  PLAYING FOR YOURSELF AND NOT THE CROWD - If you can't read a crowd you really have no reason to be a DJ. The bottom line in this business is results, if you don't bring make money for a venue or a club you are not going to be welcomed back. So many DJs will find music they really love and think everyone will love it. Sadly this is not  a perfect world and this theory will eventually blow up in your face. You must have some variety in your sets and not just what you like but what the people that are there to have a good time like afterall if they don't spend any money you are not gonna be paid any for much longer. If your style of music doesn't pack the floor or bring a crowd that will let you keep a gig it is time to look at what you are doing and think. Should you find another venue to play at? Should you try a new genre? or If you want to be a DJ or a fan of a style of music?  DJs have a tendency to be slotted by the public ,sometimes it's good to be known as the DJ that only plays house or the one that only plays old school hip hop other times it can hurt you when people want more choices. This is why reading the crowd will make you a better DJ and get you more gigs in the future.


These are all decisions that will shape your career and determine how far you will go. If you happen to be a part of the 3D's listed here you may not be a DJ much longer. Use this as advice and make sure you practice, practice, practice and then things will fall in line. BE A PRO, BE HUMBLE AND READ THE CROWD and you will be a loved and respected DJ that will have success and have fun along the way without falling into the speedbumps and pitfalls we call the nightlife. AND THAT IS THE GOSPEL