September 1, 2015 by DJ Elroy
Most DJs don’t have super-stardom in their eyes when they first start their journey in music. They simply want to find good tunes and share them with friends and maybe help some people have a good time in the process.
But sooner or later the question of live performances comes up. Spinning records in your mom’s basement is great for a while, but many people eventually get the itch to do more.
How soon should you start? What should you play? Should you plan your set or wing it? Each of these questions is a separate post in itself. What I want to look at is how much giggin’ is too much?
Just because you can book out a bunch doesn’t mean you should, does it?
The quick answer is: it depends.
It depends on what type of music you play. You might get offered a gig for a particular type of music, but if you don’t like it (or don’t have much in your library), should you accept the job? Aren’t us seasoned DJs and clubflys able to hear when the guy in the booth is passionate and when he’s just phoning it in?
It depends on your fan base. How dedicated are they? Are they willing to support you week in and week out? Do you have a large enough following that you’ll always have people at your shows? Will the kids you put on your guestlist actually show up?
It depends on the individual performer. Do you even have enough music to play new sets twice a week, or twice a month? In the days of vinyl this was a serious consideration, but it’s not such a worry in the days of inexpensive and immediate digital downloads. Maybe you’ve got the music, but do you have the time? The passion? The dedication? Burning the fans out is always a consideration, but you don’t want to burn yourself out, either.
More of a factor nowadays is where you play. Are you playing in the same club to the same crowd every show? If so, be careful not to over-expose yourself. Music fans are fickle; they’re always looking for the next big thing. If you’re out there too much, you may lose some of your novelty. Ask yourself, do you like to go see the same guy playing in the same club each week? The warm-up act is the exception. If you’re a resident playing an opening slot, chances are people won’t mind. After all, you’re not the main attraction, you’re the background noise. And that’s ok.
So when did you take your first gig? If you haven’t played out yet, what are you waiting for? And if you have, what did you learn? And if you’re not a professional, how often do you play? Would you gig more if you could? Why or why not? Leave me a comment below.