Forum: Music discussion
Topic: Club Mixing - Page: 1
Visit the club before your first performance so you can do some research. When you go, make sure the DJ is playing the same kind of music you are expected to play—some clubs play different music on certain nights. Introduce yourself to the staff and let them know that you will be DJing on a particular night. Try to get as much useful information (about the type of music to play, the crowd, etc...) as you can from them. While you’re there, evaluate the DJ, music played, how the crowd reacted to certain songs and mixing techniques, the club’s equipment, etc….
After you’ve done your research and properly prepared yourself, you’re now ready to perform. Don’t over prepare by thinking you are only going to play what you’ve prepared in advance. Your set is only a musical map that’s used to take the crowd in certain directions. Therefore, make sure you are ready to react to the crowd and go in different directions with your set. Get to the club earlier and test the equipment. Go through a set while you are testing the equipment.
During the first hour and a half, create a social mood in the club. The people there are socializing with each other and people are still arriving at the club. Rarely will you find people willing to run straight to the floor after walking through the door. Keep this in mind and save your dance music and mixing skills for later in the evening.
For the next half hour, you are still playing music that will not interrupt conversations. Furthermore, people are still arriving at the club. However, you eventually introduce some songs that may interrupt a few conversations by drawing some people to the floor. During this time, you are reading the crowd to see if what you researched is what they like on this particular night. You have to read the crowd because you are not going to get the same group of people every week. See if the music makes their heads and feet move to the beat. Here’s a thread on getting a party started: http://www.virtualdj.com/forum/display.html?topic=9897
You’ve got your read from the crowd; now it’s time to react. During the next half hour, you will make the transition from social time to dance time. You gradually speed up the tempo like a plane taking off from a runway. The destination you want to be at by the end of this half hour is a full floor. Consider using vpcdj's rule—"its all about the ladies:” http://www.virtualdj.com/forum/display.html?topic=9800&page=2
This is a very important rule to remember, especially if you are probing the crowd with different music to see what the people like. Women will usually hit an empty dance floor faster than men. As a matter of fact, they will drag the men out there even if the men are hesitant or they will dance with each other in some situations. Consequently, look for energetic women who seem to be in the dancing mood.
Once you’ve arrived at your destination—a full floor—it’s now time to unleash your DJ skills and dance music on the crowd. For the next two hours, you will take them on an audio adventure that has the expected and the unexpected. If the club has a recording device (tape deck, cd burner, etc...), record yourself mixing during this two-hour period. If the club doesn’t have one, bring your own recording device. This will allow you to evaluate your performance later. If you want to improve your DJ skills, you may find the following DJing tips in these threads by the very informative dj-in-norway helpful:
Consider giving the crowd and yourself a breather (a break) or two so you don’t wear them out and yourself (especially if you are the only DJ) by varying the tempo. This takes them on an emotional roller coaster and makes the audio adventure more suspenseful. You can also use this time to play some request, get the recording device ready for your next set, and go over mentally what songs you plan on playing in your next set. However, be flexible so you can easily react to the crowd. Furthermore, as DJ anewsome suggested in another thread, the club owner (bartender and waitresses too) expect these breathers so they can make more money—people are not buying drinks or giving tips when they are on the floor:
For the last half hour, you start to prepare the crowd for the end of the audio adventure. You start your descent back to reality by gradually slowing down the tempo. Finally, the adventure is over; reality begins to set in mentally and the crowd realizes its time to go. Hopefully you learned something from the crowd that will make their next adventure even better.
There are many more concepts that this very limited guide doesn’t cover. Consequently, do as much research and preparation as you. Learn from your mistakes and from the crowd. With each audio adventure you take the crowd on, you will broaden the realm of adventures you can take them to. In short, you will become a better Club DJ.
Inviato Fri 04 Feb 05 @ 12:23 am
Inviato Fri 04 Feb 05 @ 12:37 am
Inviato Fri 04 Feb 05 @ 12:40 am
Inviato Fri 04 Feb 05 @ 1:40 am
You're right a good work in club allows to create a sound adventure throughout the night.
Inviato Fri 04 Feb 05 @ 1:42 am
Inviato Fri 04 Feb 05 @ 1:43 am
b.t.w. Here’s a minor correction to my first post…“do as much research and preparation as you [can]. ”
Inviato Fri 04 Feb 05 @ 3:18 am
This is a very good question. This well written information will help you get started (focus on the last paragraph): http://dju.prodj.com/courses/club/c1.shtml
It’s also good to read another DJ’s perspective on the art of DJing. The person who wrote the information I referred you to feels that “once you know the crowd at a club, it's almost always the same week after week” (read the next to last paragraph). However, he also states at the beginning of the same paragraph, “reading a crowd also varies.” In my opinion, reading the crowd varies because the crowd varies. You have the regulars mixed with other club goers, which gives you a different crowd you are working with. Even with the regulars their moods change from time to time, which will affect the crowd. That’s why you have to read and be prepared to react to the crowd each time.
Consequently, I see each opportunity as a new audio adventure with a new crowd. This renewing of your perspective of the crowd each week helps avoid becoming over confident (thinking I already know what they like to hear) and sounding mundane (this set worked last week so it should work this week too). Furthermore, it helps you stay fresh and original each week, which will help you DJ in a club. I once approached a manager of a club that already had a DJ (and she wasn’t looking for another one at the time) and explained to her that I could offer something different than what her current DJ was offering. I further informed her that what I was offering would pull in more people and make her more money—money talks! The manager liked what I had to offer and gave me a chance.
I was able to do this because I visited the place and saw that the DJ wasn’t fresh and original each week. Therefore, if you can offer something that’s fresh and original, use it as a way to get your foot in the door. I even made up a flyer so the manager could not only hear my proposal, but she could also see it. I also gave her a demo tape.
Inviato Fri 04 Feb 05 @ 5:43 am
Thank you.. (2x) O
Inviato Fri 04 Feb 05 @ 6:46 am
Inviato Fri 04 Feb 05 @ 9:09 am
Inviato Fri 04 Feb 05 @ 1:40 pm
Inviato Sat 05 Feb 05 @ 3:43 am
Except in Quebec its 6hrs.......9pm to 3am...lol
Inviato Sat 05 Feb 05 @ 9:57 am
Inviato Mon 07 Feb 05 @ 7:43 pm
Inviato Tue 08 Feb 05 @ 5:03 am
Inviato Tue 08 Feb 05 @ 5:06 am
Every 45 mins you either raise/lower the tempo accordingly so you can rotate the dancefloor throughout the night. (Club owners love it when the bar makes money constantly)
One thing you must tell yourself is to split the crowd in 2. Half of the crowd is at the bar drinking up and getting their energy up while the other half is on the dancefloor getting tired or wasting their energy. Now when the tempo changes the crowd will swap sides and this way the bar doesn't stop making money which can also help you have a steady residendy at your local bar/club.
This doesn't always work out for everyone although its particularily good if you mix just about anything. Of course if you work this way not only will it be more expensive to keep up with music although you will have more gigs this way as well (more gigs = more money).
These are things I have used many times as far as tricks go although if you are playing at a club which plays one stricked type of music all night (ie: trance, house, techno) and each night plays a different type your best to stick with what Double O says since its good information.
Best of luck
DJ White Devil
Inviato Wed 09 Feb 05 @ 11:01 pm
- Dance & Euro-House (beginning)
- House - Trance - Hardstyle
- 4-5 love songs
- Some Rap - Hip hop - funk (not much)
- Oldies (1/4h - 1/2h)
- House - Trance
That was the general plan and it xas really great.
Thanks Jos you are a legend!!
Inviato Thu 10 Feb 05 @ 7:22 am
Inviato Fri 11 Feb 05 @ 6:22 pm
Inviato Fri 11 Feb 05 @ 6:32 pm