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DJ Etiquette

I am going to turn 30 in a few weeks, which means these ears have had nearly 14 years of DJing. Hindsight is 20/20, and I can tell you it sure would have been helpful to know basic DJ etiquette from the beginning. Many a gig would have been significantly smoother if someone had taken the time to share a few universal principles of dealing with others. So, to help you avoid the same mistakes, let’s go over the basics of dealing with other DJs, patrons and club owners from the perspective of the digital DJ.

WITH OTHER DJS

dj--next

This is the area where most DJs get themselves into trouble. The common newcomer mistake is to view the other DJs as competition and not opportunities for more gigs. Treat your fellow DJs with respect and I promise it will lead to more shows. Here are a few critical rules to follow in the booth.

1) Never set up while some one else is DJing (if avoidable)

– Setting up your sound card and gear during the last songs of a DJ’s set can really create a lot of tension in the booth and leave them very pissed off at you. No bueno.

2) If sound check is not possible then bring a short mix CD to blend out of the last DJ.

– Set up while that mix plays and only after the other DJ has exited. (Give yourself 20 minutes)

3) If all else fails then follow these rules.

  • Leave plenty of time to do it (20 minutes or more)
  • Tell him/her you are going to be setting up, and to please let you know if you’re in the way at all. Let him know he has plenty of time and your just setting up in advance.  This way no-one feels rushed!
  • Take your time and do one or two things while the current DJ is not in the middle of the mix. When they are in the mix or working- don’t get anywhere near the mixer!
  • Thank them for their patience when you are done.

Singel-DJ

4) If you’re opening for another DJ here are a few very important rules

  • Know your place and don’t over rock the floor. Your job is to warm up the room not beat it into submission. If you want to impress the headliner, don’t do it with 15 peak anthems. Impress them by showing restraint and setting up the headliner to look good. This WILL lead to more gigs.
  • If the floor is empty please don’t turn it up to 8. Keep the volumes low for the early part of the night and if you dare, keeping the tempos lower would also help ease people into the flow.
  • Make your last track a long one! Don’t ever leave a DJ 2 minutes to mix, give him a nice long track with at least 4-7 minutes of transition time to get acclimated to the booth.
  • Don’t stay on the mixer and ride the filters for the last 4 minutes of the track, leaving the next DJ with 1 minute to mix. This makes you look like an absolute amateur.
  • Don’t stay in the booth and turn it into your personal party with your friends unless invited to do so.
  • Don’t turn the sound system up to 10. Leave some room for the next DJ to push it.
  • Don’t leave your monitors blaring while they are trying to get set up.
  • Do ask them if the tempo your playing at will work and don’t make any drastic changes.
  • Don’t leave drinks lying around
  • Do tidy up the booth after yourself

5) If you are coming on after another DJ

  • Enter the booth 5-10 minutes before your start time
  • Respectfully introduce yourself and let them know your expected start time and how soon that is based on your watch.
  • If there is a conflict in start times, don’t argue! Go get the promoter and let them straighten it out.
  • When your ready to start playing let the other DJ know you are ready to go- don’t stand over his shoulder with your headphones in hand.
  • Even though you are probably the most amazing DJ ever to grace the decks- it wont hurt to watch what the other guy is doing for 20-30 minutes and feel out the crowd. Especially if this is out of town, the residents will have a lot better idea what the crowd wants than you do.

WITH CLUB OWNERS

club-owner

Its important to recognize whom you are dealing with. The typical club owner is a businessman with very little time and no interest in the micro sub electronic genre that is your life passion. Keep your interactions short and make their life easy to ensure you will get regular calls back.

1) Don’t send demos in the mail

2) Do drop demos off in person

3) Don’t expect to get paid instantly after your done

– they have 25 other people to pay too.

4) If they ask you to change the music, suck it up.

5) When they call to book a gig or you meet in person

-always have your calendar available and be prepared to book something on the spot. They won’t call back.

6) Don’t expect to get free drinks all night long.

-Every club has different policies but a few drinks for each DJ is typically expected. Consume 10 and you will be remembered for all the wrong reasons. If more are provided, great, but err on the cautious side.

-If this is your first gig, it might be wise to not drink at all and put your best foot forward.

7) Do follow up regularly to see if there are openings. The squeaky wheel gets the gig.

8) Do make small talk and get to know the booker

-show interest in things other than DJing. Making friends in good places is the surest way to regular gigs.

WITH THE PATRONS

djhands

This is the hardest area to swallow the ego but it’s probably the most important. The people attending this gig are not privileged subjects of your royal techno kingdom- they are keeping you in business so treat them with the appropriate consideration.

1) When someone requests a song please keep this in mind

  • Act like an ass hole and the entire group will hate you and probably talk to the staff about it.
  • Be courteous if at all possible, remember they are drunk and probably have no clue so use your kid gloves when dealing with a rowdy patron
  • While you don’t have to play a request- consider that this is the most direct way to find out what parts of the crowd “wants”. You may not play the song but perhaps use it as a barometer in your selections.
  • The easiest way to diffuse a request if you don’t take them is by smiling and giving them a thumbs up. Chances are they wont come back and you both kept the vibe positive. If they do come back, you can legitimately say, ” I couldn’t hear you!”
  • If you do take requests, it might be wise to bring a clipboard and a pen. This way you are not distracted by trying to figure out what song they want, and there is a record of songs to fall back on.

2) If a patron offers you money to play something

  • Take the money and put it in “escrow” and say, “I will see what I can do”
  • If you play the song, you keep it.
  • If you don’t play it, and they come back give the money back
  • If they never come back the money is yours.

3) Its not un-reasonable to require that people do not place drinks anywhere near your equipment.

-If this becomes a problem- get a security guard and let them handle it.

4) If someone wont leave you alone or becomes hostile

– dont confront them and  immediately get a security guard

5) Do build a barrier around your personal area

– make it clear which areas are off limits. Don’t be afraid to eject patrons that decide to make this zone their personal dance floor.

6) Don’t play into the sleazy DJ cliché and hit on women all night.

If something does catch your eye, read this article on how to make it happen.

WITH BOUNCERS

bouncer-generic-pic-rex-1712733

This is the group of individuals you are most likely to have problems with after the drunken request monger. The security guard wants two things: To get paid and go home so keep that in mind when playing your last tracks. Remember that the security guards are the people most likely to take feedback from dancers about your performance, so if you want that information passed on to bookers, try and keep them happy if at all possible.  Yes, many a bouncer may be nothing but hired muscle but the last thing you want is to get into a tangle with them so keep your cool if at all possible.

A WORD TO THE WISE

There are many ways to leave a bad impression in the club and just a few ways to leave a good one so the best policy is to keep your profile low and professionalism high. Even in the biggest of cities, the nightlife scene can be small and full of gossip so keep your reputation clean by treating all the people listed above even better than you would hope to be treated by them.

  • Dom Smart

    Wouldn’t it be better “etiquette” not to automatically refer to other DJs as “he” or “him”? Us men might be in the majority in the booth, but let’s not go excluding everyone else, right?

  • uncool dj herc

    a good guide for How to be a faceless bar dj or how to DJ to people who don’t listen.

  • Lauren

    Can I make a suggestion?

    1) You’re talking as if the DJ is only male.
    2) You’re saying not to be a sleaze, then comment: “If something does catch your eye, read this article on how to make it happen” – A WOMAN (OR MAN) IS NOT AN OBJECT! Someone, or some person.
    3) Whilst the following article’s advice is that ‘things take time’ and ‘how to be polite/get a number’ thats fine… How about you change the etiquette around your language to show you’re not sleazy, but also considerate of the non-male gender? You can’t show you’re not a sleaze then offer a lead to pick-up advice by referring to a woman as a ‘something.’ Really terrible journalism amongst some otherwise informative information. Young men need to be shown how to talk to and respect other women. These simple things matter.

    • Dom Smart

      Indeed.

    • Anita

      Oh God here we go. The first pronoun used was he/she. Then he for efficiencies sake. Young men need to have better parents as role models to learn for respect other people. NOT a dj article.

  • Rayford Brunner

    I don’t agree with rule 4 why should I have to dumb down my set I’m trying to get where the headliner is at and the way to do that is rock the crowd

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  • Gemini Boi

    How about don’t try to stay after the club is over and try to u undercut the house Dj? Yea that can get you F’d up really quick. If I find out about it. I’ve worked hard to get where I’m at and not about to let a no talent I have a MacBook and Vurtual Dj program Dj mess that up for me!

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  • Christian Alfaro

    Dude. I’ve been djing for 11 years……..I wish I knew all this info when I started too. But all this is extremely true. I can’t stress how true this is

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  • Jon Shelley

    Where ever you play, who ever you meet, you need to promote yourself in the best light possible. Befriend everyone and be the DJ they call back to play again…and again…and again.. Great previous posts and ideas guys.

  • Soundcloud can give a good profit, but now internet have a lot of service who offer to buy plays, no need to use this, it is fake, he tell you it is real, but it is not true. Read review about this: http://buysoundcloudplaysreviews.org/review/devumi-review/

  • Clubdjaustralia

    what a Nice blog about DJ`s yeah its true DJ`s must have a proper  Etiquette to avoid bad impression the the visitors.
    Club DJ

  • Club DJs they are only good in clubs but I dont hink they can make it in weddings. But usually people like to hire singers other DJs in the weddings.

  • damm it cool….

  • damm it cool….

  • Dj Mikey

    Well i think that people should understand deejaying is a performance and requires great concentration and a clear mind, so they should avoid rushing to the deejay every while and then for their favourite tracks. I never play any requests. Im the dj not them. I know what music i should play. Its once happened that a lady requested me a song, she sent the bouncer over who handed me a tissue which had her request in red lipstick. I really liked they way she requested so naturally i was inclined to play her track 

  • Dj Mikey

    Well i think that people should understand deejaying is a performance and requires great concentration and a clear mind, so they should avoid rushing to the deejay every while and then for their favourite tracks. I never play any requests. Im the dj not them. I know what music i should play. Its once happened that a lady requested me a song, she sent the bouncer over who handed me a tissue which had her request in red lipstick. I really liked they way she requested so naturally i was inclined to play her track 

  • DJ RIK

    Best Forever…….

  • Those are really great tips. By experience I know all of this is very true.

  • So they havent mentioned one thing about other types of djs at all

    Nothing about Wedding Djs

    Nothing about Mobile Djs

    so if they think it covers all djs forget it

    this is for just CLUB Djs and thats it!

    • Stirlingdonnelly99

      Not completly true. this is mainly how you should treat somone else in your same profession as an equal and not to be an ignorant person. as well as some very tastful buisness skill on how to recive call back, and higher payment

    • Stirlingdonnelly99

      Not completly true. this is mainly how you should treat somone else in your same profession as an equal and not to be an ignorant person. as well as some very tastful buisness skill on how to recive call back, and higher payment

      • will

        ^ he understands that what he’s trying to say is- How you mix will differentiate you from other djs. For example I like to Hot Cue mix and quickmix like LAIDBACK LUKE

    • Stirlingdonnelly99

      Not completly true. this is mainly how you should treat somone else in your same profession as an equal and not to be an ignorant person. as well as some very tastful buisness skill on how to recive call back, and higher payment

    • Stirlingdonnelly99

      Not completly true. this is mainly how you should treat somone else in your same profession as an equal and not to be an ignorant person. as well as some very tastful buisness skill on how to recive call back, and higher payment

    • I have been at many weddings, homecoming, birthday parties, and if they would give any advice to mobile DJs, it would be LEARN TO DJ. Mobile DJs are becoming nothing more than a fancy, human operated jukebox. All they need is the sound and light setup, and a big music library. I remember I was at a friend’s party, and the DJ (I think his name was DJ Mark, who was the replacement for DJ Dave) was badly fading between top 40s songs that nobody really wanted to hear. My friends convinced me to go get my laptop and controller, and take over. Although I felt bad for putting the DJ out of his job, the girl who paid him was one of the ones who wanted me to take over. After that the party started rolling, and not many people even knew the songs I was playing, but it was HOW I was playing them. So, for mobile Djs, just remember that not everyone wants to hear popular songs played end to end, and that how you play your songs can be everything.

      • Anthony Woodruffe

        I think this may need to be put into context.

        1. if you pay peanuts expect a monkey.

        2. Sadly due to everyone even your grandmother carrying their favourite music on their smartphone these days, there’s a certain expectation that the DJ has every song under the sun. This isn’t always the case

        3. Don’t book an all-rounder Mobile DJ if you want something specific.

        4. If the DJ dropped out at the last minute the chances are it was because he either couldn’t be bothered due to the pathetic fee he was getting or most likely got a better deal somewhere else. Yes; there are genuine isolated cases but the majority issues arise from many people thinking they can play music at weekends to earn some pocket money. I’ve been professionally working as a mobile DJ since 2009 and I’ve cancelled zero bookings. I’ve turned up to every single one of them.

        5. it really isn’t how you play them. 2 shit songs perfectly mixed is still 2 shit songs. Give yourself a pat on the back because you had what the host wanted and could see what the other guests needed too.

        6. Programming, programming, programming is vital to keeping a night going. Golden rule: the right song, at the right time, at the right volume.

    • Justin Chaos

      for amateur DJ’s really

  • chris

    THIS IS A VERY HELPFUL ARTICLE.thanks

  • There is one slight problem with letting the patrons write down the song requested, they write terrible and spell even worse. That’s when you can always rely on “Couldn’t read what you requested”

  • King Al

    I really liked the part…”I am going to turn 30…”.

  • DJ Sebbern

    Great list! I really liked the part about requests.

  • Daisy

    A few other things I would add to the list:

    Don’t invite your 45 closest friends to the booth/stage/backstage. Putting people on the guest list is a courtesy, so don’t abuse it by bringing a gigantic entourage and taking over these areas.

    If there are other performers (go go dancers or other kinds of entertainers), be considerate of the fact that they must work with whatever music YOU provide. They are being paid to do a job, as are you. They are not there to upstage you or to take attention away from you, so don’t act like they’re a huge nuisance. Chances are that they work there every weekend and the management will listen if they have valid complaints about you. I’ve seen a DJ completely ignore a dancer and STEP ON HER when she was on the ground.

    If you address the crowd, resist the urge to YELL INTO THE MICROPHONE.

    When someone compliments your set, even if you are trying to pack up your stuff or walking out the door, always say thank you sincerely and graciously. It really goes a long way with patrons and staff alike.

  • this is really a nice guide for DJs 😉

  • Raiu

    [quote comment=”25656″]certainly some good advice. I wish all djs would read this one![/quote]

    I agree. This was a very well written article. I think all DJ’s should read this before they play outside of their bedroom/studio. :}

  • nick

    No breasts, No requests 😀

  • Brian

    [quote comment=”25751″]I have been spinning for over 10 years and I have always tried to play all requests. It’s my job as a Dj to play what the crowd wants to hear. If the song requested is horrible I will simply “announce” that this next song is by request. Then if the track bombs, I am out of trouble. So many Dj’s complain about requests but I have always believed it to be my job to take and play em even for a second, wait for the requester’s “yeah!” scream and simply move on with your night.[/quote]

    I think it depends on the type of event you are Djing. If you are playing at a wedding or something of that nature then yes. At the club you can step out of the box and taste make.

    • D-MoA

      I per

    • D-MoA

      I personally wont play ANY requests. I am a rave dj, not a club dj (though i do play in clubs here and there). I spend hours on my set-lists for each gig and i will refuse to have that ruined due to one lowsy song requested by some dumb bimbo

  • Really great blog post. I think your opening about getting along to get more gigs is – as you said – lost on many new to the industry.

  • anne

    I like to dance and if the DJ is good, that comes in handy..
    Never was into dating DJ’s they just SEEM to think highly of themselves.

  • [quote comment=”25754″][quote post=”4209″]I think any successful veteran dj should immediately qualify for a high ranking position as a special needs teacher.[/quote]

    Lol. True, and I’ll say something even broader.

    At the end of the day, your job is to play music for people, and people is what matters, much more than music. Music in this case is just a tool to get people to react. Music is the most incredible and powerful way to alter the consciousness of people and get them together, and bring joy to them.

    And hopefully, when everything falls in the right place and this is one of those night, you can even see them blow a fuse and have a transformative experience. And it was just you playing records who achieved this, isn’t it unbelievable?

    (And if it means I need to drop ‘Come on Eillen’ or any other corny song along the way, then I will have no qualms doing it and doing it with all my heart, and I’ll be paid back a hundredfold).

    Anyway, sorry for the rant. As for request: One way to handle them is to let everyone know you are playing a record for someone. This way, it isn’t you who are putting this bad record, it is you being nice to someone else.

    Be very careful to not damage the feelings of people that have requested the song, because it is very easy to make them look like fools, especially if you know you will clear the floor. Try to fit the song they asked the best you can, tell them you will be playing their song after two, three or more songs if needed, and do it.

    They MUST be dancing to the song they asked you, else, just explain that the people that requested this record are nowhere to be seen on the dancefloor, and then cut to something else.

    Actually using this at the right time to lower the room pressure can help make your next peak even more intense.

    Added benefit: The next ones to make a request will think twice, knowing that they will be responsible for what happens and that they may end up dancing alone while everyone look at them.[/quote]

    Very valuable and wise perspective Nico. ;o)

  • Audio1

    Great article.

    [quote comment=”25688″]Big ups to DJ TT for these tips!

    As an aside I’d venture to say that another CRITICAL tip is making sure that your DJ bag is fully stocked. I know that you went through this in an article only a few days ago; but having “that adapter” can be life saving (not to mention fiscally rewarding as I’ve been given cash bonuses / residencies because of my abilities to troubleshoot issues)
    . . . my 0.02.

    dj ally[/quote]I cannot stress this enough. My Dj friends think I am a bit crazy because I bring all sorts of RCA’s, Y-cables, different headphone adapters, my own UBERSTAND and my own power strip along with other stuff in my DJ bag. DJ Nights dont always go according to planned. I had a friend who recently was setting up and his 2 Control vinyls fell and shattered into pieces. Luckily I was in the club down the block and provided my 2 extras… Always expect the unexpected when DJing. Being prepared always help. Great advice.

  • [quote comment=”26044″]Good information. I’d like to add to list that if your DJ performance includes an MC, that the MC ask for permission before talking over another DJ/act’s set. A few seconds of spill over is fine at the beginning or end, but don’t try to hype up the crowd during another person’s set without asking them.

    I do not agree about the part of “show constraint” when opening for a DJ, at least not as a universal etiquette. If that’s what the promoter wants, I’m OK with that. But I do not necessarily feel that I should constrain myself to make another DJ look better. I’m not saying that “over rocking” cannot happen, because it does, and you should be able to recognize it and make your own decision.

    “Over rocking” is a mindset of scarcity, not a mindset of abundance. For most of the events I play, there is no problem with many DJ’s seriously rocking the floor through out the entire night. Crowds need pauses & times to refresh to, so you can “over rock” your own set. I just don’t think it’s my job to make someone else look good unless that’s what I’m hired to do.

    I totally recognize & accept that this may not be the norm in different scenes/areas. It’s only my viewpoint.[/quote]

    The entire point of an opening DJ is to warm up the room for the headliner’s performance.

  • DJ ME-MO

    One thing you missed is,how to handle when the club owner tries to rip you off.Meaning,”I know we agreed on X amount but I didn’t make my money on the door so I’m only giving you This amount”.Even though the house is packed,and the bar has been three deep all night.I’m an Old School Hip-Hop DJ(specializing in 70’s and 80’s hip-hop and R&B),with 20+ years of experience.I don’t know if house or Techno DJ’s ever have this problem.But it happens every now and then in my area.

  • Que

    Good tips, but I think these are just rules for pr*cks… If you’re a good man all these are on your mind wherever you play. Anyway good you wrote it down. Must be great playing/working with you!

  • VERY TRUE!!!! I WISH EVERY DJ CAN READ THIS.

  • Oracle

    [quote comment=”25757″]On the request thing: I’ve recently come up with a new approach – the White Lie. If someone asks me for a really bad song (which, as we all know, almost never happens), I generally compliment the song and apologize for not having it with me right now. You could throw in the old “had I known you’d be here, I’d have brought it with me”, but, as mentioned above, do it at your own risk.[/quote]

    If you’re regularly playing somewhere, this could come back to you. All these ideas about how to handle not playing requests, I prefer honesty. I just tell them I’m not taking requests tonight. I do not apologize for it, as I am never rude to anyone about it.

  • Oracle

    Good information. I’d like to add to list that if your DJ performance includes an MC, that the MC ask for permission before talking over another DJ/act’s set. A few seconds of spill over is fine at the beginning or end, but don’t try to hype up the crowd during another person’s set without asking them.

    I do not agree about the part of “show constraint” when opening for a DJ, at least not as a universal etiquette. If that’s what the promoter wants, I’m OK with that. But I do not necessarily feel that I should constrain myself to make another DJ look better. I’m not saying that “over rocking” cannot happen, because it does, and you should be able to recognize it and make your own decision.

    “Over rocking” is a mindset of scarcity, not a mindset of abundance. For most of the events I play, there is no problem with many DJ’s seriously rocking the floor through out the entire night. Crowds need pauses & times to refresh to, so you can “over rock” your own set. I just don’t think it’s my job to make someone else look good unless that’s what I’m hired to do.

    I totally recognize & accept that this may not be the norm in different scenes/areas. It’s only my viewpoint.

  • Good tips. Also, make sure you understand the master volume and the club master volume before you step in the booth. Once I saw an amateur DJ trying to do volume cuts…with the master! Almost made everyone in the room deaf.

    I guess there’s two kinds of DJ’s (with some venn diagram overlap of course) – people who play music they really feel regardless and people who play a soundtrack for the bars to earn money to. Personally I won’t play gigs for the second type, because it’s not fun. At all. I make enough money from other sources that I don’t need to be a whore to some bar owner/promotor. If people don’t like the music I play, I recommend another bar they can go to. That might sound cocky but I promote well enough and bring a lot of people out who like my sound that I don’t give a fuck about the girl who wants some Lady Gaga or some bullshit.

    I do play good requests.

    And it’s true, 50 – 90% of the people at the show don’t have any idea idea what the fuck is going on.

  • This is such a great article! I want it stapled to my forehead so I won’t forget these critical steps when things go the way they do in the club. I love night clubs because they are dynamic environments that are always half a step from combustion. I have to laugh at myself and the absurd ways I’ve handled my “growth” within DJing(insert hilarious poor behavior story here). Needless to say, I have probably violated every one of these points and in so doing I’ve learned the valuable lessons that add up to a list such as this one, Ean must have as well. May this list save you some bruises.

    PS, Tasers in the club are never funny. -Nisus

  • Great article. One way to avoid issues with a pushy requester is to say “I’ll check to see if I have that song”, that way you can always bail on it if you know it REALLY won’t work with the current crowd by saying you didn’t have it if he comes back.

    If you aren’t comfortable with taking tips, and they are insisting, I find it always works to say, I don’t take tips, but you can always buy me a drink, helps form a bond.

  • Narbmeister

    Hi Ean,
    All gold as always and as has been mentioned before, alot of DJ’s should be sent this when starting out as I have played with some shockers in my time. A few things to add to this as well in my humble opinion:
    – Do your research on where you are playing (especially if you haven’t played there before). You can check back through their previous line ups and styles just to make sure if they have a website or if you know someone in the area, turning up with a load breaks and hiphop to find the deep house night is the regular fave can be difficult. I’m not saying you should give up your style but maybe engineer it to a way the crowd will understand against the usual.It will help with return bookings initially. On the flip side i turned up to a club just after they had changed owners and the club that used to be really ecelectic to all dance music had suddenly got a new top 40 head on and I had to follow Rhianna, Beyonce and Pink with my choice electro and techno which emptied the floor faster than Gary glitter at a school disco!!!
    – With requests i find, although it pains me to say, that sometimes checking through some of the upto date remixes of the “at the minute” top 40 tunes can help as the may sit better in your set and at least if you don’t have the one they are asking for you can say “i don’t have it but I will play something just for you in a minute”, stick on your Lily Allen Electro mix of her latest tune and you can appease most crowds without giving up your sets progress (i can hear you all laughing now :-)).
    – At the end of the night try and find some time to speak to the people at the club and anyone who compliments you (if you get any!?). The amount of times I have been out when I was younger and tried to speak to one of the DJ’s to say “hey, well done. loved the set” only to get a grunt back and have them push past. It can really put people off and will no doubt lead to bad word of mouth. All you need to do if you are in a hurry is say “thanks for the support, i can’t hang around now but I’m playing again (insert next venue here)so come down and if i see you I will have a bit more time to chat”. At least this gives them the vague impression you are interested in support. Also everyone knows it’s difficult when you are trying to get your gear in the car out of the back door of a club with the next DJ already rocking it but spending just a bit of time can guarantee filled floors the next time you play.
    Advice over, hope my 2 cents helps!!!

  • kayo

    Didn’t read all the posts but:

    ANOTHER RULE SHOULD BE – DO NOT WALK AROUND ALL NIGHT WITH HEADPHONES AROUND YOUR NIGHT WHEN YOUR NOT PLAYING.

  • lzr

    Also have to say this is a all extremely basic stuff. Simply *talk* to the other DJ. If you plan to change needles, communicate this to the other DJ. If your Gig-Time is coming up, *talk* to the other DJ (“last three tracks, okay?”). If you warm up for some other DJ, talk to him and ask him if he wants you to head into a certain style-direction/tempo with your last tracks.

    Oh, and don’t drink alcohol/take drugs. I don’t know why so much newbie-DJs spin drunk, you are *working* ffs. Spin drunk, make mistakes and you won’t get any more gigs.

  • This article is for very, very amateur dj’s. All of this should be considered common sense and common courtesy. Some of it is absolutely ludicrous. You should never ever take money to do a request unless you are a top-40 or wedding DJ. If you follow common sense you will have no problems. Following this advise is questionable at best.

  • Menace

    great advice ean.

    i’d like to add to your points to keep your ego in check, especially when working with new people. you may be the resident elsewhere and get away with everything there, but you need to earn the respect of people who don’t know you.

    discuss your needs/equipment requirements with the venue/promoter before the day of the gig. don’t come in making extraordinary demands when you walk in the door. discuss things like pay, when you expect to get paid, drink tickets, special setups before hand. if you have an elaborate setup, let someone know and try to make arrangements to set up early, before doors open and put everything off to the side if you need to. this way you can troubleshoot or make sure you don’t need that special adapter that nobody has beforehand. don’t be the ahole who rushes into the venue for the gig 10 minutes before he’s supposed to go on, and can’t connect or hastily sets up and then 30 secons into his set brings everything to a grinding halt when the music stops and throws they throw their hands up in the air when the computer crashes. they are also the first to say that it has never happened before.

    another thing to keep in mind is to keep an open mind about building your name and building relationships. if a promoter you haven’t worked with before asks you if you are available, the first words out of your mouth should not be “how much does it pay?” while we all deserve our fair share, this sounds money hungry and unprofessional. as a promoter i am terribly put off when this is the first thing i hear. i know i’ve done gigs at the small bar for a few drinks if the regular crowd was 20 people having a great time and half of them were other dj’s who are going to be good work contacts. lead up to that with other questions. show interest and appreciation when someone thinks of you to book you. if the pay is an issue respectfully decline the gig or see is something can be done. again, one low pay gig that can lead to steady work is better than no gigs at all.

  • Evan

    I think the thing with requests is not just about whether i do or don’t want to play their song, but it’s pretty rare that i will even have it. i don’t download every track out there on the off-chance that someone might request it, i download the tracks that i think are good, and i’m quite picky. As a DJ we’re being paid in part for our musical taste so to say that you should play their request whether you like it or not cause that’s your job i don’t think is strictly true. If i have it i’ll try and and work it in at the right time, otherwise tough luck.

  • daveruah

    Another don’t for DJs working with other DJ’s is don’t remove their needles/cartriges from the TT. If you need to put your needles on get the other DJ to remove theirs for you. Needles are expensive and delicate and I don’t like when the DJ following my set unscrews my needle from the tonearm and sits it on the slip mat while the TT is still spinning, or just hands it to me before I even have a chance to get my case out.

  • djfoly

    Mate I appreciate what you are saying and I think it IS good advice for new djs. But I have to say I take issue with a few things. First of all if you are a support act as with the headliner you should be payed up front. Secondly, rude requests are not on I’d rather never play there again than give anyone asking for anything in a rude way my time. You would cringe if it was waiter in a restaurant, you should cringe at the booth too. Having said that if they ask nicely then you have no right to be rude in return. Thats it really interesting read thanks.!

  • Req

    Clearly 14 years have yielded some good wisdom.
    Thanks Ean.

  • poindexter

    Nice one, Ean – my respect level for you keeps going up and up and up…

    good work mate

  • maxim

    did somebody had the situation on a home party, that the dj before you just keeps spinning and spinning and you just don´t know how to stop the machinery of this guy who´s already playing for 6 houres.

    i handled the situation finaly by standing behind him with my headphones in my hand telling him his time is over.

    I felt pretty bad afterwards, but seriosly what can i do in this situation? when no time of starting is arranged

  • Casewag

    you forget to mention another DJ etiquette rule: if you’re annoying (or drunk), stay off the mic

  • On the request thing: I’ve recently come up with a new approach – the White Lie. If someone asks me for a really bad song (which, as we all know, almost never happens), I generally compliment the song and apologize for not having it with me right now. You could throw in the old “had I known you’d be here, I’d have brought it with me”, but, as mentioned above, do it at your own risk.

  • nico

    [quote post=”4209″]I think any successful veteran dj should immediately qualify for a high ranking position as a special needs teacher.[/quote]

    Lol. True, and I’ll say something even broader.

    At the end of the day, your job is to play music for people, and people is what matters, much more than music. Music in this case is just a tool to get people to react. Music is the most incredible and powerful way to alter the consciousness of people and get them together, and bring joy to them.

    And hopefully, when everything falls in the right place and this is one of those night, you can even see them blow a fuse and have a transformative experience. And it was just you playing records who achieved this, isn’t it unbelievable?

    (And if it means I need to drop ‘Come on Eillen’ or any other corny song along the way, then I will have no qualms doing it and doing it with all my heart, and I’ll be paid back a hundredfold).

    Anyway, sorry for the rant. As for request: One way to handle them is to let everyone know you are playing a record for someone. This way, it isn’t you who are putting this bad record, it is you being nice to someone else.

    Be very careful to not damage the feelings of people that have requested the song, because it is very easy to make them look like fools, especially if you know you will clear the floor. Try to fit the song they asked the best you can, tell them you will be playing their song after two, three or more songs if needed, and do it.

    They MUST be dancing to the song they asked you, else, just explain that the people that requested this record are nowhere to be seen on the dancefloor, and then cut to something else.

    Actually using this at the right time to lower the room pressure can help make your next peak even more intense.

    Added benefit: The next ones to make a request will think twice, knowing that they will be responsible for what happens and that they may end up dancing alone while everyone look at them.

  • Dj Chris Ta-illon

    I have been spinning for over 10 years and I have always tried to play all requests. It’s my job as a Dj to play what the crowd wants to hear. If the song requested is horrible I will simply “announce” that this next song is by request. Then if the track bombs, I am out of trouble. So many Dj’s complain about requests but I have always believed it to be my job to take and play em even for a second, wait for the requester’s “yeah!” scream and simply move on with your night.

  • DavidKelso

    hahahahaha vet on special ed

  • vet

    Requests are tricky. Some of the worst floor killing moments were when I took a request. As a resident DJ, I was there every week for years. I’d be lying if I said it was 100% thrilling every second of every gig.

    But you know the flow and how the night works. Someone comes in the booth and begs for a track, and in your gut you know it isn’t quite right. But, then again, you don’t want to be too rigid- and an ass. So you play the track and the floor dies. I did this over and over through the years always trying to stay “loose.” There was no great tragedy- I mean, I worked for 20 years and the nights were good. But in hindsight, taking those requests was a mistake. I mean, the dj should after all know where to go and what to do, and if some request takes the set out of that territory- it should be ignored.

    On the other hand, when people made requests that were appropriate and within the genre, I would play them always, to great effect. It’s a real compliment when someone knows what music you are playing well enough to make an appropriate request.

    Ultimately, following a request that your gut tells you isn’t right will more often than not, throw your game off and it will take several songs to recover. Requests are the trickiest part, that and a lot of people in the club seem to be operating on one brain cell- and those are the very ones who have no problem coming into the dj booth to terrorize you. I think any successful veteran dj should immediately qualify for a high ranking position as a special needs teacher.

  • Double DutchDj

    Great article, I could think of a few djs who need this post printed and stapled to there heads. Thought the money for song request was odd tho, personally never happened to me before, been offered many a drinks tho.
    ++++++++
    I’d guess I’m not the only one who’s acquired rare/hard to find tracks through fellow dj buddy’s, now If I’m playing at the same night as the guy I got the tune from, I’d only play it if my fellow dj didn’t mind. I wouldn’t av the track if it wasn’t for him and it seems like the fair thing to do to me, needless to say I know a few dj’s I’d never share music with anymore.
    +++++
    I did a back to back set with a good friend who simply played songs that he got from me, he was a garage dj wanting to get in to electro so a few weeks before our back to back set he came to the me studio and we had a wee tune swap. I know I set my self up for the fall, but in my mind he had all the time and money to buy lots of downloads before our set together, plus I’ve always thought It was basic dj Etiquette not to play songs you just got from a dj thats playing the same night as you. (unless they don’t mind) Am I right to be pissed at me mate?

  • Fresh

    Very good advice!

  • Tythegodfather

    Great article to start a new year, coupled with our own experiences, should greatly improve our attitudes. Much Respect Ean

  • Ean!

    On the spot, Couldn´t say it better.

  • rvltion909

    absolutely beautiful article, very informative!

    some of the “pro’s” could have…and could still use this advice.

    as always, great job Ean!

  • Not all of us play gigs at clubs with dedicated sound systems. Plenty of load-in and load-out time should be considered if you need to set up sound equipment. Either way, soundcheck as early as you can, and smooth out the setup pains beforehand rather than torturing the patrons’ ears.

    Good etiquette also includes coming to the gig prepared. The importance of having all of the things recommended in DJTT’s “What’s in your bag” articles cannot be overstated. I just had a gig where the DJ “organizing” the event shows up late, didn’t bring headphones, spins vinyl but doesn’t have needles, and offers to help transport your PAs (great, except he doesn’t own a car – WTF?). If you need to borrow something, be gracious to the lender. His attitude and demeanor soured the whole evening for me, since I worked my ass off to make sure everything ran smoothly.

  • Great insight man

    One thing I’ve seen often around here is the pure thievery of some of the local DJs.

    I’ve seen other DJs take shells, sabotage the mixers and just be general assholes.

    Don’t be this guy.

    You can diffuse a lot of problems by just making it clear what is going on instead of rushing in, trying to set stuff up and making it uncomfortable for both of you.

    Another etiquette that I’ve seen around here locally has been what you touched on, early set DJs blasting music all the way. I’ve seen some blow the speakers 2 hours into the party which pissed everyone off.

    Most people are checking out the scene, getting some drinks, catching friends and generally gathering during the early hours, you don’t need to blast Hardcore at full volume this early.

  • Evan

    [quote post=”4209″]Such as, getting to warm up for the excellent Jaguar Skillz at my local spot where I usually install my own TTM-56 mixer on the main stage for the night’s revelries.[/quote]

    Damn! You got to warm up for Jaguar Skillz, that’s awesome! Although shame about the comedy of errors.

  • awesome article Ean as usual! we should get together and throw down a mix, plus i would LOVE to get your opinion on my EP that i’m working on 😀

    i moved out of downtown SF and live in the inner richmond now. i remember last time i saw you, phil said you guys were getting a new spot? lemme’ know what’s up!

  • Monkeybiz

    [quote comment=”25697″]…plus the dj before you can set you up for disaster. like leaving th mixer in a way that makes you look foolish. when you try to cue up your first track & out comes nothing, or no bass, etc.[/quote]

    That reminds when some friends asked me to spin with them on their opening night. The DJ’s from the night before just had their night cancelled, so they deliberately swapped connections and even hid certain cables to piss the venue off, so our setup was a bit of a hassle, to say the least.

  • nice acticle as always Ean

  • rhouse

    I made all of the mistakes listed above and then some….although you might find the following very funny.
    The manger of a perticular club I was playing would nag me about tunes to play to impress his girlfriend. (whom I was sleeping with unknown to him) Finally I got so annoyed with it that I flung a disc at him that I happened to have in my hand, He ducked and the vinyl flew just above his head and stuck so nicely in soundproofing on the wall. I did not get fired – it was close.

    That’s how I ended up with only one copy of Another Star Stevie Wonder.

    I have many other funny and immature tales I could share with you in my 32 years of djing (1969) but the point made in the article is very correct. I learned as I grew older that it is vitally important to reamin the professional at all times.
    especially if you want to be paid.

    Robert

  • As has already been said on here: great article Ean, many people don’t consider these things. I recently read another “DJ Code” blog post but it mainly involved the guy talking about how you shouldn’t undercut other DJ’s fees so that the community as a whole can make more money.

    The only two items I have comment are:

    Setting up – Personally, I don’t think setting up while a DJ is finishing is a big deal if its done correctly. If you connect your power cable, audio cable(s) and firewire/usb cables for your soundcard/controller in the background then bring them up to the mixer when its your turn I’ve never had another DJ give me issues. Being able to do this *is* dependent on your setup though. Different boot-up sequences and power requirements may make this significantly more difficult. Personally, I’ve made sure my setup requires only the space of my laptop itself and only one power cable… and would suggest the same of others.

    Taking money for requests – To me, this seems tacky whether or not you play the song. We’re talking about DJing, not a dueling piano bar.

    And the one addition I would have is:
    Demos – Make sure your demo CD looks professional. Giving somebody a burnt CD with poor hand writing of your e-mail address is very poor form.

  • Hi you guys!, some good reading there!

    Im from Sweden (Scandinavia)

    I’ve been a dj for about 18 years now, so i’ve both heard and seen alot of stuff.

    Sooo i agree in some, but i disagree also!

    Im often working as the kind of dj that stand in a category of our own

    “The all night dj”, which means that we spin all night, from start to closingtime.

    So these pointers about warming or closing don’t really rely to us!

    But sure!, show respect and you’ll receive RESPECT!, simple as that.

    What we should do however is to lay down some groundrules, or more of a wishlist / Pointers / Presentation (humble as we all are ;)). how to get the patrons, promotors and clubowners understand, why we the (DJ) are “STILL” needed.

    Cause many do have second thoughts of using our services,

    (CLUBOWNER)

    why should i pay good money for a guy who think so much of himself, who don’t spin the right kind of music my patrons want, whos flirting with every piece of A** or skirt in the room.

    Or drinking my booze and stiring up a mess in my booth

    Tell me why i should hire your kind and not go for a full on IPOD instead?

    This question apply to every dj, dosen’t matter if you analog or digital, and of course its not a war either.

    But without proper cooperation from all of us the era of deejaying will end, cause today anybody can be a deejay, and most of the people think that the music we spin is FREE!,

    (Padawan Learner DJ) 🙂

    hell i just get my dads computer, a big rack of HD’s and just fill it up with music from the web, free of charge!. I just drag my a** down to the local club and talk to the promotor and offer my services for free or for a minimal charge.

    Now who can compete with that?

    I say you get what you pay for!, and that word needs to travel far and away.

    And when it comes to taking money from patrons, i personally think that is wrong. Why?, well don’t you earn a wage or get a salary?

    “As a Deejay you never get full on learning, Every new day/gig is a challenge, face it with humility and grace/respect for the arts and you shall succeed”

    Cheers!

    /7an

  • Abyrne7

    Great advice!
    I learned many of these tips the hard way unfortunately.

  • Jared-F

    Well said. I broke one of the cardinal sins in October. Even after playing out for the last couple years I got excited to play at a new venue and played too hard. It all worked out well cuz I brought the energy down before the headliners but was close to being an epic fail on my behalf. We all make mistakes. =\ In my defense I was told to play Techno… I just didn’t play DEEP techno. lol

    Sorry Gordy. =p

  • vj phosphene

    So, I should NOT have gotten drunk and beaten up the club promoter that night?!?!

  • decoherence

    the places where i have spun they gave the dj’s drink tickets (between 5-10tickets. i would spin for 4 hours) so i would give a patron that was keeping me company 2 tickets to get me a drink & get one for themselves.
    the owner always wanted the music off @ 4am sharp so i would plan ahead so i could finish a song @ 4. the owner was getting tired of having the other dj’s keep saying “one more” the reason is he wanted the music in the back to finish before the front room so people would work there way to the front naturally.
    make nice with all the clubs employees. they are also the eyes & ears for the owner.
    i have said this a million time but, always keep a standalone cd player or mp3 player cued up w/a mix for any malfunctions.
    show your face in the venues on nights you ar not even preforming. people that support stand out. also make nice with other djs. that helps in many many ways. plus the dj before you can set you up for disaster. like leaving th mixer in a way that makes you look foolish. when you try to cue up your first track & out comes nothing, or no bass, etc.

  • clj nicko

    Thankz !Great advices…

  • Pamela Escalona

    A DJ is not just someone who can mix to records, it takes a lot more then that, a Dj should be able to build up a night feeling the dance floor… Instead of being selfish and just please him self. it take some time to learn to mix two records , but it take a life time to go down in history as a proffesional DJ, and those we only get to see a few!!! much respect for the people that really appreciate and respect music and make and effort to stay true to the real non commercial music!!!

  • DJ RockWell

    Nice article – after over a decade behind the decks at all kinds of gigs/venues, this advice sounds like common sense but is all too often learnt the hard way by so many new DJs.

    However, there is one particular “clubland sub-species” that I feel has been forgotten – the “Head Barman/Chief Monkey/The Club’s Self Appointed Know-it-all”!

    By this I mean that member of bar staff that has been doing their student’s job for so long that they feel their miniscule extra duties and extra 50pence/cents per hour also give them free license to use their complete lack of knowledge to ad-lib at will on behalf of the club’s owner, the night’s promoter or the headlining DJ.

    Such as, getting to warm up for the excellent Jaguar Skillz at my local spot where I usually install my own TTM-56 mixer on the main stage for the night’s revelries. Upon arriving I find the stage set with the club’s own install mixer… naturally my first response is the ask the most senior member of staff available (yep, you guessed it!)if this set up was requested by the headliner or if I can switch it out as usual.
    The reply? “we just used that to set up the PA system mate, you can change whatever you like, Jaguar Skillz doesn’t care what gear he uses”

    Of course, at about 1:00am just before the main act arrives, the club’s owner/night’s promoter strolls in and nearly has a heart attack when he see’s that the set-up requested by the headlining DJ during a complicated serious of pre-gig phone calls and e-mails has all been changed. Leaving me and the surprisingly understanding owner to change the mixer mid-mix in front of a full dancefloor by switching first the left channel, then the right. It sounded f**cking atrocious – the silence down one side of the club then the other was cringworthy but the repeated earth-loop/feedback noise at full volume were my most red-faced DJing moment of all time.

    Sorry for the rant folks… but you have been warned!

  • nice tips! but for real, i´d NEVER take money for a request, even if i´d play it anyway…

  • Vinicius Hoffmann

    Great first post of 2010
    I will need to read this again soon, many challenges coming this year 😀
    Let the first gig come!

  • dj ally

    Big ups to DJ TT for these tips!

    As an aside I’d venture to say that another CRITICAL tip is making sure that your DJ bag is fully stocked. I know that you went through this in an article only a few days ago; but having “that adapter” can be life saving (not to mention fiscally rewarding as I’ve been given cash bonuses / residencies because of my abilities to troubleshoot issues)

    As far as requests go; one touring DJ who came through my club (dj knowledge, out of vegas) had a really good way of putting it. He said that if you’re reading the crowd well enough you won’t have requests. With the exception of those wierd one-off requests (some metalhead wanting to hear metallica even at a top 40 club) I’ve found this to be true.

    My personal opinion? Is to always remember who your client is. As a DJ, you are the link to the dancefloor but your clients/customers are the individuals at the club. Play to them, and for them. Keep them happy, and management will be happy. From there, the trickle down tends to keep the bartenders and doormen happy too!

    I’ve also noticed that if you play to the crowd and get them going nuts you will have more flexibility to deviate from what the crowd thinks it wants, and will be able to mix in almost anything you like! I’ve found this method to be very satisfying for meeting both my need to express myself as a DJ, while making sure that I keep my bookings and increase my fan-base.

    At the end of the day, we may have the world’s best job but it’s still a job! Treat it with the professionalism that you would approach any other career and you will be rewarded.

    . . . my 0.02.

    dj ally

    • CandleStickEmUpper

      well said!

  • totally works for Live PA performers and shows too! cant believe how many times i’ve seen next performer will start setting up while someones playing DRUNK and just making a mess of stuff!

  • Great article…I always bring a notepad and lots of pens…I usually speak to the owner/bartenders for feedback. Bartenders are usually the best and coolest people to get feedback from because they speak to the patrons all the time. I also find taking request is a great way to building repertoire in the beginning of a set but can clear the floor during the middle and end.

  • Pieter

    Yeah really’d like to hear more about setting up efficiently, doubt however if theres a lot to say bout that subject

  • Great Job again Ean! I also always cringe when I see someone walking up to the DJ booth. And what sucks is 90% its either you’ve never heard of the obscure song or the song won’t fit the mix. I guess DJing is not all smooth sailing.

  • itide

    Great post and sound advice Ean!

  • The Carbonic Caper

    +1 more detail on setting up more efficiently and inconspicuously.
    also i read here that its best if you plug your controller into a CDJ how does that work? im a total noob to setting up in a club

  • Jay cee

    [quote comment=”25674″]Great article Ean, i’ve always gotten on great with my boss and even the bouncers, but i would say drunken patrons are always the hardest thing for me to handle:

    “What do you MEAN you haven’t got any Taylor Swift?”

    “Hey you got the one from that Wesley Snipes movie?!”

    Guy about to to pour his Bacardi Breezer all over the mixer and politely asked to step back:

    “Heeey, Take et eeasy Man! I’m juss ‘avin look.. no neeed to bee like that! Furken ell.. durrrrr…”

    I actually got in a full blown fist fight with a guy once over a request, not my finest hour.. but i mean god damn it if you love the song that much just take your fucking ipod to out with you or something.[/quote]

    At least your not alone, I have always found that saying yeah I will play it in a little bit works fine then if they blast you because you have not played it with in 30 seconds of asking then I say im sorry im not going to play it now BYE, only ever once nearly came to blows with a punter, lucky the security had clocked him push me and grabbed him.

  • STYLUS

    my friend who is a club owner said when a customer makes a requestmile and nod yes..and ignore their requests… i thought we should sell ping pong paddles with a sign that says no requests…
    :>)

  • love the read ean, spot on as always. djtt gold 😀

  • Evan

    Great article Ean, i’ve always gotten on great with my boss and even the bouncers, but i would say drunken patrons are always the hardest thing for me to handle:

    “What do you MEAN you haven’t got any Taylor Swift?”

    “Hey you got the one from that Wesley Snipes movie?!”

    Guy about to to pour his Bacardi Breezer all over the mixer and politely asked to step back:

    “Heeey, Take et eeasy Man! I’m juss ‘avin look.. no neeed to bee like that! Furken ell.. durrrrr…”

    I actually got in a full blown fist fight with a guy once over a request, not my finest hour.. but i mean god damn it if you love the song that much just take your fucking ipod to out with you or something.

  • Jay cee

    But sometimes you really do have to swing the middle finger at a very aggressive drunk patrons, as they think they are better than you coz they have a top score on DJ hero WTF!

  • Great article!

    If I may also add,,, when opening up for a headliner, I feel an unspoken rule would be NOT to play any of his/her tracks in your set. ;o)

  • amazing DJTT, great work!

  • do for love

    thanks, great article – rudeness is always amateur.

    i’m a skratcher so insist on using my own mixer 90% of the time, which can always bring problems. my best strategy is preparation. if you’re gonna bring any wild equipment to the spot, try and keep everyone informed – tell the person who is booking you what you use and what you need, tell the sound engineer your intentions as soon as you get into the club (he’s there to help you!), and tell the dj’s before and after you why you’re on your knees in the booth – things can get tricky!

    the solution is space & time.

  • Good read 😀 great advice here. It’s still tough out there but any advice like this taken on board only helps.

  • Thanks Again Ean!

    Now all I need is my VCI-100SE and Gigs! ; )

  • Pier

    Those are really great tips. By experience I know all of this is very true.

    If you think about it all Ean is saying is common sense, which sadly isn’t so common these days.

  • I’ve always had good luck with the outgoing DJ being really great when I’ve been setting up, and even vamping some when I’ve run into technical problems. I’m always polite and very appreciative, try to keep out of their way and not interfere with their space and especially with the mixer.

    That said — the minimum for me to plug in as a laptop DJ is a power strip (I plug my laptop, soundcard, and anything else into that to minimize outlets and the potential for 60Hz hum), and either an empty deck on the mixer or a swap-out with barrel plugs on an empty CD player. Even this can involve some serious crawling around with a flashlight in my mouth; most booths are seriously cramped, with wiring that looks like a WWII sub that’s taken a depth charge hit.

    Turn everything on, get a track up, get a headphone check — and then try to move that crap onto the DJ table without breaking anything or messing up the guy’s set and setup.

    I’ve never found it possible to do this stuff in the background and just jump on in. And when the outgoing guy’s equipment consists of headhpones and a CD wallet, I feel like a total baboon ass.

    I would be delighted to hear more detail on setting up more efficiently and inconspicuously. I’ve given myself a harder time over it than any outgoing DJ ever has, but it’s important to me to be polite, respectful, and professional.

  • I like ErikT’s “write it down” response. I had a bad experience on NYE with a high maintenance requester!

    Here’s an add: Maybe to not berate the crowd for not dancing or for not doing whatever it is you think they should be doing. If they don’t want to dance yet; maybe it’s not the right time or not the right vibe for them yet. I always hated when a DJ decided to ridicule the crowd.

  • Anonymous

    OH YAY!

    I go ON and ON about DJ Ettiquette!

    Thanks for the article!

  • certainly some good advice. I wish all djs would read this one!

  • Excellent article. Having a good attitude and mutual respect for the promoter, dj colleagues, and employees at the club will go a long way to helping open doors and create future opportunities.

    If you are playing after another DJ, here are two more important things:

    -Never stop the last song the DJ before you was playing cold as soon as you step up to the decks to play your first one. You don’t have to mix out of their song, but at least let it play for a little while or all the way through before starting your first tune.

    -Don’t just throw their last record, control disc, or CD aside, make sure you hand it to them. I’ve seen people just toss their last record aside as if they could care less about their property.

  • Monkeybiz

    Man, I wish this article came out years ago. I would have printed it and taped it up in a couple of booths that come to mind immediately. It’s amazing how many people still need to be told these:

    “- Know your place and don’t over rock the floor. Your job is to warm up the room not beat it into submission. If you want to impress the headliner, don’t do it with 15 peak anthems. Impress them by showing restraint and setting up the headliner to look good. This WILL lead to more gigs.
    – If the floor is empty please don’t turn it up to 8. Keep the volumes low for the early part of the night and if you dare, keeping the tempos lower would also help ease people into the flow.”

    I’ve worked alongside too many DJ’s who want to play bangers at 9-11pm and don’t understand why the room doesn’t respond to it … when it’s only starting to fill up.

  • duerr

    brilliant article

  • djerikt

    not bad advice all around. I’ve been really sucking with the requests situation, but Im working on it. Bringing a notepad and just saying “Yeah!, I’ll write it down…” is gonna be my strategy. All of the article seems like it was written from lots of years of experience.

  • very nice, Ean. professionalism truly is key. i liked the part about requests, that’s always been a problem area for me.

  • STYLUS

    INFORMATIVE
    DJTT PERSPECTIVE IS ALWAYS ON POINT