Keep DJing Fun

I have a confession to make. Ever since I stopped DJing full-time to focus on building TechTools, the gigs I now play are significantly more fun. Playing four gigs a week  for years led to serious burn out and nearly forgetting why I became a DJ in the first place. For those just starting out, a full time gig as a DJ would be a dream gig. That is very possible; but after a while, if you’re not careful, it can become just another job, or even worse, a job you don’t even like! After 14 years of playing in clubs, here are a few of my tips for keeping the craft fun no matter how often you practice it.


Taking your passion and turning it into a career can be a recipe for success or disaster, depending on how the transition is managed.  Keep in mind that DJing for a living is hard work, and can often involve some artistic sacrifices if you want to sustain income long term (i.e. playing local pop clubs until your Beatport singles blow up). Once forced to hustle for gigs and your lively hood depends on that income, the dynamic of DJing can change dramatically. All too often DJs fall into the following trap: a gig is something they need to do, not something they want to play.

Fortunately, there are a high number of casual and professional DJs that have a great time sharing wonderful music with rapturous crowds eager to dance the night away. Here are a few tips for keeping fun in the game for those who go pro or keep the day job:

Even though we may talk about technology a lot around these parts, remember it’s the music that keeps us passionate and excited about the next gigs.  After several years, it’s easy to become complacent and stick to the standard rotation of tracks you always play. To keep the excitement alive, make sure there is always a constant flow of fresh music in the hopper.


Old habits die hard. To really force yourself to freshen up your sets, delete stale tracks and replace them with new bangers!


Sure, the crowd needs to get theirs, but if you are not playing music that moves and excites you, chances are they are not really that excited. “Billie Jean” can only work so many times; often it’s your excitement and enthusiasm about music that can really move the floor.

Unless there is no other choice, I am a big advocate of keeping the day job as long as possible. By taking money out of the equation, gig choices can be made based on important factors like fun and career development- not just a quick buck.

If a typical night finds you staring out at the dance floor, bored and wishing the night would end, then it might be time to make some dramatic changes. Switching venues, technology platforms, or even musical styles would all inject a fresh twist in an otherwise boring routine. Whenever I personally start to get bored, it is time to learn a new controller and force a re-invention of style.

Don’t sell the house at a discount, but wherever possible try not to focus on the money alone. With income as the driving factor behind a gig we all forget to have fun! Hopefully, we are all there for the music and the income.  Not to pop anyone’s bubble, but if it’s cash you’re after then you have a better chance of striking it rich on the stock market.

If all else fails and you’re still not having as much fun anymore, then it might be time to take a break from DJing. Sometimes a little perspective provides opportunity for new inspiration. After taking the past year off, I am almost ready to start touring again with a fresh perspective, new music and, of course, some brand new controllers!  Speaking of touring, I played a rare set last night at one of my favorite clubs- “The Endup” in San Francisco.  For those that are a fan of house music, here is one hour of my set recorded from 3am to 4am.  Constructive feedback is always welcome!



Comments (88)
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  • Justin Jordan

    I’ve taken almost a year off, and I’m starting to rejuvenate my interest in DJing. I’m an amateur, but my last few gigs left me a bit bitter and needing a break. Glad to hear this is pretty normal. Thanks!

  • Maymie1

    Thank you!  I needed that SO MUCH but not so much for me; I need to take it to my Alliance.

  • cards

    Great article! i used to dj for a living – and u were right, things do change once djing becomes your source of income, i recently “semi-retired” from djing, went back to studying to finish my degree so that i can get a nice career later. Now that djing is purely something i do for fun – there’s a lot less pressure and you can really express yourself

  • nir

    excellent article! thanks for posting

    here is the complete (i think..) tracklist:

    Monsterbaze – Steve Bug
    Sujo – Bassjackers
    Under the Coyo – Raw Sweat
    Plastic bed – Oxia & Eric Borgo
    Paso – Rene Amsez & Baggi Begovic
    No Way Back – Adonis
    Tarantula – Pleasurekraft
    Teenager Spaceman – Booka Shade
    Stays Mario – Double Dash
    Conscindo – (the great..) Mark Knight & Wolfgang Gartner
    Latin Fever – Wolfgang Gartner
    Digital System – Sunhize & Kostas T
    Good Times – Funkagenda & (again..) Mark Knight
    insonmnia – Faithless

    happy hunting…


  • B1Dready

    I can’t wait when I get to this level! I’m still at basic level. I have a rmx controller right now! It’s not the VCI-100, but I can get the job done. When I get more cash, I’ll get me a VCI controller and learn how to scratch. I love your site! It’s helped me a lot!

    • Load:Vader

      The above can be done with any controller, all you need is a few knobs for the sweeps and builds, and a few buttons for loop control and cue point jumping. Don’t fall under the illusion that expensive gear = skill

  • Chirino

    +1 on the tracklist!!!

  • maxlayn

    [quote comment=”34625″]any chance to get a tracklist?
    especially the first one[/quote]

    Monsterbaze steve Bug&DJ T

    Enjoy !

  • jlsdj

    Great post, one more reason to keep on it. Its about the music, the hobby, the feeling in my head I get when I play and when I dream about playing for anyone who wants to listen.

  • Regis Barreto

    Nice post and rly good set. Keep on going with both DJ and blogging.

    Regards from Brazil,

  • ctrld

    it’s easy really… when you want to keep your freedom as a DJ, simply never allow it to be your only source of income, or you’ll end up becoming a slave to whatever’s hot right now – even if the hot is you at some point in time, you can’t say “trend” without saying “end”.

  • Kemo

    Yup! keep it fun, i was djing and doing gigs during high school and a little bit after, i even manage to make some decent money doing it. I loved the music and the gigs even those gigs that just sucked…i joined the army a few years after and was gone for 4 years had my records and technics and all dj equipment in storage. I came back and home and a few years passed until i was like “i wanna play some old records” it re-sparked my interest in it, and took me back in those high school days. I stopped and more years passed until now, technology has gone a very long way, i recently purchased a macbook pro and one of those midi controllers and loving it. Keeping it a hobby now and make mixes for my friends, its just fun and beats digging through the crates for records. I still have those technics i purchased 10 years ago. Like this article said, it’s all about the music!

  • D-Jam

    I very much agree with the article.

    I might be a bedroom/hobbyist DJ, but I enjoy it all way more now than I ever did when I was a working DJ.

    I just love the freedom to play and do things the way I want, and not be bound to trixies begging me to play music I hate. I love the internet that I can express what I like about DJing easily by uploading mixes and such.

    I tell many DJs who are more in love with a screaming crowd to be open then to pop music…but if you more love the art of it all and having musical freedom, then get a normal job and DJ for fun. You’ll love it way more.

  • Anonymous

    Whats the track playing at 25 minutes?

  • Rhythm Droid

    I wonder how this applies to live PAs. I have been playing live all-hardware house/techno/electro sets for 10 years, but 4 years seriously, and now I’m aiming towards eventually supporting myself completely by performing live. I’ve found that I don’t have as much enthusiasm when I know I’m about to play a party where nobody knows me except the organizer and my genre might not fit well with the crowd. Those gigs are a bit ugh.

  • Reese

    hey man loving the mix!!

    anyone know the track @ 6min – 10mins – cool bassline

  • Nic Noice

    I really feel what you’re talking bout here. Since I’ve been playing schlager for the crowd for years, I finally started to ignore some of the requests and playing my own stuff that I’ve been producing the last couple of months. This made me reinvent the way I DJ, which is what I feel it’s all about. all the time.

    the third track rocks.

  • hans kulisch

    great article as always. ive been doing that for 24 years and it really is about music. as soon as you start doing it for the money than its no good. and opening up your setlists to all kinds of music works wonders. the audience is much more intelligent than the people think… you can always get back to some know track and afterwards have fun with 4 completely unknown bangers… especially if they come from totally different genres… its about soundclashes .. people can also dance to different beats every few minutes its more fun that way….

  • Blacklodge

    top advice, sometimes you need to write a article like this, quitting for a year is sometimes the best way to sort your shit/head out and realise why you loved music in the first place x

  • Death by Digital

    Mix is tiiiiiiiiiight, i want to steal a few tracks Ean (first name basis) so please put the track listing up.

  • JasonJ808

    Have to agree with the article. I don’t think I could be a full time dj. I love djing but knowing it was my meal ticket would kill some of the passion and fun that I get from it now.

  • TrevorRicci

    I thought I was the only one who went from Vinyl to Controllers……I spent 15yrs on turntables, had to go on the road with a touring show (I’m a stagehand roadie) and the only way I could keep this thing going was to go the controller route…..and I haven’t looked back at all.

    I completely agree with the article…..There does become a time where Dj’ing for a job takes away from the fun of it all and then it becomes a real chore.

    I’m beginning to get into the webcasting possibilities since I’m 40yrs old, I hate the dance you gotta do with promoters and club owners and more over, with other dj’s that you really don’t like just to get a gig to play in a club….Forget that!! I’ll just walk into my 2nd bedroom, switch on the cam and dj and chat with dozens of people and have a much more fun time than if I had to deal with all the BS clubs serve you

  • Nisus

    I just wanted to say thanks for reminding me how unfucking believably thankful I am to be a DJ. A lot of thought went into the decision and it is not exactly what I expected but its also way more than I expected. I am kinda an awful employee so the day job just wouldn’t cut it but a great love for music has made this adventure some how work out! Again Soo much thanks.

    Advice for breaking into the business? Go to business school, then drop out of business school, find your sound and live it. Get comfortable eating beans and rice, learn Logic Pro along with everything you can about music theory, set goals, play lots of shows. Produce tracks that you can play in your sets. Play more. Meet rad people, mark your progress so you don’t forget how lucky you are when you wake up every morning and get to work on music instead of going to your day job, repeat.

  • Edubbs

    What about dj’s who have a hard time breaking into the business. What advice would you give them?

  • HalfAsleep

    I have never had the honor of a full time gig anywhere even though I had the chance once back in college to become this bar’s dJ but it just wasn’t the right fit for my style. My friend did all of their bookings because they where mostly know for their grassroots bands and more hippy bands and acoustic shit. So naturally one day he asked me to do a Saturday night set to fill in because a band wasn’t showing up…..started my set off low key with some pretty popular mainstream techno songs and got stared at and switched it up to 90’s rap and some popular hip-hop acts and people started digging it…thing is I can be a spaz sometimes while mixing and drinking and I mixed Aphex twin and tool late into the night and well….CLEARED the FLoor!

    I now am out of college have a pretty good job and every once in a while like to gig at this eccentric coffee house in town! Where I can play whatever I want and people actually love hearing things they don’t know because they love thinking that they know something the masses don’t know….you know exactly what kind of people I am talking about! I am one of them!!

  • Mud

    agreed with all points. I had burnt myself out big time a few years back, took a year off and things were soooo much more fun. I intended to keep it a hobby rather than a career, but the economy forced me to take the work that could give me any money. The fun went out of it really quickly. I’m about to start another refresh. And even making the plan and doing the work has got me excited again.

  • thisisian

    Guess what? ….it’s another DJ agreeing with this article! 🙂

    I DJ’d full time for 20 years (84 – 04), & I was totally burnt out. I’m now in a situation where I have a fairly good day job in commercial radio (behind the scenes dealing with adverts, but still get to play with all the “toys”), so I can pick & choose what DJ gigs I do. ….& like everybody else, it’s fun again!

  • Aviator

    oops- that last post was me :-S

  • Anonymous

    [quote comment=”34790″]@aviator. werd. me & you, both![/quote]

    🙂 bet we’re about the same age too!

  • petarpan

    great post! feel so good after reading this and all comments! I was dj 10 years ago, played only on cd’s, these months I’m thinking about taking my passion alive again, it’s so good feeling when the crowd jumps for you (I would compare with satisfying 10 girls at once:)) Now I need help from you guys, my plans were to buy turntables and traktor scratch pro, but all you went from turntables to midi controllers, now I can not decide, I’ll play house/tech/minimal/techno, XONE 4D was my second option but I think there is no soul playing on midi . . . I really need you opinion about this. Thanks a lot!

  • sil

    Very nice article, very true and very inspiring. Due to exams and some travelling i did’nt DJ for 2 months… did my first gig last week, and it was funtastic!

    taking a break is sometimes the best thing to do!

  • lhaksdf

    DJng is a hobby, nothing more. Money should come from a real job

  • Boi Jeanius

    Thanks for this, Lately have caught myself being a bit repetitive in my Live sets at different clubs, maybe a vacation is in order, btw dope mix, really smooth!

  • Anonymous

    flawless mixing and blending.
    very impressed

  • bloo

    @aviator. werd. me & you, both!

  • DJ CharlieBurke

    Well i’m thinking into getting a couple of gigs, but when in your city the only things they play is reggaeton and salsa… house, minimal and EDM are out of the question 🙁 Anyway… would be kewl if you post the tracklisting of that mix in the end of the article 🙂

  • Anonymous

    nice post! so true

  • Lo.Definition

    I don’t know if I got bored or tired of DJing but I took a year off to write about music. In the course of exploring what was going on in music I reaffirmed my passion for dance music in all of its’ flavors, made some new friends and started an audio/visual performance group with said friends. I get a kick out of getting new people involved and keeping up with all the new sounds. While I won’t criticize the article…damn DJTT! Can’t you let a MF discover theyself?!? Great site, great articles, now off to bypass some territory restrictions.

  • DJ R3 Bonaire

    wow i like all the good reactions to this one. Looks like EAN has made alot of us to confess a dip in the DJ-ing. That’s why i can’t understand that some DJ’s will never give up the never ending discussion about T-Tbl’s or CDJ’s Or Laptops. For me DJ-ing stays fun with all the new TECH stuff out there. I started in the late 80’s with records & 1200’s but stopped and became a sound engineer/developer for live concerts. Later i started DJ-ing again with the first CD players from Denon. Now a days i am still mixing live bands and open and close the party with my DJ gear. Or run a DJ show with guest DJ’s. Sometimes i feel like i had enough of the laptop so i grab the CDJ’s and right now i am working allot with Ableton Live. Some people ask me why i change so much and waist money on toys?, well i guess it keeps the FUN in and develops a creative aspect which will deliver different show styles. In my opinion the worst that can happen is if your Audience gets a burn out from seeing the same old show and style over and over again. I think this aspect was left out in EAN’s article, but needs attention too. And here i will confess that it happened to me about a year ago. I bought new gear like a Roland sampler and ableton controllers and some software. Did some home work and came up with a brand new setup.In the mean while i got other DJ’s to play and created an new scene, which slowly became rusty too. So the right time to introduce my new stuff and way of playing. Most people like it and some are critical, they claim the CDJ’s are more real DJ-ing. Well i could fool em all by running some time code cd’s and still play TR-Pro, but that will take a way the fun of DJ-ing the way i like to do it. So my conclusion is go with the flow and change or try out if you can, Now that will keep every one happy.

  • ivan zilch

    grreat article! i used to dj for a living – and u were right, things do change once djing becomes your source of income, i recently “semi-retired” from djing, went back to studying to finish my degree so that i can get a nice career later. Now that djing is purely something i do for fun – there’s a lot less pressure and you can really express yourself

  • Chris Jennings

    This happened to me 20 years ago. I got burned out doing four gigs a week, on top of the other stuff I did for the club the other two days. It was so bad that for years I wouldn’t even listen to the radio in the car. Now that it’s just a hobby I’m really having fun with it again.

  • Mr.Nicklebe

    I don’t DJ out a lot but I know guys who hate their DJ’ing jobs. They could do with reading this article me thinks!

    Also loving the house mix. ***PLEASE PUT A TRACKLIST UP!!!***

  • A-Dag-Io

    WOW! Great article again!
    How come you guys always have a nose for the right topic at the right time, heh? 😉
    I used to play as a resident for ages, normally doin’ 3-4 gigs a week in lots of different places from 50 to 5000 people. Most of the time it was fun to play, but you have to reinvent yourself and the style you’re representing every once-in-a-while! It was only 3 years ago when I forgot my own likes and got sick and tired of playing the whole sh** over and over again, so I decided to take a break.
    Finding out the unlimited possibilities of midi and Traktor Pro, now all the nervous heartbeats come back when I enter the booth, styles range from groovy worldmusic to progressive house and even psytrance, depending on the audience. I can still play what I love, even billie jean is in repertoire, but as nobody asks for it, there’s no need to play boring old farts.
    Stay with your own style, and people will love it!

  • Jay cee

    Well I do 3 gig’s a week and yup its stale, I do inject new music where I can but the trouble here is the uk market are sheep untill the radio plays the ass off it, e.g we no speak americano I picked that up in March off beatport I thought that it was a real fun track, played it and got looked at like I was crazy and it emptied the dance floor, now look every commercial sheep is asking for the bloody sone thinking there O so cool yet they will say they don’t like house music, yet any thing commercial by guetta they try lable as R,N,B.

    U.K market please sort out your small narrow minded brains

    rant over sorry 10 years starts to get to you time for a break I think !

  • Sarasin

    Agreed 100% with this article.

    I used to play very often as well, and while it is rewarding…it becomes a proper JOB.

    Nowadays, I play in Summer ( 4 or 5 big festival gigs) and in winter a couple of club gigs).

    And its HUGE fun everytime now. I put much more effort into it….and it shows!

    Cheers EAN!


  • Dj PcTre

    New name… same guy… Dj Nvidia is now —-> Dj PcTre

  • DJ Mixers

    Wow, thats on point guys! Thanks for another great post!
    i’m love Djing Fun

  • 6StringMercenary

    Having been drawn to the DJ and electronica scene after years hauling around axes and amps and pedals for practices, gigs, even jamming just for grins. I really like how this article points out that having something for income and attention can be a positive thing when applying craft and art. A good bunch of my music associates could be making cash in cover bands or slogging it out trying to “make it” but after all this time, most have realized do it for fun and because you want to do it. No two paths are the same, but it’s great to see this kind of wisdom put out there for the community.

  • tony c

    Very nice article,perfect timing
    To Phil Morse are you the same guy who did some articles for DJ mag in england a few years back?I seem to recall it was pcdj v traktor and traktor won.
    Just curios I could be wrong

  • untitledmusic

    Ean does it again, great view I totally agree with. Was away from the decks for 5 years, jumped from vinyl to digital, focused my attention onto the tunes I was enjoying, which has since evolved – which I guess is the whole point!

    AND! Who cares if there’s the odd typo in here – it’s a music technology blog, not the BBC! Get with it!

  • Damien

    Thanks Ean! This write up couldn’t have come at a better time 😀

  • CompleteJ

    While it’s always tough hearing your passion can become your nightmare, it’s great to hear those have had to turn away can return and still enjoy it.

    Also, really dug the mix, Ean. Keep it up.

  • M_ntek

    With all those technical and financial hints it often seems djing is a harder job than any one you possibly could do – most often the djs I met, just started with the crapiest ish and grew by the years – the fuel always being the very fun when sharing their music with others.
    So have phun and dont stare on your screens ; )

  • Anonymous

    I’ve been djing since 1993 and good from 96 till now. I’ve done it all, from major clubs, a lot of traveling, to sweet sixteens and weddings where I made most of the money to buy equipment. From carrying double decker coffins and 10 crates of records to only bringing a book bag is a big step. What does this have to do with this article? Everything. I’ve put myself through so much musical abuse it’s not even funny. Still until this day I have to play hip hop twice a week (pretty damn good at it) to that specific crowd. It’s my best paying gig, and plus It only makes me better. Every other night of the week I play house at all different places in NJ/NY with the exception of Sunday (my day off) which sometimes doesn’t even happen due to afternoon outdoor parties or afterhours really going after hours. The point is that djing every day from 10-3 or sometimes 12-10/11am will eventually catch up to you as stated above. Most people that succeed at this are usually people who like ALL kinds of music, and will play for the crowd. To me it’s not selling out, because that is your job as a dj, and seeing people happy while dancing in return brings its own rewards. I have an alter ego for those types of gigs… I don’t want to be known as “that top 40 dj”.
    So while tearing up the dancefloor and getting paid mad money, nobody knows it and I can move on with my shit during the week playing fresh house music for open-minded people with my real name which will remain anonymous. This little list right here pretty much nails it all, just stay fresh, and do what u have to do to keep djing fun, because that’s why we all started, right? I surely hope so…

  • bassnasty

    loved the mix! but i really enjoy when you post videos of you playing your sets and showing the screen….helps me pick up on your incredible techniques

  • DJ G

    Doing few gigs every week for 10+ years I realized that I never practice anymore.. Any time I have in the studio I use on production.. This is something I am working to change.. Although it’s fun testing all new tracks on the dancefloor!..


    great article and mix Ean! this is a good summertime pool party vibe fo sho! couldn’t help but notice the Latin Fever Wolfgang track. did you enter the remix contest on beatport a while back?

    since we’re sharing mixes, here’s a dubstep mix i have running on that i just qualified for:

    I use so much info from djtt, from the logo to smart knobs, to the mixing, keying, arranging etc. just wanted to say thanks. best of all, the fancy beat stuttering in this mix is via the lightning fast MIDI FIGHTER wooot!

  • ToS

    Last year, I’ve been playing liquid DnB (old pre-selected tunes) every tuesday for three months (spring/summer). And it was boring only when my crew wasn’t around.
    Nice article, showing more of a human side of a DJ.

  • n:deuce

    i agree, another fine post. i went from bedroom dj, to playing gigs at parties and now back to bedroom dj as i have a career and family. still gathering all the best tunes, much easier than the strictly vinyl days and my 5 yr old son has got some great moves and can really bust out. i love to play and listen to music and that wont change.

  • DJ big mark

    Well written article that makes a point. I myself play weekly at a club, I’m the main DJ and work every fri, sat, and sun. I have been getting very bored playing the same place for the past three years. It’s time to change venues

  • Rob Ticho

    Great article.

    One thing that has kept DJing fun for me is to do all sorts of different gigs. I NEVER do gigs I don’t want to do because I don’t rely on DJing for money. However, I am open to new experiences.

    Saturday night, I DJed between sets of a metal band and had a great time throwing electro bangers at the crowd. It was a totally different audience than I’m used to but it was a lot of fun to meet new people and introduce them to music they don’t normally hear.

    One of my all time favorite gigs was doing a benefit show for my friend’s pre school. Apparently five year old kids love jumping around to house music for hours on end.

    Keep it fresh, try new things and you find new ways to appreciate what we love to do.

    -Rob Ticho

  • donpaco

    here are my 2 cents….you love what you love…i stopped playing in clubs back in the late 90’s…and even tho it sucked playing 3 days out of the week…it was the best time I ever had..making people dance..and the money is always needed for records & cd’s and alcohol…..

  • pilmat

    Download link fixed.
    Another great article Ean.

  • Dj Nvidia

    I agree with everything stated… literally
    I am currently in law school, and during the school I would Dj more to pay my rent and eat, and around the end of the school year, I found myself almost dreading having to play gigs. I was playing $200-$300 gigs at local sports bars, that only wanted to hear 80s rock and Justin Beiber; I literally had no fun while Dj’ing.
    But now that I am have a summer job at a law firm and a steady income, I Dj much less and surprisingly I love it so much more. I am able to pick my the clubs I work at and don’t have to worry about having a couple gigs every weekend.
    So I def agree… keep your day job, picks the clubs u like to Dj at where you can play the music you like.
    The only thing I am worried about now is school starts again in late august. Hopefully I saved enough from my job to keep my a float for the school year….

  • red

    Great Post Ean,

    I quit mixing for a while to think what i should do to have fun again, i switched from ableton to traktor, taking into account that i´ve already switched form traktor to ableton in the past.

    Now im having a blast programing my controllers and doing new stuff, djing its all about having a great deal of fun.

    btw could you post the tracklist of your set???

    Some great tunes there!!!

  • Taz

    Great set Ean, takes me back. Loved the echo FX on Insomnia to make a progressive build up of the song.

  • Quiggers

    Billie Jean can only work so many times, hmm, surely that’s a typo,
    other than that small error, great article.

  • Neolithic

    [quote comment=”34642″]@Jinx – first track is Mosterbaze – Steve Bug. Working my way through the mix now, sounding real good. Will update more tracks as I find them.[/quote]

    Actually MoNsterbaze – Steve Bug

  • Neolithic

    @Jinx – first track is Mosterbaze – Steve Bug. Working my way through the mix now, sounding real good. Will update more tracks as I find them.

  • Chris

    Play for a half year now and i cant imagine that its getting boring ^^

  • Phil Morse

    [quote comment=”34624″]Oh and as a side – I totally missed out on CDJ’s and went straight from vinyl to controllers – What a joy :-)[/quote]

    I did exactly the same thing, but as a working DJ – I just refused to use CDJs and said if I was going to have to give up vinyl, I’d go straight to laptop.

    I agree totally with the sentiments in this post, having been through much the same myself (14 years as a resident in one club, even a fantastic one, kinda has its dull moments).

    I was so disillusioned that when I took a break for a few years, I actually stopped even listening to dance music. And lo and behold, when I returned to DJing (on my terms, without needing to find an income from it, and with a new controller to play with) all the fun was still there, only more so!

    I realise now that it was the city, lifestyle and scene that I’d got bored with, not the music per se, and definitely not the performing.

  • Beatsnatcher

    I’m a little bit more of a sadist when it comes to DJing. I’ve been a DJ for 16 years but never put it in focus untill I moved to Malta 2 years ago.

    In december I got my first proper gig and since then I’ve been doing weekly gigs ranging from beach parties, huge concerts etc. Now we’re in the high season and I’m DJing about 6 nights per week. Sometimes finishing one club at midnight and go to another one and play till the morning.

    What keeps me fresh? I ALWAAAAAAYS play for myself. Not through a whole set but I would commit suicide if I’d do what the crowd wants, which is to put Waka Waka on repeat and take a nap.

    I don’t care if they’re expecting me to go through list music, I’ll introduce it with a famous remix and just start punishing the shit out of the crowd hitting percussion heaven in latin and afro house while spinning a loop of top 10 hits in the background. I do this at least for 30 minutes once or twice per night just to get myself excited and I strongly believe it’s like Ean says; If you’re excited about playing, they’ll be excited too.

    Sure, I might lose the love of a few simple minded top 10 list lovers but the people who remain on the floor are sweating as much as the happy DJ who’s playing for them.

  • Exigence

    Awesome post Ean, can totally relate as well. Was a resident for 2 years @ one of the larger clubs in Cleveland and after playing 5nights a week I got burned out quicker than ever. It’s been almost 6 years now and I’ve played out maybe 4 times in that span it they have been by far some of the best gigs I had ever played. On a side note, come to Cleveland, it be great to see the man at work out here! 😉

  • 1000 Cutts

    “Oh and as a side – I totally missed out on CDJ’s and went straight from vinyl to controllers – What a joy :-)”

    Same with me vinyl> controller..Makes me laugh when CDJ DJ’s turn there noses up at my VCI and say something about not being a proper DJ – I then give them both barrels about CDJ = a computer in my eyes..

  • Eastcoastams

    I’m with de large, track list would be cool 🙂

  • Miec

    By far no complete tracklist but a few tracks that were definitely in there:

    minute 11: Eric Borgo, Oxia – Plastic Bed (Original Mix)
    minute 22: Pleasurekraft – Tarantula (Original Mix)
    minute 37: Mark Knight, Wolfgang Gartner – Conscindo (Original Mix)
    minute 39: Wolfgang Gartner – Latin Fever (Original Mix)
    minute 48: Mark Knight, Funkagenda – Good Times (Original Mix) + Insomnia Samples
    minute: 56: Faithless – Insomnia

    maybe someone else got a few more?

  • de Large

    Umm, never mind, I just want the first track.

  • Jes~C

    I just got back from a gig…and ean is right! If you dj 3-4 per week and you doing it for the money, your not doing it for the love of music and chance are your not having fun. Once its not fun, just quit! I love to change things ups with music and setups. Some nights I use traktor 3, other traktor pro, and if not serato or just plain cds to keep my beatmatching skills fresh.

    BTW Im a little toasted! LOL

  • de Large

    Yeah, tracklist s’il v o u s plaît!

    I would really appreciate it.

  • Not Shy

    The “download” link is broken !!! : (

    Just having a look – it has spaces in the name of the MP3 link – is that right? I’ll stream for now

  • Jinx

    any chance to get a tracklist?
    especially the first one

  • Aviator

    I really relate to where this article is coming from. I played out for nearly 12 years (90-02) but got really fed up of the scene for many reasons – Music / People / Lifestyle etc and gave it all up.
    I went away, got married, had kids, bought a bigger house etc but I’ve kept up to date musically and over the last 2 years started redefining my tastes and style and have got to say I’m feeling as fresh now as I did all those years ago.

    I’m only playing occasional gigs now and treating it like a hobby which makes it so much more fun

    Oh and as a side – I totally missed out on CDJ’s and went straight from vinyl to controllers – What a joy 🙂

  • Anselm

    If only that were basic rules for anyone behind the decks. I bet I was able to go to some clubs again 🙂

  • Dr. Beat

    Wow, thats on point guys! Thanks for another great post!

  • Kalopsia

    I tried hard to get a club gig and eventually did. I had a 12 – close set and planned out what went well and set cue points on songs and all this sort of jazz. I took over from a DJ (he didn’t even mix songs, instead just playing one then the other, songs from the likes of Justin bieber and Party in the USA), he stuck around for a while and more or less said things like “play this song, do you have that song, play this songs cos those girls over there will love us, etc”

    Pretty much I left the club being absolutely crushed. I didn’t do any of the things i wanted to and didn’t play any music i liked.

    From then i decided screw it, from now on I play for myself. If a club or promoter likes me for my taste and style, then i’ll look into it, but until then it’s much better as fun then a bread maker.

  • holotropik

    Totally agree on this one. I got way too caught up in the shit of organising gigs and the bickering amongst the different promoters. It caved my head in and so I stepped out of it all…probably just in time before I exploded!

    Now I am happy again and I am writing better music than I ever have and it’s fun again 🙂

  • EightyK

    Great post, I always make sure I’m DJing for the right reasons. It has to be about having fun, being creative, and sharing the music you love. Good tips on keeping it real.