At some point, all DJs will run into mistakes, a lot of which they aren’t prepared for. Just like with anything else, nobody is perfect, so mistakes are bound to happen. Even if you deliver a flawless performance, there are things that can happen beyond your control.
However, there are definitely some things you can practice to ensure a quality set. If you can prepare yourself well, you may be able to anticipate these 5 mistakes to avoid when DJing.
1. Playing the Wrong Type of Music
Many DJs will plan for a party anticipating that the crowd will get hyped on all of the DJ’s favourite songs. This is the worst mistake to make! Unless you are familiar with the people at the party or you are used to the crowd at a particular nightclub, you will want to come prepared with many genres of music ready to mix. You may find that you will need to change the genre if people are becoming bored.
2. Not Letting Songs Play Long Enough/ Playing the Wrong Parts of the Song
You should always have some cues set up in your songs so that when you go to play a DJ set you already have the right parts of the songs ready to cue. Familiarizing yourself with the music is good to do beforehand so that you know when it’s a good time to change songs.
Some DJs will get excited over the next song they are going to play and don’t let the song that is already playing play out until a good time to transition. If the crowd is enjoying the song and you switch it too soon this could result in a lot of disappointment. Many people don’t realize this is one of the biggest mistakes to avoid when DJing.
3. Not Looking At The Crowd
Even if you’ve been preparing your set for months and months in your bedroom or studio, you will lose an audience’s attention if you can’t communicate with them. Try not to get stuck browsing through songs, or fidgeting with little things on your computer screen. Make sure to let the crowd see you are having fun, and look at your crowd to make sure that they are having fun!
4. Not Beatmatching
Out of all mistakes to avoid when DJing, neglecting to beatmatch is one of the most basic. Practice beatmatching at home, or on a friend’s equipment before your set. It’s worth the preparation, and when you perform you’ll look like a professional.
5. Getting Too Drunk
An obvious precaution that can send you from hero-to-zero quickly: getting too drunk. Usually if you are DJing a party everyone will want to come up and hand you a drink. That, or maybe will pre-party for a bit with your friends before playing your show.
It’s great to have some drinks, get loose, and get pumped up for a party; but don’t drink yourself over before your set. DJing requires skill and concentration, and if you are too drunk you could make simple mistakes that don’t go unnoticed. Remember, if you are too drunk during your set it's nearly impossible to handle any technical difficulties that may arise. Don’t get too drunk!