DJ There Was a Time essay

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If you know a local or up and coming band play their work, try it out on the crowd and build a reputation for innovation. Local newspapers, show magazines, gig websites and current rapidly changing blogs are all great resources, beyond word of mouth and getting out there to listen to other artists work and play. ("The Dj Q & " 46) Word of mouth and local participation with other DJs can also be one of the most fundamental aspects of success in the business. There are also a growing number of trade conferences across the world, which provide vital links to people and places as well as great ideas and most importantly social and professional networking ops. ("CULTURE: Tables Are" 15) was just going to quit," she recalls. Now the seasoned DJ realizes that, up until that point, her skills had developed in isolation, and what she really needed was a community. She began finding exactly that at Washington's August 2002 Ladyfest, an all-out extravaganza of female-oriented music, art and activism. "I had no contact with girl DJs up until that moment," says Miss Passman, aka DJ Ladyplastik. Instead of giving up, she was going to get proactive. ("Moving Crowds and Shattering" D04)

Developing skills in "isolation" can only go so far. What might really be needed is camaraderie and fellowship with other like minded people, be they club goers or DJs.

Know You Venues

Booking gigs in your home town is the best way to get started and knowing these venues will likely be second nature to someone with a love for the scene but out of town bookings require research and skill to learn. Blogging with other DJjs who have played them is probably the best way to find out what is happening and what to expect. Additionally, it is essential to ask a lot of technical questions of the booking agent. Make sure you know what they have and what you need to bring. Don't ever misrepresent yourself, as technical troubles on gig night are not looked kindly upon, by the crowd or the venue and most importantly they appear unprofessional. If the venue employs professional sound staff, meet with them ahead of time so you and they know what to expect and how to help each other get the job done. Take yourself and your work seriously, as professionalism is a highly prized characteristic in an artist and making a reputation as a slacker is only cool until you fail.


Word of mouth works at home but marketing and selling yourself to get gigs and to get butts in the door when you do. Flyers work but are tedious. Some communities and booking agents hire staff to market and fill space in clubs for DJs but you may have to do this on your own for a while, pounding the pavement with the stack of flyers and the stapler. Blogging is also important to the DJ scene as gaining a reputation as someone who knows what they are talking about and might be able to deliver might begin with letting other artists and booking agents know who you are and how you work. Demo tapes, or digi files of play lists are still the most effective way to get samples of your work out to clubs and agents. Posting play lists, online, on social networking sites can work but you need to make sure you are not violating anyone else's intellectual property rights. Building a reputation is as difficult an issue as any when it comes to starting out and transitioning to large venues and out of town gigs. Some DJs have even been successful at hosting raves and gigs, themselves to begin the process of building a name and reputation. Whatever rout is your way is the best way. Success is likely to occur when you do a little bit of everything and a lot of some things.

The idea for DJs for Life is that DJ-ing has been such an influential part of culture, so many nights young people go out to are led by DJs rather than live bands, that it was time for an event that celebrated the contribution of DJs. We drew up our dream list of the 30-35 most influential DJs and put together a day when they can share their practices, reminisce about the past and share their skills." ("CULTURE: Tables Are" 15)

Hosting raves may not be your thing, or the liability involved might be out of your comfort zone but it can be an extremely successful rout to notoriety. Some clubs will even make deal to new artists for a small take of the door if you fill their club and in this case you are hosting to some degree, though usually responsible for a lot of your own marketing, but not shouldering all the liability of the event.

Coble 56)


It takes serious work and commitment to develop the skills and success of a DJ, first of all you must have the desire and build the instincts and skills to love the art.

Coble 56) Being able to develop such skills on the new digi tech is a great advantage but clearly the ease of use of some systems make it so almost anyone can use them and many try. Due to this influx of new interest in the art it is even more important that you as a new DJ follow good advice, live by a professional ethic, get your name and self out to the clubs and build a reputation as an innovator and crowd pleaser.

Works Cited

Clubbing News; Van Dyk Takes World's Top Dj Title for Second Year." Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland) 10 Nov. 2006: 46. Questia. 1 Mar. 2009


Coble, Margaret. "That's Ms. Diva DJ to You: DJ Irene Is a Dyke at the Top of Her Game, but It's Been a Long Climb Getting There." The Advocate 23 July 2002: 56. Questia. 1 Mar. 2009

CULTURE: Tables Are Turning; Birmingham Is Hosting Europe's Biggest Conference on DJ Culture This Weekend Terry Grimley Sets the Scene." The Birmingham Post (England) 8 Dec. 2005: 15. Questia. 1 Mar. 2009

The Dj Q & A." Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland) 21 Dec. 2007: 46. Questia. 1 Mar. 2009

Moving Crowds and Shattering Stereotypes; Monthly Black Cat DJ Show Spotlights First Ladies of Vinyl." The Washington Times 26 Mar. 2004: D04. Questia. 1 Mar. 2009

Serato Scratch Live DJ Solution"[continue]


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