Know your craft. Every DJ on planet earth should be able to hook up mixers, turntables, laptops, controllers, monitors, FX boxes, etc. It ain’t rocket science. It is simply a left and a right channel. A monkey can do it, and so can you. This way, when something goes wrong, and the entire room is booing you, you aren’t relying on the club soundman who, 9 times outta 10, is nowhere to be found.



Always try to check out the DJ booth BEFORE the night of your gig. This way you will be better prepared. Maybe they have bad equipment. Maybe the booth has no monitor (so you bring your own). Maybe there are issues which you can prepare for ahead of time. Do whatever is in your power to ensure a good night for yourself.



Figure out where it is and how it works BEFORE you start playing. If you are like me, and you hate giving shout-outs to every white girl with a birthday in the house or Pooky who just got out of Riker’s or Ray Ray’s cousin that died 30 years ago tonight or whatever, put the mic somewhere out of plain sight and say “you know, I’d love to give a shout out to your sister who just got a promotion at Verizon but, alas, there is no mic”. but if you got the gift of gab like that, go for it.



Always find out what crowd you are playing for. You are getting paid to make them dance, so you need to be prepared to do so. If at all possible, attend an event with the same crowd prior to your gig, so you know what you are in for.

Sometimes events have several promoters, and the person that hires you may be a complete fucking moron who booked you for an event you are not really suited for. Much better to determine this ahead of time, and either decline the gig or adjust your play-list accordingly. Because when the event actually happens, and your Polka loving crowd ain’t feeling the dancehall reggae set you brought, they won’t be complaining to the person that booked you, they will be bitching to you directly.



Always find out what this person has done previously and what his/her crowd is like (see above). Try to find out as much information as you possibly can, so that you are well-informed before accepting a booking. Speak to other DJs that they have worked with to make sure they are known for paying on time, etc.



Whenever possible, try to get paid up front, at the beginning of the night, either by the club or the promoter. This is the only way to ensure that they are not simply hoping to make enough cash at the door to pay you. If you demand this from the outset, and they really want to book you, you can make it happen.



Always make friends with the club staff. The bouncers are gonna be the ones saving your ass when some drunk dude takes a swing at you. The bartenders and waitresses are the ones who can get you and your friends drunk for free. Also, ALWAYS TIP the person that brings you a drink. Making friends with the staff is also a good way to keep a club gig, because the staff can say good things about you when you’re not around.



Find out at the beginning of your gig exactly who on the staff, if anybody, has the authority to dictate the volume level of the club and or request a change in the music. Doing this will avoid numerous headaches and arguments with prima donna employees or patrons who feel like they know your job better than you.

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