I'm with dlove on this all the way. There are techniques(no pun) and fundamentals when It comes to playing out. If you use those as your playbook, then watch the crowd.
There's a big difference between a festival set and a 9-2a bar with a dancefloor set. For a festival set I'd have my first couple of mixes planned out so I don't have to think about what I'm doing, I can just bang those out and get in MY groove, and from there I'd go where it takes me.
Now on my Thurs - Mon bar grooves the only list that I have is what I've played the past two weeks. I have that so that I won't play those tracks again, thus not becoming that guy that get's played out.
Gotta stay fresh, gotta watch the bodies. Bass make the booty move.
when ur a resident, u pretty much know what works, so over time it becomes second nature to play a few heaters you've played the week before. You don't really need a set playlist or what not. as long as you know music and ur library you should be able to rock a crowd no matter where you are from off the top. in fact you get more satisfaction and self worth by playing from the feedback from the crowd.
Progress, Evolve, while entertaining people is the reason why i'm here.
I can't imagine having any kind of setlist preplanned ahead of time. That must make DJing so boring. Of course we all know some tunes we want to use in a set at times(new tracks we just got), but knowing the order of all the tracks you're going to play ahead of time? No thanks.
I do usually think of the first 2 tracks I'm going to use maybe 10 minutes before my set, though.
But here's the thing, DMC routines aren't on the fly. Most radio mixshow dj's aren't shooting from the hip. I wouldn't record a mixtape without some guidelines... Apply that planning element to a club set, its whoa! And yes, it is very fun to watch the reactions people make to your set. I think it shows how well you know your crowd.
@Austin, true, as sometimes you know exactly what the crowd will be wanting/needing, eg, warm-up slots for the main act, so preparing a set-list makes it much tighter, as the time looking for tracks is cut.
Last edited by dlove; 07-11-2012 at 08:59 AM.
How do popular DJ's that work in two's or threes manage playing "on the fly". Wouldn't that be pretty confusing for them?
I'm not a working DJ these days, but I used to do a bit of both. I would have short sets (30-45 minutes) that I'd practiced at home, so they were a bit more technically accomplished than the stuff I could do on the fly. The plan would be to throw that in at peak time, but obviously, if I felt like it wasn't going to work or if I started it and it wasn't working, I would just knock it on the head and go back to mixing on the fly.
It's only a problem if a DJ can't read a crowd and can't mix on the fly. I can understand why some would think that pre-planning anything is a waste of time, but a combination of both approaches worked out well almost every time for me.
I agree with this entirely. Pre-planning something is not the same as "that person can't DJ without pre-planning!".Originally Posted by Austin GoGreen
If I take 20 records out of a crate now and make a live mix in one take, it would (or should, lol) be solid enough, but if you let me practice and think about what I'm gonna do with those 20 records, the end result will be better. It's only if you go to a gig thinking "OK, I'm gonna do this pre-planned mix no matter what" that can mess you up. You have to be able to mix on the fly. You have to be able to read a crowd. But that doesn't mean you only have to mix on the fly.
1) Know DJ etiquette. If you are the opener, do not play the bangers. That is for the headliner, unless he/she tells you before hand that it's OK
2) Pay attention to what the other guys are playing. Make sure you don't play the same stuff. Know your library instead of knowing a set. If the guy before you plays a few songs you were going to play, you better know alternates. I've had an opener play stuff I was going to play. So I just changed it up. Threw in some old school classics in there and still not step on the headliners toes.