As some of you may know, I just had my first gig tonight. Overall, if I was to grade it, it would be a B- on my part. Started off meh, in the middle it was awesome until sound problems kicked in, near the end everyone wanted dance music so that when I did play it, they just started whining some more. At the very end however, I played a few last songs and I think the party was somewhat satisfied.
Anyways what I learned:
1. DO NOT PLAN YOUR MIX DOWN TO THE MILLISECOND: I thought that this was going to be a set party with set dance times. Thus, I worked for a week on a mix that was perfected down to the millisecond. Boy I was wrong. I had to pretty much ditch the sheet when I found out I had to fill in here or there because the other DJ's girlfriend was popping in. I still say I should have a general plan, however the mix will usually unfold on itself as the night goes on.
2. BIGGER MUSIC LIST: I have about 600 songs, but even then I was still lacking some. Lucky, my fellow DJ had some of them, so we survived.
3. WHEN THEY SAY "SOMETHING TO DANCE TO," THEY USUALLY MEAN SOME POP SONG: Near the end I got a whole bunch of requests (and insults) saying: "Give us something to dance to." Eventually, it dawned upon me that they really meant just poppy stuff.
4. IF THEY WHINE, THEY WILL ALWAYS WHINE: Near the end, I could tell everyone was getting tired. I threw on a soft track so that everyone could settle down, but they all insisted on more songs they could dance to. So when I did throw one on, they all just stood there. I guess sometimes the DJ knows whats better musical wise for the people than the people themselves sometimes.
5. THERE WILL ALWAYS BE INSULTING: Unless your in a huge crowd where one groaning voice is hard to hear, you will always get the naggers and the whiners. ESPECIALLY near the end. I got one kid that just went up and said straight forward: "YOU SUCK." So I just kept going on with it and testing other songs till I finally hit gold with the crowd.
All in all, it was a very good learning experience. I made a fair amount of mistakes (I forgot to turn the volume on for one song I was mixing in so that when I did push it in it was already in the breakdown). I also learned that equipment is very tricky sometimes (we had to switch the speaker cord from one DJ to the other, and sometimes we forgot to turn the amplifier off).
My resolve is to keep practicing and expand my music collection. I think I'm getting pretty good at phrase matching, beat matching has too much left to be said for.
EDIT: Here's a video link for my gig log on http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Iri7lWnPeQ