DJing is much more than playing the right set of music for the crowd. It involves putting on a show and engaging your audiences. DJs are putting in an inordinate amount of effort into their sets to make it more entertaining.
If you aspire to emerge as a dope DJ, then you have come to the right place! We have compiled a list of how DJs are going beyond their regular call of duty to add some pizzaz to their sets. Follow suit, and you will be as great as them!
Here’s what you can do to make your set more interesting:
1. Create a Swanky Intro and Outro
What is a DJ without a catchy intro and outro? Dedicate an ample amount of time into perfecting these because they will become your trademarks. Select the beats that speak to you and use it to define your art.
In fact, go beyond the music and use a video intro and video outro maker to add a visual element in the mix. You do not have to be a tech-savvy individual to pull off this trick.
2. Know Your Audience
Good DJs know what to play. The best DJs are sonic empaths. They can read the room to know exactly what they should be playing. So try to become the former.
Whether you are playing your set in front of a live audience or throwing down at the club, your number one priority is to know your audience even before you line up the tracks. Understand the audience demographics and bust out some beats that they will appreciate.
Further, know the venue where you will be playing. The size of the room or arena, the number of guests, the overall vibe of the event – these are all crucial details that you must know before you get grooving.
3. The Secret Rule of Threes
When you plan your set, you should organize your music in sets of threes. Start with three records that can mix well with each other.
You can either play these three records simultaneously or use transitions to skip from one record to another. Follow this set by another set of three records that align with the previous three.
Eventually, you will end up compiling a stack of records that can intermingle with each other to create a melody regardless of the combination that you try. It makes it easier for you to organize your music and pick what you wish to play next. So when you deep in your mix, you can experiment as you play to make your set even more interesting.
4. Illustrate Your Set
Nobody likes a monotonous set. It needs to be a mix of varied energies that need to be woven together. In order to achieve this effect, DJs can use diagrams to illustrate the beats, the energy levels, or the waveforms to visualize their set.
Typically, the following three energy diagrams come extremely handy while designing a set:
- Ramp: A steady rise in the beats per minute that will peak along with the audience’s energy levels.
- Mountain: Upwards rise that reaches a climax, which is then followed by the symmetrical descent.
- Wave: For sustained energy levels, sets can have a set of undulating crests and troughs that will excite and mellow down the listeners.
5. Stay Accommodating
Sure, you have your entire gig prepared, and you do not want to mess up the set. But would you turn down an audience’s request simply because it does not fit in your set?
Taking requests can be one of the best ways to make your set even more entertaining for the crowd. It makes them feel heard and visible, which is a precious feeling!
Furthermore, accepting requests and belting out those tunes can be a great way to display your skills. At the same time, it also helps to keep things interesting and prevents you from falling into the uniformity trap.
6. Pay Attention to Transitions
Even if you are a newbie, you know the drill – dance DJs make use of beatmatching, radio DJs employ fading, and hip hop DJs love to cut. While these may feel like Transitions 101, they are not set in stone. How you use transitions can add variety to your set.
Rather than sticking to a particular tried and tested transition, try mixing different transition styles to make the tracks fit each other. It can also help to bridge the gaps when you transition from one genre to another.
7. Practice, Practice, Practice
When you are out there playing at a live gig, coming across the perfect track that will gel with the previous one is merely a stroke of luck. However, some prior practice can give you a leg up in such a situation.
No matter how many times you may have played the same thing, a little practice never hurt anybody. Practicing your set makes it easier for you to entertain the crowd in the most rewarding ways. Moreover, it helps in honing your free-form DJing skills!
Naturally, you do not have to pre-plan and stick to a planned set. However, it is best to practice so that you are well-aware of your set before you get ready to perform.
Practice with a variety of tracks to see what fits well where. You can use it as inspiration to create playlists for future sets.
The tips and tricks shared above highlight how DJs are going the extra mile to make their set more entertaining. If you are an aspiring DJ, use the above pointers to create a memorable set.
Finally, despite everything, keep a backup ready during your performance. Just in case things start going down south, you can always pop in a pre-recorded jam to avoid the crowd’s wrath. Tools like Invideo, which is the best free video editor for Windows, can help you with this process quite a bit.
Also, do keep copies of this backup in multiple formats (CDs, vinyl, etc.) to ensure that it is playable everywhere.
Now go ahead and get rocking!