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5 Top Mistakes Beginner DJs Make

5 Mins read

If you are at the beginning of your journey as a freelance DJ in Dubai, then you are bound to commit errors, more than what other seasoned disk jockeys have gone through. If you wonder why some of the professional jockeys do not make such amateur mistakes, it is solely because of experience and learning through practice. The creative industry is laden with errors people can make easily, and that is how you learn to perfect it. 

After perfecting the art of mixing and beat matching, many DJs often think that this is the end of the learning curve. Deejaying is a whole concept that takes time to learn fully. Even the experienced folks make mistakes now and then. However, as a rule of thumb for any industry, these errors shouldn’t be permitted to occur over and again. 

So what are some of the top mistakes made by beginner DJs?

1. Sticking to a rigidly fixed set

One of the most common rules of being a deejay is always to get prepared for anything. Well, what the majority of disk jockeys do is to take their time to plan their set beforehand. They set a playlist, which effects to use and when, and how to cue in the music from time to time. While this is a good practice, it is not something you should always do. 

As a beginner freelance DJ in the UAE, the crowd should always indicate what type of music you ought to play. It is always good to be well-armed with different kinds of music to suit everyone. Luckily, there are many places you can get different genres of music to add to your playlist. 

You might have already organized your playlist in a way, but the music wouldn’t just feel right for the audience. As a rule of thumb in the industry, the audience should always dictate the type of music to be played. Crowd reading is yet another quality most DJs lack. This is the secret of the magic that creates moments between your crowd and the music you play.

So how do you avoid such a mistake? Well, organizing yourself is quite important, to begin with. You can pack at least two or three crates and try to play random music to see which type your audience reacts to the most. The genre that your audience loves more is the niche you should stick to mostly. 

2. Dropping peak time bangers at opening

If you are a club DJ, you should understand that there are different times for different genres of music. For instance, you should not start your set with club bangers – which should be played at a later time when everyone is all psyched but begin with music to set the mood. This is a common mistake made, especially by beginners who simply want to show off their skills – yet there is no one yet on the dancefloor. 

Sometimes, this can be due to a panicky decision by the DJs to try and get the audience to dance before they are ready. Furthermore, some disk jockeys, especially those who start the set, try to rush in with some peak hour tunes with the fear that their set will end before they make the crowd lively. Or worse still, they fear that the DJ performing after them would play those bangers, get the crowd moving, hence stealing their thunder. 

The best way to avoid this mistake is to first know your role in the lineup. If you are a warm-up DJ, then you shouldn’t be so quick to play any club bangers. You can set the mood of the crowd by playing some higher energy music than the norm. You will know the right type of music that will do the trick once you read the crowd. When your set is almost up, ensure to set the stage for the next performer who will come and get the crowd moving.

Should it be a solo act, the same strategy works? Start the night with some slow, chilled music, then head on to pacesetters and light energy music before playing peak hour tunes later in the night when everyone is in the mood to dance. 

3. Ignoring the red lights and levels

As we mentioned earlier, deejaying is not just about mixing and beatmatching. There is a lot that one needs to master before they are regarded as a professional freelance DJ in Dubai. When playing with some of the best DJ equipment in the market, you should always monitor the levels and the lights. To be on the safe side, try to maintain the lights at the green level. 

One amateur mistake which drives sound engineers nuts is the fact that some deejays actually ignore the lights and levels while playing. When it turns red, you have to tone it down a bit, lest you end up damaging some costly equipment such as the speakers and amplifiers. 

Never ignore the reds, fix them as soon as they pop up. There is some leeway given to some mixers with light reds, as they might not mean much. However, if they persist, you’d better tone it down a bit instead of later on damaging the equipment or, worse still, lose a job in that venue.

4. Playing endless crowd requests.

Many freelance DJs in the UAE, especially those that play at clubs and other parties, have been approached by part of the crowd to request songs that they wish to hear. Well, this is not a bad thing as it happens to every DJ, but you should not be compelled to heed to their requests. 

Once you receive a song request from a member of the audience, the first thing to do is to check whether or not the BPM (beats per minute) matches with whatever you are currently playing. If yes, then it shouldn’t be a big problem for you to throw in the song to your current playlist. If the BPM is far from whatever your playlist is made up of at the moment, just nod your head and tell them that you will play the song. 

If you are sure you won’t be in a position to play that particular song during your set, just tell them that you don’t have the song. You don’t really want to mess your playlist over one song. Furthermore, don’t forget the larger crowd, you also shouldn’t upset them because of a song request.

5. Drinking before you mix

It is a general rule not to drink and mix. Drinking slows your brain, and you might end up not only messing up your set but also ruining your reputation. Even if you are nervous, time will be your healer and do not take in a few shots before the set. 

You are much sharper when sober. We really don’t have to get into the nitty-gritty of what being drunk on a set does to your reputation, do we?

Finally… 

Every career is a journey, and we all learn through the mistakes that we make. Some mistakes can, however, be more costly than others. Lucky for you, going through our list and adhering to our tips will not only make you better at deejaying but also help you to build a good reputation for yourself. 

With these tips, you will easily land gigs as a freelance DJ in Dubai without much struggle. 

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