Five Secrets of Resident DJs
Five Secrets of Resident DJs
If you want to secure a resident DJ gig at your favourite venue you'll do well to learn these tricks! Only DJs who have been working as DJs for a long time will know these tricks of the trade. Being a resident DJ has many advantages including a regular booking and money in your pocket. However, there's a lot of competition in this market so you need to know these insider tips!
1. They play 'open format' for the crowd
Resident DJs are expected to play for the crowd. This means the venue will choose the music policy and there is less room for a DJs own personal music taste to come through. Resident DJs often play commercial music genres. Most commercial music will fall into the R&B, Pop, Indie and Dance categories.
DJs playing these styles of music will need to learn how to perform an 'open format' DJ set, this means they will need to know how to mix between styles and BPMs.
If you want to learn how to mix an open-format set contact us for DJ lessons or click here for a blog explaining what open-format DJing is.
To be successful playing for the crowd means you need to read the crowd. Reading the crowd means you'll be looking at the audience and judging their enthusiasm for the music you are playing. It's fairly simple because they vote with their feet. If you play the wrong music you'll soon end up with an empty venue.
You need to make sure that you switch the music style or your crowd starts disappearing. You should also look for positive confirmation you are playing the right music, this will come in the form of people dancing, putting hands in the air and shaking your hand!
Some useful advice is to have some floor-fillers on hand. These are tracks that everyone loves that are guaranteed to get people dancing. Think massive hit tunes of the moment, classic hits and anything you know people will go crazy for. Keep a playlist of these tracks so when the crowd thins you keep dropping them. They won't want to leave!
2. They don't reinvent their sets every week
Resident DJs are expected to provide consistency for the venue. Regular customers will want to know what style of music to expect and won't want it to change very often. 90-95% of your set will be the same as last week and you'll add 5-10% new tracks and remixes.
This is essential to build a consistent music policy for the venue, something that people will come back for time and time again. Regular customers don't like sudden changes to the vibe! They will of course appreciate some new tracks and remixes so make sure you have some new songs each week.
It's also important to note this because otherwise it would get very expensive buying hundreds of tracks each week!
If you're getting bored of the same tracks try finding remixes of the tracks. This will keep yourself and the audience happy.
3. Use a clipboard or iPad for requests
If you're a resident DJ you'll be expected to play for the crowd and take requests. Taking requests can be difficult because sometimes you're playing a different style and it's not the right time to drop in their request. It can also be annoying because they are distracting you from mixing.
The best way to deal with requests it to have a clipboard where they can write down their request for you or have an iPad where they can type it in. This way you don't have to talk to them and you can concentrate on DJing. You would be wise to put a few requests on the list ahead of the night so that it looks like there is a queue of requests, this means you can always use the excuse that there are too many requests and you can't play theirs tonight.
Some industrious DJs will also use this as an opportunity to gain fans. You can set up a form on your iPad where they have to join your mailing list if they place a request. You can also get them to follow you on social media. Some DJs even go one step further and charge for requests but you'll have to clear that with the venue first.
Make sure you have a business card or flyer to give your new fans. You might also want to invest in a NFC business card.
4. Make use of streaming technology
Many resident DJs will need access to a huge music library. This can be very expensive if you need to download and pay for all those songs.
There is now a solution, as long as the venue has a strong and stable internet connection. You can now link some music libraries like Tidal to your DJ software like Rekordbox. This means with a monthly subscription you can access all the music on that platform, saving you a fortune and helping you take requests. Just make sure you have some back up music downloaded onto your computer in case the internet goes down.
5. Use a mic, DJ drops and brand your booth
Resident DJs are often expected to use a microphone to hype up the crowd. This is also one of the best ways to get known as a DJ and get more attention for your performance. If you want to become a resident DJ make sure you master how to use a mic confidently.
Many resident DJs will go one step further and use DJ drops in their sets. DJ drops are audio samples that tag their DJ name. You can make one yourself or buy one on Fiverr. For example, if your DJ name was Burger Boy, you could drop in that audio sample at regular intervals to make sure your audience get to know your DJ name.
Want to go further? Why not brand your DJ booth with your logo. Make sure you get the venues permission though. Every DJ set is an opportunity to gain new followers.
How to become a resident DJ