Chances are that your first gig as a DJ will be something small and maybe even family related. The best chance you have of getting a gig is through a family member or by hosting a wedding or some other party. While you wait to for your big chance to become a DJ at a club, you may have to make ends meet by doing DJ work at a variety of different functions. Weddings are a big deal and you probably will start with something smaller than that.
It is important that you take your DJ responsibilities seriously no matter what type of gig you get. You will get work by word of mouth as a DJ. This is true even if you work in a club. If you have a good reputation, one of showing up on time, making people happy, playing the right music and doing your job, you will get good references. If you have a poor reputation, word will get around. No matter how talented you think you are, no matter how good of a performer you think you are, you have to give the people what they want or else you are not going to get any more work. It is as simple as that.
Make sure that you test all of your equipment before your first gig. You should have a pretty good idea of what people want when you do this gig as well as any special requests for songs. You should ask whoever is hiring you for the gig if there are any songs that they want performed at the event or any games. Make sure that you have the music and that you do a test run. Most of the time, events where someone hires a DJ is a once in a lifetime event. For you this is just a job, but for some people, they plan this event for months and in some cases, even years. In many cases, it is a once in a lifetime event.
You should go over your routine with the person who hires you for the event. Make sure that there is nothing that you are leaving out. If, for some reason, you are doing a wedding, the guests as well as those in the wedding will depend on you to keep the party going and to make sure that you make everyone happy with the music.
It is a good idea to start your DJ career playing for weddings or other events. This can not only get you used to performing in front of crowds, but it can also give you money that you need to improve your equipment and get more music. Just as someone who is looking for an acting job will often take another job in a field close to acting, you should also take a job that will pay the bills and still enable you to pursue your dreams of spinning disks.
You cannot expect to walk into a club and take over on your first night. You can, however, continue to go to clubs and look for jobs while you are not engaged in doing paying gigs. The minute that you get your first job at a club, you can then pay more attention to your music mixing than you do to your wedding DJ activities. In the meantime, you will have made enough money to have accumulated more music as well as better equipment.
If you are looking for a paying DJ job at a new club, the best way to do so is to talk to the owner and then produce a demo tape. You can offer to work one night in the club as a test. You should never offer to work for free, however. Oddly enough, people who offer to work for free are not taken as seriously in any business as those who demand payment. By producing a demo tape and talking to the club owner, you may be able to get a job.
Do not expect your first DJ gig spinning records to be on a Saturday or Friday night, either. The chances are that you will be given a job during the week. You will have to work your way up towards the higher paying gigs as you continue to wow the crowd and gain an audience. Club owners are interested in making a profit in their club. The more people you bring in, the more they drink. The more the people drink, the more money the club makes. That means that if you have a following, you will be promoted. This is how it works when you are working as a DJ in a club.
Always be professional. Always test your equipment before you even get started. Make sure that you study the club before you even start so that you know what type of music that they play and what the people like. Remember that scene from “The Blues Brothers?” Where the blues band walked into a Country and Western bar to play the blues? It was funny in that film, but will not be funny if you do this in a real club. Make sure that you know what they like and give the people what they like. This does not mean that you have to be a carbon copy of every other DJ in that club. You gradually want to start to bring your own mix and your own personality to the club. For your first gig, you may even want to play one of your own mixes. See how the crowd reacts.
Being a DJ in a club or even as a wedding DJ means practice. Do not expect to set the world on fire the first night you perform. Your goal should be to build up a regular group of followers who come to the club and who like what you spin. Sooner or later, you will be asked to get those Saturday night gigs.