|: DJ Guide: playing out for the first time|
This is a totally nerve racking thing to do; you'll feel that you're not good enough yet and things are bound to go wrong . You'll be nervous and things will sound very different than you're used to at home.
So, for your first time, should you go for playing in a club or at a house party? Starting in a club is a lot more trying on the nerves, after all people have paid their hard earned cash to get into the place. But then sometimes pressure helps, so this is entirely up to you - I first played out in a club, and am glad I did (I wrote a report of my first time experience if you're interested).
As it's your first time, you'll be playing early in the night anyway - most probably first. This is really good, as there probably won't be many people around to hear your efforts - less pressure! You might even find that there's no-one around at all when you start which makes things really easy on the nerves.
Lots of things will be very different when you play out for the first time - you'll probably be really used to using your own system and this may be your first time on something different. You'll find that the sound is totally different than you're used to, the mixer will be different, the decks will be crappy with coins glued to the cartridges and the slipmats will be awful (I normally take my own with me).
If that's not enough, you'll be petrified and your hands will be shaking - but this is all part of the fun - it takes time and experience to be able to relax behind the decks in public. You therefore want to do all you can to make things as easy as possible for yourself:
Practice your set
When choosing the records for your set, try and choose them so that the music progresses through your set, then things will flow nicely. Also, avoid any that you find hard to mix; you'll be under enough pressure as it is without making things unnecessarily hard for yourself.
When practising, don't always do the same mix each time - play around with bringing in the new record at different times and in different ways. You never know, you might find better ways to do the mix. This will also help when you find you have a room full of people and you were so nervous that you forgot to start the record at the time you always start it. If you've tried different ways of mixing between the two, you're less likely to end up in a blind panic.
Also, get to the party early and make sure you say hi to the sound man before he vanishes off never to be seen again. You need to make sure you know that everything works OK; you should know where to plug your headphones in and how to switch between the decks on them and how loud you're allowed to take things without blowing up the rig.
Make sure that the monitor's working OK too and find out how to control the level on it (if you can), so you can adjust it if you feel the need.
If things go wrong
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