Top 10 Common Mistakes Made by DJs


This is a blog on common mistakes made in DJing. Mistakes, although they may seem bad, are the best thing that can happen to you as a DJ. This is because it teaches you what not to do, so the next time you’re on the job or practicing, you won’t make that mistake again.

1. Not being prepared for your set

2. Your laptop/controller crashing

3. Playing too many hits

4. Playing too many slow songs in a row

5. Playing at the wrong tempo for the crowd

6. Letting personal issues get in the way of your performance

7. Drinking before/during your performance

8. Not having enough material for your set

9. Playing songs that are too long (long intros and outros)

10. Not taking breaks

If you were to ask a DJ about the most common mistakes made at gigs, he or she would tell you that there are many. In fact, the list of things that can go wrong is almost endless. This list contains some of the most common mistakes made by DJs.

The most common mistake for all DJs is not being yourself. You have to be your own person and let your style shine through. What’s the point in being someone else? Don’t copy, innovate!

The second biggest mistake is not having enough practice. Practice makes perfect as they say. Always make sure you practice as much as possible.

The third biggest mistake is not looking after your turntables. Make sure your turntables are always clean and working at their best, it really makes a difference to your DJing.

Don’t play music that you don’t like or can’t relate to – the crowd will know if you’re not enjoying it!

Don’t try to play too many genres at once, stick to what you do best and try to specialise in one or two genres for now.

When you are learning to DJ, whether it be on a controller or on CDJs, mistakes are made and common ones at that. All of these can be avoided with some practice and patience. Here I will go over the most common mistakes I’ve seen new DJs make while they are learning.

1. Playing too fast

This is actually a very common mistake amongst new DJs. It is important to know the BPM of your songs and match them up before playing. If you do not, the two songs will either sound very off or one will begin skipping.

2. Not pausing the song

When you are practicing on your controller or even on CDJs, it is crucial that you pause the track before loading another one into the deck. If you don’t, again, one song will begin skipping or sound very off from another song.

3. Mixing in a different key

This mistake is often made by DJs who are new to mixing in key. As I have said in my previous blog post about mixing in key, it is important to make sure your tracks are in the same key so that they sound good when mixed together.

4. Transitioning too early/too late

When transitioning between two tracks, it is

1. People who don’t know what they’re doing.

2. Sloppy mixing.

3. Sloppy beat matching.

4. Playing a set of music that you think people want to hear rather than what they actually want to hear.

5. Lack of energy and excitement in your performance (lack of stage presence).

6. Too many mistakes, or let’s say too many mistakes due to lack of practice or lack of preparation for the gig (or both).

7. Overplaying or underplaying your ability level (knowing your audience, and knowing yourself!).

8. Not knowing when to play, how long to play, when to leave the stage, or how many songs you should have in your playlist for “X” amount of time playing (i.e., the learning curve).

9. The DJ who plays everything and anything without having any real focus on where they want to go with their set(s) (lack of focus/direction).

10. Not taking responsibility for your actions (i.e., blaming technical difficulties, blaming the crowd, blaming something else outside yourself for not being successful in what you’re doing).

I recently put a post up on my DJ blog that is kind of an old school style post. I used to do these all the time when I first started blogging, just a list of things that people did in DJing that were best not done.

It is a great post and you should read it now! Obviously it is important to avoid making mistakes, so here are ten:

1. Don’t get drunk

2. Don’t go on for two hours

3. Don’t play too loud

4. Don’t try to impress people with your knowledge of music

5. Don’t play dubstep

6. Don’t “play requests”

1. Focusing solely on one type of music

If you are a DJ in a club or bar, you need to be versatile. These types of gigs are perfect for practicing your skills and building your own sound. Don’t limit yourself to one genre when you start out, it’s not beneficial for you or the crowd. Many times people will ask for specific songs and if you stick to only one style of music, then you won’t be able to please them. Keep an open mind and explore all kinds of music, there is always something to learn from every genre out there.

2. Not playing enough tracks that people know

Probably the most common mistake made by new DJs is playing too many unknown tracks in their sets. It’s great if you find a lot of cool underground tracks that nobody else has, but these should only make up a small part of your set (less than 20%). You should always try and mix in as many popular tracks as possible, especially when starting out as a DJ. It’s important to cater to the audience and make sure that they’re having a good time rather than proving how much better your musical taste is than theirs (which isn’t really that difficult).

3. Playing with headphones too much

When mixing, it’s


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