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Old 26th August 2008 , 03:11 PM
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Default What makes a good Dj?

simple question a not so simple answer, i think there are different levels to Dj'ing. today every one is a Dj but why do some people rave about how good 1 particular dj is and how another is not?
i think criteria to a dj should be?
ability to beat match
ability to read a track (know the track)
not play clashing key tracks

now things im still debating are
interaction with the crowd
playing for the crowd (i am 50/50 on this)
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Old 26th August 2008 , 03:18 PM
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Well I'm no DJ, but from my live gigging experience I'd say the top priority for any DJ (or even band front-man for that matter) is the ablity to "read the crowd" and know exactly WHAT to play WHEN.

I think just about everything else is of secondary concern if you're not playing what the crowd wants to hear!
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Old 26th August 2008 , 03:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Dave Boulden View Post
Well I'm no DJ, but from my live gigging experience I'd say the top priority for any DJ (or even band front-man for that matter) is the ablity to "read the crowd" and know exactly WHAT to play WHEN.

I think just about everything else is of secondary concern if you're not playing what the crowd wants to hear!
sorry mis read the post, yes agree on reading the crowd, not sure if priority but fully agree was ment to add it
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Old 26th August 2008 , 03:31 PM
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When I said "What they want to hear", it doesn't necessarily mean "what they already know". It's more along the lines of anticipating the momentum, and knowing what track (or song, if you're a band) will keep the flow going in the right direction. The ability to read the crowd means you can also judge well what NEW track they will like even if they've not heard it before.

Again, maybe my experience doesn't apply, this is based on my gigging experience in a band... I don't do any DJ'ing and I don't go to clubs... I'm more a fan of live music.
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Old 26th August 2008 , 03:33 PM
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no your right its me multi tasking again
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Old 26th August 2008 , 04:30 PM
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IMO, a notable dance DJ keeps surprising the crowd with fantastic mixes/blends, and doesn't let a track simmer for too long. They would also include plenty of build-ups and breaks; but not too many, otherwise it's pretty irritating having to relax and psyche yourself up all the time! And they would never, ever mess up a mix with a rewind; as good as the opening to the track is, they're just going to wear off it's magic too quickly! Though I supposed they'd need to get rid of it quick, in order make space for the next lot of tunes to come out, and keep the mixes fresh.

DJ's that give mixes an interesting touch are also good; mixes by Richard James (Aphex Twin) are always of a unique and interesting nature. At Glastonbury 2003, he start his 2 hour set at approx. 90 bpm, and finished at around 180 bpm.

Amon Tobin is also another creative DJ! Check out Solid Steel Presents: Amon Tobin Live to hear what I mean.
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Old 27th August 2008 , 03:29 PM
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Until I DJ'd professionally, I always thought that I would stick to my guns and play what I loved and the resultant crowd would be people who loved the same music as me. I soon realised that I would have to "bring them with me" and started playing some of the more accesible tunes as a way of introducing them to stuff the wouldn't have heard. So to me, reading the crowd is first priority and one you can only really understand when you've Dj'ed at club level. You also need to be aware that you can never please everyone.

The ability to scratch properly, for me, is also a top priority. I grew up watching DJ's like Cash Money, Reckless and Tony Vegas. To me, the reason we offer adoration to DJ's is down to those guys.

To be better than the next guy in this day and age, you need a publicity machine.
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Old 27th August 2008 , 03:52 PM
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Until I DJ'd professionally, I always thought that I would stick to my guns and play what I loved and the resultant crowd would be people who loved the same music as me. I soon realised that I would have to "bring them with me" and started playing some of the more accesible tunes as a way of introducing them to stuff the wouldn't have heard. So to me, reading the crowd is first priority and one you can only really understand when you've Dj'ed at club level. You also need to be aware that you can never please everyone.

The ability to scratch properly, for me, is also a top priority. I grew up watching DJ's like Cash Money, Reckless and Tony Vegas. To me, the reason we offer adoration to DJ's is down to those guys.

To be better than the next guy in this day and age, you need a publicity machine.

very valid point, what music do you do, D&B?
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Old 27th August 2008 , 04:16 PM
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Haha, yes, how did you guess?

I play DNB sets, Dubstep and also the odd old skool breaks set (a sort of Andy Smith style eg Herbaliser, the sort of stuff that made it onto the early "dope on Plastic" comps and a few old hip hop instrumentals)
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Old 27th August 2008 , 04:25 PM
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cool guys, the reason I ask is cos I want a break from the production side of things so instead of dwindling my time away with hot chicks and fast cars I'd swat up on improving my Dj'ing ability
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Old 27th August 2008 , 07:58 PM
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No1 The right tunes at the right times....Ive seen loads of DJ's who come on first on a bill & whack away with masssive tunes, and then the poor guy who's on last has nowhere to go. People dont expect a 130 bpm set when there walking into a club. Im not saying put the lighthouse family on, but it needs to start with a head nodding groove & then build from there.

Once a solid foundation is layed the rest of the set can flow a lot more easily. Although I have seen Djs who start of slow & then stay at that level for 3 hours...everyone losing the will to live on the dancefloor. I saw John Digweed do this once..the club was packed & he played dead proggy for about 4 hours..it never peaked just stayed the same all the way through. You could sense the frustration on the dancefloor.

The perfect DJ for me is Sasha...he has consistently impressed me everytime I have seen him. He plays tunes that cralw inside your head & make you feel like your on a journey..builds & builds..by the end the crowd is weeping for more! Ahhh the days!

Did I go off on one there...sos!
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Old 27th August 2008 , 08:08 PM
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Quote:
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No1
The perfect DJ for me is Sasha...he has consistently impressed me everytime I have seen him. He plays tunes that cralw inside your head & make you feel like your on a journey..builds & builds..by the end the crowd is weeping for more! Ahhh the days!

Did I go off on one there...sos!
Not at all. If anything, Sasha is a great name to drop in. I love his Airdrawndagger album!

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I saw John Digweed do this once..the club was packed & he played dead proggy for about 4 hours..it never peaked just stayed the same all the way through. You could sense the frustration on the dancefloor.
I know exactly what you mean. It's like wholeheartedly predicting something good is going to just burst out of the mix; but gradually you lose faith in it ever doing so... A total mood killer.
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Old 28th August 2008 , 12:51 PM
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To add to the already very valid points in this thread, I feel a good dj needs the ability to take many factors into consideration and make good choices based on these. Factors such as the venue, slot time, crowd reaction, track selection, when to change to mood etc.
A high level of technical ability and smooth well executed mixing is also required, which I feel is somewhat lacking nowadays. As a dj myself one of my pet hates is guys who's ego clearly outweighs their talent, i feel theres far to many of these people gigging regurlarly which is bringing the whole scene down, unfortunately its more about the ability to bring mates/buses than the music......which makes me sad
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Old 28th August 2008 , 01:42 PM
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To add to the already very valid points in this thread, I feel a good dj needs the ability to take many factors into consideration and make good choices based on these. Factors such as the venue, slot time, crowd reaction, track selection, when to change to mood etc.
A high level of technical ability and smooth well executed mixing is also required, which I feel is somewhat lacking nowadays. As a dj myself one of my pet hates is guys who's ego clearly outweighs their talent, i feel theres far to many of these people gigging regurlarly which is bringing the whole scene down, unfortunately its more about the ability to bring mates/buses than the music......which makes me sad
could not agree with you more its all about how many people you can bring rather than talent but then may be you have to have talent to attract so many followers, who knows its a case of the chicken or the egg???
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Old 28th August 2008 , 05:40 PM
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Quote:
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could not agree with you more its all about how many people you can bring rather than talent but then may be you have to have talent to attract so many followers, who knows its a case of the chicken or the egg???

Can you remember last year when axwell brought that "I found you" tune out. I went to a club where he was playing & it was packed to the rafters. He played proper cheese for 3 hours with the crowd lapping it up!

Rule no 2: Get a top ten release, and you dont have to be particularly talented as a DJ!

Miaowww!
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