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Five Signs You Might Be a Shitty DJ

How many things are going on here that aren't DJing?
How many things are going on here that aren't DJing?

These days, you can probably spit and hit a DJ. But that doesn't mean DJing is easy.

Sure, technology has given every 12-year-old and drunk frat doucher the ability to sync. But mindlessly pushing buttons on digital decks isn't any kind of indication you're actually any good.

We know it's hard to believe, but most of you so-called DJs aren't that talented -- and we're not excusing some of you superstars. The hard fact of life is that talent does not beget success, and vice versa.

If you're good, you probably know. But being bad is harder to acknowledge and accept. Here are Crossfade's five signs you might be a shitty DJ.

See also:

-EDM: How to Succeed in Five Easy Steps!

You Don't Know the Art of Opening

Contrary to what some might believe, you can't just go out there swinging your biggest guns. There's a real art to warming up a crowd. Your job as the opener isn't to show what a great headliner you would be, but to get these not-yet-quite-drunk people to let go of their inhibitions and bust a move. You've got to ready them for whatever act is coming next and get a dance floor vibing. And the real kicker: Every crowd is different. That's why you've gotta read that bitch. And please, please, stop playing the headliner's songs. That should be obvious, people.

You Rely on Crappy Remixes

So that new album came out and everyone is freaking because it's awesome, but it's not exactly 120 to 140 bpm and it has the kind of beat that doesn't flow properly with "Le7els" or the trap remix of "Satisfaction." Are you going to take the time to learn how to mix complicated rhythms, slow your roll, and take a crowd with you on a journey into sound? Or are you just going to troll SoundCloud for some remix that adds nothing of intrinsic value but makes your life easier?

You've Managed a Career Based Solely on a Gimmick

All right, it seems you're really getting somewhere. Over the past couple of years, we've watched as you began to headline events, grew a fan base on Facebook, and gained a bit of recognition. Actually, the recognition has been the easiest part, because rather than knowing you for original productions or clever mixing techniques, everyone gets really excited about your goofy-ass mask. You're kind of selling a character, an "experience," and it has nothing to do with a unique approach to music.

You Keep Bolstering Your Live Production With More Useless Shit

Every time you hit the stage, you've got more attractions. Perhaps you now have giant robots fighting each other onstage next to you. Or maybe you're throwing chicken-noodle soup at strippers who booty-clap inside a confetti canon that shoots rainbows and money on the crowd. Wow, what a fucking spectacle! This is entertainment! But if we get past the insanity, we see you're still shilling the same boring product you were from day one. Haven't you learned anything yet?

You Play the Same Songs Everyone Else Plays

If someone walks past your stage or your booth and they can't tell the difference between what you're playing and everything else they've heard all day, just quit. You're not a DJ -- you're a glorified jukebox, and that's really quite shitty.

Follow Crossfade on Facebook and Twitter @Crossfade_SFL.


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