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HomeLEARN SKILLSNail your DJ set with this advice from a pro

Nail your DJ set with this advice from a pro

How To DJ

If you want to keep a party going all night you need to know how to DJ. The Locker’s Army expert explains how to nail your set.

1. Advance scouting

“To be a good DJ you have to prepare well in advance. If it’s a club I’ve never played at before, I’ll watch clips from previous gigs online and talk to other DJs I know who’ve played there.”

2. Do a recce

“On the night, I arrive early to scope the place out. I usually walk the rooms, listening to what music the other DJs are playing and see how the music is being received.

“I don’t have much to drink while I’m playing but I’ll normally have a few afterwards. I’ve seen it go wrong with other DJs so many times.”

3. Check your flow

“For a one-hour set, I’ll usually prepare three hours of music to give me room for manoeuvre. You need to have a rough idea of what sort of a journey you want to take the crowd on. Do you want it to be pumping all the way through or do you want surges of energy at different times?”

4. Use effects

“I like to use the filter effects that I have on my mixer. I combine those with a stutter effect that I can create on my CD decks and, together, that creates a really nice sound that I can use to transition from one tune to another.”

5. Look into my eyes

“To keep the crowd interested, I’ll include familiar samples – maybe a pop vocal here or a guitar riff there. The most important thing is to maintain eye contact with the crowd – it tells you how people are receiving the music.”

6. Have a go-to track

“For a guaranteed floor-filler, right now I’d play Freak It by Antoine Clamaran. Probably the most surprising song that gets people going is Tubthumping by Chumbawamba. I stuck it on at a party recently and everyone had their own little dance routine ready to go.”

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by Major Nick Burdick

As well as being an officer in the Royal Artillery, Major Burdick is a DJ who has played at clubs including Ministry of Sound and Egg in London.