This week I want to talk a bit more about the first gig. This time, I want to approach it a bit differently and give you some sense of what’s going on around you and show you which other factors besides your performance will affect how well the gig goes.
Keep the Bar Happy
Bringing friends who drink is a big plus, but if you bring 20 friends who don’t tip and are rude to the bar staff, this will reflect poorly on you. If you’re playing the first opening slot and a bunch of people show up and are partying hard, the bar staff will assume that some of them are your friends. It’s of course good to bring people out, but make sure both you and they treat the bar staff well. This means being patient and polite. And of course tipping is always a huge plus.
Keep the Other Staff Happy
This means bouncers, managers, dancers and other DJs. For your first gig try to act like a professional, even if you don’t have much experience. Your attitude goes a long way and managers will notice if you’re a genuinely nice person. Don’t drink too much or argue with a bouncer. Also keep in mind that it’s good to network and talk to the headlining DJ or the manager, but understand that these people are all here to work; they have busy nights and a lot going on as well, so know when enough is enough, otherwise they’ll just end up being annoyed with you.
Keep the Promoter Happy
If a promoter has brought you in for your first show, they’re taking some degree of risk with you. The first thing that can put a promoter at ease is seeing that you’ve brought bodies to the club. Bring some friends out and ask them to come early. This gives you a chance to show your stuff and get people dancing instead of just playing an empty room.
Another way to put the promoter at ease is to show up early yourself. Know your gear setup, and if you have any questions for the promoter, try to think of them all at once. Again, the promoter is probably busy, so you want to make sure you’re prepared, but you also don’t want to bother them too much.
The final step is to make sure you’re comfortable with the music. Have some variety and some routes you can go in case what you planned isn’t working with the mood, venue or crowd. You want the promoter to be able to relax and be comfortable with the music you’re playing, instead of being stressed about getting the next DJ on. Play slow, take your time and really play to the crowd.
Hopefully this helps shed some light on the other factors at play at your first club gig. Next time we’ll focus more on what direction to go musically for your first gig.
Today I want to take a more in depth look at using www.residentadvisor.net as a tool for finding new music. Resident Advisor is a really expansive site that provides a number of useful tools, such as tools for finding local events and staying in tune with a variety of music news. It also provides some really powerful routes for finding new music. The reason I like using Resident Advisor is because I find that sometimes when I’m using Beatport I get stuck at a genres homepage without knowing where to dig, whereas Resident Advisor provides some much more useful routes.
One place to start looking is from the Artist drop down under Music. I’ll start by picking an artist whose work I like, for example Eats Everything, and I’ll go to his page to start. From here there are several ways to start looking for new music to complement your sound. The more cumbersome options such as podcasts, soundcloud and mixes are good because they give you a good variety of music that the artist is listening to right now, but you’ll have to listen through the whole thing for what you like and what you don’t.
My favourite place to find music, however, is under charts. Charts give you a good idea of what the artist is listening to as well as other artists they like. This gives you the chance to find related artists to the sound you’re looking for and investigate them further.
Furthermore you have the option of browsing through some of their tracks, which is especially useful for artists you may have just recently discovered. You can also see where their tracks are charting to make it easier for you to identify popular tracks.
This is a great example of the power of Resident Advisor in the way it so thoroughly connects music and artists.
By DJ Charts
The initial DJ charts page is a little bit overwhelming and I find it easy to get lost in the wide range of charts there. I normally start by going to a label I like such as Defected. I can then get to a range of their tracks and see how well they’re charting to get an idea of their popularity.
The DJ Charts tab also provides access to the Monthly Top 50 tracks. This will still give you a lot of the tracks that are popular on other sites, but it will also give you a nice range of tracks that are different from what you’d find on the front page of Beatport.
By Record Labels
This is another handy tab that I also find easy to use. It brings you to some popular labels as well as some highly charting labels if you’re looking for something quick. It also gives you recently reviewed labels if you’re looking for something new that might not necessarily be popular yet.
When you navigate the site this way, Resident Advisor becomes a powerful tool for discovering new music and new artists. It works great for both digging for something deeper and finding something new quickly. Next time we’ll look at another site and compare its capabilities to Resident Advisor as well as Beatport.