July 24, 2023 at 9:00 AM PT
Last month, I rambled on social media and also wrote a long ranting article about the Lost Art of the Opening DJ. For me, it’s never enough to just b*tch about your personal opinions but more importantly we need to forge out solutions and answers to the problem. I realized there aren’t a lot of content on the subject of being a great opening DJ so here we are and hope you find this article helpful!
Becoming a great opening Techno DJ requires a set of skills and a mindset that sets you apart from the rest. Taking the opening slot seriously is crucial if you want to excel in this role. It’s not just about showing up and playing some tracks; it’s about digging, researching, and understanding how the party will flow. Knowing who is playing after you and having a gauge of the expected guest count will help you prepare your set accordingly. By putting in this effort, you can ensure a seamless transition and create the perfect atmosphere for the subsequent DJs.
One of the key aspects of being an exceptional opening Techno DJ is your ability to unearth rare and unique music that fits the mood and vibe during your slot. The art of digging for tracks that stand out is a skill worth mastering. Having a toolbox of ambient music and drony techno intros can be a game-changer. These tracks not only help you captivate the audience but also set you apart from most DJs. The opening set is an opportunity to showcase your musical taste and provide a distinctive experience for the early arrivals.
Patience is a virtue that every opening Techno DJ should possess. Even if the crowd is picking up and the energy starts to escalate, it’s essential to remember your role as the opener and execute it properly. Building anticipation and introducing exciting rhythms can be tempting and it is OK to unleash just a tad bit, but always bring the energy back to a neutral zone for the next DJ. Reading the crowd is an intangible skill that sets great opening DJs apart – I’m willing to put money that 90% of today’s Techno DJ have NO IDEA HOW TO READ A F*CKING CROWD – most don’t even know how to read a book so it’s not surprising that reading human energy and the flow of the event is something beyond most DJs today.. Understanding the audience’s energy and responding accordingly with your track selections ensures a smooth transition and sets the stage for the rest of the night.
While playing to a smaller crowd may seem discouraging, a great opening Techno DJ knows how to have fun regardless of the audience size. DJing is a privilege and a treat, and your enjoyment should not be contingent on the number of people on the dance floor. It’s about the love and passion for the craft that drives you. A real DJ who loves what they do will find joy and satisfaction even if there’s no one there. This mindset not only enhances your performance but also reveals your genuine intentions as an artist.
In conclusion, to become a remarkable opening Techno DJ, you must take your role seriously, diligently dig for rare and unique tracks, possess the patience to read and respond to the crowd, and above all, have fun regardless of the audience size. These skills and mindset will help you create a memorable opening set and establish yourself as a standout artist in the world of Techno. Embrace the privilege of DJing and let your passion shine through each performance, no matter the circumstances.