How to properly start gigging and getting involved in the scene

I’m new, happy with my music but having a hard time getting the ball rolling. I want to be as professional as possible and am spoiled and don’t like starting over from nothing, please help!

I think things are different now in the internet age - no need for press packets and CDs.

Step one: Show up and be involved. Go to other people’s gigs and talk and network. Do this without being a pest or an asshole or only talking about the fact that you DJ. Be interested in other people’s work and promotion. Be a part of the scene, get to know the people involved in it, and be involved in it.

Step two: Get your music out. Like, on a website. One where they can easily find and click play and listen to your best work. No pay walls, no clicking around, no free codes, just click and listen. Make it easy for them to hear what you’re offering. Business cards, even cheap ones, that have your artist name, contact info and that website address are a good idea.

Step three: Ask for an opening slot. Tell them you don’t care how long it is, when it is, where it is, you just want to play. Don’t bitch about anything, don’t ask for money, just ask for a spot. Making friends with other known artists in the scene is a great way to have them ask to have you put on the bill. Just don’t be a douche about it. Most people have to play some pretty lame/weird spots before they get in the real deal. Take what you can get and build on it.

Step four: Be professional at the gig. Show up early and sober. Have all your shit ready to go. Double triple check you have every last cable/connector/adapter you might possibly need, and then some spares. Make it seamless and a hassle for nobody involved. Then ask other artists if they need help with anything. Wait until you’re done to get fucked up, then try not to get so hammered you turn into ‘that guy’.

Step five: Thank everyone. Send followup emails to whoever put you on the ticket and promoted the show talking about how much you enjoyed it and how you’d like to do it again. Keep your name in their ear, but low key without being a terrible bother.



There you have it.

Just like you start making music by listening to a lot of music, you start gigging by going out there and learning to know the scene. People like to talk about the other people involved in the scene, and they’ll feel you’re part of it (and so will you) when you know who’s involved, who played where and which places do what kind of events. Show you know your shit, you have ideas, ambition, and be the most reliable person around.


get involved in the scene, go to the places where they play the music you are interested in and network with people.
if the people you admire rent out their studio then hire it and go check out their space and get chatting to them.
these days artists are pretty responsive on social media, so talk to them, but dont talk shit, talk about the music and music processes.

once you have a network people will check out what you are doing more and then you can get your roots in.
collabs etc help a lot too once you get to know people.

just remember that there are loads of other like-minded people who love the same things as you. aim for those people. they will make you happier too.

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be still my beating heart, thanks be to all the old school cats coming back so I don’t have to do my “leave the house go get involved” rant!


Another thing I’ll mention is putting on a good show. It’s better to play 20 minutes of awesome than 45 of mediocre. Best foot forward and all that - blow them away and leave them wanting more. Mistakes happen, move on and keep the show going - that’s professional.

Also, don’t let a bad gig ruin your good time. Nothing turns a promoter off more than some sullen DJ that expected Ibiza and got the VFW. They know when the show is bad, they don’t need you rubbing it in or making it worse. Play for 4 people like you’d play for 40,000. That will get you asked back.

(not sure why i responded to Parricide, was just trying to make a damn post (after a couple of G&Ts))


at let us be honest some of the shows with just a few people, if they are the right people, its fucking fun as hell…



its okay, it made me feel popular :smiley:


I know totally OT, but it is really awesome that suddenly amidst this pandemic not only do we have a lot of new members but a lot of the old crew is coming back. And also there is no drama on the forum!


we all have this spare time all of a sudden. i hope myself and others can find enough time to keep visiting when we all go back to work. work took up so much of my time that i stopped making music completely and lost my life, never saw my family/friends. i enjoy my work but i really dont want to go back!

Yea so run/host your own events…

In order to do this successfully dont rob Peter to pay paul…if you do this it will give you a bad name and will strain your business relationships, but yea essentially just monitor the budget of things being that any profit you make will have to offset the costs incurred from hosting, advertising, and acquiring necessities…like drinks and stuff…in order to attract people…my guess you sorta need to build a welcoming warm atmosphere but at the same time is also strict and respectful so that any attendees wont break the rules and ruin others trying to have a good time…and also to get ppl to attend it’s all about how you market it and you gotta know which demographic your aiming for and build everything around that everything from the type of music that is being played, the design of the venue…and the drinks being served…you can do things like ladies drink for free nights…or reach out to your network to bring people in…basically like tell a friend to bring their friends who might bring along their friends…essentially word of mouth…for advertising it doesnt need to be over the top and flashy because most of the time it will put some people off…what does work best is suggestive advertising…and seek out some other artists and give them an incentive to play their set by offering them a share of the profit revenues for the night to play their set…this will actually help bring in people in regards because they will advertise it to their following…I’m not sure the validity of this myself because I’ve never really hosted an event or something…but yea also…be wary and keep track of stuff so that people wont rob you blind…which is done by having people you trust run the event in a sense by acting as security, drink servers, going over contracts, they are the ones that will be on the look out for you because tbh you cant really trust strangers.

So yea just by hosting your own venue you can get a scene going…and by hosting your own parties might lead to other networking opportunities.

some of the old members could bring the drama back too, I mean it was fun some of the time

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Please dont lol. Im the one who’d have to clean it up.


Shut up, @relic, you hippy stoner. You’re stifling my freedoms. Just like the Nazis. Gestapo tactics!

Just so everyone knows, if you’re not using vintage Moogs and 303s recorded with original Neumann mics through a Tascam 4-track, you’re not really making music, you’re just a wannabe poser.

Also, you neo-liberal pseduointellectuals just don’t understand the Big-T’s brilliance. America needs to let the homeless starve so there’s enough food for the real people.

Orbital’s In Sides is the only real electronic album ever recorded. Richard James and those BoC people are just no-talent wankers.

Am I doing this right? :smiley: :smiley: :smiley: :smiley:



That’s pretty good! I like it. lmao

I actually agree that Aphex Twin is a bit of a wanker though.

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i definitely dont see the word “cunt” thrown around here enough these days. we should bring that back too.

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where all the mad cunts


The right to own firearms is a human right. Don’t come at me or I will spam 6+ graphs to prove it.

One thing that helps is to spend a fuckton of time screwing around in your daw during the slow days. Especially lately with corona-chan making her rounds. Don’t focus on finishing mixes, once you have the sequence down the creativity stops while you try and rocket science.

Move on and roll some more melodies out, throw drums and pimp out some serum presets. The more of these “throw-away” projects you have, the more shit you can share with the other DJs you’re drinking with at any given time. I’ve made some nice dnb just fucking around with grindy bass and getting sick drums and sequence advice to finish em.

Also if you’re like me and are allergic to socializing, don’t forget internet networking. It might not be as instantly gratifying but the most exposure Ive had was while playing Eve online. Same thing goes for twitch streams and shit. I shared a track with my corp mates in teamspeak and it went on a propaganda trailer.

A lot of the scene is online, holding Livestreams, and generating patreon sheckles. There are a lot of options available


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