Starting to DJ out – “Bring your own”

So you’ve been spending time collecting music, you have spent time learning your skills and fine tuning new tricks, your skills are at a level you feel comfortable playing out, so now it’s time to make it happen.

Unfortunately at the beginner level, it’s not as straight forward as just heading down to the local club with a USB stick full of music! This maybe the case for the lucky few, but for the majority, the bar will ask you to “…bring your own…”

So what exactly does a DJ have to bring?

As a newbie DJ, you might find that you’re playing in a bar or restaurant rather than a club. If this is the case, you may find it is highly unlikely that the bar will have its own gear. It’s at times like these when it would be best to physically check out what set up they have. Maybe they have an amp and speakers fully wired in, maybe they have some connectors to plug into your output, maybe they don’t even know what they have? This is when you need to really check what you need.
It may be wise to head in for a practice session during the day to make sure you’re comfortable with the set up.


You may find during your search for an establishment to play that you also need to get hold of some speakers, stands and an amp. This invariably leads to the need for a car to ship all this stuff to the venue. It can soon mount up.

Once you have decided on which venue you can comfortably play knowing the gear you have available, you then have to bring one more thing: People.

You may find that smaller clubs or bars don’t have the funds or resources to promote their own nights and often rely on the DJ to become the promoter. You then realize that they asked you to play in order to increase customer numbers. If you show up alone or numbers don’t increase, it’s likely they’ll cut you from the bill and ask another DJ with more friends to take your spot.

Be prepared to “bring your own” and you’ll be in with a great chance to make some waves in the DJ scene.

Have you played out do the first time recently, what did you have to bring? We’d love to know, share your experiences below in the comments.

Happy DJ’ing……

4 thoughts on “Starting to DJ out – “Bring your own”

  1. All the bars, restaurants and function rooms in my area (South East of Boston, MA. USA) that I’ve played, have required me to show up with a complete mobile setup. Sometimes people have a table set up which I promptly ditch because it’s always too low. I always bring my own table, front boards, up lights, sound system and microphones. If necessary, I bring a couple of Revo Raves and hang them up on speaker stands for the dance floor.

    1. Yeah it certainly can be a lot of gear to lug around. There are so many possibilities to a good set up, hopefully you’ve found something that works for you. How long does it take you to set up and take down?

  2. Pointless article to improve Google results. So how do you get people to come then?
    Especially to a bar if it’s like a Thursday or something…

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