• vision

    hello , my name is mohammed shahine and i’am a Dj , got experience 5 years in this atmosphere , i worked before at a night club as a resident DJ and here i’am now am searching for a bigger chance , i’am mastering the ( house , progressive , deep ) genres .

    and also am ready to travel with this talent .

    mohammed shahine .

    • Johnny Buzz

      Impressive resume! I am looking to book talent at a premier nightclub that is soon to be opening in NEW YORK CITY! I can only offer $2000 for an opening act as well as travel and accommodations, is this something that might interest you! Please let me know immediately as the club opens in March. We are looking to find a few resident DJs that we can build nights around and a house, progressive, deep DJ is exactly what we want. Please let me know if you are interested and provide me with an email address so I can send you the contracts!

  • bar

    Awesome quote

    “Ask yourself – do I really want to become a full time DJ?”

    Thanks for sharing this Article..

    av consultant

  • shaan

    LOL retail. Have you guys worked retail before you threw that into the article? Ok, have fun working your ass off every single weekend for the rest of your life. I’m a weekend retail vet, and not one single wannabe DJ in our pro audio department catches on for over a month. you can’t DJ and work retail on weekends. and if you work retail, you work weekends.

    • James

      thanks for the warning sign. I am pursuing an opening in a pro-audio department, and I imagined a number of perks could balance out the pitfalls.

      The cons: retail does not bring in much money (it’s $10k below my acceptable target for that matter), the weekend thing, getting up too early to be awake at night.

      The pros: being around the gear-maybe producing while at work?, insurance (which will be a requirement once the public option rolls out this fall), built-in audience and community if you do get gigs, gear at wholesale, paid personal days and holidays (2-weeks)

  • Nicola Peluchetti

    I’ve been a indie rock dj for the last 20 years. My main job was djing, because i gained really a lot of money in the late 90es and early 00es. When i started making less money i found what i think is the perfect job, i’m a software developer. I work from home for a Canadian based company, make lots of money for it, work for them in the afternoon and dj in the night only for the nights i want to as i make a lot of money from my day job.
    If your day job pays all the bills you really have fun as a dj.

  • aycaramba

    i’d only go full time I’f I would only promote my own tracks/ performances – not to play mainstream/top40 tracks <- this would be worse than anything else

  • Antonio José

    My day job is waiting tables at a 4 star restaurant. I make about $250 on a weekday and can make $500 on a weekend or holiday or other special event. while serving can be very stressful and u have to deal with selfabsorbed assholes all day the money is VERY well worth it. Also you would have no idea how many numbers i get a week from musicians or graphic designers (my other passion is art in the visual form which I am actively pursuing as well as DJing)
    so I would suggest to anyone, start at an olive garden or a diner for two years then work your way up to the restaurants the have no entrees cheaper than $40 and u will be surprised by the amount of money u have to spend on hobbies.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1399004197 Romin Zandi

    This is an awesome article! I have been interning monday- fridays and djing on the weekends. The money i received from interning helped me paying for my own equipment and music.

  • Simone

    Would LOVE to be producing AND spinning as my way of life. Currently a security guard on a federal contract, the money’s NICE but it bores me to tears. Planning to go part-time in a couple months and then IT’S ON. Peace & blessings to all.

  • http://www.pwffi.com/ Jocuri Online

    Hi, good day. Wonderful post. You have gained a new subscriber. Pleasee continue this great work and I look forward to more of your great blog posts.
     

  • http://www.jocnou.info/ Jocuri

    The best Deejay. :)

  • Spadge3k00

    best thing iv ever read on here, my hat goes off to you ean

  • Djcuatro

    Hi Ean, I love this article. I have been DJing now for over 4 years (“commercially”), and many of my gigs are weddings, some club, and some private parties. My day job: I am an Accountant. I relate to your point that thanks to a great day job, I can pick and choose the gigs that I want to do, and certainly still maintain my passion for music and for DJing, on the plus side: the extra cash, which always seems to go back into more gear, lol.  

    For a while now I had been deciding whther to increase the number of gigs I do, but my fear: losing my love for music as a result of it becoming a job. Your points make me value the balance that I have been keeping and will stick my current level of activity.

    Thank you for your articles! And congrats to all the other DJs out there that do this for the passion and the love of music and for rocking the crowds!

  • Thedjgod

    Hi guys!
    After the years in house music party performing entertainment
    I have started as the DJ after the great experience , when I built the dance team for Bob Sinclars project. . . It was big times. But now … The cheap lap top DJs age, destroying the DJ culture —its sad-

    If someone wants to chat, join me

    http://www.facebook.com/patricktenev

    Have a good time every DJ one, who knows how to synchronize two records without BPM counter and how to mix without using digital effects and programs!

  • Thedjgod

    Hi guys!
    After the years in house music party performing entertainment
    I have started as the DJ after the great experience , when I built the dance team for Bob Sinclars project. . . It was big times. But now … The cheap lap top DJs age, destroying the DJ culture —its sad-

    If someone wants to chat, join me

    http://www.facebook.com/patricktenev

    Have a good time every DJ one, who knows how to synchronize two records without BPM counter and how to mix without using digital effects and programs!

  • http://www.facebook.com/DevinGilmer.DJDeviousD Devin Gilmer

    Great article Ean, similar story here.  A few years ago before the economy crashed I was playing 4 nights a week, and working at Starbucks, with a little bit of graphic design work too, totally weighing me down.  Have played all around the country, Miami, Milwaukee, Omaha, SF, etc.  Do I want to be doing this full time though…

    Fast forward 2 years, I’m at the rents currently, but graphic design work is picking up and paying the bills, may soon be at a point to move out or keep a homebase, and travel to make connections.  All of my current design clients can be worked out with a phone and an internet connection.  I have all the connections I need in town, but what if I can expand those connections to cities I haven’t played, and outside of the US, while seeing the world?

    I needed to take a step back to figure this out.  I’m taking a different approach now, and have time to try and produce, pay the bills, and enjoy the music again.  I’m just pursuing the passion in a different way.  Hit the reset button every once in awhile.  You’ll be surprised how well it works out.

  • http://www.facebook.com/DevinGilmer.DJDeviousD Devin Gilmer

    Great article Ean, similar story here.  A few years ago before the economy crashed I was playing 4 nights a week, and working at Starbucks, with a little bit of graphic design work too, totally weighing me down.  Have played all around the country, Miami, Milwaukee, Omaha, SF, etc.  Do I want to be doing this full time though…

    Fast forward 2 years, I’m at the rents currently, but graphic design work is picking up and paying the bills, may soon be at a point to move out or keep a homebase, and travel to make connections.  All of my current design clients can be worked out with a phone and an internet connection.  I have all the connections I need in town, but what if I can expand those connections to cities I haven’t played, and outside of the US, while seeing the world?

    I needed to take a step back to figure this out.  I’m taking a different approach now, and have time to try and produce, pay the bills, and enjoy the music again.  I’m just pursuing the passion in a different way.  Hit the reset button every once in awhile.  You’ll be surprised how well it works out.

  • http://www.facebook.com/Americansmark Josh Clontz

    Well written article as usual Ean.  I’ve mostly been a wedding and sometimes-prom Dj up until this past weekend.  Did my first club and really enjoyed it.  I could see myself doing many more of them, but I don’t want to be a full-time DJ.  It would ruin the fun.  I’m an engineering student by day and hope to turn that into a career with the DJing as a hobby and a way to make some spare cash.  If it somehow takes off on its own I won’t be upset, but that isn’t my intention.  :)

  • http://twitter.com/MOYMA MOYMA

    Keep ya day job so you can do the gigs you love.

  • Pppp

    This  article is very interesting.

    I’m living in Tokyo.There are many people who have the same problem here in Tokyo.
    99 percent DJs.

  • Pppp

    This  article is very interesting.

    I’m living in Tokyo.There are many people who have the same problem here in Tokyo.
    99 percent DJs.

  • Bdubz

    This is a great article! I am actually going through this transition right now. I DJ for a company that puts on events during the weekend but flys me out Friday mornings… not good. So it’s one or the other. I picked to progress my DJ career and it’s been a battle. The money on tour is amazing but I have to work awful jobs in order to live the dream…. 

    My advice to newer DJ’s that have career based jobs would be to keep the career job until DJ’ing gets so big and valuable that you have no choice but to switch. IMO There is nothing better than a consistent salary. 

  • Bdubz

    This is a great article! I am actually going through this transition right now. I DJ for a company that puts on events during the weekend but flys me out Friday mornings… not good. So it’s one or the other. I picked to progress my DJ career and it’s been a battle. The money on tour is amazing but I have to work awful jobs in order to live the dream…. 

    My advice to newer DJ’s that have career based jobs would be to keep the career job until DJ’ing gets so big and valuable that you have no choice but to switch. IMO There is nothing better than a consistent salary. 

  • Strangefellow77

    Don’t forget ‘radio station’, or more specifically, working at a local ‘community radio station’.  the pay isn’t much, but it’s very flexible, gives you opportunities to learn audio production, real-time radio experience, plus you can satiate your music fix!  I’ve been working for community radio for 12 years in a variety of positions…www.kafmradio.org, and http://www.kbut.org.

  • Strangefellow77

    Don’t forget ‘radio station’, or more specifically, working at a local ‘community radio station’.  the pay isn’t much, but it’s very flexible, gives you opportunities to learn audio production, real-time radio experience, plus you can satiate your music fix!  I’ve been working for community radio for 12 years in a variety of positions…www.kafmradio.org, and http://www.kbut.org.

    • Djmatthewkays

       haha I used to work at KBUT…first job as a DJ!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Rowan-Knulst/775115541 Rowan Knulst

    xds

  • Tee-Raze

    Ean,

    Great, balanced, thoughtful, useful article. Thank you.

  • Tee-Raze

    Ean,

    Great, balanced, thoughtful, useful article. Thank you.

  • Flatland_Funk
  • Dreamr OKelly

    Bah, you left out one that HAS to be on there.

    Software Engineer.

    I can not only afford to buy my toys, but being a digital dj, I can hack the shit out of all my equipment :)

    Its the perfect fit

  • Dreamr OKelly

    Bah, you left out one that HAS to be on there.

    Software Engineer.

    I can not only afford to buy my toys, but being a digital dj, I can hack the shit out of all my equipment :)

    Its the perfect fit

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1357089976 Chris Inked

      but you forgot the overhours … how many hours per week do you spend working as SE?

  • Dreamr OKelly

    Bah, you left out one that HAS to be on there.

    Software Engineer.

    I can not only afford to buy my toys, but being a digital dj, I can hack the shit out of all my equipment :)

    Its the perfect fit

  • Guest

    I´m a Day Architect, working for The Government.
    Night Dj.
    One 7 months Child.
    Gigs, one warm up per week (not Weekends) and 2 main Stage per Month(weekend).
    This is what i have negotiated whit my wife…… ( she is not My Promoter….)
    i don´t have time to prepare my tracks or doing remixes…. only a plain Vinyl dj…..
    old School… two 1200´s and a mixer.. and sometimes add two Cdj 1000.. to de Tech Rider.
    Money to buy records…. from my gigs…. and some extra work… a lot of well known Dj , in early times (3 years a go) was walking whit tiee, true the cityes whit alot o paper work to do.Reeboot, for example…Some Friends, are doing  day jobs, as  Dj Profesor, Music Profesor, Owners of Music Stores, another case, a respected day acedemic Dentist vs a night Wild Dj, others studing his Phd and Dj.
    some histories of Dj in my country.

  • Guest

    I´m a Day Architect, working for The Government.
    Night Dj.
    One 7 months Child.
    Gigs, one warm up per week (not Weekends) and 2 main Stage per Month(weekend).
    This is what i have negotiated whit my wife…… ( she is not My Promoter….)
    i don´t have time to prepare my tracks or doing remixes…. only a plain Vinyl dj…..
    old School… two 1200´s and a mixer.. and sometimes add two Cdj 1000.. to de Tech Rider.
    Money to buy records…. from my gigs…. and some extra work… a lot of well known Dj , in early times (3 years a go) was walking whit tiee, true the cityes whit alot o paper work to do.Reeboot, for example…Some Friends, are doing  day jobs, as  Dj Profesor, Music Profesor, Owners of Music Stores, another case, a respected day acedemic Dentist vs a night Wild Dj, others studing his Phd and Dj.
    some histories of Dj in my country.

  • samms

    great article! evem though everybody tells me otherwise… even if you basicly never playd, but if you have productions, but really really good ones and if they sound like a regular top producer made… you will get picked up from a label! after that you start playing for them… i say this with labels like ”clr” ”candenza” minus” (etc!) in mind.   and since you are sort of ”representing” your labels style, again, wich you are in coz of your productions (your own style), you wont have a problem paying music you dont like!  
    i know this ”process” can take for years… but i am also shure that it is not impossible!!!!!!

    • samms

      btw ! i once was in a super small record shop, where the the guy that was working there had a pair of turntables and a mixer and he would just play when nobody was at the shop or when people where just browsing… wich was a a good part of the time. i’d love to have a similar job, till i get a full time dj! even though i dont know if it is a good job for getting connections! but still super fun!  

  • Pato_ucb

    Great article and thanks to everyone’s opinion… I might be the newest DJ in this page, I gotta a day job which I love and I just love djing too…

  • Brent Silby aka “Maestro B”

    I used to DJ 4 nights a week – 10pm-5am Wed & Thurs, 10pm-7am Fri & Sat. It was extremely tiring, and after a short while the magic wore off and it became a job. The pay was good, though, and I have no complaints. You can earn a good living from it.

    I currently have a Thursday night residency, playing 10pm – 2am at a local club, and I gig weekends when asked. I prefer what I do now because I tend to get more creative. I remix and produce mashups exclusively for my Thursday night gig – something I didn’t do when I worked 4 nights a week.

    During the day I teach at a Highschool, and I’m lucky because I have been allowed to set up a DJ/music production course for our students. They love it, and I very much enjoy passing the torch over to the next generation of DJs. The school has purchased a full DJ set up for my course. I’m trying to convince them to buy 6 midi controllers for students to take home on weekends to practice.

  • http://www.g6music.net Geof

    Thanks Ean for the article, and thanks everyone for your stories and responses. I’ve been a “bedroom DJ” for about 2 years now, played about town a bit (Nashville, mostly parties, youth group events, and a couple bars), and I’m at a crossroads. I’m having a kid next spring and am starting to evaluate where I want to go. I work as a radio producer/engineer and do marketing for non-profits, which pays well, but I def want to make DJing my day job.

    I love putting sets together and making mixes for people, and I love helping people have a good time (and having one myself), but I don’t know where to go from here. I’ve never been all that proficient at piano (thus making my own jams), but I have a feeling it’s time to learn before mini-me pops out lol. 

    My big question is this: is it possible to make it, and build a (semi-)successful following and career, playing EDM without originals? I’ve read constant bios and stories of (near) household names that started, and sustained for a few years, without originals (or a remix or two under their belt). 

    Ean: LOVE the site and blog. You singlehandedly inspired my S4 purchase, and I come here almost daily for all the great posts. 

  • Quenepas

    Yay! My post on a news article!! :D :D :D

    Well, of course it is interesting for many reasons to know what your fellow mates in the craft do for a living, and man, that thread came to be a LOT better than expected. Thanks Ean and DJTT!!

  • EVERFLY

    During undergrad studies in college I DJed weddings and frat parties whenever I got asked. In Alabama it doesn’t happen on a consistent basis. I had this idea that I’d like to do it full time anywas, but after not being able to find a “real” job with decent pay or being able to get consistent gigs I’m back in school for a masters. Something clicked on my return to school and I started promoting like crazy and taking any gig I could, even if it was for free because I only wanted to play house as oppose to top 40 bullshit. So if someone wanted house I was the guy. 

    After moving a party from a second story apartment that got raided by the cops to a local bar we packed the house until morning. The bar was happy with the amount of people I drew in and asked me to come back every Friday after that. The next week we did the same thing. After that the next few gigs were pretty much empty. Parties absolutely suck when there’s no one there no matter what kind of music you spin. It’s difficult to get the usual Lynyrd Skynyrd fans out for house music parties lol. I did all of the design for the flyers and marketing on Facebook, which became really tiring to juggle along with college courses.  Pay wasn’t great and it became a grind after repeating the same cycle for a few weeks. I was getting up early for class on the weekdays and commuting while staying up till dawn on the weekends playing Friday and Saturdays at bars. Health, ears, sanity, and sleep were going down the drain. 

    My lesson was that there are a lot of highs and lows, and you can never tell what’s going to happen. Good pay is great when you can get it, but the best time I had is when I randomly DJed that first house party when the cops came etc. I did it for free, and had a blast. Shit happened that you normally just dream about or see in movies. Best time I’ve had in a while.

    Don’t quit your day job. Being a full-time non-celebrity DJ is a grind. Plus, music will make you insane. I come at it now from a different perspective minus the delusions of grandeur. You’d think that “Oh well if I move to NYC or Cali I can make it”, which some people do, but from what guys are saying in other posts it’s just the same out there. It’s hard. A grind in NYC is the same as a grind anywhere else in the world. Dream big, but don’t kill yourself in the process. From my experience, I think education is important. It’s something that everyone should invest in all throughout their lifetime whether it’s school or seeking knowledge independently. Don’t take what I say as truth. Try it out for yourself and form your own opinions. Happy gigging!

  • Dr Walen

    i’m looking for new job now, previously worked in a small private zoo shop, it was a nice job but it ended :/
    So thanks for this one article, it will be a very helpfull :}

  • Dr Walen

    i’m looking for new job now, previously worked in a small private zoo shop, it was a nice job but it ended :/
    So thanks for this one article, it will be a very helpfull :}

  • Djbryanc

    a day job working at a night club????????????

  • http://facebook.com/crescemusic Jared Williams

    Im the Web Developer of a photo magazine. But I DJ as well. I recently DJed Highline ballroom in NYC. But i work a 9-5 and than DJ whenever/wherever i can. I meet a lot of good people at my job because DJing/Producing and Event Photography go hand in hand. I love my day job and i love the music. It is easily done. 

  • dj kirk

    as a resident in nd, aka boomtown, i sell campers monday thru friday and every other saturday…i dj at a residency every friday and saturday night at a place called liquid assets…i make about $50-$60k gross a year from my regular job, and probably about $10,000 gross for djing, take the summer months off…everybody goes to the lake then…my salary at liquid is $150 per night plus 15% of back of the house sales which comes out to about $400-$600 on any given weekend…i’m very happy djing for the most part every weekend, i just gotta remind myself it’s not about the money, because that’s when the fun gets taken away, and it becomes a grind…i’m not trying to brag by postin numbers, cuz i’m not rich by any stretch of the imagination…i just wanted to see how i compare, if i’m gettin paid fair for my dj gigs, etc…thanks for any input and appreciate the column by ean…

  • Anonymous

    Hehehe…and I’d just like to even have my first gig!

    Thanks for the insight Ean!

    scamo

  • http://www.facebook.com/alan.smithson Alan Smithson

    After reading everyone’s comments, I feel obliged to put my story down.

    I began DJ’ing like most everyone, by making mix tapes in my bedroom of tracks recorded on the late night house program with Chris Sheppard (yes the “often imitated, never duplicated guy).  In high school, I played music in the cafeteria at breaks and was generally a music (band) geek.  In university, I worked as a bouncer at the on-campus bar.  One night the DJ didn’t show up and since I was the only one who knew how to use the equipment, I got my shot…I killed that night and they offered me the Friday night residency playing retro 80′s.  I was in heaven!

    After graduating from school with a degree in Molecular Biology, I became a pharmaceutical rep, which ask anyone is a pretty damn good job out of university.  I made my own hours, never worked weekends AND they gave me a company car!  I continued to DJ the clubs on the weekends and then started doing some weddings and corporate gigs for extra cash (clubs do not typically pay that well).  I decided that after 4 years of calling on doctors for a living, that my passion for DJ’ing outweighed my desire for money.  I quit my day job and started doing events full time.  I always kept my Wednesday residency at a local club to keep my sanity.

    Fast forward 10 years and I owned one of the most prestigious mobile DJ companies in Canada and was being flown around the country to perform for huge corporate shows in front of thousands of people.  I was twice nominated “Entertainer of the Year” and was elected President of International Special Events Society (ISES) in Toronto.

    In 2009 I set some new goals to become a touring DJ playing big clubs around the world.  I made a list of clubs I wanted to play and I started producing my own remixes and tracks. I worked on my press kit, I got professional photos, I practiced my DJ skills day and night and I became determined to be a touring DJ if it killed me.

    In June, 2010 I was sent a video on Facebook of a DJ in Chile playing Daft Punk on a transparent touch screen.  After I picked up my jaw off the ground, I posted the video on my blog saying “when this is proven stable, I will buy one”.  

    I had to have this touch screen DJ thing I saw on YouTube so I began searching the Earth for answers.  I came across a small blog PabloMartin.com and realized that he was the inventor of the Emulator.  Again I tried to buy the hardware/software and realized he didn’t sell it.  I made a deal that if I could sell these, we would go into business together.  Now, I know what your thinking “Cool, that is easy” but when you realize that Pablo lives in Argentina and I live in Canada, it made things a bit dodgy.  We eventually got all the paperwork signed and I was CEO of SmithsonMartin Inc. – Makers of the Emulator.

    We began a marketing campaign that has seen me fly ALL OVER THE WORLD including Dubai, Las Vegas, London, UK, London, Ontario, NYC, Miami, Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Ibiza, Paris, LA, Anaheim, Vancouver, Calgary and more I can’t remember.  I have played at marquee venues all over the world including; Nikki Beach (Miami), Ministry of Sound(UK), Creamfields (Abu Dhabi), Webster Hall (NYC), Bongo’s (Miami), AIR (Amsterdam), ADE (Amsterdam Dance Event), Cocoon (Frankfurt), Armani, Zinc, Music Room (Dubai) and tons of not so famous places.

    The point I want to make with this story is that if you follow your passion and go after your dream.  Move in with your parents, quit your day job and focus 100% of your effort into your dream and you will succeed.

    And by the way, I am off to play in Monaco, Miami and Las Vegas…..in November!!!

    • Djmattmccue

      when will we see mac support? also sera to support? I have a music computing motion command multi 6 touch monitor I’ve been waiting for these developments

    • Djlovehouston

      Needed this! thank You!

    • Djlovehouston

      Needed this! thank You!

    • http://www.facebook.com/DevinGilmer.DJDeviousD Devin Gilmer

      Yes Mac Support please

      • http://www.facebook.com/DevinGilmer.DJDeviousD Devin Gilmer

        kind of a no brainer

    • http://twitter.com/DeeJayPee1 DJ Pee?

      some guys have all the luck

    • TYCO

      What is your artist name?

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1399004197 Romin Zandi

      That is amazing. You inspire me to focus of my goal of djing in a club in less than 5 years!

    • Dj-Sharf

      Thanks for sharing this Alan am a dj with degree in Sociology and reading your story has inspired me so much and makes me feel am on the right track with my passion…

    • http://www.about.me/mattauckland Matt Auckland

      Great work. Myself, I’ve been a DJ since late 80′s, graduating from bedroom to club, plus mobile as well. Fast forward some years as I continue DJing and mobile work, plus a few IT jobs, I started working in radio (I trained in the profession) in 2003, setup a full time IT consultancy in 2004, started developing my DJ social network The DJ Book (http://djbook.co), got 7+ radio stations under my belt as producer/presenter and tech/engineer, and now getting back into DJing in the last 2 years.

      Oh and I manage a DJ, and ran a DJ agency for a few years (ukclubdj.com).

      To top all this I co-hosting and produce a weekly dance music radio show and podcast, with Ridney (Defected/Ministry/Spinnin) and non-other than the man who made the crowds say bo selecta, Artful (aka Mark Hill formerly of Artful Dodger). We are firm friends, and I’ve gained invaluable experience working with him both in and out of the studio. A highlight so far!

      All these things came from me taking opportunities. I’m not highly trained at a University, I’m just keen and eager to learn and help out. A lot of things I’ve done haven’t been richly paid, but I’ve taken the opportunities so I can work hard and prove myself. By doing so I advance and open new doors, things that will help me with my own DJing career and with The DJ Book when it launches.

      That is really my advise to you guys, and anyone who wants success. Take opportunities, work hard, prove yourself and be dependable.

    • Nuendo

      Hi Alan,

      Your story is truly inspiring! I am currently at the crossroads trying to decide between my passion (Music production/DJ’ing) and my career. I have been working as a project manager in construction for 2 years and truth be told, I dread going to work every day. Although the money is great, I continuously daydream about producing in my studio. Unfortunately, by the time I am home, I have a shower and do it all over again. I also DJ Friday & Saturday nights, which leave me only Sundays to produce and spend time with family and my partner.

      Multiple times I have been tempted to hand in my resignation, but I am concerned about not having enough money to support my family in the future. I would love to hear your suggestion on the best method of approach in pursuing my dream. I.e. do i leave my job and put 100% into music? Do I try and produce in my free time and continue working 10.5hr days in the hope that I will make it?

      Nuendo

      http://www.soundcloud.com/djnuendo

  • http://www.facebook.com/alan.smithson Alan Smithson

    Awesome article guys!!!

  • DJAmeeth

    Ean you’re a Legend !!! Massive Respect to you, I Couldn’t have said it any better:)

  • DJAmeeth

    Ean you’re a Legend !!! Massive Respect to you, I Couldn’t have said it any better:)

  • Knixthepuritan

    Great article Ean!

  • Knixthepuritan

    Great article Ean!

  • Anon, for obvious reasons.

    I work night security, gives me about 5 hours a night to produce.

  • Anon, for obvious reasons.

    I work night security, gives me about 5 hours a night to produce.

  • chekrah

    I work in IT and I’m lucky that some days, the workload is fairly low. This means that I can browse blogs, check out youtube videos, read up on articles that are particular to my craft.

    This biggest struggle for me is not with work, but being in a relationship. When playing out at venues is not something that suits my partner, then it makes it very hard to pursue that avenue.

    Because of this, I’ve turned my focus to production as I feel that even if I wanted to be this big international name, I would still need the tracks behind me.

  • Al

    “For most people becoming a full-time touring DJ is the ultimate dream” excuse me but that is really stupid, DJing  is not a job, it’s a hobby, something fun… I’m sure a person with an “ultimate dream” like that is not a very smart person.

    • Tony

      Im sure people like you Al are the ones working for f*ck all devaluing the job and making it harder for pro Djs to make a living.

    • Ben Porter

      DJing can be a job if you’re good at it, and who says you can’t turn a fun hobby into a job?  Look at all the big name DJs, did they get there by being dumb and having an ‘ultimate dream’?
      Or did they put in lots of hard work and get out of it a job that they enjoy?

      I know which idea seems more smart to me

    • Ben Porter

      DJing can be a job if you’re good at it, and who says you can’t turn a fun hobby into a job?  Look at all the big name DJs, did they get there by being dumb and having an ‘ultimate dream’?
      Or did they put in lots of hard work and get out of it a job that they enjoy?

      I know which idea seems more smart to me

      • Derusclimber

        Find Something you love so much that you’ll do it for free, and then find someone to pay you for it. In this case its music. 

    • Ben Porter

      DJing can be a job if you’re good at it, and who says you can’t turn a fun hobby into a job?  Look at all the big name DJs, did they get there by being dumb and having an ‘ultimate dream’?
      Or did they put in lots of hard work and get out of it a job that they enjoy?

      I know which idea seems more smart to me

  • BlackSilkAnderwers

    I work as a full-time job as a Web Developer for an established startup in San Francisco. I have a lot of free time between projects/tasks, and my work schedule is very flexible (easy to ask for time off and leave early for gigs). Working full time also qualifies me for full benefits – which is a huge expense for people who don’t can’t get them because they are part time. Web Developer jobs are plentiful in the Bay Area. Note: I used to work as a developer at an AGENCY, but its hard to have a flexible schedule because you have more time-sensitive projects.

    I have a weekly gig that doesn’t pay much (Tuesday nights in Union Square), but it’s great for sharing music with the fellow resident DJs and trying out new songs I’ve acquired. On top of that, I try to pick up a gig here and there from people I’ve met in the scene. There are more than enough opportunities to network, as there are events each day of the week. With the flexibility of my work schedule, I’m able to promote and throw a monthly in my hometown of San Diego. I even have time at nights to work on some production here and there.

    So with my weekly gig, a monthly in San Diego, and a couple one-off gigs in the Bay Area, I can probably do 7-9 gigs a month. For me, that’s totally fine, and it’s good to have that extra pocket $.

    Not sure if or when I will make the decision to try to make it as a full time DJ. A lot of full time DJ’s that I know are kinda just making ends meet. The most important thing is that I DON’T HATE MY DAY JOB.

    • BlackSilkAnderwers

      Ugh, excuse my poor grammar. “I work a full-time job as a Web Developer…”

  • Inbituin

    Best way is to work with a DJ related company, graphic design/promotion for other artists, equipment manufacturer, at a venue booking acts or managing your other DJ friends.

  • Vinie

    in about 5-6 years I will start workin as a car-mechanic and I would like to play small gigs. And I”m not quite sure if it would be a good combination 

  • Djguesswork

    I am a working drummer/turntablist based in Upstate NY. A few years ago I was lucky enough to get involved with a music licensing company called Pump Audio, based in Tivoli, NY. My work with them has primarily consisted of creating 30-60 second instrumental edits of vocal tracks, with some classification work as well. My intent with this post in not to inform you of my work as much as to encourage all of you to submit to this or any other music licensing company that is available to you. I recommend Pump highly because contracts with them are non-exclusive, meaning you can sell your work yourself or to any other likewise non-exclusive company, and their parent company, Getty Images, boasts a client list of the highest quality, including ABC, MTV, Nike, and others. 
    I encourage you all to explore every avenue possible musically outside of the nightclub arena. It can be a vibrant and exciting lifestyle, but soon can wear on the wrong person, leaving them disillusioned with thousands of dollars invested in equipment. For myself, the reward of creating something entirely on my own as a “bedroom producer” has far outweighed that which comes with spinning tracks at a venue for crowds who will likely dance to anything. That is not to say that DJing is in any way less valid, but a matter of personal opinion. 
    Here on DJTT there seems to be a dynamic new tool to create and control sound introduced every week. Advertising often grabs people by combining aggressive imagery to catch the eye with exciting and dynamic sounds to resonate those images with the viewer. Electronic music is perfect for this, in many ways, and I urge you all to consider licensing your original music. 

    -Nick
    djguesswork@yahoo.com
    http://soundcloud.com/nicholas-kopp

  • Djguesswork

    I am a working drummer/turntablist based in Upstate NY. A few years ago I was lucky enough to get involved with a music licensing company called Pump Audio, based in Tivoli, NY. My work with them has primarily consisted of creating 30-60 second instrumental edits of vocal tracks, with some classification work as well. My intent with this post in not to inform you of my work as much as to encourage all of you to submit to this or any other music licensing company that is available to you. I recommend Pump highly because contracts with them are non-exclusive, meaning you can sell your work yourself or to any other likewise non-exclusive company, and their parent company, Getty Images, boasts a client list of the highest quality, including ABC, MTV, Nike, and others. 
    I encourage you all to explore every avenue possible musically outside of the nightclub arena. It can be a vibrant and exciting lifestyle, but soon can wear on the wrong person, leaving them disillusioned with thousands of dollars invested in equipment. For myself, the reward of creating something entirely on my own as a “bedroom producer” has far outweighed that which comes with spinning tracks at a venue for crowds who will likely dance to anything. That is not to say that DJing is in any way less valid, but a matter of personal opinion. 
    Here on DJTT there seems to be a dynamic new tool to create and control sound introduced every week. Advertising often grabs people by combining aggressive imagery to catch the eye with exciting and dynamic sounds to resonate those images with the viewer. Electronic music is perfect for this, in many ways, and I urge you all to consider licensing your original music. 

    -Nick
    djguesswork@yahoo.com
    http://soundcloud.com/nicholas-kopp

  • K-sea

    Gotta love website development, it’s a normal 9-5 job you can for the most part avoid weekends and nights, but from time to time, you need to arrange / juggle things on the road so make sure you get phone plans that have tethering so you can work on the road :-)

  • K-sea

    Gotta love website development, it’s a normal 9-5 job you can for the most part avoid weekends and nights, but from time to time, you need to arrange / juggle things on the road so make sure you get phone plans that have tethering so you can work on the road :-)

  • http://www.facebook.com/pdxmicah Micah C’Leste

    I have the absolute blessing of being able to work on sets and mixes/production while AT work. For those DJs who are college students like me, snag an on-campus desk job at a computer lab. The demands are extremely light, hours flexible, and the entire shift is pretty much downtime. Really any light desk job that allows your computer to be around and a headphone in is PERFECT for those of us who can do a bit of multi-tasking.

  • http://www.facebook.com/pdxmicah Micah C’Leste

    I have the absolute blessing of being able to work on sets and mixes/production while AT work. For those DJs who are college students like me, snag an on-campus desk job at a computer lab. The demands are extremely light, hours flexible, and the entire shift is pretty much downtime. Really any light desk job that allows your computer to be around and a headphone in is PERFECT for those of us who can do a bit of multi-tasking.

  • http://www.facebook.com/pdxmicah Micah C’Leste

    I have the absolute blessing of being able to work on sets and mixes/production while AT work. For those DJs who are college students like me, snag an on-campus desk job at a computer lab. The demands are extremely light, hours flexible, and the entire shift is pretty much downtime. Really any light desk job that allows your computer to be around and a headphone in is PERFECT for those of us who can do a bit of multi-tasking.

  • Meow

    I’ll be making the move to SF too. My Job is moving me there. I’ll be making around 100k and DJing on the side. My job requires me to travel so I usually try to book gigs while I’m traveling to places since my work pays for it. The nice thing about my job is I work from home, so the late nights translates to me waking up later and just working a little later. Right now I have a great combo in Chicago, work at home, DJ or go out and club at night to promote myself. Its lead to a lot of gigs. I hope I can find something similar in SF. A night during the week, or weekend to play out and work during the day. Right now I have a great day job. The only way I would ever quit is if I became something crazy like a traveling international DJ.

  • Wzrdskt

    I can tell you, being a graphic designer is not the job you want. The pay isn’t the best. I’m averaging about $13/h and I work round the clock. Then again I am also running a business. A 9 to 5 is perfect. 40 hour weeks. Consistent hours. Big boy job that will pay better than flipping burgers or selling clothes. And possible benefits like paid vacation or insurance.

  • Darrel

    There are a lot of Gentleman’s clubs and gogo bars who require day time DJs .

  • Djjackmeoff

    Ive worked the bars and night clubs in the Wash DC area part time. It really sucked the spirit right out of me. It became a JOB. The pay was great but I wasn’t really playing what I wanted to play. Must bar and clubs will be Top 40 and anything EDM required a massive amount of effort to keep going and prompting with half of pay of a Top 40 night. Its almost impossible now to build a reputable EDM night. Only the bigger clubs that can dish out the $ for headliners can get away with it. I’ve taken a break from all of crap and started to focus on music production. Its really the only way to set you apart from the other 100 djs on your block and betters your changes of being a successful/touring DJ. If you really like DJing as a job and want to be a local celebrity, the advice above works. If you want to tour the world, spin ur musical taste, and have that extra work/promoting crap done for you….START PRODUCING SOME SHIT!

    • BmoreEDMisDead

      I agree, I’m in the Bmore area and the EDM scene is DEAD. I’m trying to get a small night going but with a demanding full time job it’s next to impossible…

  • http://twitter.com/dirtyswift Dirty Swift

    Totally agree with your article! Sometimes I feel like I would love to have more time and energy to work on my sets, but in the meantime, having the ability to say no and select only places and crowds for which I can play is great!
    I play 2 times a week and I really enjoy it, and I manage to find time to do my #MondayMix to keep enjoying the love of mixing while feeding my fans with less popular club tracks…

  • http://twitter.com/dirtyswift Dirty Swift

    Totally agree with your article! Sometimes I feel like I would love to have more time and energy to work on my sets, but in the meantime, having the ability to say no and select only places and crowds for which I can play is great!
    I play 2 times a week and I really enjoy it, and I manage to find time to do my #MondayMix to keep enjoying the love of mixing while feeding my fans with less popular club tracks…

  • http://twitter.com/ibellini Ibellini

    Very well written article. You sometimes have to step back and look at the future. Most people dont think about what happens if you DO become successful and are traveling every weekend.. your health becomes an issue, and if you have a partner, you being away every week isn’t great for your relationship

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000225217887 Deejay Chachi

    Very interesting article Ean. I’ve been djíng since 1988 and I have ask my self that same question… DO I REALLY WANT TO BECOME A FULL TIME DJ?

    I did work as a resident on a Pub, but after a while I started getting tired. To many hours and little pay, but besides that I started feeling all that you mention..
     
    I hated many of my gigs (more pop and less underground)

    My health was poor (many late nights)

    My ears were shot ( years of over-driven monitors)

    I had lost much of my love for the music

    The truth I rather have my day job and gig every now and then. This way I enjoy it more, because It feels more passion than an obligation.

    • Blah

      I agree with this one.. I had a worked in many clubs over the years and then took a long break.. I now I’m starting up my own house night, but now that I do it more and more I find that I lose the inspiration and excitement that I use to get when I would prepare for a gig and play out.  I see other dj’s that I have as guests and see how they are into it and I dont’ even have time to prepare for my gigs and have to load unload speakers and equipment.. trying to find the balance.

  • M Calica

    My day job is working at a Pro Audio store doing internet sales and what not.  Becoming a dj full time is really difficult here in NYC.  My wife works as well and makes more than me but that’s good for us cause if we make the same the taxes will eat us alive lol… I’ve been producing tracks in my spare time, but its not enough time.  I like this article, it really does show you the reality of being in this scene.  You have to work hard and focus what you want. 

  • Anonymous

    I am bedroom DJ and have a full time job/profession in the A/E/C industry and I make about $100K a year. My wife also works, and she makes about the same. Our kids go to private school, and life and living cost in NYC, and our marriage penalty taxes eat away at our salaries.  I spent a couple of nights week preparing and arranging tracks for my weekly mixes that I post for free. My wife told me that if I ever go out and do a gig that she’s going to make amateur fetish videos.  In my quest to keep our marriage solidify I am happy making free mixes for freeloaders who love House and Detroit Techno music. 

    • Wzrdskt

      What’s your old lady’s site. And what’s she willing to do. She can put your kids in those pinkerton schools. All she has to do is put something weird in her.

    • Wzrdskt

      What’s your old lady’s site. And what’s she willing to do. She can put your kids in those pinkerton schools. All she has to do is put something weird in her.

    • Lifein

      Listen to this mofo, I make 100k a year and give my mixes away to freeloaders… taxes eat away at our salaries lol … Bedroom DJ’s deserve 401k’s huh? and screw the poor! Even though those dark detroit sounds you love stem from hard times in the roughest city in the country, it’s probably good you dont play out, your severely insulated from the sound you play.

      • Anonymous

        This has been another edition of “How To Troll” By Lifein

      • Anonymous

        This has been another edition of “How To Troll” By Lifein

      • http://www.eangolden.com Ean Golden

        This site is intended to be a positive and helpful dj community.  Flaming will not be tolerated because it does not do anything constructive.  We appreciate your participation in Dj TechTools and look forward to seeing future comments from you that are more positive. 

  • phil panda

    i’m a graphic designer and the problem is, you must be creative in the day and the night! that’s rly difficult sometimes to  motivate myself :)

  • phil panda

    i’m a graphic designer and the problem is, you must be creative in the day and the night! that’s rly difficult sometimes to  motivate myself :)

  • phil panda

    i’m a graphic designer and the problem is, you must be creative in the day and the night! that’s rly difficult sometimes to  motivate myself :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/brikha Emil Beatsnatcher Brikha

    I run a guest house, which is perfect. Arrivals come during the day, and at night, drinks on me :P

  • http://twitter.com/CharlesMykid Carlos Miniño

    i write for an electronic music/culture website but no pay…. yet

    • http://www.ali.dj Hedgehog

      If you do what you love long enough with your whole passion eventually opportunities will come by itself. So keep pushing forward!

    • http://www.ali.dj Hedgehog

      If you do what you love long enough with your whole passion eventually opportunities will come by itself. So keep pushing forward!

  • Anonymous

    Mop jockey by day….disc jockey by night.

  • Rutger Willems

    I tought this was about the custom knobs :( 
    But the are in store tomorrow aren’t they ean??

    • http://www.eangolden.com Ean Golden

      coming soon, I swear? :) we are working hard on photos and getting the product page ready. 

  • Ryan Dejaegher

    Awesome article Ean. I can say this has something that i’ve thought a lot more about over the past while. I recently ditched a job bartending after 3 years of doing it, I noticed it got in the way of gigs because it always required picking and choosing between gigs or working a weekend shift bartending. Also it really took a lot out of me dealing with the clientelle. So I took a pay cut and got a job a local clothing store and I’ve loved the change. I’m always off by 9:30 which has allowed me to get out more and socialize and make connections which is half of being a DJ. You definitely have to find something that can serve double duty for DJing. At this job I plan to make more mixtapes and just pop them in the bags at the store. That would not have worked with the old clientelle at the wine bar I was at before.

  • Anonymous

    You should go buy this book The five steps guide:How to find DJ GIG. Good luck to all of you http://www.lulu.com/product/ebook/the-five-steps-guidehow-to-find-dj-gigs/18484098

    • http://twitter.com/protocollie protocollie

      judging by the quality of english in your spam post and in the description on lulu, the prospect of buying an entire book written this poorly utterly horrifies me.