5 Common DJ Mistakes to Avoid

Experienced or not, it’s time to take a moment and see if there is something you can change that would make you a better DJ. Here are five things that are easily avoided and could cost you in future bookings, equipment repairs, and even a tarnished reputation. Ready?? Let’s jump in!

Here are 5 common mistakes to avoid:

  • Redlining
  • Not Interacting with the Crowd
  • Downloading Music From YouTube
  • Ignoring Phrasing
  • Overusing Effects


Most digital mixers have enough headroom and a limiter on top to help safeguard against the adverse effects of redlining, however DJs still make this mistake all too often. If you are DJing in the red, sound quality will be affected and you can even damage your speakers. The best way to avoid this mistake is to spend time balancing levels between your controller, mixer, and speakers in advance, and then simply keep an eye on the meter throughout your set.

“one red = ok / two red = no good / three red = no, no”

Not Interacting with the Crowd

DJing is so much more than mixing music. You bring the party! You ARE the party! Get comfortable on the microphone, communicate with the crowd and show how much you are into the music. DJs who miss this simple tip come off as boring and unengaging. Coming back to old poetry: “If you’re happy and you know it, then your face will surely show it. If you’re happy and you know it, clap your hands!” Dance, clap, sing — have a good time!

Downloading Music From YouTube

Please stop doing this. Just STOP. This is one of the most amateur and illegal mistakes you can make. If you want to be a serious DJ, it’s time to get serious about where you are getting your music. Ripping music off of YouTube is going to give you poor-quality audio and a sloppy music library. The smartest and most efficient way to get music is from a DJ record pool like ZIPDJ. At a low monthly price you have access to unlimited downloads! No Ads, no shady/spammy pirating sites, no BS! Just music. Intro/Outro versions, remixes, original edits and acapellas — you can find it all. Check out the articles below for more details on this topic.



Ignoring Phrasing

We aren’t saying you have to be an expert in music theory, but not understanding the basics of theory and song structure is going to really make your mixes suffer. It is important to be able to sort vocals, melodies of the track, basslines and other elements of the track to be able to correctly time phrasing. Keep in mind that most modern dance music is in the 4/4 time signature meaning that four beats will equal a bar. The end of a phrase is usually identifiable by some kind of breakdown or cadence that will indicate a new phrase is coming.

Overusing Effects

Modern DJ controllers and softwares are jam-packed with filters and effects. They can be amazing, and add so much creativity to a mix. They can transform sounds and blend tracks and loops together in new and exciting ways. Overusing them, however, can ruin your sound entirely. Going overkill on the effects is something the crowd can definitely catch on to and hate. Avoid this costly mistake by learning the basics of mixing without all of the fluff and explore the effects conservatively once you have a strong foundation. Also, stay away from the air horns. Just don’t.