How to put together the perfect playlist for your next gig



Planning the perfect playlist for your next DJ set can be a daunting task. You want to create something that will keep your audience engaged, but you also want to make sure it’s something that you can really get behind and enjoy yourself. Fortunately, there are some simple steps you can take to ensure that your next gig is one for the books!

Research your genre

It’s important to do some research on the genre of music you plan on playing at your gig. Listen to some other DJs in your genre and pay attention to the types of music they’re playing: check out their mixes on SoundCloud or Mixcloud or go to live events in your city. This will give you an idea of what kind of songs people respond well too, and which ones fall flat. You can also use this time to find new tracks that you may not have heard before and add them into your own set (we all know a DJ who loves using Shazam when they’re at the club!)

Source some beats

You’ve likely accumulated a full library of tunes in the genre(s) you usually play. Start filtering through it and put together a folder of those you’ll need for the gig. There is no right number of songs to have ready for a gig, as DJs can go from playing 15 tracks to 40 tracks or even more in an hour. Practice your set a few times and you’ll know what that magic amount will be!

Make sure your tracks all have the metadata available: BPM, key, genre, artist name and song name. This will make it easier for you to use the filters and sort through your playlist if you’re searching for a specific track.

Listen to your tracks in their entirety to ensure you’ll be comfortable mixing them and get them ready for the gig by setting cue points, loops, and knowing where you’ll mix in and out. You can even add notes in your DJ software for what technique you want to use to mix in or out, whether it’s a backspin, using effects or strictly the EQ knobs.

Mix it up

Variety is key when it comes to keeping an audience engaged—so mix up different genres, tempos, and even eras into your set. As much as possible, try to avoid playing too many songs from the same artist or album in a row. A great way to do this is by mixing classic tracks with modern remixes or mashups of those same classics—this keeps things fresh while still giving a nod to past hits.  The more creative you are comfortable getting behind those decks, the more memorable and unique your performance will be.

If you’re looking for songs to place under a cool acapella you have or some dance floor tools that are easy to blend, we’ve got your back. Hercules DJ offers a library of official royalty-free music you can browse and use as you please!

Be flexible

No matter how well-planned out your set list may be, there will always be moments where improvisation is needed. Be prepared for unexpected changes in tempo or energy levels by having a few go-to songs that you know will fit any situation. Also remember that the crowd is ultimately in control—if they start showing signs of restlessness or boredom, don’t be afraid to switch up the vibe with something completely different than what was originally planned!

It may sound like a lot of work, but putting together a killer playlist for your next gig doesn’t have to be complicated! With just a little bit of research and flexibility, you can create something that both you and your audience will love. Have fun with it—after all, isn’t that why we DJ in the first place?