Episode 013 – The Opening DJ (Intro)

Normally on Wednesdays, we’ll discuss particular BPM segments for certain genres of music.   For instance, you’ll eventually see us cover our 100-107 BPM Old School Hip Hop set and our 125-132 BPM 80’s Rock set.  Today however, we are gonna cover a topic that has been real hot lately on all the social networking sites :  The Opening DJ.  As we state in the video, we feel as though being the opener is not nearly as mindless a task as some people are making it seem.  Because of that, we figured we should take some time out to make the opener’s job slightly easier :)  While this vid is just an intro where we give our take on being an opener and discuss TheBurningBible.com, you can expect us to go into to detail regarding which tracks to play and not to play within in the coming weeks — hence, why we placed this under “Playlist Wednesdays” :)

BTW — Shoutout to Joel Gonzalez and KIZ-ONE, who’ve mentioned the opening DJ thing to us before.  We appreciate everyone who’s checked our site so far, and we wanna thank everyone!

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  1. Great video. I like how you guys are actually giving advice to an opening DJ. As opposed to some big DJ’s on twitter/FB who just want to tear them down and make them feel stupid/insignificant. We were all there at some point and it is not easy. Big ups to you guys.

  2. Ive always said the hardest gig in the scene is the opener…
    and when the opener does his job properly the crowd is ready to burst when the switch happens… I certainly think opening in the edm world is easier than in the top40/hiphop world,
    I saw this guy open for Judge Jules a few years back, and it was a tuesday. @ avalon.
    so it was all DJs up on the mezz… I remember we were all so impressed by his selection and
    ability to bring the crowd just to the brink of go time, then back down for another 20 minutes, then back up… it was one of the best examples of dancefloor psychology we had ever seen.
    Jules might have came on and dropped the bombs from 1230-145.
    but from 10-1230 this kid was our hero, and the saddest part is I dont even remember his name…

    I for one love opening, especially in the EDM world… you can be extra extra particular about your selection, really read the crowd and employ a mission to your set and not be
    a slave to radio play and requests and things like that. you are really just repeated poking a lion with a stick…getting it worked up, and just when that lion patience is gone and its ready to pounce you walk away and enjoy the tension you’ve created for the anchor-man to come in and put him down.


    great post fellas.

  3. Great insight. The sky is the limit as far as music is concerned, as long as you arent touching heat til later in the set, and even then, holding off… It goes both way, for DJ’s opening for a big DJ and in general, DJ’s who mix an entire night and still play all the heat at the beginning off the night. You start slow and easy, slowly work the crowd into a frenzy.

  4. I trully believe that being a opener is a great experience, becuase you must be pertty good to be an opener.

    It gives you a chance to really set it off before the main dj comes on.
    There is an art to being the opener, it gives you a chance to shine, but you shouldn’t come on with the idea that i’m going to kill the floor before the main dj comes on.

    The worst thing to do is to kill the dance floor and then pass it over. My idea is that if i played certain set from like 10-12 which goes from 75-92 and some at 95. i would extend that set to old school burners(some 80’s joints still go over well) with a little more album kuts, but stay away from chart burners and old school floor fillers. That is what the main DJ is for. You’re just setting the mood for the rest of the night.

    The best advice that i can share is know who the opener is, and find out their style. then go a different direction but not to far too the left. there is nothing better than to hand over the stearing wheel after you have broken it in.

    Keep bang’n

  5. I dont know what goes on in some of the opening djs… i believe some are just trying to impress the headliner…. which by all means just pisses em off instead. but these are also from my experience newbie djs. obviously if you’ve been around for a while and all it takes is a couple headliners give you their 2 cents, you’ll probably never do it again. even i, in my earlier years of djn have been guilty of this once or twice. so with all thats said, i just dont think newbie djs are educated enough in DJ ETIQUETTE! DJTechTools actually wrote a great article about this topic.


    GREAT POST GUYS! you guys are fresh, POW!!!

  6. Thanks for all the positive responses. Hopefully some of the young cats read what you all have said and will get a deeper knowledge of how the be a better opener.
    Like some have said, being an opener can be an amazing experience and can sometimes be more rewarding than the headliners spot. If you can get the first 10 people in the club dancing from the start and keep them there until you get off, it’s a great feeling. When you have to dig deep to find the perfect track to fit the mood and it works just the way you planned, it’s a great feeling. Being a great opener takes musical knowledge, preparation, experience and finesse.
    @ChinoRey – Thanks for the link to djtechtools. Great article that everyone should read. Good things to think about for the veteran’s too.
    @Audio1 – Good point about DJ’s that open for themselves. They still need to treat the night as if they were opening for someone else.

  7. Mad props for doing this report! I’ve been on both sides of the coin, the one benefit of the doubt I will give some openers who are burners is that they may be too inexperienced to know there roll. I was once in that position when I was young and less experienced and burned people unintentionally because I didn’t fully understand the roll of openers and I think a lot of openers don’t fully understand their roll because they haven’t had it explained to them and they haven’t played headlining sets so they don’t know any better. Unfortunately a lot of headliners are so bitter about being burned so many times (and I don’t blame them) that they complain about it but are too bitter to try to explain things to young openers and try to help them. Now some burners are just assholes and they need clowned but some really just don’t know…well if you don’t know, now ya know…thanks for offering an educational presentation on the topic the encourages openers in a positive way to change their ways. I think that burning bible is hysterical but it’s more for the entertainment of those who have been burned than to help younger DJ’s. Bottom line…in my humble opinion opening is the hardest thing to do and if you can master that you will make you DJ stock and talent increase 10 fold.

  8. Agreed. This is a great post for those who are starting out. The burning bible seems pretentious to me. I know both sides of it. On one had, you should absolutely know your role for that night. On the other side, I know alot of cats (myself included) that have been spinning longer than the headliner and are in some cases better DJs hands down. We have all been there I am sure. So it is frustrating to see where someone else’s connections or in some cases luck have surpassed your place in the DJ world. It takes more than just being a good DJ to get famous. Still, the opening set is not the way to take out your frustration.

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