Bar Vs. Club DJ

We all have to start somewhere, and I feel like being a DJ at multiple bars is a good step to lead you to the ultimate experience, a club DJ. When I say club DJ, I’m also including lounges, such as places where they charge a cover at the door or sell alcohol at a substantial cost. Being a bar DJ is very different than a club DJ. I had my fair share of the bar scene, and I can tell you from experience that they are two different worlds. Below are some bullet points to illustrate:

Bar DJ

  • More interactive as you are not isolated from the crowd by a stage or a booth.
    • It is easy for customers to approach and request songs or ask questions.
  • More relaxed atmosphere.
    • There’s usually not a dance floor, and if there is, guests are happy to dance to your song of choice.
  • Mostly pays less than a club.
    • But you do get a bar tab, usually around $50.
  • Managers and staff are more friendly to the new DJ.
    • Not saying club staff and managers are mean, but they do deal with more cost so they have to make sure you are on point as the main source of entertainment for their paying customers.
  • No restricted genres to play.
    • You are more free to play music that you feel is appropriate to the crowd.

Those are the main points of the bar DJ, now let’s move on to the Club DJ…

Club DJ

  • Less interactive as you are usually on a stage or have your own booth.
    • No one is bothering you, except the photographer or one of the promoters.
    • The only action you will get is those go-go dancers that are usually by your side, which may distract you if you aren’t careful.
  • More stressful.
    • When you are the DJ at the club, you are on the spot and have the attention of the whole crowd. The music will translate into good or bad vibes, so you have to be on your best DJ game!
  • Mostly pays more than a bar.
    • From a few hundred dollars to the thousands. When you are a DJ or a resident DJ at a club, depending on the location and type of club, you can really break the bank, especially if you become a well-known touring DJ.
  • More shady characters.
    • There are so many shady and fake characters at the club scene. A girl that wants to a booth or drinks for free, promoters that act like your friends but then ignore you the next night, and managers with different motives. Not saying all of the characters are going to be like that at all the clubs, but there is quite a few out there so be careful who you trust.  Make sure you become good friends with the bouncers, they are really the best and most trust-worthy people to know!
  • Restricted genres.
    • If it is an EDM club, then you are to only play EDM and so on…
    • Different clubs will have different genres constantly playing, although you can mix in a few other songs, you have to make sure to stick to the specified genres or the manager will never hire you again.

That’s about it. If you can transition from the bar DJ to the Club, then you are on a good road. Personally I like playing at Clubs just because I love to talk on the mic and interact with the crowd more! You may like being a DJ at a bar rather than a club, it all depends on your taste and personality.


That’s all for now. Bye bye!

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