DJ Challenges: How To Up Your Game

September 25, 2017 by Jeff Heidelberg

I recently listened to the audiobook Peak Performance: Elevate Your Game, Avoid Burnout, and Thrive with the New Science of Success by Brad Stulberg and Steve Magness. One of the principles discussed is the coexistence of stress and rest. Stress wears down the body and mind however when balanced with rest, we come back stronger given that we have recovered from stress.

I feel like most of us know how to rest and relax pretty well so I want to talk about stress. Let’s call the stress I’ll suggest to you “Intended Stress”. In no way shape or form am I suggesting we all start showing up later than normal to gigs with less than needed equipment or jeopardizing the satisfaction of us customers.

Here are some DJ Challenges you can do or implement with your staff in order to help your business grow to the next level.

Blind Mixing

This is a partner exercise and you will need a DJ software, a controller and the basic knowledge of beat matching. Tell your friend to load two songs on the software that are in a relatively close BPM range (e.g 110-115, 125-130) then tell them to adjust the pitch sliders on the controller so both songs are not at their usual BPM. Lastly tell them to turn down the brightness of your computer screen so there are no visual cues provided by the software.

Turntablists and vinyl DJs are probably calling this amateur hour, but as a digital DJ, think of this exercise as a nod of respect to all those who had to learn DJing only using their ears.

Announcement Rewriting

I could probably MC a wedding in my sleep. Sometimes during a long weekend, I feel like I am sleepwalking or should I say sleep DJing. We fall into our usual sayings and announcements. Think about all the announcements you make during a reception and try to be aware of any common words/phrases. Now try to think of new ones. Still get the intended point across, but think about a different way of getting from point A to point B.

Top 200 Shuffle

Text a friend to give you 5-10 numbers between 1 and 200. Now take those numbers and match them up to the DJ Intelligence Top 200 songs on Mobile Beat. Your challenge is to mix all of those songs together. Perhaps you get lucky and get Uptown Funk, Ice Ice Baby, Can’t Stop The Feeling and Billie Jean. Other times you might get Love Shack, All of Me, In Da Club and Country Girl Shake It For Me. Either way you need to figure out to how keep the flow going from song to song.

If you have a multi-op organization, tell your crew to record their mix and share it amongst the company. This allows others to learn from each other and if possible find a way to make it into a competition


I personally believe that growing and evolving is one of the best aspects of being alive. Learning new skills and getting closer to mastery makes me appreciate all the opportunities out there for us to grow. Yes we have enough stress as is, but a little planned stress can help us deal with the unplanned stress a whole lot better.

Jeff Heidelberg Jeff Heidelberg (10 Posts)

Jeff Heidelberg currently lives in his hometown of Cincinnati, OH. From an early age, he enjoyed entertaining his family members with jokes, dance moves and whatever he thought was funny. This passion for entertainment carried on as he began working as a costumed character at Kings Island, an amusement park located north of Cincinnati. His love for DJing began after buying a Numark Mixtrack off of his friend in college. Mesmerized by the plethora of special effects and “scratching” aka Jeff moving his hand furiously on a live deck he began playing at local parties and charity events. Jeff is currently a Sales Rep, DJ and Master of Ceremonies for Party Pleasers Services in Cincinnati, OH.

Filed Under: Digital DJing, DJing Weddings, Event DJ Tips, Mobile DJ Business, Mobile DJ Career Development, Mobile DJ Performance Tips, Playlists, Songs & Music Charts