The Art of the Pre-Gig Pump Up

July 26, 2017 by Jeff Heidelberg

I have played countless songs in my career as a mobile DJ. I have had gigs that have been dead and I have had gigs that in my mind, have shook the world. Yes there are plenty of factors that play into the success of the gig but I want to focus on you, the DJ who is playing the songs.

If your energy is not up, then you have no right to complain about a dead gig.

In the world of self-improvement, the first hour of being awake is often called “The Golden Hour” This is the hour they say to work towards your dreams and be inspired to set your day in motion. Well as a DJ, I say the time we have before our gig is “The Golden Song”. The time with ourselves that can put us in the best mindset before arriving to a venue.

The difficult aspect of a Pre-Gig Pump Up is that everyone’s pump up will look different. I was once driving to a venue for the first of a three wedding weekend. Exhausted from the office, I knew I needed to get energized and focused before arriving. I have no clue what inspired me that day but I began playing every motivational speech from sports cinema in history. From Al Pacino’s “Any Given Sunday” locker room talk, to Karl Malden’s “Miracle on Ice” speech, I listened to them all.

Some days I feel connected to Latin music, others EDM. No matter what genre suits your style that day, one thing must be consistent, you must let go all of judgment and enjoy the song. I say lose all judgment because we as performers cannot successfully create an energetic environment if we are clouded with worry about what others will think of us.

In a previous article I wrote about the importance of vocal health and warming up the voice before an event. In addition to being the guy rocking out to Afrojack in his car before an event, I am also channeling my inner Josh Groban and getting my vocal chords warm. Lip trills, scales and lightly massaging the neck/throat area are all great ways to get vocally in the zone.

I often think back to one of the first wedding’s I ever performed. During open dancing, I looked to see one of the banquet servers dancing while she was bussing a table. Her head, hips and dishtowel were all moving in sync with the music. I approached her afterwards and asked why she dances while working, she said “It doesn’t benefit anyone if I look like I hate my job, so I might as well enjoy it”

Get pumped up, let go and enjoy it.


What are some of your pre-event pump up routines? Tweet at me @thejeffyj or hit me up in Instagram @thejeffyj

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: DJing Weddings, Event DJ Tips, Mobile DJ Career Development, Mobile DJ Misc, Mobile DJ Performance Tips