A Day in the Life of an Intermediate Vinyl DJ

I don’t work a regular job so I don’t usually wake up til 8 or 9 in the morning.  Like the average bear I down some coffee and then like a glutton I swallow more; I’m going to need my focus really soon.  Next stop is the medicine cabinet for my Adderall which I lost any doubt about needing when I tried mixing without it a few times (nothing good came out of my speaker those days, NOTHING GOOD).  And then, before I mix, I dress.

Now, not working, you might think would be a perfect excuse to stay in my jammies but here’s the weird thing: the more dressed I am the better I mix.  For realsies.  No bra, well, that’s like no Adderall, I may as well not bother and not for the reason’s you’d assume.. I’m not boob bumping the decks but something about the structure helps my focus, I dunno.  Jammy pants can stay on but I do better in jeans and I get better still if I put on shoes.  Don’t ask why, it’s been like that even back when I used sync on a controller, more dressed = better dj.  And of course, feel free to laugh, if I have my special dj’ing crystals around my neck (on a short chain so they don’t swing out and hit my records when I crate dig) I swear to you I do better yet.

So, now I’m properly drugged and fully dressed even though I have almost no plans to leave my room on an average day, I’m here, mixing.  Next is to get the gear going.  Easy right?  Except I always forget a step that fucks up my first run… I forget to un-clip one of the tone-arms from it’s rest which feels like a mouth full of orange juice when you expected milk when you reach for your needle.  Or I forget to open the channel 2 so I’ll think I’m deep in the mix and pull my headphones back and still only hear one song.  Or I’ll forget to test the volume on a song before I start mixing it.. always something, the first mix has a fail and thank the gods it’s only dj’ing that gives me that little quirk.. imagine if my first 30 seconds of driving always had a failure.  If you ever see me play live watch me before my first mix… I touch EVERYTHING once to make sure it’s in place and it’s not even my OCD in action, it’s a very learned behavior cuz I’ve done this ish to myself live too.

Sooooooooooooo.. I spin, nothing interesting here, except to me.  I’m over-analytical, I’m told, so my beat matching method of dividing by two on days I’m not in the zone, or different reasons behind my eq choices and filters, how I develope a “Doppler effect” with the phaser, apparently I’m the only one who thinks that’s cool so I’ll spare the details but once I get going I’m to my mixer as a kid in puberty is to an underwear catalog: all over that ish.

And of course I’m 3 mixes in when I realize “forgot to hit record”.  DMMIT!  Ok, at least I’m already drugged and dressed right?  Start over, fuck up again, start over, forget to clean the needles this time, realize I forgot to wash my hands before I handled my vinyl, STOP and go wash up and start AGAIN.  Ok, so usually there’s only one false start and I’ll let the hand washing go til I’ve played a while in truth (unless I have vape juice fingers) but you see what’s going on, in general; I’m frustrated with myself before I even start because I know this shit is gonna happen.  You ever been at a show where the sound suddenly goes bad and out of nowhere a CLAMOR OF DJ’s (that’s what you call a group of DJ’s, it’s a clamor.) comes out of nowhere to trouble shoot it?  That’s me at home, but a clamor of one with some shit before I can get down to getting down.

The good news is, however, once I’m getting down, these days the down is getting got.  I get my groove going and don’t have to think.  My hands grew ears so they know how to fix all but the tiniest of slips (the tiny ones require my head ears to get involved).  And I’m doing pretty good for someone who has only had tables at their disposal since last Easter.

AND in other good news speaking of my meds, since I had my Adderall script changed for instant to extended release, instead of one good one hour practice I can play for an hour three or four times a day with energy and attention, or 2 or three times for longer periods and it has made a WORLLLLLD of difference to the speed of my improvement.  So while I’m not great yet, hell I’m not even Very Good, I’m proud to say I no longer fill the Novice role and have graduated to INTERMEDIATE DJ (I promoted myself!).

And of those 3-6 sessions I do every day, each one is recorded and listened to (at least the mixes are reviewed) so there’s another 3 or 4 hours in my day.  And you thought I was telling you the TRUTH when I said I didn’t work. I work, just at home for free only for me, but I work hard dmmit!

So god bless bras and a.d.d. meds and recording devices because someday you’ll have better music to listen to thanks to them.

thanks for reading my ramble!


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