A back-to-back session immediately speaks of something special, something different. Something exciting. The only thing you need to be scared of is the reason why you think it will be anything but spectacular and fun. If you’re a plastic DJ who can only use one type of format or equipment and plays a set that cannot change, then yes: you absolutely should be nervous – in fact, you probably shouldn’t do it until about 10 years further down the line. B2B is all about improvisation, creativity and flexibility. It separates the pro from the plastic. The ability to arrive and play not just easily but creatively with a stranger is perhaps the apogee of the skills of a professional DJ. Just as a true musician can arrive in almost any situation and not merely perform, but excel.
Don’t worry if you can’t. It will come with time. It’s certainly something to aspire to. As for tips, in a sense B2B is something you cannot prepare for. It is experience, confidence and professional courtesy all rolled into one. And yes, it’s scary because it absolutely exposes both your weaknesses and strengths. It is the true test of whether you are all about the self or about the dancefloor. This is clear when you do it with someone trying for the first time or still raw at it. They cut your tunes off. They lean in, hog and twiddle when nothing is needed. They are reluctant to leave, and over-keen to arrive in a mix. Some just decide your tune is shit and cut it off almost as soon as it starts, which sounds hideous to everyone except them. Many simply cannot operate without their synced and heavily prepped set. But then again, some are naturals. I’ve popped more than my fair share of other DJs’ B2B cherries, and some have utterly and immediately shone: true pros who took to it like a duck to water. And take it from me, when it works, it so works. Fluid, and naturally jamming. The opposite of ego, in this case, is duo.
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