How Well Can You Overcome Challenges?

It is still so vivid in my mind. It was 1am last Saturday, I am DJing at a bar at one of my regular DJ gigs and the house mixer is a Pioneer DDJ-SZ2.  I am in the middle of playing “Blurred Lines” when all of a sudden the screen switches from 2 decks to 1 on my Serato-DJ. Just as quickly the song abruptly stops as “Fall Out Boy”  comes blaring through the speakers.

First Thought: “What the hell just happened?”

Second Thought: “Well that was an abrupt transition…” lol

DJ gigs have technical issuesI quickly realized that something had failed. My laptop was plugged into USB-B and the house computer running Spotify was connected to USB-A. (If you are not familiar with a Pioneer DDJ-SZ2 it is has dual channel USB inputs.)

I glanced over at the Spotify playlist and saw “Dance Dance” by Fall Out Boy. So somehow there was a failure on my side and it automatically defaulted over.

Good to know.

Next Thought: “Start Troubleshooting”

First I check the easiest things. Maybe my USB port I was plugged into went bad… Nope.

Maybe if I restart the program it will work. Nope.

Maybe if I restart my computer it will work. Nope.

Maybe the USB cord went bad. I plug in my backup USB cord and no help.

Next Thought: “This is going to be a complicated issue, let me add some songs to the Spotify playlist to keep the music going.

Back to troubleshooting. I get out my backup laptop and still no success. From here I realize that it is an issue with the controller. I alert the manager and he says just to run the last half hour off the Spotify playlist.

After the night ends, I do some more troubleshooting and realize that USB-B fried out on the controller. Bummer.

Successful DJ’s Know How To Deal With and Overcome Challenges Good DJ overcome obstacles

This isn’t the first time that I have had an equipment failure and I am positive it won’t be the last. But because I have dealt with so many issues, I am more able to deal with them now. In the process I have learned some useful tips.

  1. Keep calm.
  2. Try to figure out what happened.
  3. Troubleshoot the easy stuff first.
  4. Keep backups of as much equipment as you can.
  5. Make every effort to keep the music going.
  6. Do not give up or quit just because you ran into a problem.

There is nothing you can do to prevent issues from coming up. The only thing you can control is how you react to those issues. By reacting in a calm and controlled fashion, you can minimize the impact that the issue will have on your gig.

View Challenges As a Positive

It is easy to view challenges and obstacles as a negative thing, but the reality is the opposite. By getting dealt obstacles and being forced to deal with them you are also forced to grow.

Every obstacles is an opportunity to learn something new.

In this particular case, I learned that on this mixer a fault on one side will automatically cause the mixer to revert to the other. That is useful information. I also reinforced that I am able to deal with problems without freaking out.

And that is how you develop your confidence.


In a perfect world everything would work perfectly and go according to plan. But in reality, as a DJ you will encounter many issues and problems during DJ gigs. By understanding that there will always be issues, you can better learn how to deal with and overcome challenges. In the end, you will be a better DJ because of it. And book more gigs!