Whether it’s a club, a wedding, or a church social, you probably bring a bag with your equipment and extra stuff in it. You probably haven’t gone through it in a while either. However, keeping your bag stocked with these five accessories is essential—especially when you work a lot of different venues. What you have in your bag can make or break your next gig. In some cases, what you have at this one might also make or break your next gig, too.
So, we aren’t going to get into things like headphones, controllers, laptops and tablets, or other essential gig equipment here. We assume you are bringing along all the things that make DJing possible. Instead, let’s take a look at the things you probably won’t need, but will be so relieved to find in there if you discover that you do. With that in mind, here are the five essential accessories you should never leave home without them packed in your bag.
- Tape. No, not a cassette tape, and not duct tape either. We are talking Gaffer Tape, or Gaffer or Gaff tape. Unlike duct tape, Gaff tape is made of fabric instead of vinyl or plastic. Plus, Gaff tape is strong, resistant to heat, which can be handy in the DJ business, and doesn’t leave behind residue on the surface where you tape stuff. DJ Roundabout’s Cubess describes Gaffer it as one of the most important yet underestimated accessories that he uses to solve all kinds of problems. Most often he uses it to secure cables on the floor to avoid tripping hazards, but it can be useful in many situations.
(Cubess has a great list for all the types of things you need in your bag if you want to read more here.)
- Laptop Stand. All gig setups are not created equal. The fact is some are kind of small, without all the elbow room you might be used to having. But DJs are nothing if not adaptable, and the laptop stand can be a facilitator for that easy-going acceptance of less-than-ideal conditions. Matt from Serato describes the laptop stand as an underrated but important part of your bag. Not only does it save space in a cramped setup, but it also gets the laptop in a better position for ergonomics and out of the splash zone for people’s drinks.
(Matt from Serato has a lot of great suggestions for DJ Accessories in this 6-minute video.)
- Bluetooth Speaker with Aux Port. One of the reasons this made the list is its versatility and portability. Why haul around a big set of speakers if they aren’t necessary? Many quality Bluetooth speakers can do the job with a lot less hassle. However, the “with Aux Port” is really important here. A blue tooth speaker doesn’t usually work with your DJ gear; the aux port allow you to connect it to your controller or mixer with an RCA to 3.5 mm Aux cable. These can be a back-up if you have technical issues at the gig, or if you want to do a practice run before the gig to check your equipment and settle the butterflies in your stomach. DJ Carlo Atendido recommends the Bose Speaker SoundLink Color II also because of the 8-hour battery life and its usefulness at his video gigs. However, many options exist out there that can deliver great sound and portability.
(DJ Carlo Atendido has great recommendations for a useful DJ backpack set up on this short 7-minute video.)
- Microphone. You might have access to one at a gig and you might not. However, you will really want one if you find that you need to talk, and shouting from the deck isn’t really “professional” DJ behavior. Digital DJ Tipsrecommends a dynamic microphone because it will block interference and feedback (also, feedback is not really a professional sound, so most DJs want to avoid that, too). Best of all, it gives you a way to be gracious to the audience, to tell them about who you are and where they can follow you, and including them in the party.
(To read all of Digital DJ Tips recommendations, please click here.”
- Business Cards. Listen, we get it. Business cards are so, well, analog. However, if you have an excellent gig and some of the people there want to book you for a future event, how will they remember who you are and where to find you? If you are banking on their memory and you calling out your socials on the microphone we recommended, you might be in trouble. Having marketing materials available to handout at your current gig might be how you get the next gig, and business cards are easy to spread around. Performerlife.com also recommends having sample CDs on hand to give out, which can’t hurt either.
(Performerlife.com has a lot of great suggestions if you want read more here.)
There are a lot of other things we read about that are great to have in your bag. These include all the different kinds of cable redundancies, USBs with different software options, a CD or USB with a backup recording of your mix in case the equipment fails to buy you time while you fix it, and so on. All of these are excellent and essential, too. Like we said, it isn’t like you will need them at every gig, but you will be super happy they are there when you really do need them at a gig. After all, as Franz Kafka wrote, “Better to have, and not need, than to need, and not have.”
Brigaud, Remi. “23 Accessories every DJ Needs (With Best Recommendations).” Djroudnabout.com. Web. 13 October 2022. https://djroundabout.com/the-best-accessories-every-dj-needs/
“Top 5 DJ Accessories.” Youtube.com. Web. 13 October 2022. https://youtu.be/LJrgwHS063M.
“6 Accessories Every DJ Needs.” www.digitaldjtips.com. 8 June 2022. Web. 13 October 2022. https://www.digitaldjtips.com/2022/06/6-accessories-every-dj-needs/.“Essential DJ Equipment: The Complete Guide.” Performerlife.com. 5 October 2022. Web. 13 October 2022. https://performerlife.com/essential-dj-stuff/