DJ’s Walk a Fine Line

While it may seem fairly simple to spin discs at an event; I can tell you from my 30 years of experience that there’s more to it than meets the eye. All DJ’s have their favourite formulae and combinations of songs that will encourage people to get up and dance. That’s what we’re paid to do. Our very survival and reputation as a DJ service depends on how successful our efforts are at filling the dance floor.

We can have all the right music at our disposal but if, for some reason, we don’t play it; or we’re asked not to play it ; we’re in for a long night. DJ’s feel the pulse of the party and react to the response on the dance floor and therefore we play music that promotes that party atmosphere. Guests often make requests that the brides or event organizers have already requested us not to play. This is explained to the guests but sometimes it doesn’t go over well. DJ’s have to be diplomatic when this situation arises and even more so as the night progresses due to the effects of fatigue and alcohol on some guests.

Sometimes we’re caught between what we know will work and what we were directed to play. This is absolutely the toughest part of the business because we know from experience what works. Music is truly a subjective thing with every person liking or disliking songs, artists or genres for different reasons. DJ’s are no different, but we can’t simply play what we like; unless we know it’ll fire up the dance floor.

Brides often ask me if I take requests and I respond by saying that it’s no problem and that they should also consider how their requests will affect the dance floor. Request lists of nearly 200 songs are not necessary because it’s only possible to play 50-60 songs in any given evening. Your DJ needs some flexibility to interweave requests into the evening’s music without being tied to a play list like a radio station. They need to be able to utilize their experience for the benefit of all the people attending your event. This will ensure a party where your guests leave with sore feet having had a good time that they can talk about for years to come.

Post by Ted Chamberlain
Ted’s Tunes DJ Service

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