Thursday, July 14, 2011

You Wanna Hear What?!!?

I figured, being an entertainment DJ I would share some insights with you. Maybe give some tips for those thinking about venturing out into this VERY competitive business and of course sharing some do's and don't's for both the DJ as well as the listeners.  Now I'm not talking about the DJ that you hear on the radio, spinning some tunes and giving out the news and weather throughout the day or the DJ's who spin and scratch and mash songs together all night to a mind numbing beat, I'm talking about DJ's that get out there and entertain in clubs, bars and so on playing your favorite songs or sometimes not so favorite songs. Though my hat comes off to the DJ on the radio, it must be pure heaven with no drunken obnoxious people to deal with, no beverages spilled on the equipment, and most importantly, no hauling around equipment all the time. First and foremost, this is a very competitive business, anything you can do there is always someone out there willing to do it for less, so what you need to do, is do it better! I have spent a lot of time watching DJ's when time permits, most do an OK job, but there are those few, those few who hide behind the sound board, the speaker, or whatever, sitting on a chair playing song after song not saying a word. WHAT?!?! One of my many rules I have is to NEVER EVER sit down and be quiet! If you do, what is the difference between you and a jukebox.... not a whole lot. Get up off your butt and entertain those people who for some reason decided to stick around and listen to what you got. I have seen many DJ's come in, setup this big elaborate sound system, and then you know what? They hide behind it, and once you have decided that is how it's going to be, once you hide, you will soon disappear and be forgotten. Many people just starting out tell me, "Well, I don't know what to say" or "I'm shy". Here is a good tip for you quiet ones out there, practice, write some stuff down if you have to ( I Did, sometimes still do), practice some more, DJ for your friends, get comfortable, but for god's sake don't put that mic down and hide! I actually carry a wireless mic in my back pocket for the entire night, I never leave it behind. And that brings us to the next rule. GET OUT THERE!!! People love seeing the DJ out and about, talking to them, making them laugh, some might say entertaining them. Now I'm not saying go out and generally be a pain in the ass and annoy everyone, but get out there, dance with them a little, work the crowd, if you make it fun, people will stick around and that makes the club and bar owners VERY happy with you and are more apt to invite you back again. OK I suppose I have went on and on about what is expected of you, now we get down to some do's and don'ts for those of you who happen into a bar or club and decide to stick around.
Make requests, remember the DJ plays what you want to hear (for the most part, we'll get to that in a minute) BUT and here's a big one, nothing is more boring then requesting a song, and then sitting around or leaving right away, that sucks, for the DJ anyhow. We love to see you out there having a good time. Get out there and dance, that's why we're there! Now to get to that part of where the DJ plays what you wanna hear. Don't request the most outlandish, dare I say dumb ass song you can think of because it might be funny for you and your friends, and DJ's don't play it, plain and simple. For example someone comes up to the DJ and requests lets say, the theme song to the smurfs. Now honestly, are you mad? And DJ's are you actually contemplating it? (shame on you all who are shaking your heads yes) Nooooooo stop it! Another don't is when the bar/club is really hopping, people are out there dancing having a good time, the beat is flowing, the bass is hitting you and in the middle of it all someone request the most depressing drawn out song from 40 some years ago, really? that just deserves a face palm right there if you actually think that would be a good idea. Well this is just a start of a few insights I plan on putting out in the future to help you along. I think the next one is going to be all about volume....do we really want to paste people against the wall?  So this wraps up another episode of insights and foolishness, leave your comment and as always thanks for reading.