Tips for Handling Song Requests

August 8, 2016 by Jason Rubio

As a DJ, it’s inevitable, you’re going to get requests at every gig you do, whether you’re a bar/club DJ or mobile, private event DJ. We’ve all seen the “No Requests” meme and have probably all felt that way at one point, especially with guests/customers who are drunk and constantly coming up to request songs. We offer DJ and photo booth services, and believe it or not, we get “requests” at the photo booth, too, but that’s a whole other blog.

Here’s what we do for DJ requests at our private and public events in the Austin and Central Texas area. At private events, such as a wedding or party, consult with the person who actually hired you. Ideally, ahead of time, but if not, then ask when you arrive, if needed. Ask them, “Is it okay to take requests?” Don’t forget, be specific, too! If they say yes, ask if there are any restrictions, such as “yes, but no dirty songs, or no Cupid Shuffle,” etc. We do this well in advance, and have it on our music documents, but doing it the day of works, too.

Another tip: Write it down! When you’re mixing, MCing, coordinating, you’re busy and may forget. We bring a notepad and don’t even talk to the person. When they say request, I point to the tablet and make a writing gesture and it works. This is especially helpful at events with young people, such as school dances, proms, and quinceaneras, where they ALWAYS bombard you with requests. Just have them write it down, and scratch through the list, as you play it. I’ll even set the tablet down in a different area, make an announcement to write requests there, and voila, nobody is constantly interrupting me while mixing! I’ll just pick up the tablet every 30 minutes or so, and see what they want to hear. Although 90% of the time, I’m already going to play what they want (know your crowds and music).

Lastly, I’ve learned that sometimes, you just have to say no. We hate to do it, but be comfortable saying no. Sometimes you have to say no, even if they offer you a tip. At a bar, though, if they offer a great tip, that song will be played! 🙂 So how do you handle requests? Please comment and share with your fellow DJs how you handle requests!

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Jason Rubio Jason Rubio (15 Posts)

Jason Rubio is the co-owner and founder of Austin’s Best DJs, a professional DJ company which provides music and entertainment for approximately 250 public and private events per year, in the Austin and central Texas area. Jason started his DJ career as a mobile DJ, at age 13, in 1991, and has since DJed thousands of events, providing music and entertainment for clubs, bars, radio, and various other events. Austin’s Best DJs currently also provides DJs for numerous major events in the Austin area, including: SXSW, Austin City Limits Music Festival, as well as Formula 1 and other events, at the Circuit of the Americas race track. Jason is also a graduate of Texas State University with a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Education, as well as a Master’s of Public Administration, from The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley. Though Jason worked in the education field since 2003, he continued to DJ public and private events, and later founded Austin’s Best DJs, with his then girlfriend, now wife, Diana, in 2012. Austin’s Best DJs now has 8 DJs, in 5 central Texas cities. Jason and Diana also created Austin’s Best Photo Booths, in 2015, adding photo booth services, and have 4 photo booth staff, providing DJ and/or photo booth services for events in Austin and central Texas. Visit us: www.AustinsBestDJs.com


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