When I first started as a DJ, as a kid in 1991, the DJ business was much different. To prepare for a gig, I simply made sure I had all the “hits” from different genres. I showed up, read the crowd, and tried to figure out what they wanted, based on the response on the dance floor, as well as what the guests requested. This pretty much still happens at bar gigs, but with weddings and private events, it’s very different. Today’s couples want more control over what music is played at their wedding or event. They want to hear the music they love, but also want to play music their guests will love, too. They basically just want to be sure everyone has a great time, which should be your ultimate goal as a DJ. So how can you be sure to accomplish this? Well, the short answer is, just ask!
First and foremost, always take the time to ask your client about their music preferences before their event! There are a variety of ways to gather this info. We have our clients fill out forms that we’ve created. We have a music preference form, and a key moment timeline. The key moment timeline form has the key moment songs and the timeline for the night. When there isn’t a wedding, quinceanera, or event day-of-coordinator, the timeline form will help keep the event on track! We offer day-of-coordination assistance, which really helps the weddings and events go well. You can decide if you want to offer this, but trust me, it makes your job much easier when you do!
Our other form is the music selection form. We have every genre listed, as well as a space for must-plays, do-not-plays, favorite artists, etc. Be careful with the “must-plays” list. Always tell your clients that you can play about 20 songs per hour (more if you mix earlier in the songs). This will limit the number of song requests they send you. (We once had a couple send us 300 must-plays). You can also set a number, too. We suggest 20 must-plays and build our list based on their genre selections, must-plays and favorite artists. Be sure to ask about requests, too. Some couples want you to take requests, while others do not. Requests will also help you determine what will keep the guests having fun, which again, is our ultimate goal as DJs!
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