I had a two almost-identical conversations this week at venues where we perform on a regular basis. Both conversations centred around the music that we play.
The truth is we really will play any music that you want us to. It’s up to you…
Play lists and request lists
There are four main ways we can construct a set:
You specify the play-list and the order in which we play the songs
This is quite a rare requirement because it’s a bit like using an iPod and can take some of the creativity out of the DJ’s ‘performance’.
You specify the play-list and we choose the order of the songs
This is a more popular requirement and it means that we can choose the order of the songs and build them into a set based on the audience reaction.
You write a request list and give us some information about your musical tastes
Most of our clients will compile a request list (rather than a play list) so that we have an idea of their tastes. A large proportion of the ‘set’ would be based on requests, but we also have some artistic license. It’s a good way of keeping a dance floor moving because the DJ will have a certain degree of flexibility.
It’s left up to the DJ
You put your trust in the DJ to make the music choices to keep the dance floor moving. This can work really well if you give the DJ a broad description of what you would like.
When you’re deciding which way you would like your DJ to work it’s important to ask the question why?
Are you writing a play list because you are concerned that otherwise you might wind up with The Macarena, Time Warp, Come On Eileen and the other 50 other records that always seem to crop up?
If so, it might be easier to find a DJ that you trust and then write a ‘don’t play’ list.
Some DJs may be unfamiliar with some of the choices on your request list and a unsure about how the audience will react. This might mean a slight reluctance to play some of the tunes.
I’ve been in a similar situation recently with an audience that was half French and half English. There was one particular track that I wasn’t familiar with, but I played it and the dance floor stayed packed.
It goes to show that you can’t always predict how an audience will react to a particular piece of music.
It’s up to you
It really is up to you how we work on the night. We have an online request system for you to compile a request list or a play list. You really don’t need to worry about one of our DJs embarrassing you in front of your family and friends!