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1092.gif I must admit in the 18 years of doing roadshows. I find them still as much a challenge as day 1 and have to say that i prefer the wedding function to most, but if i had a choice of the type i would do. I would choose a pub without a dince floor as it makes it more of a challenge to read the crowd from 1 track to the next.

Weddings i find are a good mix of the ages and taste of music and on very rare occasions you will find that nothing works to get them dancing unless it is modern stuff, but as i said it is very rare.

With refrence to 25 / 50 % of the crowd will dance at a function. I would have to agree, but get the bride and groom on your side and increase the % because they want value for money and you know you are playing good stuff and they will try and get their friends up as well.

Anyway. This site is excellent. Have added to my faves and will come back again later.
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Sorry - but have to disagreewith those who say that club DJ-ing is better paid and more rewarding than mobile - Unless you are of superstar status, most clubs will pay a very paltry sum to resident Jocks - yes there are the benefits that you have not got to set up and pack down heavy gear - but you have to remember, most club DJs will be playing a 9-2am set and apart from the fact that you can be a really good mixer, I dont believe that there is much job satisfaction. Most people who go to clubs actually go to dance anyway - so its not really that challenging. Mobile may be more hard work but is definitely more challenging and a lot more rewarding - both financially and personally.
Having worked professionally (yes - I do this to learn my living and not as a hobby) for 12 years, the advice I would give to anybody starting out is not to expect a booking every week for the first couple of years. Breaking into this business is not easy and it will take time - Remember though - PERSISTANCE PAYS - learn from mistakes in the early days. As long as you have the right attitude and a good knowledge and collection of music, knowing how and when to play - this will get you on the first step. Dont worry if you make mistakes - who hasnt accidentally turned the wrong cd player off! As long as you are polite and enthusiatic people will remember you - they might not ring you straight away, but once people ask for your card they generally keep them - you might not hear from them for two years but you made an impression!
Also never get into the trap that bigger is better - as long as your sound system is adequate for the number of people attending the function and you have a few good light effects you will be ok. I have never got a booking because people remembered what fantastic lights I put in - I get work because they remember the ambience I created and the music I played. It is really worth investing in a good clean sound system - forget spending tons on lights first of all - a crisp clear sound is far more important -
Well I could waffle on all night - but I guess by now you may be bored with reading all this!!
I love my job - when I dont I will get out - but at the moment I am averaging two adult bookings each and every week with 2-3 kids parties - My advice is free and hope it is useful for some of you

WE LOVE KAREN, AND IT'S GREAT TO HAVE HER BACK !!!! xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

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Welcome Kazzachi.
I found your advice quite interesting and helpful but I must disagree on one point.
I judge my night on the floor,I cant honestly say I am looking for a challenge.If the floor is busy you must be doing something right.I am afraid I have had too many challenges and lost a few.You just end up driving home feeling thoroughly dejected,wondering if its really worth it and trying to pick yourself up ready for the next one

This is not a rehearsal

This is it - grab it while you can.

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Kazzachi, I must agree that being a mobile offers more of a challenge. I did club work during the late 70's early 80's and with in a month I was bored, the same style of music, drop a couple of tracks and add a couple. I found club work very easy, I actually start to sleep on the job. At least with the mobile you get a different type of audience all the time. I lot of DJ's hate wedding's, because with a wedding you have to use your brain. I love them, one minute it's all 60's and 70's the next one, 70's and 80's. You just don't know whats coming next.

..playing all the hits for you...

....whether you may be....

 

Why can't I see what i going on???

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Mikee I love you - we agree on something! Wouldnt it be boring if we knew exactly they type of audience we had every gig and ended up playing the same old set time and time again - I think we would then be referred to as Juke Boxes! What works on one night may well bomb the next -

WE LOVE KAREN, AND IT'S GREAT TO HAVE HER BACK !!!! xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

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QUOTE
You just end up driving home feeling thoroughly dejected,wondering if its really worth it


DJTREV ,

This happens to us all at times, dont judge your performance on the coverage of the dancefloor , some nights its like pulling hens teeth 1062.gif
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Ya know the feeling, i can't understand why I give out a dozen cards at the end of what i consider to be a Sh*t night. I come home, crack open the scotch, only to be awoken at some unearthly hour of the morning (10 / 11) by the phone, with somebody who saw me last night wanting to book me, I do normally recommend a pschologist, mines very good

..playing all the hits for you...

....whether you may be....

 

Why can't I see what i going on???

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I used to be undecided, now I can't make my mind up

..playing all the hits for you...

....whether you may be....

 

Why can't I see what i going on???

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Guest djbobbyzelmitt
I agree totally with everything that cnj dj's says. I have been mobile dj ing for 3 years and he is absolutely spot on. The only other tips i can add and reinforce are as follows.

What you as the dj may think is rubbish music (i.e very cheesy) your customers will probably love.

Do not be scared or embarrassed or nervous stood in front of a crowd ( or at least dont show it!). You are in control, they are looking to you for entertainment. If you seem to be struggling hitting the right vein of music, do not forget to ask if any body has any requests. Let them tell you what they want to hear.

Further to the above, when you take a booking, why not make up a simple booking confirmation form for the customer. You can do this on the old home computer. Get the customer to send back the completed form and, hey presto, you've determined exactly the sort of music they want to listen to before you even get to the gig!!! This works really well for me.

Above all, enjoy yourself. If you are enjoying your dj ing then this really does show on the night. wacko.gif
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Another thing I do is actually go for an opinion poll - ask the audience....." who likes 70s rock/pop/disco" etc.... no reaction tells you something! Most of the time if you do this you WILL get a reaction from the crowd and this makes life very easy! I often joke that I am a DJ not a psychic! 508.gif

WE LOVE KAREN, AND IT'S GREAT TO HAVE HER BACK !!!! xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

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If I get stuck, I phone a friend (lol)

..playing all the hits for you...

....whether you may be....

 

Why can't I see what i going on???

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Sorry darling, misdialled and got the Samaritons (sp)

..playing all the hits for you...

....whether you may be....

 

Why can't I see what i going on???

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Considering most people only remember the latter half of a gig whilst the DJ is sober all night, I would like to add the following to the above excellent comments.

I have found most audiences have a totally different idea of what a DJ has to do at a function.

On just this small subject, reading the crowd and watching the body language, watching the tapping of the audience's feet, and unconscious movements.

It's a plain fact that after the buffet or dinner, the party is going to pick up, so on most functions, even before confirming the booking, tell the client that fact! They won't complain and will be even happier if the crowd is a 'Party crowd', and want to get up to dance sooner!

Most people are like sheep on the dance floor too!

Two walk off - they all walk off. Two walk on - they all walk on. smile.gif

The audience attention span can be very low if you keep playing a certain tempo or era.

If you are a mix DJ - you know what I mean.

Every function is different, and that's where a DJ uses his or her skills, sometimes adapting to environment change at the very last minute - to make a great night for all.

So, in conclusion, collect balance, light to medium background as people arrive, microphone delivery essential and timed, once food out the way, build the remaining night and slot requests to suit, end, goodnight Vienna.




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  • 2 weeks later...
When if first strated out way back in the eighties I used to literally have nightmares about doing gigs , one record would be coming to an end and nothing would be cued up on the next turntable. This will pass with a few years of experience!!. Seriously if you want to do well at this DJing mullarkey listen to what other DJ's doing the same type of gigs as you are playing , listen to live bands and watch for crowd reaction. I have picked up a number of dance floor fillers I would never have dreamt about playing from this.
Keep a notebook and jot down combinations of tracks that have worked well for you. Most of all do not get down in the dumps if you can't fill the dancefloor immediately it does take a lot of experience to do this. It will take a while for the budding jock to be able to guage when your punters are ready to dance don't start pumping out the sounds too early on in the night ,experience will let you know when it is time to "hit the mike" and get the show on the road.
Once you are confident that you are playing the right music for your particular crowd the pressure will be off , remember you know that you have got it all right , there still not dancing with faces on them like a Bulldog P**ing in a nettle. At this stage its time to just think about what lovely new bit of kit you will buy with your earnings. Goodluck Y'all

Woody

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  • 2 weeks later...
Most D.J's tend to be Self Employed and working for themselves therefore they set their own fee for the entire function rather than pay themselves on an hourly basis. If you are not in the U.K, then the best way of finding out how much D.J's charge in your local area, is to phone a local D.J and ask how much it would cost you to book a disco in your local area, for a Wedding or 21st Birthday for between 7pm and 12 midnight on a Friday or Saturday Evening.

You may think that D.J's get paid well but when you take into account that the £100 or $200 fee also has to pay for C.d's, Advertising, Vehicle Cost's and Fuel, and the purchasing and maintaining of their Sound and Lighting Equipment means that only a small percentage of the fee charged is actually profit for the D.J. Obviously if you can get booked 2 or 3 times a week, rather than once a month then you will make more money.

If you choose to work for a D.J as an assistant or roadie, then you may find that the pay is very poor - sometimes you may have to offer to help out for nothing in order to gain experience, although you'll probably find that most D.J's will pay you a small amount to help out, even if it's only your expenses!. Remember, although the pay is poor, as a "Roadie" you will be gaining the valuable experience of how to run a Disco, which is something that can't be taught in any college

From my own experience, I usually pay Trainee D.J's a small amount and also pay for their drinks etc. My Roadies (once they have at least 6 months experience) get around 20 - 25% of the booking fee depending on the length of the gig and the work involved.

When I employ D.J's to work for my Roadshow (I only do this after they have worked with me and trained for at least 2 years). I supply the equipment. They are however expected to supply their own C.D's and transport. The booking fee is then split 50 / 50.

Getting Popular:-

The best method of advertising for any business is word of mouth. You will find that (if you do the Job right, and make a good impression etc) that people will recommend you to their friends. If you are good at D.J'ing ,it is amazing how fast the word spreads and how much work that you actually get from previous bookings .

As a d.j - YOU are the best advert for your Roadshow, remember that it isn't flashing lights and loud music that makes a booking, but your personality, your selection of music and the work that you are doing!. You may have lots of expensive equipment - but that is useless if you can't create a good atmosphere and encourage the guests to enjoy themselves and this CAN be hard work!!.

Of course, you need to get those first bookings at the start!. A good idea is to visit all of the local bars and hotels and leave a business card, or a simple A4 leaflet (Avoid a 20 page essay on your roadshow since this is likely to prove boring to the receipient and more likely to be binned!). You can also visit other function rooms and leave business cards or pin them on the notice boards of local church halls!.

Local newspaper advertising is also a MUST. Find out all of the local papers in the area(s) you intend to cover and place a small classified Ad. You can usually discuss discounts with small local newspapers for run of adverts - for instance 1 advert per week for a month or two months. This is more effective than just placing one ad!. Again - keep the wording on the advert simple but punchy. It's not a good idea to publish your prices on the Ad (Since this informs the competition of your charges!) but when quoting you may have to keep your prices lower than an established D.J in order to win the booking. But DON'T under price yourself - if there is a big difference in price then your customer may become suspicious because you are too cheap.

A website is also a good idea, especially if you intend to cover several area's, or you are willing to travel to attend bookings.

As a rough guide, this represents how people hear about my business:-

80% - Word of Mouth recommendations or repeat business for same customer

20% - Website Bookings - enquiries by Email etc

5% - Telephone Directory - Yellow Pages etc

5% - Newspaper Ad (based on 4 ads per year in local paper)

When I first started in 1988, the internet didn't exist so around 90% of my work was from Ads in local newspapers. As time passed more and more work came from customer recommendations. Once you get established you will find that you won't need to spend much on advertising. The Website now accounts for virtually all of our new business and is more effective than local paper ad's.

Staying in Business:-

Well this is down to the D.J!!. If you upset your customers and don't do the disco correctly then you are likely to go out of business very quickly, which is why it is so important to gain some experience with a D.J before setting up in business yourself. Starting any business requires a lot of time and effort from you and this includes D.J'ing. You need to spend a lot of time promoting your business - if nobody knows about you - then they can't book you!.

If there is anything else that you need to know then please ask!.
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  • 3 months later...


interesting discussion!

a few points to add...

Happy Birthday the Glenn Miller Medley basically anything you will ever need for an event

Grab a copy of the DJ party box its great!

for weddings and functions...being someone who does quite a few around Ireland and Scotland and Europe


Local traditional music and singers at least once in the nights proceedings

Scottish: think Flower of Scotland, and Jimmy Shand Band

Irish think reels etc and people like Daniel O'Donell Domonic Kirwan etc

Spanish, French, German Arabic or Hebrew check out the record charts from that country, or ask someone in your local specialised music store!

all these available on the net and record stores


Plus another great tip esp for weddings etc...put a line or two in your booking form about special music requests.....

the happy couple might have a special song etc etc

1/ it shows you care
2/ It means when they ask for the song you have it to hand!


Happy customers always mean easier nights and more repeat bookings! a couple more

Never drink beer or whatever when you are working you are being paid to work not to drink!

Keep the music varied, change the music every 15 minutes or so, keeps it interesting but make it flow....

What I would suggest every mobile Dj starting off( and currently working!)does, is see a few cover bands, you know the people that do versions of current and past hits....

take a notebook!


watch how the program flows, what party tricks they come up with, and how they make an audience get up for the evening:)

Also learn to read a crowd..that takes time but it will come

And learn how to announce clearly, buy a good microphone SM58 is a standard for vocals..and bring a spare kit with you

ie phono leads hedphones, mike leads both Jack and XLR and gaffer tape...all useful!


Always Always be polite to the Staff at the function and the guests they are after all giving you work..right?[B] Edited by stevemarshall
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Some good and interesting words Steve.

Welcome to the forum, please read the rules, theres not many, and post often, join in as you see fit. Its not the lurkers who keep forums alive but the posters, wether our views agree or conflict it all makes for interesting reading!

The Spindoctor
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  • 2 weeks later...
QUOTE (stevemarshall @ Sep 24 2003, 03:08 PM)
why thank you certainly an interesting forum:) smile.gif

As someone who has spent the last 25 years working clubs and mobile gigs each has its highpoints...

An average club- 11.30pm most people come in(unless theres 2-4-1- drinks) and they tend to want to hear what they have been hearing on the radio all week...and some choice oldies


Mobiles-every nights an education! and fun too, to have a crowd in the palm of your hand within 15 minutes of the disco starting and then keeping them entertained for the evening is one of the best feelings in the world..Mobiles are great fun and better paid than most club nites!


Good Mobile- the right sound from your gear, quality rather than loudness always pays!

Varied music- non-stop Clubmix 2003 is all very well for your local"having it large spot" but a wedding or functions needs variety


Party Games- This is what really makes a wedding or anniversary nite, fun games that anyone with a few beers or baccardis or none can understand and take part in!



you can teach anyone to beatmix, learning how to be a good dj takes time, research and questions and answers..which is one of the reasons this forum exists! Edited by stevemarshall
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