Latest Tip for WCS DJ's
See the bigger picture – there’s always a bigger picture. The night is not about you. Your job is to understand and raise the vibe in your venue. It is about people coming together to have fun, of which music is THE huge part sure, but not the whole story – not by a long shot.
Good DJs, in their minds, should always be asking questions. They’re always observing, looking for ways to build excitement and pleasure for their audiences, This could also be things that are often not directly connected to the music,.
How about some random DJ questions:
What has gone on in your city today? Has the local football team won? Lost? Are people happy, angry, dejected?
Are they tired from a long holiday weekend, or raring to go at the start of a long-awaited one?
Is it cold outside? Is it cold inside? How can you literally warm your crowd?
Is the place filling up too fast, so people are uneasy? How can you soothe them, make the vibe more welcoming?
Can you get soft, red or softer lighting on the dance floor? Can you get control over any of the lights and start coordinating them with your music?
When did you last walk round your dance floor? You can do this even when you\’re playing. In fact, I’d encourage it.
Are there not enough people in yet? How can you bring those who are in the venue together “under one flag”, and get that atmosphere built? Is there a drinks promotion on that’s taking everyone’s attention away from the floor? (So what do you do? Fight it, or play incidental tunes until they’re a bit drunk, bored of it, and ready to dance?)
Are there too many boys in? Too many girls? How is that affecting the vibe? How can you react to it? Do you want to use a microphone? How? How can you use the volume in the venue to alter the mood? Do you even know how loud the music is throughout your venue? What is happening in other rooms in the venue? How can you complement that/vibe off it?
Talk to your crowd and find out the answers to some of these things?
Getting into the mindset of your crowd builds your enjoyment of the night immensely, and they’ll respond by talking to you, catching your eye, including you in their night. If you’ve got hands to shake, people’s eyes to catch on the dance floor, other DJs to bounce ideas off, you’re not just ‘there’, you’re having fun!
You can do more with either of the two pieces of equipment you have than a DJ with two decks. Equipment won’t make DJing interesting – music and people will. You could DJ with an iPod and done right, have an electric night. Concentrate on the art of DJing, not the science of your equipment. (Or, if you’re really hardcore, and venue permits, you could cover the BPMs on your screen, disable your sync buttons, and beatmatch the whole night manually. That’ll definitely give you something to do between tunes! )
Good luck, and have fun.