Classic comments & questions, what not to say to a DJ and a DJ’s response
This blog is not all my own work and the nuts & bolts of this have been circulating for years, but I have added much to the content too, based on my own personal experiences. I first received this from a record promotions company called Music House, or Euro Solution as it was called then, around 15 years ago. It was mailed to DJ’s on their mailing lists as a fun thing to read, but many of the comments are oh so true and observationally spot-on.  It is based from both a nightclub DJ’s perspective and a mobile DJ’s perspective. 95% of the content is relevant to the mobile DJ doing weddings or parties or family functions as many party-goers still have that selfish tunnel-vision and opinion on what the DJ is ‘doing wrong, or could do better’ and the key point here, with respect is, ‘in their narrow minded selfish drunken opinion’. To speak with the DJ or to ask for a request is something that I always encourage and embrace. It just depends on the way people approach me and their attitude too, which, with respect, can sometimes be quite disrespectful and downright dumb.

‘Play Something Good We Can Dance To ’This is an ill-informed drunken contradiction as the DJ has to play for more than one person, so what you may ‘hate’  may be another’s favourite song and everything the DJ is playing can be danced to one way or another.

‘Would You Play Something With a Beat?’ Be Serious!, I know of no songs played at a wedding party, family function, children’s party or in a club that don’t have some sort of Beat!

‘I Don’t Know Who Sings it and I Don’t Know the Name of the Song, But it Goes Like This…… (Then They Try to Sing it to You) ’Please don’t sing for the DJ. He has to put up with concentrating on what he is playing and watching his dancefloor to be aware of any changes so that he can adapt his set accordingly. He also has the sound and volume of the tune he is currently playing blasting his ears and has probably got his headphones on too, so do the DJ a favour and don’t give him a rendition of your favourite song.

‘Voice Projection Problems’ For some reason unbeknown to me, despite the volume of music playing and therefore it being easy for me to lip read a request as well as hear it, people have a habit of approaching me for the aforementioned request and choose to put their hand over their mouth, as though they are trying to redirect their voice to my ear, when in reality I can’t hear a damn thing because their hand is muffling the voice and I can’t lip read either because their hand is covering their mouth!

 ‘Beckon the DJ Over and Then Approach Him Behind the Decks’ Some people feel the need, in their drunken state, to beckon me over, then approach me behind the decks and put their arm around my neck as though we are best mates and try to pull my head towards their mouth exposing me to stale fag and beer breath, just to slur an obscure request that is destined to kill the dancefloor. Please don’t invade my personal work space and inflict your touchy feely body odours on me!

‘Everybody Wants to Hear it’ Here’s the DJ’s reply, with a hint of sarcasm of course, ‘Oh, sure… you surveyed and polled everyone in the venue and, as their spokesperson, you’re requesting the song. Can I see your clipboard please?  I want to see the diagrams and the statistical analysis of your poll’.

‘Everybody Will Dance if You Play it’ Here’s the DJ’s reply, with his own inimitable mix of wit and sarcasm, ‘You probably also polled everyone to figure that out too! Now, you know everybody is gonna dance? Oh really?  But The DJ won’t dance to it so I guess that blows a hole in that theory!’

‘I Want to Hear it Next, or a demand for the DJ to play it next, or a demand to know as to when it’s going to be played’ In all honesty, the only person who can make that demand is the person paying the DJ’s wages and even then, sometimes it can’t happen.

‘Nobody Can Dance to This’ This statement is often made because the said person doesn’t like what the DJ is playing but ironically and unbelievably, 99% of the times that this comment is made, the dancefloor is ram packed with people having a good time. However, even if there is only one person on the floor, it contradicts the statement.

‘I’ve just got here’, or,  ‘I’ve been talking at the bar’ If you ask for a song and the DJ says he’s just played it, Don’t say, ‘Well I just got here.’ It makes absolutely no difference. Often I have been asked to play the song again that was already playing at that moment, or if I’d only played it 10 minutes previously, they actually expect me to play it again because they were at the bar, or whatever! Come on people, give me a break. It’s not going to happen, no matter how hard you plead.

‘Music Style’  It’s not a good idea to say, ‘Is this the only music you play?’ As a DJ, I can only play one song at a time and given that there are countless genres of music that I may want to play through the night at a typical wedding party or corporate function, or even children’s party, then it’s logical that it clearly isn’t. On top of this, the comment is usually impatiently made at the start of the night and my response is always to judge me at the end of the night, not the start and to ask me the same question some time after midnight.

‘Be Specific’ If you ask for a song, be specific. Don’t say,’I wanna hear something, anything but this!’ Try going to the bar and saying, ‘I wanna drink something, .anything but this.  Or even, ‘I know the song I want, but I don’t know what it is’. What?? You can’t complain if you’re not specific. Likewise, if you ask for an Abba song, for example, then I play it, please don’t  come back to me and say, ‘I didn’t want that song, I wanted Dancing Queen’ having not been specific in the first instance. I’m always happy to play requests when the function and mood of my audience allows it, but don’t moan if I’ve played your request, then come back to me to fine tune the information that you should have given me in the first instance.

‘I’m Sorry, But I Haven’t Got the Song That You Are Requesting’ Leading on from the above statement, if you are specific and I say that I unfortunately don’t have the particular song that you are requesting, Don’t say, ‘What!?!? What do you mean you don’t have it? What kind of DJ are you?’  I may just shoot you!’
‘Song Request, When are You Going to Play my Song Request?' If I have already told you that I will play your request as and when it’s right to fit it in, please don’t be a pain by asking when I’m going to play it, or keep coming up every 5 minutes asking, ‘When are you going to play my song?’ In the end, if this is repeated, then I may get so peed off that I will just not bother playing it, even if I really want to. If I’ve said, ‘yes, I’ll play it, no problem’, then please accept what I am saying. Don’t send your mate up to ask for the same song either. It just makes me even more peed off because I know you’ve asked them to approach me, so it’s just a repeat of your request.

‘Technology’ Typing your request into your phone and shoving it in my face is not a good idea. Likewise to tell me that you have the song on your phone and demand that I should just magically plug it in to somewhere and play it, or telling me to YouTube it and download it, is just not going to happen. 

At The End of the Night, the Demand for One More Song’ The start and finish times have been agreed prior to the event by the client, the DJ and the venue, as they have to comply with the licensing limits regarding the finish times of amplified music. Therefore, don’t ask for ‘One more’, as it’s not fair on the DJ, the venue, or the client. If you want to dance more, start dancing earlier, start drinking earlier, but be aware of the function finish time and the DJ is only doing his job.

‘I’m a DJ too, I work here, there and everywhere, I’ve done this and that, brag brag brag, Can I Have a Mix?’ What? You mean that you actually have a night off? If you are that good, why are you not working yourself on a Saturday night? So, you somehow feel the need to get on an ego trip with all your fellow guests at this wedding, or with your fellow clubbers, (this ‘Muppet’ often appears wherever I have worked, whether it be a nightclub or private function), and want to play a couple of tunes and possibly try to ‘large it up’ at my expense too? Well, have you got any equipment or music, because for one thing, you sure as hell are not going to ‘borrow’, or be let loose on my own personal mixer, PA and music! Secondly, I am doing a professional job here, I am providing a personal service and I do not want some Mickey Mouse Muppet invading my space and attempting to destroy a very good party atmosphere that I have built up over the past few hours, just because you ‘want to have a mix’, or ‘have a go’. Thirdly and I often ask them what they do for a living, if for example their response is, ‘I work as carpenter’, my reply goes something like this, ‘Well how would you feel if I drunkenly wandered onto the building site you were working on and asked for a go on your saw, or if I could have a go with your drill and screw a few pieces of wood together? Some DJ’s, eh? Tut tut!!
A DJ, whether he’s working in a nightclub, doing a wedding party, corporate function, promotional event, children’s party, family function, or whatever, often gets very little respect. He is expected to play everything for everybody and on a personal level, I always try to please everybody as best I can. The reality is that this is very difficult, but as long as I do the best job that I can, and give everyone the best night possible, especially the bride and groom, then I am happy and therefore my clients and their guests are happy. 

  • 18 Oct 2015