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Your music library and choosing music

The key to being a good DJ is to remember one thing; your musical tastes don't matter. In this section we will discuss what music to buy, where to get it and what to play when you do get out on a gig. The dance floor should be your only guide when it comes to choosing what to play. If people are dancing, youíre doing a good job. If they aren't, switch the music! You should always encourage requests from your audience. They will tell you exactly what they want. You should take those requests and combine them with your ideas based on the dance floor and merge them into sets of comparable genres.

Rules to follow

Never play more than 2 slow songs in a row. A common mistake of new DJ's is to play too many slow songs. A good portion of your requests will be slow songs and you will find more dancers when you play them, but too many slow songs brings the mood of the party down and sets a mellow atmosphere. This could ruin your party and leave you saying goodnight to the bartender and cleanup staff because your audience got tired and left early.

Don't feel obligated to play every request. Letís face it, there are people out there with really bad tastes in music! If you receive a request that doesn't seem to fit the crowd, try to avoid playing it. I usually say that I'm not sure I have that song but I'll look for it. (Of course I usually donít find it) if they ask again.

People will ask you to play their request "next". If the song doesn't fit the set you are playing, tell them you can't right now but you will as soon as possible. The biggest mistake you can make while trying to please your guests and honor their requests is to jump around from one type of music to another. The dance floor keeps turning over and people get annoyed with you.

Music library

In order to be prepared for any function, you need to have a wide range of music. You need to have music from the 1940's through top 40, R&B, Rap, Alternative and Rock. If you plan to do Weddings you should also have some ethnic music like Polkas, Italian music, Salsa and Merenge.

A good source of older music is from the record clubs. Try to find compilation discs from Columbia House or BMG record club. You pay a little more, but you also get a lot of free music when you first join. The best source for new music is Promo Only. They provide monthly compilations of all the new music. CD's are broken down by genre. Mainstream Radio and Rhythm Radio will give you a good selection of new music primarily aired on Top 40 music stations. Promo Only Urban edition provides the newest R&B and Rap music all edited for radio play (no fowl language) I have found that I can do a school dance or Prom with these 3 editions of promo only and have very few requests for songs I don't have.

You can also check out DJ Town's music store if you would like to patronize our web site. We have a wide variety of music to start you off and the prices are decent.

If you have a CD burner, you can explore for downloadable MP3's to fill in the gaps in your music library. Although using downloaded music is not considered legal due to copyrights, it is a great source for those last minute requests you get from a Bride or Groom just before a Wedding gig.

Doís and Doníts


  • Play based on the response of the dance floor

  • Play requests when you can fit them into your set

  • Try to play as many requests as possible. Does this make choosing music easy for you, it also reflects what the audience wants, and they should respond favorably.

  • Play a wide variety of new and old to please everyone in the audience


  • Try to force new music or your musical taste on the audience. (Just because you think Jennifer Lopez is great doesnít mean a group of 50-60 year olds will)

  • Jump around. Play your music in sets of fast, slow, new, and old. Lets say you had a request for the Dixie Chick (country) you might want to have your second slow song be a country songs to blend into the Dixie Chicks.

Mobile DJ 101   Music  Pricing    Mobile DJ Basics  Mixing with CDs Increase bookings

As always, your input is requested. If you are a working DJ and would like to contribute to future articles, please send your suggestions to DJ Town's webmaster

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