How to Really Suck as a DJ

How to Really Suck as a DJ

“I think I’m some huge expert so I’m going to fade all the songs out early and skip to the next ones.”
Many great dance songs are like this: verse, chorus, verse, chorus, bridge with an awesome buildup, most intense chorus yet. If you skip the part of Cee-Lo’s F*ck You where everyone gets to scream “WHY? unh WHY? unh WHYYY?” because you’re doing some kind of DJ trick I’ll bash your skull in. No one flew you in from Berlin to play this house party. Cee-Lo is famous for making songs, you are not. Let the fucking song play.

“We’re gonna only play music from my generation because it’s the best!”
Fun idea, alienate everyone who didn’t graduate high school within two years of you. Don’t be a twat. Play some Michael Jackson.

“Lady Gaga is annoying.”
I don’t care. The opening vocal riff of “Bad Romance” is to dance floors as the Islamic call to prayer is to mosques. Play. Gaga.

“Let’s put on a lot of Rammstein.”
Maybe I hang out in really geeky/metaly/German circles or something. This keeps coming up. Let’s be clear: you can’t dance to Rammstein. Or most metal. You can scream along and headbang sincerely or ironically, but you can’t dance. Play Du Hast and maybe one other song if people are into it, then you need to move on.

“I’m going to play this song ironically.”
Hilarious. I’m going to “ironically” kick you in the nuts.

“Everyone should know this song.”
You’re probably right! But they don’t and they’re kind of drunk and these speakers suck, so they can’t hear any of it anyway. You’re making everyone hate you and this hipster crap.

“I’m going to be offended if anyone makes any requests because I have great taste in music.
Good plan. The best way to keep the dance floor bumpin’ is to not play any of the music people really want to dance to. Just forge ahead, people hate dancing to all their favorite songs. No, I’m being facetious. This is actually the second-most common mistake people make, just after playing music that sucks. This not about you. You shouldn’t be at the iPod dock to convince everyone you’re cool. This is bigger than you. You’re trying whip this group of people, hopefully yourself included, into a frenzy. To succeed you need to transcend your pettiness and insecurities. Check your ego at the door and graciously accept requests.

“I should play some Black Eyed Peas.”
Do you know how much music there is in this world? So much! So much that you don’t actually have to play the Black Eyed Peas ever! Personally, I find that to be an encouraging thought.

Linnea Goderstad

Photo by 4ELEVEN Images (Creative Commons)