What makes a professional DJ a Professional?

Congradulations You have an event coming up

So you are in charge of planning an event. It is going to be an awesome time. Time for a DJ…..a PROFESSIONAL DJ. You either know a DJ, know someone that knows a DJ, or do a web search to find your DJ. That is the easy part.

Now you need to sift through all of these DJ’s that you have found out about or heard about. How do you choose the right DJ? Well…. what is the difference between a dj and a Professional DJ. I will admit, I have been both. Everyone with music on their laptop thinks they are a DJ. They are a DJ, just not a professional DJ.

When I got started as a DJ, I had a lot of music and I could tell you the song that you were thinking about if you told me some of the lyrics. I had it all on records, tapes, and CD’s. Yes I am showing my age here. That was a lot of equipment to carry around. Was I a professional DJ? NO. The biggest difference was that I had no clue about a lot of things that I needed to know if I was going to be a real DJ and I forgot about classic songs.

What makes a DJ a Professional

OK Let’s get the first thing out of the way. Does the DJ have professional equipment? Is it set up nicely? Is the DJ acting professional and are they dressed professionally?

A professional DJ should probably get some training, right? I graduated with a radio and television degree. I thought that was enough. Well, it turns out that a radio DJ and a wedding DJ do not have a lot in common. I know what you are saying, ” What are you taking about Brian? Of course they have a lot in common.”

Here is what I mean. You might not have noticed this, but a radio DJ talks A LOT… Does a DJ at an event need to talk? Yes, you are the MC and the person in charge of making sure the night goes smoothly. Part of that is making announcements, and you need to sometimes talk the crowd onto the dance floor. A radio DJ is told to talk after every other song. Do you know what happens to the dance floor if you talk for 30 seconds after every other song? The dance floor hears you talking and so they go and sit down. OR I have heard DJ’s tell the crowd the name of the song, the artist or group, and the year it came out. You want to keep the music going and people dancing.

some DJ companies you hire will outsource your event to some kid that they taught how to use the equipment and he shows up to your event with knowledge of the equipment and nothing about the actual event.

A professional DJ needs to be taught by another professional DJ that has been a professional DJ for a while and teaches the new DJ how to be a professional. From how to dress, how to talk to clients, how to plan an event so it goes smoothly. You should watch that professional DJ and take notes. I learned a lot from observing the professional DJ’s.

What I found the most useful was this: Make sure everyone in the crowd has a good time. Here is an example that a friend of mine told me about a wedding she went to. It was a crowd of people that half liked top 40 and the other half liked country. The DJ hated country music. My friend only wanted one request. The DJ refused to play it because it was a country song. It was a popular country song that you can dance to. All the DJ had to do was play ONE song. Since he did not, my friend will not recommend him to anyone now.

Let’s talk about music. Hopefully both DJ’s have music. The professional DJ will have music that is right for his crowd. I have seen DJ’s playing hip hop music and their clients are walking in. They are over 65 and wearing fur coats. OUCH! They probably should have known a little more about their clients. Speaking of hip hop, does the DJ have radio edited music? That comes in handy at most events, You don’t want an embarrassed client running up to you and asking if they just heard what they thought they heard. At the very least, you will not get rehired from that client.

A professional DJ will meet with you and talk about how you want the event to go. By the time of the event, You are on the same page as your DJ.

DJ Brian Miles

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