Wednesday, July 11, 2012

DJ "Maiden Voyage"

Over the weekend I took out my new (to me, at least) small PA system and provided music for a series of events for a wedding. It was a blast! I thoroughly enjoyed being able to set the speakers how I wanted, shape the sound how I wanted, and keep the volume at just-right levels.

There were a couple of hiccups, however. I learned a great lesson - one that's probably obvious to DJs everywhere: you have to play music that you don't like, and lots of music that you do like won't be popular with the given audience.

That being said, the primary goal was to make the evening feel great for everyone, and to provide entertainment for a wide variety of attendees - first and foremost being the bride and groom and their families! I felt like I achieved that goal for the most part. I tried to play at least one song for every type of listener in attendance, and I took lots and lots of requests.

Another lesson I learned is to be prepared. There's so much music in the world that it would be impossible to have it all at your fingertips (especially without a wi-fi connection), but you can save yourself a lot of hassle by finding out what type of music the couple wants to have played, including as many specific songs as possible, and then make sure your playlist includes everything you can find that they mentioned or that is similar. You can't have too much music.


For example, the groom said his family likes, "dance music." Perfect! I loaded up on Brian Setzer, Glenn Miller, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, etc. Only....that's not what he meant. Luckily for me, many of the family had the right kind of music on their phones and iPods. He was talking about Skrillex, Taio Cruz and other artists of that genre.

Luckily for me, there were some specific songs that were requested, and I was able to download all of them from iTunes. You don't want to leave things like the bride and groom's first dance, the father-daughter dance and other important moments to chance. You want to get them just right.

And finally, a note about volume. You will absolutely never be able to keep everybody happy. So I focused on the bride and groom themselves, their parents and my wife. I would periodically glance around the room and try to make eye contact with any of my "volume checkers," and get a cue from them. I would also periodically walk the eating and socializing areas and make sure that no one had to work hard to have a conversation.

It was a great learning experience and a lot of fun. I'm not saying I'm going to hang up the drummin' shoes and become a wedding DJ, but I'll be up for it the next time I have an opportunity.


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