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How to DJ a party

We’ve all been there.

You’re at a party and something’s just off. No toes tapping. No heads bobbing. Anyone’s approach to the dance floor is slightly hesitant. You’re just not in the groove. The music isn’t quite connecting. Don’t let this happen to your party. 

Here are some handy recommendations to keep the music bumpin’ and the dance floor packed all night at your next party.

  1. Know your audience and its music tastes — You wouldn’t play a lot of jazz if the crowd is more interested in hip-hop, but you might need to experiment to dial in your mix.
  2. Come prepared with playlist and selections — Think of the night as a journey. It’s a story with a start, middle and end. Start off slow, provide some chill music, and then eventually ramp up the energy. You’ll need to build to a climax, and then it’s time to begin to mellow out so people know when it’s time to leave.
  3. Read the crowd — Every room has a vibe, and it’s your job to read it. Know the type of music the audience is going to respond to and look for the signs. When you see heads bobbing and toes tapping, you’re doing it right, but if you overhear smack talk and the dance floor is dwindling, don’t be afraid to swallow your pride and go in a new direction.
  4. Determine how you’re going to handle requests beforehand — It’s the age-old question: Do you take requests from the crowd, or do you play what feels right for you? With advancements in technology, we’ve arrived at an age where you can download top requests right on the dance floor. It always helps to reach out to your networks in advance and see what songs they’re looking to hear. If you’re playing the right tunes and keeping the party alive, the crowd won’t even have to make requests.
  5. There’s nothing wrong with a little showmanship — We’ve even heard the saying, “When in doubt, fog the party out.” Up your DJ game with some accessories. Get the strobe going, bust out the lights and fog the floor… All these elements set the mood and help break down the barriers of inhibition to get the party started or keep it going long into the night.

What are your tips for DJing a party? What music do you like to hear when you’re listening to a DJ?


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