Music Types, preparation and research

There is a time and place for every song.  How do you choose what to play and when?

What kind of a DJ do you want to be?   If you want to be a working DJ that entertains events such as weddings, corporate parties or other hired events you will need to approach your preparation with inclusive input from whoever will be hiring you.   You may have rules to abide by like no music with parental advisory ratings, volume limitations (sound ordinances) or specific timing to work into the set list for announcements or special songs.

If you are throwing a house party for fun, it’s up to you!  Just remember that your guests may not stick around if your set list isn’t setting the right vibe.  As the DJ, you are the life of the party.  You have the opportunity to set the night in motion and get people to let loose.

If you plan on booking gig’s at nightclubs and bars, you’ll need to establish yourself with promoters and build up a reputation.

Lets talk music types.   Top 40.  Hip-Hop.  Electronica.  House Music.  Trance.  Trip-Hop.  Trap Music.  80s, 90s, 2000s, 50s, 60s, Country, Latin, Reggae…   the lists go on and on and on.  Don’t be the guy that won’t play what he doesn’t like.  You have to appeal to your audience.  That’s your job, to identify with and know what they will like.

You should do research before any gig to know what will work well for the people who will be hearing the music.   It is normally a good gesture to let whoever is hiring you pick out 10-15 songs that you will guarantee you will play.  You will be responsible for sourcing this music with them or providing it on your own dime.  There are certain songs that will become part of most of your set lists.  There are some songs you’ll find that will work great at one party, but bomb out another.  Paying attention to your audience is key.   Know what gets people moving.   Have the awareness to know if a certain song is killing the vibe.  This is your job.  It can be stressful at times, but don’t let it show.

Must Have Songs:





Here are some gem’s that will get older generations or small kids to dance:


!!  Smart Phone Apps  !!

Always be ready to document a great song that you hear.  There are a few apps such as Shazam and SoundHound that will quickly listen to and attempt to tell you the name of the song you’re hearing and the artist.  They also allow you to research your history or most smart phones also allow for a quick screen shot to store your find in your photos.  See what works best for you.