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Why Professional DJs Don’t use playlists

Why Professional DJs Don’t use Wedding Playlists:

Playlists. They are the new DJ replacement according to some. What’s better than your own customized playlist for an event? Nothing! But, a playlist made by one person only caters to one person. If you’re having a wedding for example, that would mean that there would only be one or maybe a handful of people in the room who might enjoy your playlist. But being realistic here, the average wedding is around 150 guests.

That’s 150 different personalities, age ranges, music preferences, and dance preferences and thousands of possibilities for what will help guests to the dance floor to celebrate. This is why professional djs don’t use wedding playlists. A professional DJ is a master of observation. Every moment of every event we do, we are constantly scanning the room with our eyes to see who is in attendance and look at the demographic as a whole. Then we throw out a few tests to see what kind of an audience we have. Once we get the reaction we are looking for, we can then customize what we play on the fly seamlessly to ensure that all of your guests, young and old are able to enjoy the music and have fun.

It’s a speculation but, by all of the stories that are heard at meetings and events themselves, I can understand why some people are steering towards the playlist over having their DJ do their own thing. And that’s a matter of preference. But you have to go beyond the typical DJ stereotypes. When I do a wedding, it’s not the Aaron show. It’s all about the celebration. It’s my job to make sure that the people in attendance know that and are able to enjoy themselves as much as possible. But if you’ve ever experienced a DJ who wasn’t quite up to snuff who played only what their preferences were and did not fit the environment, that’s the equivalent to making your own wedding playlist. It’s the same result just driven by different means.

It is for this reason that it is so important to really choose the RIGHT dj for the job and not just the cheapest one that you found on Thumbtack.

Still not convinced? Here’s an example.

2 years ago I was helping a couple celebrate their wedding in Simsbury and the bride was VERY specific as to what she wanted played at her wedding. She was a huge fan of hardcore hip hop. Not the light and fun stuff you’d hear on the radio but, underground and pretty heavy duty hip hop. She handed me a wedding playlist at our last meeting and said, “Play these songs in this order from start to finish. Do not derive from this list you are not to take any requests. This is MY day, it’s not about them. It’s about me.”

That’s a pretty bold statement. And when you make that statement, you take 100% responsibility for the success of your wedding. The DJ becomes no more than a jukebox or ipod at that point. Because I always put my best foot forward to make my clients happy, I obliged her demands and during the wedding, started playing her list from start to finish. Besides the dirty looks I was getting from the audience, it was only her and 2 friends on the dance floor. Everyone else sat and just watched with a look that burned a hole in my stomach. I felt bad because I wasn’t able to do anything for her guests and my hands are tied. A few songs into it, she ran up to me and said, “Why aren’t they dancing? Make them dance.” I reminded her of our conversation and she simply replied, “They should be dancing, this is good music.”

When she left the room for the safety of her bridal suite, I snuck in a few favorites and like magic, the guests ran to the floor to dance but when she returned, she demanded that I not play anything except for her wedding playlist, so we went back to it and everyone sat down and began to leave early in groups of 5 and 10.

Remember, what one person’s favorite song may be, might be someone elses least favorite. Think about your guests and the outcome. 2 things that a guest will remember most about your wedding are if the food was any good and if they danced.