First of all I need to clarify that there’s a difference between a wedding/private event DJ and a club DJ. A wedding/private event DJ does whatever the client wants. A nightclub DJ is generally booked because of their talents and the music they represent. They are there because they are good at what they do and the nightclub wants them and their style of music.
Please, have a little bit of respect for the DJ. Most of us have been doing it for a long time and do it as a second job on the weekend. Sure, we get paid, but we also give up our weekends to make sure that you have a great night.
I’m not trying to be a douchebag… I know not everybody is like this, most of the people in clubs are just there fore a good time and are respectful. That said, as with any job, there are things that happen over and over again that drive you crazy.
Here are the top 10 things that annoy DJs.
10. Bad dancing
The robot isn’t cool, the sprinkler was never cool, and after many years of hearing it, nobody actually knows how to Dougie. It’s not 1993 and you’re not Run DMC, so please don’t try to clear a space in the middle of a packed dancefloor so that you can attempt to breakdance because you will look like a newborn calf trying to figure out how to walk and that’s guaranteed to piss everyone else off.
Aside from the people who attempt to breakdance, bad dancers are generally more entertaining than annoying. Well, it’s entertaining until the dancer is so bad that they fall through the front of the DJ console or unplug something important when they try to break their fall.
It’s not 1993 and you’re not Run DMC so please don’t attempt to breakdance
9. People who ask what songs you have
If you have a song that you want to hear then by all means come up and request it, but if you don’t know what you want to hear then how can you possibly request a song? Thats like going to the supermarket and asking the person working at the checkout what they have to eat because you’re hungry.
Any decent DJ will have upwards of 3000 songs with them and they aren’t about to stop what they are doing to list them off one by one in alphabetical order so that you can pick one just for the sake of picking it.
DJ’s also hate being asked what’s coming up next. If you go away, you’ll find out what’s coming up next at the same time as everybody else in the club. Knowing what’s coming up next 10 seconds before everybody else has absolutely no impact on your night whatsoever.
8. People who demand you play their song next because they’re about to leave
The only person who can demand something gets played next is the club manager or person paying the DJ. If you are about to leave the club, then you drop to the bottom of the request list behind that really sleazy drunk guy at the bar, the guy who farted 10 minutes ago and cleared a hole in the dancefloor, and the teeny bopper who wants to hear Avril Lavigne’s Hello Kitty because “OMG like it’s the best song like ever“.
7. The birthday girl’s friend
If you have a good song request that fits with musical style of the night then sure, the DJ might play it. That said, just because it’s your friends birthday doesn’t mean they have to play Miley Cyrus for her. They don’t even have to play it if every single person in your group comes up to request it one at a time (which is really obvious by the way!).
You wouldn’t try to get up on stage and ask The Rolling Stones to do a cover of Justin Timberlake because it’s your friend’s birthday would you?
Lets do some basic math here. Assuming there are 700 people in the club, with 365 days in a year that means statistically 2 of them must have a birthday, realistically because people generally go out on a weekend to celebrate, we can multiply that by 5, that’s 10. Plus more people actually go out on their birthday so lets add another 5 to that number which makes at least 15 people in the club right now with a birthday. If I play a song for each of them, at 3 minutes a song that’s 45 minutes of awful music.
6. Bad requests
There is always one person who wants to hear the number 1 chart song, Skrillex, or (insert generic club banger) at the start of the night. I guarantee that if a song is popular then it will get played when the club is at its peak, not at the start of the night. Despite the fact that the person making the request may think otherwise, any DJ who agrees to play it at the start of the night is a terrible DJ.
The DJ doesn’t care if you are requesting your “jam” or the song that you lost your virginity to in a grotty nightclub toilet. Nobody else wants to hear that obscure 80’s song, and nobody wants to hear that brand new underground “banger” either. Showing the DJ a list of underground tracks which were released 5 minutes ago and thinking that makes you special is a surefire way to get a drink thrown over your head.
Just because the DJ doesn’t have that obscure song which hit number 45 in the chart 12 years ago in their collection, doesn’t make them a shit DJ either. Telling the DJ that they suck becaue they don’t have it isn’t going to win you any favors. Contrary to popular belief, when a DJ refuses to play the song because it’s shit, that actually makes them good at their job.
Oh, and the DJ won’t play your terrible song “because it will get you laid” either. The only reason a DJ might play it is if it gets them laid.
5. People who can’t dance to anything
The sentence “play something we can dance to” is quite possibly the stupidest thing you can say in a packed nightclub. Guess what, you aren’t the only person in the room and everybody else seems to be enjoying the music. If you want to hear R&B, rock or 80’s music why did you come to a club which plays 128bpm club music?
Your inability to dance doesn’t mean that the music is bad, it just means that you’re uncoordinated. Oh, you mean something with a beat? Let me see if I have anything that fits. Nope, looks like I only brought my collection of music to cry too. Hang on a second, I’ve got this one line-dancing song, let me just put that on because if its for line-dancing then you might be able to dance to it right?
Here’s a hint, you were dancing to the 128bpm track I played and the song I’ve just mixed in is also 128bpm, it just has a different vocal on it. Try doing the same thing that you did before to this one and you’ll be fine.
Also, signalling for the DJ to play the next song with your hands has absolutely zero effect regardless of how long you do it for.
If you want to hear all of your favourite songs in your preferred order, buy an iPod.
Your inability to dance doesn’t mean that the music is bad, it just means that you are uncoordinated
4. People who tell us how to do our job
The advice to “play (insert shit song) because everyone wants to hear it and it’ll go off bro!” will most definitely fall of deaf ears, and not just because of the loud music, it’s because the DJ will be ignoring your stupid comments.
Have you surveyed everybody in the club and correlated the responses? No, I didn’t think so. I have been doing this job for a long time, trust me when I say that I know what will go off and I also know exactly when to play it. Here’s a hint, it isn’t at 9pm when the club is half empty.
There is a reason that the DJ in a good club is paid very well to do what they do; it’s because they are an experienced professional. I don’t come to your work and try to tell you how to suck cocks, so go away.
3. People who put their drink on the equipment
I don’t care how drunk you are, have some respect for the equipment. A hidden feature of that $3000 CD player isn’t that it doubles up as a really expensive drinks coaster for drunk people, so don’t even try to lean over and put your glass there. Also, the DJ isn’t a glassy so don’t try to hand them your empty glass either.
Oh and the DJ booth isn’t a cloakroom so you can’t leave your handbag here unless you want to find it full of beer when you return.
2. The aggressive douchebag
Seriously fuck you. The large majority of people in the club are there to have a good time with their mates, have a few drinks and dance. The last thing they want is you smashing them in the face because some pathetic reason like they looked at you the wrong way, spilt a drop of beer on your shoes or talked to some girl you had your eye on.
There is absolutely nothing that could happen in a nightclub to warrant you punching on with somebody in the middle of the dancefloor with a complete disregard for everybody else around you. The only thing you should be throwing on the dancefloor are shapes. If you want to fight, go and join a boxing gym.
Aside from the fact that you are a complete douchebag, you have also just killed the dancefloor that I’ve spent the past 30 minutes building up.
1. Paris Hilton and douchebag celebrity/model DJs
Talentless celebrity DJ’s give us real DJ’s a bad name. Most of the DJ’s I know are talented and get gigs because of their skill. They are professionals who love what they do and know how to rock any party. They also do a lot more that simply pressing play on a pre-recorded mix before dancing around on stage like an idiot and dry-humping the DJ gear.
Away from actually playing in a club, DJing involves finding great new music, producing your own tracks and remixes, plus so much more. At gigs a DJ should know what to play and when to play it, how to mix songs, and how to do a lot more than simply playing a track end to end whist fist-pumping like a guido. Hell, when I DJ in a club I won’t play a track for more than 90 seconds before dropping something over the top of it.
Celebrity DJ’s who use their name and/or looks to get gigs generally have no talent, no skill and often play pre-recorded sets with absolutely zero flexibility in playing for the crowd. Having a giant pair of fake boobs, eating a shit covered bug on season 79 of Big Brother, or having sex on some reality show, doesn’t make the music in a club any better.
Sure, by all means invite them to the club as a “celebrity guest” and give them free drinks all night but just don’t let them near the decks or promote them as the DJ. Real DJs work hard and practice their craft only to lose out gigs to a talentless waste of space who does a terrible job in the club and gives us all a bad name.