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DJ's: How successful would they be if they didn't work the crowd and only played.....


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Let me turn your question around: where would music be if bands only played what "the crowd" wanted to hear and only played the hits of others?

 

 

There are a lot of bands that DO do only that and are quite successful.

 

The Holy Grail---whether you're a band OR a DJ--is to find the right balance of both, of course. The BEST DJs are the one's who not only "play the hits", but do it in a creative manner. Same with the best bands. And the MOST successful DJs--the ones who earn money in the "top original band" range---are ones who don't necessarily play ANY hits at all, but are very creative in what they do.

 

The trick is---and I've been preaching this for a long time now---is rather than simply dismiss DJ--learn from what they do and improve upon it. There's far too many musicians simply sitting around bitching about DJs taking their gigs when what they should be doing is working on that combination of being as good as them in the areas that they can compete with them, and exploiting those areas in which DJs can never compete.

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I'd actually argue it's easier for a DJ to play songs the crowd doesn't know, at least with country. They can do this because (1) assuming a decent sound system, the song sounds good (2) if it's a big time artist, the artist's voice is recognizable (3) the DJ can call out a certain dance style and people will do it (4) the DJs go from song to song to song very quickly, and that makes up for a lot.

 

I think the biggest thing I've learned from watching DJs play is the last one, which is go from song to song very quickly. Unless you're a great storyteller, no one cares. Keep your comments brief, to the point, and preferable interupted by your band starting the next song. Again...unless you're a GREAT storyteller.

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I think the biggest thing I've learned from watching DJs play is the last one, which is go from song to song very quickly. Unless you're a great storyteller, no one cares. Keep your comments brief, to the point, and preferable interupted by your band starting the next song. Again...unless you're a GREAT storyteller.

 

Agree with this completely.

 

BTW, nice new avatar, Ward! Very cool logo. :thu:

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I think the biggest thing I've learned from watching DJs play is the last one, which is go from song to song very quickly. Unless you're a great storyteller, no one cares. Keep your comments brief, to the point, and preferable interupted by your band starting the next song. Again...unless you're a GREAT storyteller.

 

 

Yep.

 

The one thing I keep getting from watching DJs is that the ONLY thing they have over a live band is the ability to have 1,000 songs at their immediate disposal. And yeah....that's pretty big. But the other side of that is that EVERYTHING ELSE they do are not only things that live musicians can do just as well, but can do better. "Song-into-song"? Any band can do that if they really want to. And as far as connecting with the audience, building momentum, creating excitement? A five-piece band can do that FIVE times as well as any single DJ.

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Yep.


The one thing I keep getting from watching DJs is that the ONLY thing they have over a live band is the ability to have 1,000 songs at their immediate disposal. And yeah....that's pretty big. But the other side of that is that EVERYTHING ELSE they do are not only things that live musicians can do just as well, but can do better. "Song-into-song"? Any band can do that if they really want to. And as far as connecting with the audience, building momentum, creating excitement? A five-piece band can do that FIVE times as well as any single DJ.

 

 

Yep. Any I don't know how much of an advantage all those songs are because at some point there's a diminishing return.

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I thought most DJ's played the hits, the dance hits, and nothing but the dance hits.....however, we did a gig with a DJ and he was playing some off-the-wall stuff (Sonny Landreth?) and wasn't even on-stage most of the time. It was basically a fancy jukebox with stage lights. I guess it works for him. He DID keep the songs moving.

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Yep. Any I don't know how much of an advantage all those songs are because at some point there's a diminishing return.

 

 

Where the megga song list comes into play is that it allows you to keep the shows fresh in a small market where you play a lot. I know for us , the large pool of material is what sets our band apart from the rest of the pack down here, and allows us to play the same venue as a house act and keep attracting people back to shows. If a couple is in town for a week , we want them in the bar for dinner multiple times during that week. Changing up the music is as important as haveing steak night on mon, 35 cent oysters on tue, enchladas on wed, Pot roast on thurs, and a sea food buffet on fri and sat, and jam night on sunday.

 

Everything the place does is to get return visits and turn people into regular customers when they are down here. Now i understand that not everyone plays the hash house deal, but I dont think its good for a dance or party band to keep grinding out the same set list for the most part year in and year out. You will have songs that are always in the show , but it pays to keep things different , exciting and entertaining. We draw out of a main pool of stuff thats around 55o songs. We also have our evey show stuff just like most bands. Today is fat tue....so its gonna be a good deal of cajun stuff and the rest will get picked on the fly depending how the night is going. For us its about being entertainers more than the so called perfect set list in the perfect order.

 

We have a great party band down here and the number one critique is that ,, they have been doing the same stuff for years. Now this is not exactly true , but that is the impression you get when you see a show. They are well rehersed for sure , but its too predictable.

 

 

DJ or Band ,, you have to entertain people to make it work.

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I thought most DJ's played the hits, the dance hits, and nothing but the dance hits.....

 

 

Not the great ones.

 

The great ones play a tune from the 60's you might barely recognize while underlaying a beat some kid in Brooklyn just put together and sold out of his trunk last weekend. All the while sprinkling in MJ's horn licks from Rock With You. Then he builds to something else but not something else, in sections of over and underlayment (sideways down too), all building to a prolonged pre-ejaculatory head and body space.

 

And the fact you barely recognize that 60's tune is mute. At that point, right?

 

The job is to get people in a state. Plain and simple.

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I got mistaken for a BMI auditor last night,

the karaoke DJ thought I was gonna sue him.

He says he'd already been sued for $4,000 in Knoxville and that they were about to start on the Nashville area.

....tons of stuff about this issue I don't understand.

 

I DO understand that it's better to be mistaken for a rockstar than an auditor

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Not the great ones.


The great ones play a tune from the 60's you might barely recognize while underlaying a beat some kid in Brooklyn just put together and sold out of his trunk last weekend. All the while sprinkling in MJ's horn licks from Rock With You. Then he builds to something else but not something
else
, in sections of over and underlayment (sideways down too), all building to a prolonged pre-ejaculatory head and body space.


And the fact you barely recognize that 60's tune is mute. At that point, right?


The job is to get people in a state. Plain and simple
.

 

 

move from background wallpaper to somthing that people are actually paying attention too. become an entertainer.

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Exactly. You can only play so many songs a night. And if you give them 40 great ones nobody is going to miss the other 960 great ones you MIGHT have played instead.

 

 

That works for you guys great because you are always playing for a different crowd due to the fact that you play pvt events. For us we have to keep things different because even though we are in a resort , we have to get those people back in two or three times out of the 7 to 14 days they are in town. In the winter its harder... they are in town for 4 to 6 months. Differnt strokes. Most bands are working a limited number of venues in a limited local. I think changing up your great songs can pay off.

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That's a pretty bold statement and in my opinion, not true.

 

 

FIVE times was an exaggeration I used to make a point, but the basic premise is sound: More people on stage working to connect with the audience is better than one. Which is why full bands are almost always more entertaining than solos or duos. Of course, not everyone in the band is going to be a dynamic presence or good performer, nor need to be, but a good band will have many more tools at their disposal to connect with the audience and should work to take advantage of that fact.

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That works for you guys great because you are always playing for a different crowd due to the fact that you play pvt events.

 

 

You STILL only play so many songs on any given night though. That's my point. Not that any band only needs a finite number of songs. (FWIW, we have many more than 40 because we might offer a vastly different setlist from one gig to the next depending on the event. Case in point: a couple of weeks from now we're playing a 60's themed party. So we'll be dusting off a lot of old classic rock tunes we haven't played for awhile and dressing in period garb.)

 

But even for a DJ with 1,000 songs, he's still only going to play so-many on any night. The trick is to play the RIGHT ones. Or, sell them in such a manner that they BECOME the right ones.

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The original intent of the OP was interesting though. What are DJs doing that bands can learn from. MOMENTUM. Like sex, building and building. With a DJ, it's easy for us band geeks to overlook them and say, "They're just playing other people music". Fair enough. They are. And by doing that, they are freed up to really pay attention to what is happening in the booties, groins and hearts of their audience.

 

Put your foot on the pedal and control it. Building momentum, backing off without losing pressure or steam. Laying into it again, all building to a climax. Take a break, we'll back to finish you off in 15...

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