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5 Rules for DJing

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1. Understand your audience.

If your audience is a millennial wedding and you don’t play “Paper Planes” by M.I.A. – you’ve lost. Ask people what they like. Get specific. Do they like Drake? Do they know any Migos songs? How about Little Big Town? Make sure you can connect with your audience using music they know and like.

2. Give people what they need not what they want.

You’ll get requests for everything. Barracuda by Heart. Free Bird. Taio Cruz’s latest. Eminem’s latest. The Bee Gees latest. When you get those requests figure out what’s behind it. That’s the need – fulfill that. Don’t just play what’s requested – it makes #5 below impossible.

3. Get the heartbeats of the room in sync with the rhythm. Then change the rhythm.

Your job as a DJ is to play to people’s heart. Literally the muscle beating in their chest. Raise the heart rate. Synchronize it to each other. But avoid the stasis of an equilibrium. Too much fast and everyone is tired. Too much slow and people are ready for a drink.

4. Don’t play what you want.

We know you love the obscure Boston hip-hop crew named Big Digits and the beats they put together on SxSWii. Just listen to it later when no one is on the dance floor.

5. Surprise.

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