What makes a great wedding DJ?

What makes a great wedding DJ?

With software and some simple hardware anyone can market themselves as a wedding DJ.  These same people would never get through the front door of a club, but unfortunately many of them do get hired for weddings.  Given the emotional, financial and generational implications of weddings they are far more challenging and have a lot more riding on them than club gigs. So what makes a great wedding DJ?

Here are the 5 key factors that determine the quality of a wedding DJ:

 

1. Skills!

Pushing a button to a preset track does not a great wedding DJ make.  A true DJ knows how to use DJ equipment with turntables being the most desirable though CDJs are acceptable. It takes years of practice and experience to master the art and science of using multiple turntables, beatmatching, phrasing, slip-cueing, equalizing, phase shifting, harmonic mixing, beat juggling and song selection and doing it all seamlessly while keeping an eye on and the crowd to ensure that everyone is happy. DJing is the ultimate test of multitasking.  Think of it as akin to texting, fiddling with the radio while driving a car and still arriving safely.  It’s a tall order, and only a supremely skilled DJ can avoid crashing and burning.

2. Multi-dimensional experience.

What exactly does that mean?  It means a person has had varied experience playing for all sorts of clients, venues and events.  Not just parties, not just weddings, not just clubs. Each type of experience adds a layer to the skills and capabilities. Knowing how to accommodate different groups of people furthers musical knowledge, increases adaptability, ensures ability to troubleshoot and develops grace under pressure and helps make a great wedding DJ.

3. Encyclopedic knowledge of music

Yep that’s right.  The best DJs and especially great wedding DJs know virtually every record and track that’s been produced and have a voracious appetite for discovering new and old music.  They take pride in knowing all the remixes of an original track and can easily recall the number of times a song has been interpreted by different artists.  Mention an artist or a song you like and they’ll rattle off ten others that are similar and ten that are loosely related and another 10 that are completely unrelated but would appeal to you.   They build out the sound track to an entire night based on a couple of songs or artists you love staying away from those you hate, remind you of the favorites you forgot about and help you discover new ones!

4. HUGE library of tracks

It’s not enough to simply know about tracks and music.  You have to have it to play it. Enough said.

5. It’s all about YOU!

A great wedding DJ knows there is no such thing as one size fits all. Whatever you want, you should get, even the most out of the box requests, obscure musical preferences or unique religious traditions.  Best wedding DJs know how to diplomatically navigate your needs along with your guests’ wants and your venue requirements. You plan your wedding for months, looking for ideas and inspiration, why wouldn’t you ensure your music is as inspired and unique as the rest of your affair?