Do you actually know what a DJ does in the uncharted territory that is the DJ booth? Of course the obvious response would be “play music” right?! But do you ACTUALLY know how exactly a DJ accomplishes this task? Do you know if whether or not they are doing a good job? At one point in time, the connection between a DJ and their audience went deeper than just the music. An audience knew, understood, and respected the art of deejaying! They understood scratching, beat juggling, transitions, blending, beat matching, and the skill/technique needed to pull these things off. DJs were entertainers! Performers! The middle man that brought new music to their audience and presented the music in a way that left people in awe. Because of this, the crowd knew the difference between a good DJ and a bad DJ. Now let us fast forward to 2015. Walk into your typical bar and club and ask a random person if they know what a beat juggle is. I don’t have much faith in their answer being correct. It seems today that DJs are looked upon as nothing more than a living and breathing jukebox playing the latests tunes and taking requests. (DJs actually hate requests haha but that is a topic for another post) In this day in age, the road to becoming a DJ is much easier than it was in the past thanks to technology and the reputation is suffering because of it. Many people have come to believe that deejaying can be down simply by pushing some buttons. Well party people and music lovers, I’m here to connect you back with the DJs to let you know what to look for in a good DJ.
Track Selection & Ability to read and control a crowd – There is nothing worse than finally dancing with the guy or girl you have have been eyeing all night and the DJ drops the worse song possible! That high energy that once filled the room vanishes and is overtaken by the groans of confused and angry party goers. We have all been there before. A good DJ can keep the energy in flowing from high fisting bumping energy to smooth mellow energy. The ability to read and maintain the energy in a room can make or break a party. To get a step further, knowing when and how to change the energy in a room is equally as vital.
Transitions – So lets say the DJ isn’t like the DJ stated above and he is playing the right music at the right time. Thank God! For some reason though, the party just isn’t as fun as it should be. Yes he went from “Back That A** Up” to “The Twerk Song” and you should still be dancing but you’re just not feeling it. A good DJ can move effortlessly from one song to another. Going from one song to another without the right transition can lessen the impact of a great song on a crowd. Whether the transition is via beat matching and blending, scratching, or a sudden change to the next song and the perfect time, it needs to happen in a way that introduces the next song perfectly to the crowd.
Technique – Hearing a DJ pull of a scratch combo over a track or scratch in the words of a song is a sweet melody to my ears. Hearing a beat juggle or a DJ pull off the perfect tone play is a chance to watch and listen to a DJ perform.This may not be something that everyone notices but I believe it is something that many good DJs do. Many times, people may think that a DJ performing is just simply part of the song they are playing. What people fail to realize is that a DJ may be adding on to the song or creating a whole new song. However, most people do notice when a DJ does this wrong.
Can you think of anything else that you have noticed a dope DJ do? Send me a tweet with #GoodDJs with your opinion! In the meantime, check out a good display of good deejaying in my opinion here.