Yes, that was a real post I saw earlier today. I was scanning the Craigslist postings for professional DJs in the New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania area to see what other Wedding, Event and Party DJs are doing. And I had to actually laugh out loud when I read the title of the post, “Yo! Where Are All The Good DJs?”
I have been a professional Wedding DJ and Party DJ for a long time and the thing I find the most fascinating is what people decide makes a good DJ, a good DJ and what makes a bad DJ, a bad DJ. In most cases, it is simply a good DJ is a DJ that plays music you like. It has nothing to do with skill, inspiring a crowd, high quality equipment, professionalism, ability to interact positively with guests or any actual ‘talent’. This makes sense since the music industry in general is taste, not talent, driven. The most talented artists rarely get known outside of the community of trained musicians themselves. Physical appearance, stage presence, production and music that meets the tatses a wide range of listeners is typically what earns the highest ratings and $$$. Also, the age of who the music appeals to is significant, since the music industry in the USA is driven by the 13-27 year-old demographic.
The professional DJ business is somewhat different. Aside from playing music you like, which any professional good DJ without an ego can do easily with modern technology, many people do not know how to choose a good DJ, so they use the few distinctions that they know like scratching and so-called ‘beat-matching’. Both of these skills are just a product of practice, there are no actual ‘talents’, since anyone who practices enough can do them. Talent is something that is demonstrated in a craft or art that practice alone is not enough. Some examples are athletes ands musicians. No matter how much I practice, I will never be as good an athlete as Kevin Durant or Derek Jeter. I will not be a vocalist like Adele or Andrea Bocelli or songwriter like Elton John or John Lennon. Some things cannot be taught, either you have them or you don’t. An exceptional professional Wedding DJ and Party DJ is similar, but maybe not as easily detectable to those on the dance floor, or to those who want to dance but can’t figure out why they are “Not in the mood tonight”. Here is where the subtle distinction between the exceptional professional DJ and the regular professional DJ exists.
What Is An Exceptional Professional or Good DJ?
The exceptional professional DJ inspires you to move even when you are not in the mood, too tired or have to get up early for work in the morning. An exceptional DJ is part of the inspiration that makes dancing such a fun, exhilarating and sometimes ecstatic experience. A great live band is still my favorite form of musical experience but an exceptional DJ can bring something else to the experience that can be equally inspirational.
What makes a good DJ in your experiences?