I was chatting to a dancer at an event recently while I was waiting to begin my DJ slot. It turned out that she assumed that DJs have a pre-prepared set list which we play and maybe tweak a little as we go along.
Most of the DJs I know don’t use pre-prepared lists and certainly Lindy Jazz DJs me and Andy don’t. Instead we choose what we are going to play “on the fly” responding in real time to the energy in the room, the mood and previous DJ choices. You will see us watching the floor with our earphones on sifting through our music collection choosing the best track to play next. Quite often we will choose the next track and then change our mind literally seconds before it is due to start and replace it with something better!
Its a lot more effort and takes a lot of concentration to DJ like this which is why I don’t dance while I am DJing at events and socials, but I believe it gives the best musical experience for the dancers. Its good fun doing things on the fly and it keeps me on my toes!
Thats not to say that I don’t have a mental wish list of tracks I really want to play, especially when I have just acquired something new and am excited to see the dancers reaction, but if the mood isn’t right for it then it stays on the wish list for next time.
So when you see me at the DJ desk looking like I’m concentrating I probably am! and its all to give you the best experience I can.
Great post – yes, yes, yes! Especially changing your mind seconds before the next song. 🙂