How long have you been a DJ and what are your likes and dislikes about this business?

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MIXMASTERMACHOM

DJ Extraordinaire
Oct 16, 2011
13,392
1,898
64
This is my 34th year all together. I love that I now use a laptop, DJ software program and all my music is on a 2 TB portable HD. I fought for a long time to stop using CD's and become a computer DJ. That part is great for me. The problem is when someone becomes a DJ thinking being a DJ is super easy today and it's easy money to be made.

A big dislike of mine is that today you have to seriously look for clean versions of songs. Some DJs don't see it as a big deal. I certainly do! I look to do classy events instead of trashy ones. Another thing is those guest at an event who keep coming up to you repeatedly to make request or try to tell you what to do. I don't have a problem with people making request. I just hatr the ones that are over bearing. They keep bugging you even though they are not the one paying you.
 
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MIXMASTERMACHOM

DJ Extraordinaire
Oct 16, 2011
13,392
1,898
64
Let me tell a little funny story. Well over at least 12 years ago I was doing an event and some guy that had been drinking came up to me to ask if they could play some music on my setup. I was using CDs then and only have the amp I bought when I first started from that setup. I politely told them I got it and kept doing my job.
 
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So Cal Hugh

DJ Extraordinaire
Mar 8, 2008
3,111
308
58
Cheyenne, WY
www.anewsong.com
From 1987 to about one year ago - willing to work, just moved to a very small town in a very sparsely populated county - but worked a lot.

I love the entertainer part. I am known for my MC skills and humor. I hate modern music (content being offensive mostly), and what the net has done to deeply splinter music genres and preferences. I also can't stand the attitude of too many young couples. Way too entitled.

Also can't stand how too many DJs today won't help other DJs, but talk down to them. Not so much on ODJT, but on FB, Twitter, etc.

I actually have one more wedding on contract for an older couple, and one more promised to a coworker who really shouldn't marry the girl. Then, it's just free or low paying community events for me.
 

Bob Kreider

DJ Extraordinaire
Feb 12, 2016
142
268
Kennewick WA
43 years and still like everything about the business. I have my business for sale and hope to find someone as eager and enthusiastic as me to take over. I don't really have a good reason to get out, except it's time to slow down a bit. Really isn't anything I dislike.
 
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sawdust123

Moderator
Staff member
ODJT Supporter
Nov 10, 2006
1,471
3,454
60
Ventura County, CA
I began in radio around '78 while still in HS. I then did fraternity parties all through college. I started doing house parties after college and this led to my first wedding for a friend. That wedding led to four more and soon I made a small business out of it. Nearly all of my business was referral based. I had no interest in being a full-time operator. I was picky about the clientele I would work for. As a result, I never had any of those problem clients that make people hate their work. I never minded situational problems. Those came with the territory. I just didn't want to deal with assholes.

I prefer reunions or weddings for older couples. Mitzvahs, teen events and college crowds would be in my no-go zone. A lot of that has to do with the fact that I've become an old codger that dislikes much of the new music that is popular.

I never much cared for hauling gear but I have got to say, that has only gotten easier with age. The gear has gotten smaller and lighter and my vehicles have gotten bigger.
 

DJ Ricky B

DJ Extraordinaire
Mar 9, 2015
7,315
5,752
40
Man, the members of ODJT are really showing their age. It's obvious that DJs are an aging group.

I'm one of the younger ones and I did my first gig along with my Dad in 1995 at the age of 13. Didn't technically start deejaying mobile events until 99, and did my first wedding in 2000. So, 22 years in the game now. I'm 39, and not sure if I will still be doing this when I am 59 years old. I feel there will be so many more changes between now and then in the industry. I can't be sure about another 10 years down the road. So much is likely to happen in the events industry. I'll post my dislikes and likes later on.
 

ProDJ Jose

DJ For Life!
Apr 19, 2016
82
205
Tampa Bay Area
I started the art of mixing records back in 1979. While living in Washington Heights, a very young George Morel introduced me to mixing records. He took me to his apartment located right next to the school yard where I played softball and showed me his 1200s. I was hooked!

What I love about the Mobile DJ profession is that there's a lot to learn and you can get rich if you become a successful EDM producer.

What I despise most, is the attitude of some Mobile DJs that I've come in contact with over the decades. They had no desire to improve, lacked integrity, and yet claimed to love being a DJ.

This forum is the one place where there are a few DJs that I admire & respect. They are willing to share freely and for that I say, "thank you!"
 

Ausumm

Gold Plated Productions
Oct 21, 2008
11,975
14,784
59
Bethlehem PA
Started in radio in 1981 at the age of 17, and became a mobile DJ a short time later.
I love EVERYTHING about the business, even the manual labor.
The only thing I don't like is having a crowd that has NO interest in having a good time.
 
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DJ Ricky B

DJ Extraordinaire
Mar 9, 2015
7,315
5,752
40
What I like:
- Earning over $50 per hour of my total time on each event doing what I love
-Being the person in charge of the music! :)
- Continuous learning about things. Always learn something new every year it seems
- Performing and Completing Events provides a HUGE Feeling of Accomplishment! - We as the DJ earned that money, provide a valued service to our clients, and do it our own way without a boss managing us

What I dislike:
- Weddings that start at like 4:00 p.m. or earlier like 3 or 2 p.m. For me, they basically take up my entire day because I usually have to leave so early for them. I wouldn't mind a 1 p.m. wedding assuming it ends at like 6 p.m. That gives me time to load back into storage, and maybe do something at night time if I Wanted to. But a 2 to 8 p.m. or a 3 to 9 p.m. kinda just sucks IMO. It just takes up my entire day, and can't even go grab a quick lunch before heading out.
-LONG load in locations
-Lots of Stairs, No Elevator...THAT SUCKS!
-Dealing with Bad Planners (Thankfully I have had all good ones over the last few years! )
-Dealing with a group not interested in dancing at all. Have not done one of those kinds of events in a long time thankfully.
 
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MIXMASTERMACHOM

DJ Extraordinaire
Oct 16, 2011
13,392
1,898
64
One other thing I love is an event went very well with people giving great compliments and sometimes a tip. I learned a valuable lesson. Don't go crazy when doing an event and there's not a lot of dancing. It happens occasionally. I'm just glad it hasn't happened in a very long time.
 
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So Cal Hugh

DJ Extraordinaire
Mar 8, 2008
3,111
308
58
Cheyenne, WY
www.anewsong.com
43 years and still like everything about the business. I have my business for sale and hope to find someone as eager and enthusiastic as me to take over. I don't really have a good reason to get out, except it's time to slow down a bit. Really isn't anything I dislike.
I want to. How have you listed, marketed, etc? If you find two buyers, let me know.
 
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adj2ent

DJ Extraordinaire
Oct 20, 2006
1,301
2,806
63
Long Island NY
47 years here not counting the 3 years I was making/playing tapes for when my father’s band took a break. I’ve seen a lot change over the years, the biggest was incorporating video and computers in the early 80s. That changed the whole trajectory of my business open the doors to karaoke, intelligent lighting and touring. The best part as being able to employ my friends. The highlight was and when my kids & I were on the road together. Both my son and daughter were able to be lead on events before they able to drive the van. The other perk is to be able travel to conferences and conventions. There is always something new to learn even though I consider myself in the tail end, I’m still out there attending stuff. The bad, everything Eventually turns into work and I’m not too crazy about the new music now.
 

Jeff Romard

Administrator
Staff member
ODJT Supporter
Sep 4, 2006
21,300
20,224
52
Sydney, Nova Scotia
39 Years this weekend. I did a couple of gigs with my soon to be uncle in October 83 and on November 12 he put me out in a rural firehall with a stack of records a turntable coffin a Bogan 100 watt amp and a pair of Traynor columns. In hindsight I should have been nowhere near that wedding for a variety of reasons but it went well and I did their 25th anniversary in 2008 :)

I love pretty much everything about the business. Carrying gear is getting a little old but I`ve lightened the load considerably over the years. The new music doesn't turn me on but I can get by that I still have an ear for it. The long late drives home are sometimes a bit much but other nights I enjoy the peace and open road. Some nights are better than others but all in all I still like doing it
 

Jeff Romard

Administrator
Staff member
ODJT Supporter
Sep 4, 2006
21,300
20,224
52
Sydney, Nova Scotia
- Weddings that start at like 4:00 p.m. or earlier like 3 or 2 p.m. For me, they basically take up my entire day because I usually have to leave so early for them. I wouldn't mind a 1 p.m. wedding assuming it ends at like 6 p.m. That gives me time to load back into storage, and maybe do something at night time if I Wanted to. But a 2 to 8 p.m. or a 3 to 9 p.m. kinda just sucks IMO. It just takes up my entire day, and can't even go grab a quick lunch before heading out.

If I was looking for those weddings I would never play :) Weddings around here are usually ceremony 2 or later dinner at 5 or 6 dancing 8 or 9-1
 
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adj2ent

DJ Extraordinaire
Oct 20, 2006
1,301
2,806
63
Long Island NY
Wow, totally different than in New York. Here weddings fit into the 12-5 and 7-12 timeframes. If they are get married at the venue add on a 1/2 to the start. It was very common a my high point to do a afternoon wedding & then a evening wedding in different locations. Many times I was solo unless they had a large package. Nothing in catering halls went O/T even the PM events. Earlier on when the weddings were that a venue like a VFW or American legion some of those would go into O/T. Usually with someone like The Godfather, asking how much for O/T, handing you cash and telling you to put on some Sinatra.
 

Jeff Romard

Administrator
Staff member
ODJT Supporter
Sep 4, 2006
21,300
20,224
52
Sydney, Nova Scotia
Wow, totally different than in New York. Here weddings fit into the 12-5 and 7-12 timeframes. If they are get married at the venue add on a 1/2 to the start. It was very common a my high point to do a afternoon wedding & then a evening wedding in different locations. Many times I was solo unless they had a large package. Nothing in catering halls went O/T even the PM events. Earlier on when the weddings were that a venue like a VFW or American legion some of those would go into O/T. Usually with someone like The Godfather, asking how much for O/T, handing you cash and telling you to put on some Sinatra.

In a lot of areas near me the Legion or the church hall is the community hall and the only hall. These days the liquor laws are tight so whatever time is on the license I the shut down time . Back in the day it wouldn't be strange to be booked till 1 and there until 3 or 4AM but back in those days it was rare to do dinner music or ceremony to so in reality it was most times a shorter than it s today
 

Albatross

DJ Extraordinaire
ODJT Supporter
Sep 7, 2016
2,983
7,910
I consider my real start June of 2001, which is when I started subscribing to Promo Only. But I had done some community stuff and things for friends even before that. So this coming June will be 22 years of working at this professionally.

I love a lot of things about it:
  • Music and getting to use art to create emotions for people.
  • The energy I get from a crowd of people dancing and really enjoying themselves.
  • The creativity of learning new ways to present songs that people have heard many times over.
  • Helping people make great memories from one of the most important days of their lives.
  • The flexibility that I've still been able to pursue another full time career while maintaining this work.
  • The financial freedom of having a meaningful supplemental income to boost my lifestyle and savings rate at the same time.
  • Technical knowledge on how to produce events at a higher level is a never ending pursuit.
  • Relationships that I value with other DJs in the field and other partners in the event production space.

The parts I don't like:
  • Missing opportunities to spend time with family and friends on weekends when they are most often available.
  • The wear and tear on the body after a long weekend of lugging heavy gear around.
  • The demands on either a housing or storage situation, as well as vehicle needs in order to handle the logistics of the business.
  • Being disrespected by a guest at an event because of they are putting their selfish wishes ahead of the success of the broader goals for the event or host's wishes for an event.
  • Every stinky loading dock and gross commercial kitchen I've had to roll my stuff through.

I've gotten much larger net-gain from being a DJ. It's a business I've had a lot of fun with and has created lots of other opportunities for me to learn and have fun.
 

DJ Forbes

DJ Extraordinaire
Jul 30, 2021
276
654
46
I did my first DJ gig just about 1 year and 1 month ago to the day. So I'm a 1 year veteran. At the young age of 46, Here is what I have...

Likes:
  • Seeing the smile on people's faces when their song is played.
  • Being able to take my clients and their guests on a musical experience that lets them sing, dance, remember a great memory, embrace a loved one, or just forget all about their problems, if only for 3 1/2 minutes at a time.
  • Getting paid for doing something fun that I don't consider work.
  • Current technology... rarely if ever do I have to tell someone (I don't have that song). With internet almost anywhere and the ability to have thousands of songs available on a device that easily fits in my pocket, we're just really lucky these days.
Dis-likes
  • The weight of great sounding 18" subs
  • Missing out on Saturdays with my family
  • Never knowing if I'm really "good enough" to keep doing what I love doing.