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Jeff Romard

Administrator
Staff member
ODJT Supporter
Sep 4, 2006
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18,560
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Sydney, Nova Scotia
The second half of That list SUCKS. Again, while a contract can talk about the djs creative freedom, it still allows the setting up of false expectations.
I can't speak for others but in my case there are zero false expectations. In inital consultations I make it very clear you can send me a list with 10,000 songs if you want I can potentially play 60-80 of them. I take requests and I keep a full dance floor. I will try to fit in what you want. Almost all I deal with are OK with that they want their guests to have a good time and trust me to do it. I've had one couple in the alst 15 years walk away they wanted their list in the exact order and I told them that wasn't for me. It may be a bit easier for me because almost all my gigs are referral and most have seen me before

This is the list for Saturdays wedding

Hey Jeff,

I’m just emailing some songs for our wedding.

Processional - Jenn & Anthony’s - Colin Grant

You pick the recessional and signing songs and anything else we may need like that

Bride & Groom First Dance: Perfect for me - Ron Pope
Daughter/ Father Dance - I loved her first - Heartland

** After the Daughter/Father Dance we want to get our wedding party & guests up
dancing. I am hoping we can play ‘We’re having a party’ by Rod Stewart, and
you can ask all of the Wedding Party to come up. We then want to play the ‘Mull
River Shuffle’ and want you to ask everyone to come up and dance. This is so my
videographer can get some fun footage :)

Here is a handful of must have wedding tunes I came up with so far:

Feel the same way to - The Rankins
I got a feeling - The Black Eyed Peas
I wanna Dance with somebody - Whitney Housten
Dancing Queen - Abba
Bohemian Rapcity - Queen
Call me maybe - Carley Rae Jepsen
Celebration - Kool and Gang
You make my dreams come true - Darrel Hall & John Oats
Sweet Caroline - Neil Diamond
Want to want me - Jason Derulo
Wannabe - Spice Girls
Man I feel like a woman - Shania Twain
Girls just wanna have fun - Cindy Lauper
Hypnotize - Biggie Smalls
Don’t stop Beliven - Journey
Sexy back - Justin Timberlake
Everybody - Backstreetboys
It’s raining men - Weather Girls
We are a family - Sister Sledge
Love Shack - B52’s
Good Feeling - Flo Rida
Truth Hurt - Lizzo
Feels - Calvin Harris
Boot Scootin Boogie - Brooks and Dunn
You are the best thing - Ray Lamantagne
Take my Breathe - The Weekend
Stay - Kid Laroi & Justin Bieber
How will I know - Whitney Houston
 
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DJ Ricky B

DJ Extraordinaire
Mar 9, 2015
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I limit requests... however I also have a consultation with them ahead of receiving the requests explaining why there is a cap on requests and how I get to the number of specified requests. What I do not have, and I think many dj's make this mistake, is a portal where clients can list endless amounts of requests.

Here's what I include in my follow up email and an example of how I break down request lists AFTER I have my finalization. (this is from an actual email I sent last night after my meeting with a november couple).
  1. 10-12 dinner songs (dinner is 30 min, so no more than that are necessary)
  2. 1-3 “slow” songs for couples
  3. 5 or so older requests for early on (as discussed these should around the 70’s or 80’s time period, and they'll be sprinkled in as you desired)
  4. 10-15 "throwback” (high school/college) songs for later on that you and your friends will really enjoy!
  5. 10-15 popular songs that are more current that you and your friends will enjoy for later (post-dinner)!
With DJ Event Planner, you CAN limit the amount of song selections the client can make for each particular list that you have set up. I can go right into the settings menu for the portal and set it up quickly. Now, I don't know if DJ Intelligence has the same ability, but I assume it would.

I let my couples choose a MAXIMUM of 20 songs for Dinner Music (Only like 20% of my couples choose any dinner songs at all they want to hear during dinner). I have never actually had 20 songs picked for dinner. Most I had a couple pick once was 16. Dinner here usually takes between 40 and 60 minutes to get through. Some dinners are 70 to 75 minutes, but that is either because the caterer was way slow, or the couple wanted some extra time to go around to tables to chat with people and/or get some pics taken before moving on with the toasts or parent dances. I can't stand it when dinners go over 75 minutes including the toasts. I start going nuts at that point

For "Must Play" - Maximum of 12 songs - About 50% of couples pick out 12 songs. 25% pick between 6 and 10 songs. 25% pick 5 or less songs.
For "Requests during dancing" - Maximum of 35 songs. - Most request lists I receive are between 10 and 20 songs. Maybe 10% actually take it to the max of 35 songs. I would say about 25% of couples don't pick out any requests at all.

So they get up to 47 songs they can choose for the dancing portion of the night. I tell all my couples they get 12 must plays, and I make sure they will be played no matter what. Everything else is a request. I don't take a large list, and work only off of their list. I did that way in the past. I don't do that any more.

I also let them customize if they want to hear line dances or if they want to make sure that absolutely no line dances will be played. They can also choose to pick the line dances they only want me to play as well. About 40% tell me to play line dances by request only (There is a request for at least one or two line dance songs 99% of the time) About 35% choose the line dances they want me to play, and when they do this, they usually choose like 4 or more line dances (I include Macarena, and Cotton Eye Joe on the list of possibilities and usually both are picked when they choose the songs themselves). The other 25% choose NO LINE DANCES EVEN IF GUESTS REQUEST THEM. Honestly, it's been this way for years now. I haven't seen the trend change either way. For a brief time back around 2012/2013 it seemed less couples wanted line dances, but it quickly came right back to the status quo.

I also let them choose cocktail hour songs if they want. The max is 15 for cocktail hour. About 20% choose any cocktail hour songs at all, and when they do, it's just 3 to 6 songs for cocktail hour. Most couples want jazz and standards/big band during cocktail hour. Some want upbeat, and modern. Some want a mix between the two. I have had 2 couples that wanted house/techno played during cocktail hour, and maybe about 5 that wanted country music during cocktail hour. I have had 2 couples in the past give me a set list to play during cocktail hour and both were many years ago. One of them was all obscure indie music.

My system works great for me. No complaints from anybody about having a limitation on the portal on their music.
 

rickryan.com

DJ Extraordinaire
Dec 9, 2009
18,317
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Hendersonville, TN
www.RickRyan.com
The second half of That list SUCKS. Again, while a contract can talk about the djs creative freedom, it still allows the setting up of false expectations.

I would’ve never been in this situation to begin w.
I'm not sweating it (but thanks for the confirmation). Already have setup the playlist as they required. Load it, randomize, hit play, sit there and wait until it's over. Cash the check and go home. The venue owner has been made aware of my concerns, end of story.
 

ProDJ Jose

Mobile DJ Consultant
Apr 19, 2016
59
130
Tampa Bay Area
As someone who takes pride in providing a high-quality personalized service, I make it clear to my clients that I'm the Professional, not them. I honor requests, but it's still my responsibility to know what to play and when to play them. Also, it doesn't matter how many songs a DJ has, if they can't read the crowd and create the desired atmosphere. Since I've always been selective with those I serve, I don't remember a time when a client ever told me that I could only play their choice of songs. 62 songs do not cover a 5 hour event.

I always look for clues and I'm careful to choose to serve my ideal clients.
 

MIXMASTERMACHOM

DJ Extraordinaire
Oct 16, 2011
12,145
1,598
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I don't do the same thing that Taso does but I like the way he does things. I don't care for a client giving me a super long list of songs they want played for their event. It's OK for some songs. Just don't go crazy. What I like to do if they insist on giving me a long list { which doesn't happen often} if their list isn't working are we allowed to switch things up a bit. If they say no then they can look to book another DJ. As others have said if their list isn't working and you are not allowed to change things up nobody will say it's the clients fault. They will say that DJ sucks and they shouldn't have booked that DJ. I would never throw them under the bus by getting on the mic and put the blame on them. If people came up to me then I would personally explain the situation. Now that first part before agreeing to do the event would need to be discussed just in case to avoid a terrible situation while performing at the event.

Also it great to get the list way ahead of time so if you don't have certain songs on that list you can try your best to them before the event.
 

MIXMASTERMACHOM

DJ Extraordinaire
Oct 16, 2011
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In the middle of the gig. Running the playList and zero dancers. It’s 36 degrees on this outdoor gig. I will be glad when this over. Cold gigs suck.
How were you dressed outside? Let me say you proved my point as to why I hate a client giving me a long play list. What happened once they said forget it and let you take control? I can guess. You nailed it and people danced up a storm? They also may not have wanted to dance because it was cold outside and really didn't want to be there. I know I wouldn't with it being that cold outside. No need on taking a chance of getting sick.
 

MIXMASTERMACHOM

DJ Extraordinaire
Oct 16, 2011
12,145
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In the middle of the gig. Running the playList and zero dancers. It’s 36 degrees on this outdoor gig. I will be glad when this over. Cold gigs suck.
You showed why I don't like a client giving me a long play list because in this case their list backfired on them. With all your years of experience, why didn't they just trust that you know what you're doing? I don't know if I would have done that event outdoors in such cold weather. No need of risking getting sick.
 

DJ Ricky B

DJ Extraordinaire
Mar 9, 2015
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[QUOTE="rickryan.com,
I won’t bore you with my whining. Suffice it to say this one sucked rocks. I’m done with outdoor, cold gigs. Never again.
[/QUOTE]

Yup.

When it comes to inquiries in November, December, January, February, or March even though it seems like it would be a totally illogical for a client to want to have an entire event outside, I always ask "Is the ceremony going to be inside or outside? Is the reception inside? "

I just asked that for a February 20th wedding I just booked a week ago. Luckily the bride has sense, and is going to have the ceremony indoors. It is a mansion wedding venue where ceremony is typically outside.

I am willing to do November ceremonies outside, but absolutely not the entire event. December through February event date and everything better be indoors or I'm declining the event. In March I'll do an outdoor ceremony if we are talking late March. Usually highs around here get to be around 55-62 degrees in late March.

My agreement basically says that we don't work outside in temperatures below 55 degrees under any circumstances. I did a cold misty outdoor wedding ceremony and it was 52 degrees outside. Worst ceremony I ever had to deal with. It started raining as the ceremony ended. It sucked and it was in early October on a off weather weekend. I added the rule to my agreement after that weekend.
 
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MIXMASTERMACHOM

DJ Extraordinaire
Oct 16, 2011
12,145
1,598
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The second half of That list SUCKS. Again, while a contract can talk about the djs creative freedom, it still allows the setting up of false expectations.

I would’ve never been in this situation to begin w.
You can say the second half sucks but it's what they want. The contract has been signed and he's been paid already. It's kind of tough in the beginning to talk about if someone wants to give you a play list to check it out first before you will agree to do the event. They will just look for someone else. All he can do at this point is use his great experience and hope all goes well. I think I said it before that if they give you a play list find out if you will be allowed to change things if their list isn't working. If they say no then I would pass. Of course if it's after the contract has been signed then there's nothing you can do but keep your fingers and toes crossed that things go well.

There's another thing that hasn't been discussed. What about a super long list that you know you won't be able to play every song on that list because there's not enough time? What would you do then?
 
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djtaso

DJ Extraordinaire
Apr 4, 2017
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NJ
www.djtaso.com
You can say the second half sucks but it's what they want. The contract has been signed and he's been paid already. It's kind of tough in the beginning to talk about if someone wants give you a play list to check it out first before you will agree to do the event. They will just look for someone else. All he can do at this point is use his great experience and hope all goes well. I think I said it before that if they give you a play list find out if you will be allowed to change things if their list isn't working. If they say no then I would pass. Of course if it's after the contract has been signed then there's nothing you can do but keep your fingers and toes crossed that things go well.

There's another thing that hasn't been discussed. What about a super long list that you know you won't be able to play every song on that list because there's not enough time? What would you do then?
Did you read anything i posted? As I said I’m never put into this situation because I have legit conversations with my clients to understand their expectations, and from there I structure the requests to be limited to a certain amount. I also explain why I chose a specific number as the limit. I also tell them where to focus for the best results.
 

MIXMASTERMACHOM

DJ Extraordinaire
Oct 16, 2011
12,145
1,598
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Did you read anything i posted? As I said I’m never put into this situation because I have legit conversations with my clients to understand their expectations, and from there I structure the requests to be limited to a certain amount. I also explain why I chose a specific number as the limit. I also tell them where to focus for the best results.
I'm not disagreeing with you. I like what you do. I'm talking about what took place in this case and what I've seen happen in other cases.
 

MIXMASTERMACHOM

DJ Extraordinaire
Oct 16, 2011
12,145
1,598
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Probably NOT! You can lead a horse to water.....

One thing outside of the DJs control is the weather. I have an outdoor wedding on December 11, and I'm praying for 70-75 degrees & no rain. :laugh:
You do have a choice as to if you agree to do that event outside in December. For me whoever planned that wedding to me wasn't thinking properly. I wonder how many guest will attend that wedding if the temperature is below 32 degrees? If I was invited to that wedding I would be sitting comfortably at home. I'm used to people dressing up for a wedding. What will they be wearing, winter coats and fur coats? :laugh:
 
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rickryan.com

DJ Extraordinaire
Dec 9, 2009
18,317
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Hendersonville, TN
www.RickRyan.com
You do have a choice as to if you agree to do that event outside in December. For me whoever planned that wedding to me wasn't thinking properly. I wonder how many guest will attend that wedding if the temperature is below 32 degrees? If I was invited to that wedding I would be sitting comfortably at home. I'm used to people dressing up for a wedding. What will they be wearing, winter coats and fur coats? :laugh:
In TN, everything past mid-October is a roll of the dice on how cold it will be. As DJ, we're also rolling the dice on how cold it is and in my own case this past weekend, I should have looked at the weather forecast closer and should have dressed warmer. Not sure that it would be wise to just wholesale write off last fall outdoor events but that's your decision. If nothing else, it makes me appreciate my own venue more. That building is well insulated and nice and toasty inside. I can suffer thru an hour (ceremony) but when you're cold for 4-6 hours, that's just not something I can physically withstand any more.
 
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