Frequently Asked Questions

Q) What do you play?

I play what the client and their guests want! I enjoy and am familiar with a very wide variety of music; everything from pop, rock, country, R&B, Rap, and everything from the 50's to today. I can cater to any crowd and any age group!

Q) Do you use professional equipment?

Yes, I do, the stereo equipment found in your typical living room simply will not perform well and does not have the durability. When someone uses consumer equipment for a dance it is not a matter of "if it will break" but a matter of "when it will break", the DJ may be able to perform at multiple dances before this happens but it will happen. Consumer grade electronics are not designed to operate continuously at volumes required for dance halls. Furthermore, professional equipment is designed to withstand the constant abuse of being transported, carried, hooked-up, unhooked, hauled, and re-transported, and after all of this still perform as needed. Furthermore, when a DJ invest in professional equipment it is also an indication that he/she is taking the job seriously. Most DJs that have invested in professional equipment have spent $10,000 or more! Whereas home audio equipment can be obtained for roughly 1/10th of that price.

Q) Do you have backup equipment?

Yes, at every dance I bring multiple amplifiers and four speakers even though I only need less than half the equipment. I then operate at 50% power or less and in the unlikely event one system fails I will be able to immediately turn up the volume on the other system with minimal interruption. I do not believe there would be any value of having a backup system if it is sitting at my house!

Q) What do you wear to events?

For weddings and formal events I strongly believe your DJ should give a professional appearance, so I wear a suit and tie, unless you explicitly request otherwise. However, I will only "dress down" to business causal for these types of events, I do not believe it is appropriate for your DJ to be wearing jeans and an old t-shirt when performing at a wedding. For informal events I will wear what is appropriate for the event; business casual or if there is a theme party I may participate accordingly (as long as I am able).

Q) How much experience do you have?

I have over twenty years experience as a disc jockey and have performed a wide variety of events from bars/clubs, to birthday parties, to barn parties, to weddings. However, I mostly perform at weddings. A "warning" to anyone who is "shopping" for a disc jockey: be wary of disc jockey companies who advertise they perform at 1,400 weddings a year and they have 100's of years of experience. While it likely these are true numbers, if you add up all the weddings and years of experience for all of their disc jockeys, it is an absolutely meaningless number. You need to know how much experience the disc jockey that will be at your event will have. If you have an event as important as a wedding you do not want a disc jockey who is learning on the job, this type of person should be getting his/her experience at a bar or other event where the stakes are not as high.

Q) How do you know what to play?

First and foremost I talk and listen to what you tell me you would like to hear; type of music, song titles, favorite artists, etc along with what you think your guests may desire. Then based on experience I am able to build a play list around those tastes and preferences. While performing I then pay close attention to what the crowd is responding to and what is getting people out on the dance floor. I then again rely on experience to build a new play list to keep the crowd dancing as much as possible. Finally, I am continuously researching the music scene to discover what is currently "hot" and what is currently "up and coming". For example, I have found that Billboard's Top Dance Club songs is an excellent resource to determine what new dance songs should be added to my library. However, it always comes down to experience and listening to what you and your guests desire!

Q) Do you take requests?

Yes I do although I do take into account what you have asked me to play and not play. For example, there are times when a client will specifically ask me to not play a certain song. Obviously, if that song is requested I will not play it. I also won't play songs that are inappropriate for the event, for example songs that are filled with cuss words or that are sexually explicit at a school dance or at most weddings. Finally, using my best judgement and experience, requests will be worked into the playing list. For example, it would never make sense to play Miranda Lambert's "White Liar", during the dollar dance!

Q) Do you have a contact?

Yes, I do and believe a contract is important to avoid misunderstandings. It clearly will state the date, time, and location of your event and what is to be expected from your DJ. By having every thing in writing it prevents your DJ from saying, "I thought....", "I didn't know", etc. It offers you some protections. For example, every single time I have heard a DJ cancel, there has been no contract in place. The last thing you need to worry about is finding a new DJ the day before, or day of, your event!

A contract avoids surprises and helps guarantee I understand fully what you are expecting the day of your event.

Q) Why do Disc Jockey rates vary so much?

Rates can vary greatly depending on the DJ, his/her level of experience, services offered, type of event, and a variety of other factors. Be sure, when selecting a DJ, that he/she will offer you a show that matches your tastes and needs and has the equipment necessary to provide them. There are some "budget DJs", not all, that do not use professional equipment and this is important, especially for the sound equipment. A home amplifier and speakers, playing at high volumes for several hours, is at risk of burning out. If you hire a budget DJ just be sure to ask plenty of questions. Some high end DJs will offer you a powerful light show and a significant amount of entertainment, the question you need to ask yourself is whether or not you need those services.

Q) Why do DJs often charge more for weddings?

It goes without saying that weddings are far more important than a birthday party, barn party, or dance at your local bar. When a DJ books an event he/she has an obligation to spend a much greater amount of time planning and preparing for it. This time should include an in-person meeting with the bride and groom to discuss the event and what you desire for it. It should also include multiple contacts over the phone or over e-mail and the DJ should be willing to purchase any song that you desire, especially if it is the couple songs for the first dance, bridal party dance, father/daughter dance, mother/son dance, etc. However, the number one most important aspect of a wedding DJ is he/she should have EXPERIENCE whereas a DJ you find at a bar, or who has birthday parties does not need as much experience. Never hire a DJ, for a wedding, who is just getting started unless you have seen him/her perform elsewhere and are personally familiar with his/her abilities. Disc Jockey prices are all about market demand, when a DJ performs at a bar or birthday party he/she is competing against lower rate, less experienced DJs and therefore must adjust prices accordingly.

Q) Have you ever cancelled an event?

No, I have never cancelled an event and I can assure you that I will do everything in my power to make it to an event I have agreed to do and I will work hard to find a replacement should circumstances arise which would interfere with my ability to perform at your event (for example a extreme family emergency).

Q) Why can't I just get an IPod/computer and hook it up to a computer for my dance.

A couple things to consider, first you will want to be sure you have equipment that is capable of playing at a high volume for several hours and what it will cost you to get it. Your typical home stereo system is not designed to perform continuously at high volumes for four hours or more. Use of home stereo equipment in a dance setting comes with a high risk of causing permanent damage to both the amplifier and speakers. While many have successfully used a home stereo system others have had either a high repair bill or found it cheaper to buy a new system after their wedding (definitely not a way to save money).

Second, you will need to be sure someone keeps an eye on that equipment since nearly everyone has a friend or family member that will walk over and mess with it. For example, several years ago I saw an uncle walk over and violently yank the cord out of the wall. In short, part of paying a DJ is that you will not need to worry about obtaining the equipment, hooking it up, watching it, and making sure it is returned to its owner(s).

Furthermore, any DJ who has been in the business for any amount of time has a large library of music with a wide variety of music, far beyond what is found in most personal collections. Your DJ is able to service requests during the event from this wide variety and play what your various guests are interested in hearing. With an IPod/computer wedding you will need to put your list together ahead of time and just let it play, unless you have someone watching over it who will be running the equipment, but then you have a "DJ".

Finally, a DJ is able to do more than just play music he/she can provide many of the following services: master of ceremonies, announcing special songs, arranging the dollar dance, fulfilling requests, use of equipment for speeches, and the list goes on.