Of all the many choices that we are faced with when we stand behind the decks and play, a common concept gets brought up time and time again. A concept that is ruminated over by both the new DJ and a seasoned DJ.
SHOULD I PLAY A SONG UNTIL THE END IF PEOPLE ARE ENJOYING IT?
There are quite a few variables to answer this, so I’ll give you my take on it. For me it comes down to the following five points:
- HOW LONG IS THE SONG?
If you have a dancefloor full of people rocking out at two minutes in of the track, but it’s a seven minute track, chances are that even though they are enjoying it at two minutes, they might be bored shitless of the riff by five minutes. Then you have a bored dancefloor waiting the last two minutes of the song out.
In my opinion this is a risky move as potentially you will lose their interest and just like that the dance floor halves.
2. WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO REPLACE IT WITH?
If you are already on a winner with the track that you are playing, the aim is to keep the energy of that dancefloor at the same level with the incoming track. It doesn’t even matter if you change genre’s (unless you are going from psytrance to slow dubstep, not sure that would be anything but roadkill but prove me wrong).
The trick is that you want the track to energetically meet the D floor at the same level.
3. BE SPONTANEOUS!
It’s always a powerful asset for a DJ to be spontaneous. The majority of DJ’s prepare their set in advance which can be great piece of mind. Personally, when I prepare my set, I will add in extra songs to play in case one of my tracks that I thought might work, isn’t working. Then, I have the extra ones there to creatively mix in so that I can get the track that isn’t working, the hell out of there, even if it’s only 1 or 2 minutes into the track.
Remember, it’s not a personal thing when people don’t vibe with your selected track, sometimes it’s a timing thing but at the end of the day, you need to be masterful at reading the crowd.
4. ARE YOU BORED WITH THE TRACK?
You will come across this quite a bit when you are totally in the zone and immersing yourself in your craft. A track will be playing and people might be loving it, but as you are scrolling through your library for the next track you see something you just have to play RIGHT GODDAMN NOW.
You’re the sorceress, it’s your magic, so if that’s what you choose to do then change whenever you feel, but just make sure you remember point #2 in this list. As much as there are elements about being a DJ that is all about you, it’s also really important to remember about the magic you are creating for others.
5. SONGS YOU WILL BUY SPECIFICALLY FOR THIS PURPOSE
There are songs that I buy specifically to be fillers. What I mean by that is, I’m never going to use them to play the whole way through. Those tracks for me are ones with a great beat that you can play in the background of another track in order to enhance it more, plump up the jam so to speak. For me, I buy these songs just to be able to loop them in with another track for maybe only 32 bars and then BOOM, it’s out the door! It’s great to have these fillers in your library so look out for them and keep them in a folder all of their own. The ones with great bass lines for the party sets or the flowy instrumentals if you are more conscious dance inspired
As you get to know your library more intimately, you will know which songs will sound great together and you can start building crates just around that. The learning potential and creative expression is endless.
Keep up the great work Sista’s!