As a mobile DJ, one of the most important aspects of your job is taking song requests from your audience. After all, what’s a party without the music that everyone wants to hear? But taking song requests can also be one of the most challenging parts of the job, especially if you’re not prepared. That’s why we’ve put together this ultimate guide to taking song requests, with tips from some of the best mobile DJs in the business. So whether you’re just getting started or you’ve been doing this for years, read on for some great advice on how to make taking song requests a breeze!
Why take song requests in the first place?
Taking song requests from clients and guests is one of the easiest ways for mobile DJs to make sure that everyone at events has a great time. Not only does it save you from hours of selecting the perfect playlist for an event, but it ensures that all of your clients and guests’ favorite songs are given proper attention. As a mobile DJ, part of your job is to ensure your client’s vision comes to life and taking song requests is one way you can do that, as well as adding more fun and personalization to any event.
How to take song requests from your clients
As a mobile DJ, taking song requests from your clients can be a great way to add some personalization to your performances. Knowing how to manage these requests is essential in ensuring that everyone at the event has a good time.
- Notepad & pen – Simple but effective. As the guest approaches your booth, ask them to write their request/s on a notepad.
- Request cards – Either a business card or a specially printed card with a brief form for requests that they can then hand to you. Make sure you have your business details on for advertising.
- Phone number – give your guests a mobile phone number they can text requests to. Details can be on a business card, signage or announced.
Ideally, you will have the client’s song choices well in advance of the event. I try to have a list of about 30-40 songs they would like to be played, with any special tracks highlighted. Think about asking your client for any tracks they do not want to be played too.
Ask the client if they are happy with guest requests on the night – if not, you won’t have to worry about it on the night.
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Some booking software allows the client to send a link to their guests to submit song requests. It is better if the client can filter the list before you (the DJ) receive them. This is another great feature and makes the guests feel more involved in the planning process.
Think about the clientele – if you have children in the crowd, you’ll want to keep the music appropriate. Also, consider the size of the crowd and what types of songs would be best suited for them.
You cannot possibly own every song on the planet, so one option is to have a subscription to a streaming service. Many allow you to search within your DJ software and cue it up ready to play. Just weigh up the cost with the need to find songs you may be asked for.
Song request apps
One way to take requests on the night without being disturbed is with the help of a song request app. It can be a great way for mobile DJs to manage the requests of their guests and keep track of all the songs that are being requested. Apps like Request Now allow guests to request songs directly from their phones, making it easier and more convenient for everyone involved.
Virtual DJ has a feature built in called “Ask the DJ“.
Not only does this help keep the music flowing, but it also eliminates the need for people to approach your booth and interrupt your performance.
What to do with difficult song requests
As a mobile DJ, taking requests is all part of the job! But, it can be difficult when those requests come with specific instructions. You might have to stick within the genres or resist taking requests for the same song twice in a night; that’s when things start to get tricky! Thankfully, there are plenty of ways to make sure everyone can have fun without sacrificing your DJ career. First and foremost, if you’re ever unsure about a song request, communication is key – directly speak with the person making the request so you can agree on certain parameters.
How to manage song requests during your set
As a mobile DJ, managing song requests during your set can be a difficult balancing act. You want to add songs to your setlist that will keep the crowd moving, while also satisfying their individual requests.
Asking for a list of requested songs prior to your performance can be a great way to manage these requests by giving yourself time to plan ahead. Alternatively, you may choose to interact with the crowd on the spot and work their requests into strategic points in your set. Regardless of approach, ensuring that communication is clear and recognizing any special requests will help make sure that all listeners are getting the most out of the music.
Remember, you don’t have to play the request immediately! A good DJ should be able to take any request and make it a part of their set. That way, you ensure your client is getting the music they requested without sacrificing the overall experience for everyone else at the event. Make sure you don’t promise to play their song next if you have no intention of doing so, this may cause unnecessary issues.
The benefits of taking song requests
As a mobile DJ, allowing guests to submit their song requests can be a great way to keep your performance interesting and engaging. Not only does this give guests an opportunity to hear the songs they love – no matter how obscure or classic – it also gives you as a DJ the freedom to keep your repertoire fresh.
Taking song requests helps ensure that every time you play, you’re offering something new for guests to enjoy and keeping them dancing all night long. Plus, it’s an incredible way to break the ice and gets people in the party spirit right away. With song requests, you can always match your music selection with the party vibe at hand and make sure everyone has an amazing time!
There will no doubt be moments in your DJ career when you struggle to think of what you’re going to play next, or the current flow just isn’t working. Taking requests is a win-win, the guests feel like they’re important to give suggestions, and you get some ideas of what your audience wants.
- Make sure they are in the room – Not always easy if you have 200+ guests and lots of requests, but I have occasionally asked when a request will be played as they have missed it due to a loo break!
- Use a Roadie – Taking someone with you to your gigs is really useful to make the setup and pack-down process quicker and easier. This gives you more time to focus on the music and the crowd. As a mobile DJ, having a roadie with you can also provide a helping hand with song requests. They can take down requests from the crowd, and maintain a running list of what needs to be played.
- Use a separate playlist – Queue requests on a separate playlist on your laptop. It’s easier to see what you have left to play and it should also display relevant information, such as bpm, key, etc.
- Name check poor requesters – Some requests are a bit obscure. If you must play them – maybe the bride/best man/birthday boy has insisted on it – announce the song with who requested it, or who it has been dedicated to. That way the guests will not think you have lost your touch!
- Deny you have the song – If the song is just not going to work and it hasn’t been asked for by the client, you could tell them you don’t have it. A bit sneaky but it does work!
Taking song requests is an essential part of being a mobile DJ as it allows you to create a unique and exciting atmosphere for your audience. From having a reliable method to take requests, to knowing how to manage them during your set time, there’s no denying that taking song requests makes for an extraordinary show. By tailoring your performance to meet your crowd’s needs, taking song requests helps you reach maximum engagement and create the best possible experience for both yourself and the audience. With patience, practice, and the right attitude, you’ll be sure to see success from taking song requests from your clients!
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