Okay, advice for the foreigner required

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Okay, advice for the foreigner required

Postby Hey-Mr.DJ » Fri Feb 02, 2007 4:05 am

Hey peeps. I've been a wedding DJ for over 15 years and 400 weddings, and I've been asked by a friend to DJ at his wedding next month.

What advice is needed you ask? Here's my problem:

I had my own DJ business back in my native Scotland, right up until the point that I emigrated here to marry my Midwest wife 4 years ago. I stopped DJing (always thought it was a single man's life), and had sold all my equipment (different power supply in the UK) so it's been a couple years since I was on the horse.

What are the "must-have" tunes from the last few years, as it's a loop I've been out of? What wedding traditions are different in the US to the UK? Who invented liquid soap and why?

These thorny questions are providing me with just a little more anxiety than I am used to with weddings.

I used to have a saying for nervous brides. "This might be your first wedding, but it's not MY first wedding"!
This feels at the moment like my first wedding...
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Postby Karl Langford » Fri Feb 02, 2007 10:26 am

Unless you are going to get back into djing, getting the good music from the last few years is going to be spendy.

You could go get the Now that's what I call music CDs from a store or you could visit Jones TM or RPM or Promo Only to get caught up. Either way it is not going to be cheap.

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Re: Okay, advice for the foreigner required

Postby Hey-Mr.DJ » Fri Feb 02, 2007 1:51 pm

I guess I am using this as a little bit of a trial run, with a view to possibly getting back into it.
I don't know about anyone else, but I never have those dreams where you are taking an exam and the clock says you have 5 minutes left, yet you haven't written a thing. I have the ones where I have a van full of equipment for a gig and I can't find the door to get in to the venue!!

I tried to quit, but I find myself critiquing the DJ everytime we go to a function with one. "Oooh, I wouldn't play Eminem next to Manilow - what is he thinking?!"

I've already been booked for a wedding in 2008, so I guess I may be looking at coming back, long-term.
5 years worth of music is, as you say, gonna be spendy, so what are the essentials I should use my iTunes gift cards on?
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Postby Karl Langford » Fri Feb 02, 2007 1:57 pm

Try this for starters

http://www.mobilebeat.com/top200.pdf

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Postby Hey-Mr.DJ » Fri Feb 02, 2007 2:08 pm

Thanks, Karl - that's a great help!
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Postby Karl Langford » Fri Feb 02, 2007 2:32 pm

That has music from many years. For newer stuff you could do a search for things like, Top songs for 2006 and just do each year or something.

Good luck,

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Postby djdonny » Sat Feb 03, 2007 7:54 pm

Mr. DJ,

If you don't mind the shameless plug, I think you're looking for my book, the DJ Music List. It's a checklist of about 2000 of the most popular DJ songs grouped by style and indexed by artist, with the chart years included. You should not only find the current hits you may be missing, but there also may be quite a difference you'll find between songs that were hits in the US as opposed to the UK. For $20, it's certainly worth the purchase!

Here's the link: http://www.djmusiclist.com/

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Postby CJ Greiner » Mon Feb 05, 2007 12:26 am

Hi "Hey-Mr. DJ"! -- welcome to DJGold.

Rotations has Music Compilations and Libraries that provide an excellent baseline for the music you'll need.

http://www.rotations.com/cd-libraries.asp?d=5

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Time Life Music also has collections that should help fill your library.

http://www.timelife.com/catalog/categor ... atalogId=1
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Re: Okay, advice for the foreigner required

Postby Hey-Mr.DJ » Fri Jul 13, 2007 2:23 am

Well, it's update time. I did the gig (managed to beg steal and borrow some of the tracks recommended here), and it was a roaring success.

Gosh darn it, I've still got it!!

Anyways, it convinced me that I should be doing this crazy lifestyle we know and love full time again, so I'm setting a business up here in the Metro Milwaukee area.

Reading through the many, many pages of this site has given me such a great number of handy tips and ideas. I ran a very successful multi-op disco and quiz business back in Scotland, so I believe I have a real handle on the customer service and actual DJing aspects of the job. It's the differences in musical tastes that I'll have to learn pretty quickly, but there are some cool books (yes, YOU Donny!) out there that I'm sure will help a lot.

What I have heard, however, is that the level of DJ cooperation (you scratch my back, etc.) that I'm used to is kinda rare round here. Is that true? I always had relationships with other companies such that, yes, we were competitors, but there was always the peace of mind of knowing that you could count on them in emergencies (equipment failure, illness, etc.)

Are there any Wisconsin DJs here that can confirm or deny this?
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Postby Dj Sean » Fri Jul 13, 2007 10:26 pm

Don't use itunes!!! Their songs are m4p's (protected) and won't play on most DJ's softwares. Well at least they won't play on my software.

If you download from itunes and then burn them to CD's they will work fine but not straight from the hard drive of a laptop or desktop.

Other than that, eveyone has recommended all the resources for music I could think of except for http://www.pandora.com is a good one for finding lots of good music. It's a web browser based music player that is FREE, and you don't have to download or install anything, just have to sign up with a email address.
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Re: Okay, advice for the foreigner required

Postby Dave Miller » Fri Jul 13, 2007 11:03 pm

Hey-Mr.DJ wrote:I ran a very successful multi-op disco and quiz business back in Scotland....

One thing you gotta do ASAP is use the American terminology. Nobody here is in the mobile disco business. We're DJs, Entertainers, MCs, but not discos.

And what's a 'quiz' business?


Hey-Mr.DJ wrote:What I have heard, however, is that the level of DJ cooperation (you scratch my back, etc.) that I'm used to is kinda rare round here. Is that true?

True. And false.

If you find ten random DJs, nine of them will either be too good to bother associating / networking, or they will think they are too good for it.

But keep looking. That tenth guy is out there.
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Re: Okay, advice for the foreigner required

Postby Hey-Mr.DJ » Sat Jul 14, 2007 12:06 am

Man, I've already had to lose aluminium, GArage and all my 'u's in colour and flavour and now you wanna take away my disco. Nooooooooo!
:D

In the UK I would do DJ gigs Friday, Saturday and Sundays and the rest of the week was taken up with Pub Trivia Quizzes. Not as lucrative as weddings, but a nice extra revenue stream for quiet nights!
Back on the chain gang....!
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Postby Dj Sean » Sat Jul 14, 2007 12:12 am

Are you enjoying the return to the DJ industry?? You gonna try and get some quiz/trivia gigs going where you live?

You mentioned after getting married you gave up DJ'ing. I always thought it was a great job for a married man or woman. More free time than most jobs (well I guess that depends), flexable schedule, loads of greater potential, and being your own boss is definitely the best perk.

Hey, and I say keep the accent, and native language, this is America, we have no native language!!
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Postby Hey-Mr.DJ » Sat Jul 14, 2007 12:28 am

Dj Sean wrote:Are you enjoying the return to the DJ industry?? You gonna try and get some quiz/trivia gigs going where you live?

You mentioned after getting married you gave up DJ'ing. I always thought it was a great job for a married man or woman. More free time than most jobs (well I guess that depends), flexable schedule, loads of greater potential, and being your own boss is definitely the best perk.

Hey, and I say keep the accent, and native language, this is America, we have no native language!!



There's a real feeling of "deja vu" having done all the groundwork before, albeit 15 years ago. As many things have changed as stayed the same.
I've refound the passion that a succession of crappy sales jobs couldn't provide and I'm excited (and a little daunted) by the prospect of getting back into it.

I'm hoping to get some Trivia Nights. I've presented a few for another company since I came here and was told my quizzes were very enjoyable and fun. It's a relatively untapped market here - in the UK it's huge. I'll be happy with a couple a week and see where that gets us.

As regards the accent, not only am I not getting rid of it, but it's providing me with my business name - Accent Events!
I just wish the internet had been around the last time I did this - I'm sure I'll be picking a few brains around here every now and again. You're never too good to learn other ways of doing what you do, I say...
Back on the chain gang....!
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