10 Types of People Who Make Requests (And How To Handle Them)

I am the DJ not a jukebox

Unless you're a superstar DJ/producer, the truth is you will at times have to handle requests. It's a fine line between respecting your audience and becoming a human jukebox, though. Here we show you how to deal with unwanted requesters. Pic: spreadshirt.co.uk

Some DJs refuse to take any requests and others won’t even talk to anyone making them. But my take on requests and people who approach the DJ booth is that you should treat them case by case. Being open to requests can sometimes even help you if you’re having an off night or playing at a new venue that you don’t know so well.

However, being too soft and playing anything anyone asks for is the ultimate way to ruin your set and look weak and foolish. After all, surely a DJ is more than a human jukebox? So from my experience, here are 10 types of people who tend to approach the DJ booth, and how to deal with them.

1. The flirty girl

Flirty girl

The flirty girl trick can work on male DJs, but try not to agree to play something you rather wouldn't. Pic: sodahead.com

Invariably, whether you’re a club DJ, bar DJ or house party tune selecta, there’s a flirty girl who approaches the booth at some point during your set, smiling and making eye contact as she comes up to you.

This girl is used to getting her own way with that smile, especially when a man is controlling the decks.

She may lean forward slightly to reveal a little cleavage as she begins talking, and she’ll keep eye contact. She knows what she’s doing.

What does she ask for? More often than not, chart hits like Black Eyed Peas, Lady Gaga or Rihanna. Sometimes, she can take actually your breath away with the sheer cheesiness of her requests.

Occasionally though, she may ask for something with some taste and originality.

How to handle her
If the tune she’s asking for is completely out of sync with the music theme or policy for that night, then politely explain to her that it’s not the moment for that track to be played. Be friendly and smile as you speak; she’ll accept your message more graciously.

On the other hand, if the party you’re playing at is a cheesy chart busters’ haven with college fratboys, it’s getting late and you feel you can play that kind of chart music, then consider going for it. Don’t play her track immediately, though, or she’ll think you’re soft and come back every five minutes to keep requesting more songs.

Make her work to get her sole request of the night granted. You’ll get more respect this way. Just make sure she dances with all of her friends if you agree to her request so you get something back in return.

2. The "it’s my friend’s birthday" person

The old favourite: "It’s my friend’s birthday and she wants you to play the Bla Bla song." We all know this one. It’s one of the most common ways of people asking for a tune. They think you’ll refuse any tune they ask for, so they pretend it’s their friend’s birthday to get you to agree. Of course, it’s rarely their birthday, or their friend’s.

How to handle them
Ask them right away how old their friend is and what the date is today. They’ll hesitate, look at you then back at their friend, then sidle off, red-faced, knowing they’ve been rumbled.

3. Drunk guy who keeps coming back and repeating himself

Drunk guy

Who let him in? One solution is to ask the doormen to escort him out again. Pic: The Stranger

One of the most common requesters is a drunk guy who is fixated on one tune that has nothing to do with the music you’re playing. It’s a tune that you could never play in any club or party, anywhere.

Generally, this guy will have heard this tune a few days ago and will have fallen in love with it. So now, in his drunken state, he thinks you should play it.

He is pretty annoying too, coming back and repeating himself, sometimes swearing if you don’t play it. Even when he gets distracted by a girl and goes away, he’ll eventually come back and ask again.

You’ll tell him you don’t have the tune. He might see you have a laptop and tell you to play it directly from YouTube. Then he’ll try to plug his iPhone in and play it from that. Whatever happens, it has to get played for him.

How to handle him
This can be a bit delicate because he’s really drunk and a bit aggressive sometimes and you don’t want beer on your new DJ kit. So don’t get too irritated but remain firm. If he gets really insistent, then ask his friends to take him away. He’ll often have a friend who will take charge and drag him off. If it goes further than that, then get the bouncer to kick him out.

4. Girl (and friend) who keep coming back and insisting you play their music

Two club girls

"What do you mean, You don't know our tunes? You're not going to the right places!" Pic: becks.com

Sometimes, there’s a girl who’ll keep on asking you for different tunes when you play. She’s had a few drinks but still knows what she’s doing and she knows her music a bit. And she’ll have a list of about 10 tunes that she’ll ask for at different points of the night.

According to her, you have to play them, because they’re so cool and trendy. What, you don’t know these tunes? They're being played at fashion parties!

This girl may get in a huff and disappear, then come back with someone to support her, as if it makes her more powerful.

The person she’s with doesn’t really care if you play her track or not, but they pretend they agree with her if it makes their life easier.

How to handle her
This kind is not the easiest. She has a way of getting into your head. Her perseverance is so tenacious that you’ll be tempted to play her tune just to shut her up. Don’t believe me? Wait until you get one.

She’ll get people on her side, she’ll eventually do anything to make you fold. The best, indeed probably only, way to deal with it is to smile, concentrate on your mix, headphones on, looking through your tunes. Basically, ignore her.

5. The Latin music requester

If you're playing in a Latin country, or a Latin night, this probably doesn't apply to you. Otherwise, on occasions, you’ll may a group of Latin-music lovers in your crowd. Guess what they want to hear?

Yep, whether you’re playing electro, house, hip hop or rock and indie they’ll come right up to you asking for Latin music. You could be DJ at an underground junglist vibe party and they’ll still brazenly insist you put on pure Latin music, right away.

They've come all the way from Bogotá, Lima or Santiago to the New York, London, Paris or whatever city your venue's in, just to ask for Latin sounds.

How to handle them
It’s tempting to scoff at them and tell them to get lost and go find some little Latin bar around the corner, but hold back, that’s not the way to do it.

If you have a music policy that night and people are dancing already, then kindly explain that tonight is electro / dnb / house / indie night, people are enjoying themselves and that’s what you’ll be playing tonight. Be friendly about it.

However, if you have a fairly open music policy night, and only a few people are dancing or nobody at all, then why not agree to play a tune for them? Latin music lovers tend to dance a lot and it can inject some energy onto your dancefloor. The girls can be very sensual when they dance and if there’s one thing that gets more people on the floor, it’s cute girls dancing.

As a rule, I always have some Latin music in reserve in case this happens.

6. Person who asks for something but never knows what

This kind of requester can make you bang your head on the wall. They’ll ask you for something from the 80s, or they’ll ask for commercial chart house, or something random.

But the thing is, they have no idea what. They just know they want to ask you to play something, by someone. For them. If you actually ask them what it is they want, they don’t know. In fact, what they know about music is summed up nicely in their 20 seconds of blank expression that follows.

How to handle them
Try not to bang your head against the wall in frustration. Instead, get into the habit of returning their question back to them as soon as they ask it. When their vague, vacuous request comes to you, ask for specifics right away. They’ll never be able to give them.

While they stand there with their mouth open, unable to give you specific track or even artist names, continue with your set. They’ll never remember and they’ll hopefully eventually get escorted away by one of their embarrassed friends. Hopefully.

7. Bloke who says he’s a DJ too

I'm a DJ too

"Yeah, I play parties and stuff, you know. So, when you going to play something decent?"

This one never ceases to amaze me. Now and then, you get someone (usually a guy) who claims he’s a DJ too. He’ll start by asking you what you use to mix with and will try to move his head into your booth to see your laptop screen if you’re using digital equipment.

He’ll then feel confident enough to start telling you about these cool tunes he knows and how you should play them, very soon.

Generally, the tunes he asks for are his personal favourites and rarely go down well with the crowd you’re playing to. He’ll have high expectations that you play the music he speaks of, soon. Because he knows best. Which is why he’s probably never actually DJed anywhere but at his own house party.

How to handle him
This guy is rarely a real DJ. If you bring that up, he’ll get shy and disappear suddenly. So ask him where he mixes.

If he brushes that aside by saying "oh, I play at parties, you know" and keeps being a pest and interrupting you too often, then explain to him that tonight it’s you on the decks, and you decide. But don’t get irate with this guy, he probably doesn’t mean harm.

Explain if he wants to mix at that venue himself, then he should ask. Tonight you’re mixing. This often makes him realise that he’s being annoying and should stop. A real DJ would never act this way after all.

8. Person who gets annoyed when you agree to a request but don’t play their tune right away

Spoiled brat

You agreed to play the tune, you didn't agree to play it right away. If someone's used to getting their own way all the time, that's not your problem.

Every now and then you’re nice enough to agree to a track request and the person who asked for it just stands there and waits by your booth afterwards. You notice they’re still waiting as you line your mix up and just as the new track kicks in, they start kicking off at you like a spoilt child.

Not satisfied with the fact that you were kind enough to agree to their borderline track request, they were actually expecting their tune on right away instead of at some later point that night.

How to handle then
This is one of those occasions where with hindsight you should never have agreed to play their track in the first place. Maybe they always got whatever they wanted from their parents and think they can coast through life throwing tantrums when they don’t get what they want right away.

If they react this way, then I advise to simply not play their track at all, all night. They may try to come back but just put your headphones on and look away from them. They’ll leave eventually and get tired of coming to your booth.

9. Person who thinks you’re a jukebox and orders music

Some people who approach you may start by asking about how the night is going, then they might say that they liked a tune you played about half an hour ago. This is all well and very pleasant, except that once they’ve got your attention they start asking for all the tunes they can think of and ordering tracks as though you’re some kind of human jukebox.

How to handle them
Don’t get distracted from your set. Instead of giving this person your full attention, start concentrating on your music or ask the bar person for a drink, or go and get one. This should deflate the person who’s convinced you’re a human jukebox and calm them down a bit.

Then get back to your set and concentrate on relaxing and making people enjoy the music. After all, only if people decide to ask you nicely should you consider listening to them.

10. Person who asks for music then complains when it’s not the exact tune they wanted

Remix

"Er no, thanks but I actually wanted the bass dubstep unreleased extended remix... yeah of Black Eyed Peas... what? WHAT?"

Every DJ with some experience has had requests and has taken them with good grace.

Many of us become more flexible as the night goes on - we relax and we feel more open to dropping tunes that are requested.

And most DJs have kindly agreed to a request to play music by a certain artist, but only to have the requester come back and complain that they wanted another track by that very artist, or a different mix, and not the one you just played!

How to handle them
Someone complaining even after you were kind enough to play the music of the group they asked for is simply not worth it.

I'd advise not to pay any attention to this person again, unless they happen to be very nice and are asking in the best, most polite and apologetic manner imaginable.

In summary...

The most important thing (apart from being positive and smiling) is not to let anyone distract you from your job. Concentrate on your mix and selection as a priority. Be friendly and respectful, but remain in charge. Put on your headphones and look away from people who you don’t want to talk to if you have to.

Be open to playing a request if it feels right. It just might be. Otherwise, be honest and just tell people if you don’t think a tune is right for the night. Never play music that’s just blatantly wrong unless the person paying your wages asks you to.

If you do agree to play a tune then apart from in exceptional circumstances, you should play it. Get the requester and their friends to dance if you agree to a request.

• Matt Challands is a DJ living in Paris, France. He’s one half of electro duo Sao Paulo Punks and runs a DJ blog.

Do you accept requests when you're DJing? Have you got any horror stories about requesters who wouldn't leave you along? Do you think it's a DJs job to play requests or do you believe that the DJ should be left alone to do their job? Let us know yuor thoughts and experiences in the comments.

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Comments

  1. I just ignore all these people. Man, are they annoying.

  2. Good article. In my 6 years or so Djing I’ve probably encountered all of those types.
    I remember one party where someone requested a tune and I obliged, only to have them come up to me just after I had played it to ask me again. She had no recollection of making the request in the first place or even hearing it when I played it!
    For me a polite lie works most of the time: “Great tune, I’m not sure if I have it with me though. If I can find it in time I’ll play it.”

    • ^^^^ This one.. Another good one is “Man, I played that about an hour ago.. I can’t play the same tune too soon..” Chances are they either haven’t been there that long, or they’re already drinking past the point of remembering it.

  3. Sameoldsong says:

    haha, fun entry! i have two more.

    “the expert” (it’s possibly a variation of 7). he requests something super-obscure which you obviously never have. He basically wants to demonstrate that he knows a lot about the music.

    “the short-term memory guy” i’ve never experienced one myself, but i hear that it’s somewhat common. the short-term memory guy requests the song that has just been played. he doesn’t realize that the song has just been played, and if you tell him, he wants you to play it anyway.

    • I’ve had visits from the short-term memory guy more than ones! And it’s also fun when you tease the crowd by mixing in a loop or something very vaguely and they recognize it in there subconscious mind and come asking for it.

    • props for the ‘flirty-girl’ picture!

      • i second that

        • i once made a “flirty girl” french kiss me over my decks for a track request. i call that win-win-win (as i was gonna play that track later on anyway:)

          • [email protected] says:

            worst than that. Sometimes while playing in a latin club a girl that have no idea of latin music came along and asked me some reggaeton… what’s so funny about it? well… i was playing reggaeton at the moment that she asked that for and i was doing it for at least 15 minutes.
            Anotherone… Can you play something from *random artist* … *random artist* sounding in the moment that this girl asked for the song

    • Had a guy requesting a song while it was playing :p

    • DJ AlanFree says:

      Oh yes, I’ve encountered the “expert”, they like to try and throw you off your game, probably because their jealous!…lol

    • Yes, THE GOLDFISH GUY! Asks for a song that’s just been played, and when you tell him it’s just been played, obliviously begs you to play it! Funny.

      Then the VOLDEMORT GIRL. Girl who asks for a song, you smile and say you don’t have it, she steps back and gazes at you in shocking disgust with an upset and aggravated ugly face that could melt metal, and hovers there for a while speechless.

  4. This is why I like being a bedroom DJ.

    I got so sick of being invited to play something “cool” and ended up with a crowd that only wanted what MTV and Top 40 radio played. Makes me happy I don’t have to make a living on DJing and I give massive respect to the guys who can endure playing so much crappy music evening after evening for that paycheck.

    • pepehouse says:

      Haha! Yeah, respect! I’m still looking for places to play in my town but the only thing I will play is house, take it or leave it.

      That said I have various levels of house from the most underground to a commercial level I can stand an enjoy playing but don’t ask for “Guetta” please.

      Once a bar owner that hired me to try “something new” came to the booth and told me about playing the bar’s top 40 records for the rest of the night.

      I told him to play himself while I waited outside the bar for the night to finish to get my money which from he made a discount because I didn’t play the whole night. Not sure if that was fair but….

      About the requests you are overthinking it: My aproach is that if I have the track that they demand I will play it at the right momment cause if I have it it’s beacause I like it and fits the set, I don’t carry crap “just in case” cause I won’t play it anyway.

      Otherwise, I just say “sorry but I don’t have it with me tonight”.

      That’s all folks!

      • I agree. I’ve quit residencies because of that…where I was hired to play deep house, but the night and venue ended up being Top 40. I don’t make drama. I do the best I can for that one night, then at the end of the night I’ll tell the owner/promoter that I’m not the guy for him and even suggest colleagues who would be an ideal fit.

        In my mind, if I can’t play the music the way I want and build the vibe I want, then it’s a waste of my time. I make money in my normal job…and thus if I can’t enjoy DJing, then it’s not worth it. This is also why I wont’ accept those 30 min quick sets at one of those parties where they booked too many DJs.

        When I get a request, I just act polite and firm. If the request is nowhere close to what the night is about, I’ll politely tell them that we’re not playing that tonight. Girls flirting for that request is meaningless because you know she came in with a guy and thus isn’t going to go home with you later.

        Now if the request fits the night or somewhat fits the night, then I’ll play it.

        I always found the funniest thing was when girls try to make requests to big name headliners. Like somehow Sander Van Doorn is going to stop everything and play Black Eyed Peas just for you.

        If I ever approach the DJ as a DJ, I won’t be smug. I usually start off by telling him he sounds great and even take a moment to get to know who he is (networking). If I want to see what he uses, I can get it all from a glance. If he asks me if I want to hear something, then I’ll mention something, or a genre. I try to be respectful.

        • [email protected] says:

          that’s a thing… aproach the dj as a dj is ok but it deppends on how do you do it. The ones that come and say oh yes , i played in much better places than this and this tune was making people crazy… bla bla bla. When they start with that shit i just tell them “so why aren’t you booked today in that big gig?”. Anyways… if you are a dj you know how anoying is when someone comes to you and say “i’m a dj too, you should do this or play that… ” so real djs won’t ever say something like that. It will be more something like “man you are the boss tonight and you know what you should play but if you could please play this song that i like, just if it fits your set”.

  5. This article is classic…currently sharing. :)

    I DJ at this little venue in Iowa City, IA from time to time, and when I play, it’s ALWAYS techno, house, and some electro. This drunk fratboy comes stumbling up to the booth, and demands (literally, DEMANDS) that I play him some old school hip-hop.

    “This techno shit all sounds the same,” he says. Solid reasoning.

    I tell him that he’s in the wrong place tonight if he wants hip-hop, because i’m 2 and a half hours deep in a set and there’s 200+ people on the dancefloor.

    This guy FREAKS OUT, comes at the booth and trys swinging on me in a FULL CLUB. The bouncer immediately grabbed the fucker and threw him out, but damn…he really wanted to hear some hip-hip.

    This site is the shit, guys!

  6. sighhh…just went through one of the horrible part of djing.

  7. I’ve had the short term memory a lot…makes me crazy.

    Another thing I have regularly is someone that asks genre switch right after I switched (“can you play this or that style ?”). Worst thing is “can you play techno ?”…when you are currently playing techno

    Or the girl saying “your music sucks” while the dancefloor is full…

    After 15 years residency in a local club, I am so fed up of requests that I now have a sheet of paper explaining why I don’t do requests anymore. Newcomers may think I am rude, but regulars are used to it

    • [email protected] says:

      Another way to handle the request are making a complex formular in a piece of paper asking for some stupid information to make a request (bpm of the song, album name, year of release …) . Normally when people see that big paper to fill in the blanks just go away and if not there is a place for email (data base for mailing) and telephone number (the hot sexy girl that was flirting with you the whole night but left before you finish your work because of the girlfriends were tired and wanted to go home) very important

  8. Great Post. I was djing a predominantly House event one time and I got a crazy request. It was “stacies mom” by fountains of Wayne, needless to say, played this song and everyone just ran to the dancefloor, it was a phenomenal reaction.

    Some requests are worth trying out, Notice the word ‘Some’ ha

    Another great tip would be to have them write down there request as well as email address? one way of securing a following maybe.

    Thanks alot

    • A following or maybe some action! Nice tip Jon. It’s true some requests can work sometimes.

    • DJ AlanFree says:

      Sometimes requests really do work, I was DJing a Wedding Reception the other night playing some primarily country style romantic songs,and a guy requested “Lost In The Fifties Tonight” by Ronnie Milsap (love the song), seemed very odd, but everybody started dancing, so as soon as it was over I put on “Sleep Walk” by Santo & Johnny & everybody loved it!…..It was late & towards the end of the reception, so the mood was perfect!……I then DJ’d another reception two days later and worked in another 50’s set including Sleep Walk…worked like a charm again!

  9. Great entry and funny too!!!
    As a mobile dj I can tick off all of the above, and could probably add a few more.
    I do leave myself wide open to these because, i use a digital sign asking people to txt request to me, I do use the numbers to follow up afterwards, offering 10% discount if they book me within the next 12 months.
    I did have one very funny request, at a NYE party in a Pub in Manchester a guy dressed like an Oasis roadie asked for ‘What Took You So Long’, I promptly forgot, but he was up dancing ….or swaying in his own little drunken world all night, with only 15 mins left, he did come back and ask again, so I said i would play it ….and did. He danced like there was no tomorrow, loving every minute, then came up thanked me said he had had a great night, but it was The Courteeners song not Emma Bunton that he wanted. You win some …..You win some

    • DJ AlanFree says:

      That’s funny!…..had a similar thing happen a couple of years ago. I was DJing a 40th birthday party and a very seemingly timid woman politely asked me to play “The Reflex” by Duran Duran, so I worked it in and looked up and she was dancing like there was no tomorrow!…hilarious

  10. “Do you think it’s a DJs job to play requests or do you believe that the DJ should be left alone to do their job?”

    If it’s a bar, you better study this article well and keep it open. If it’s a club, then no right minded person should be making requests. The difference it very subtle. A DJ in a bar is there to sell alcohol and most people aren’t there to hear the music so much as to get a drink. Whereas in a club, people go out to hear a certain type of music or performance by a DJ. In the latter case, a DJ is more of a artist or performer.

  11. This is why my booth monitor is my best friend! Lol

  12. …still laughing – I’ve heard them all and now I know, I’m not alone! Thank you so much! :-)

  13. This is the part of DJ’ing I hate. playing request. Argghhh… lol.
    I try to be polite and accomodate but I like to play what I want and provide a new experience.

  14. You forgot the big one – “have you got anything good?”

    • Right – or “what do you have..?” – oh em gee, is what I have!

      • That one left me saying, “I’m about to shut this thing down”, after he wouldn’t stop telling me to turn that song off. He walked away and didn’t come back after that. A girl has got to do what she has to do. LOL

  15. LOL.. this is funny. You did, in-fact, cover all kinds of people who request. I don’t mind playing Top 40’s. I actually enjoying watching these girls dance and sing along popular music. Usually I have most of the music they’re gonna request already planned in my set. What sucks is that you have already planed on playing in a certain order based on key, tempo, mood and environment but they come to us like they want it right now – so your entire preparation and thought of plan/routine gets a smack in its head. And once someone’s request gets played, everybody wants their requests to be played… This is a typical Wedding DJ scene…

    The one i hate most is that – “hey i have it on my iphone…” “shit, i thought i had it, hey lets find it on youtube”… haha

    • Jezalenko says:

      I completely agree with you here.

      Like it or hate it, Top 40 songs are in the Top 40 because, well, people like them.

      I mostly play around college/uni and various house parties, where people want to hear something they know (and like to ask for it as well). The fact is you can get a dance floor heaving if you play things which are both populuar and danceable.
      If people want hardcore house etc, then they should go to a club which plays such music. Like wise, dont ask for Top 40 at such a club.
      And like you mentioned, pla the set, have a few good remixes in there, so they regonise the tune, but it’s still danceable/mixable.

  16. I was at a venue playing electronic music. Suddenly a team of girl hockey players came along, really beautiful ones who have just lost some final. And they would come one after another to ask me for a reggaeton tune, that was a REALLY HARD NIGHT.

    • [email protected] says:

      i could send you some house music with some reggaeton loops and samples so that you can make them happy, say that you already play that king of music and why not… having a whole hockey team of hotties dancing will help the dancefloor ;)

  17. Liked the article and have encountered all of these types of requesters. For some reason #5 just sort of rubbed me a little wrong. Maybe because it doesn’t pass my “is it racist” test. For example rewrite the paragraph switching out the word Latino with Jew, or Black and you might see how this would sound off.

    The Jew music requester
    If you’re playing in a Jew country, or a Jew night, this maybe doesn’t apply to you. But for the rest of us, on occasions, you’ll may a group of Jews in your crowd. Guess what they want to hear?

    I’m not trying to say you or this sight is racist at all but I was just a little confused as to why you would think latino’s are any different than any other race or ethnicity and needed to be singled out. Anyway let the flaming or cries of me being the PC police commence.

    • Phil Morse says:

      You’re quite right. It’s wrong to lump a race of people with a musical style (to start with, there are myriad Latin music styles), and it was a hurried piece of subediting on my part not to spot it.

      DJs by their nature tend to be inclusive people, thrilled when the music they play unites across race, class and language barriers, and I am sure that it wasn’t our writer’s intention to appear racist, and that he would be as horrified as you were (and as the reader below was) at any perceived overtone of racism. I have altered the piece to read “Latin music lovers” which hopefully takes a little of the unintended racism sting out of it.

      Let’s put racism to one side though. He is speaking, however clumsily, about musical, not race divides – like the divide between electronic and non-electronic music, or hip-hop and EDM, or indie and dance (for us old enough to remember that cultural division), or in this case Latin and non-Latin.

      Let me tell you a story: One of my DJ gigs is at a Spanish bar called La Buena Vida (ironically, Digital DJ Tips is run from Spain, I am a Spanish speaker, and I am bringing my family up in a Spanish community). The Spanish owner, Javier, is a deep house lover and long-time friend of Spanish DJ legend Cesar Del Rio, who makes special mixes for the bar to play. When I play there, the music policy is “sunset sounds” – deep house, mellow Latin/dubstep, reggae, soul, ambient.

      An exasperated Javier sometimes expresses the same sentiment that our writer does in the above piece when a group of customers arrive wanting to hear “Latin music”, that sentiment being “it’s not Latin night here tonight”. As I say, it’s a musical thing – certainly not a race one.

      Anyway, I’m sorry if the article causes offence. As you can hopefully see, racism is not something we condone here at Digital DJ Tips as a business, and certainly not something that I as publisher condone personally. – Phil Morse.

      • Thanks for taking the time to reply. I checked in last night before going to bed and didn’t see my post and thought oh well he does’nt give a shit, then I was pleasantly suprised to get an email from you this morning. I’m not trying to stir up anything and funny enough I always have to have Cumbia’s, Ranchera’s, etc. on hand for my inlaws who after a certain amount of alchohol will demand certain songs be played no matter how hard I worked on sorting out the music for the night. Anyway like I said it just rubbed me the wrong way singleing out a certain race when the rest of the article was race neutral and I was not alone as a fellow DJTT member chimed in also. To the guy below who thinks stereotyping is okay as long as it’s positive, it’s not. It drives my black coworker crazy that he always has to explain to the rest of the office that he is in fact terrible at basketball and doesn’t want to join the basketball team and then has to hear “jokes” about being the only black man who can’t jump etc. Judge individuals on who they are and what they do, there’s great and horrible people of all race’s and religions, it’s as simple as that.

      • To be honest I quite feel the opposite way, I am Venezuelan and a Latin DJ in the UK and I feel honoured and happy that we got mention in Digital DJ Tips. I know that Latin Americans love and are very proud of our own musical genres (salsa, merengue, reggaeton, etc) and I don’t see any racism at all here, is just different music of different cultures. I also see myself as the guy asking for Latin tunes sometimes, is a good excuse to dance with girls here in England ;)!
        With this comment I would also like to say that it will be good to see more articles related to DJing and Latin music.
        Thank you.

        • I sent this article in and I’m glad you appreciate that.

          Latinos are seen as exotic and cool here in Europe and the UK.

          Que chevere ;-)

          • [email protected] says:

            as a Peruvian Dj living in vienna that play mainly house i can tell you guys something. Music has no nationality, music has no politic party, music has no race, music is just freedom and joy. I love personally to play latin house and tribal house because is a mix of sounds that put the best of both worlds. I love to hear salsa sometimes, i know about hector lavoe , fania all stars, cheo feliciano, ruben blades, etc but there are other days when i wake up and want to hear dr. Kucho, massivedrum, dario nunez, dj chus or something like that. That’s what i love about music and one of my personal main goals, to have people dancing in the dancefloor who somewhere else will have some differences. Music makes unity! I love to see that salsa dancer jumping with some remix of a well know tune and that house freak asking me from where is the original track and if it’s salsa. The only thing that is quite difficult to avoid is this stereotypes, because i’m latin and i say latinhouse some people think that i only play salsa or reggaeton but only when they hear me they notice that what i make is house music.

  18. i usually handle the category 6 guy like this:
    nod and say “i have exactly the right track for you” – if he comes back smile and say “that´s your thing, right?” – works in 9 out of 10 cases.

  19. Way to alienate us Latino DJs. Now I don’t have to worry about overlap between DJTechTools and here ’cause I’ll be staying over there.

    • Phil Morse says:

      Fair point – see the response to BEEST’s comment above.

    • Wow, as far as I can see there’s nothing but compliments about the Latino music lovers.

      What’s all the over sensitivity about?

      Did you read it all? The article then goes on to say how great they are:

      “..why not agree to play a tune for them? Latin music lovers tend to dance a lot and it can inject some energy onto your dancefloor.”

      From what I understand it’s anyone who asks for Latino music: white, black, brown you name it…

      • Phil Morse says:

        If you’re a Latino who loves techno though, you can see that to be told that you’re likely to always insist on tango, salsa, reggaeton or whatever just because of where you’re from might irk a bit!

        • Sure, agreed Phil.

          I was just saying that all types of people ask for and like dancing to Latino. I like it myself and I’m not latino. It’s sensual.

        • so are black people who are into electro or anything else not considered “black” offended by the MOBO awards? doubt it…
          far too many people like to stir shit and create offense where none exists!

    • Hey bud,
      I didn’t find the commentary particularly offensive. I’m Latino, have spun at Latin clubs before, and occasionally get Latin gigs. There have been times when I’ve been at themed parties like Top 40s, Hip Hop, or EDM and fellow Latinos have come up asking for one of the tropical genres like salsa, bachata, reggaeton, or merengue. It’s not necessarily a bad thing. It’s just a natural phenomenon at certain types of parties. I thought it was nice of Phil to say that the music can indeed get the party going depending on the situation. I’ve found that to be true as well.

  20. Oh man this just made my day. Depending on where im playing I usually play what I want but this summer i offered to dj this girls graduation party causes its my friends cousin and i know im gonna get all ten of these. so ive come up with a plan. my friend who got me to do this is going to by my little bitch if they want something played they have to talk to him . cause I cant stand being interupted

    • Chris Argueta says:

      My boys and me do that all the time!

      When one of us is spinning, the other one takes requests. We use a clipboard and make them write down the requests. That gets rid of half of the buggers.

      By doing this, the DJ actually in the mix isn’t bothered. The DJ taking the requests sorts through it all and filters out only the good ones. Sometimes there are good requests, LOL.

      I’m a mobile/bar DJ, so I’m used to taking requests. Just as long as it’s within the genre that I’m playing at the moment and that I haven’t played yet. If it’s a Disco track and I’m playing New Wave, I explain to them that I will try to squeeze it in when I play my Disco set. If it’s a great request, I’ll definitely play it.

      Example 1: I just started a Disco set. I get a request for Lime – Your Love, or Gibson Brothers – Cuba. Guess what? I’ll play it. But If I get a request for Rick Dees – Disco Duck, guess what? It ain’t getting played.

      Example: I’m playing New Wave to a packed dance-floor and I get demands for Nortenos. I DJ in East Los Angeles, San Gabriel Valley and San Bernardino county, for the most part, so this happens to me all the time.

      I politely explain that I don’t want to sacrifice a hot dance-floor. And that as soon as the crowd dies/tires down a little I’ll change the genre for that person and their friends so they can dance, too. sometimes their cool with it, sometimes they ain’t.

      • [email protected] says:

        Advice: do not give so much information. If you do so they start to argue and to argument back. That’s tedious and took much more time that you could use for actually mix. Best way to do it is just say ok i will play it a bit later , how much later? a bit later … but moreless what time? at 2:34:23 (with milliseconds if possible). People will get it as a jocke and you will have them laughing and going away. Just once an asshole asked me at the exact time where was his song…

  21. I think you should have mentioned the guy who tries to bribe you with money or booze. My buddy had some baller ass guy rocking multiple bottles offer 100 bucks to switch over to hip hop for a bit because his lady friends wanted to hear it. He passed on the money and told the guy to come out when its hiphop night.

    • Ha ha! The bribe-with-booze is a regular punter with me! Once I had this guy who after not hearing his request after 10 mins, decided to have words to try and befriend me so as it would be certain that I’d play his request(s). After duly obliging, he offered to by me a drink. I have a personal rule as far as this goes: If I accept the offer then they’d feel as though they are my mate and almost demand I play whatever requests they have in mind, therefore I refuse their drink so as they don’t confuse the situation. Under no curcumstances do I accept bribes cos it opens a can of worms. Anyway after playing this guys request, he took it upon himself to ask again for the SAME tune at a later time citing that the bar was half empty so “I might as well play it again”

      Playing a tune again to an observant crowd will make that crowd think that my collection is limited which would empty the rest of a half-empty bar. I no longer take requests, and if anybody in the place makes an issue then I suggest that they talk to the management about getting in a jukebox…

      • DJ AlanFree says:

        At the same 40th birthday I DJ’d I had a guy ask me to play “Tuesday’s Gone” by Lynyrd Skynyrd. Southern Rock music was popular that night but for whatever reason I had overlooked that song even though I said I would play it for him, so he comes back a little later with what looked like an irritating look on his face & throws $2 Bucks in my “Request hat”!….When he done that, I put the song on for him (because their was a break) and he became a happy patron & danced with lady friend!

      • [email protected] says:

        sometimes when they talk to the manager they only take care of the business of their bar and doesn’t care about you as a dj. They tell you to put that song and you have to do it… until you make that manager to come to his sense and show him that it ‘s a bad decision

  22. Got the headphones on and you are in the mix, you can just about hear someone whistling at you to get your attention, I usually ask them if they have lost their dog!
    Or the person shouting oi oi to get your attention I usually make them wait a bit longer then turn round and say actually its Mr Oi to you

  23. “Let me just plug in my iPod…”
    “What do you mean you don’t have it? Just YouTube it, duh”
    “This song sucks, can you play another one [RIGHT NOW]?”
    And my personal favorite…
    “Stop playing this stupid techno crap and play some real music”

    • DJ AlanFree says:

      Yep, had all three of those!

    • Dude.. I hate all of that. Haha. I get that all the time at house parties. Everyone expects you to have their song and when you tell them they don’t it’s like you just told them santa doesn’t exist. “Ummm I have it on my phone, or why can’t you play it off of YouTube?” It kills me. I feel your pain man

    • [email protected] says:

      “hey bro, i need some hetero music…” (while me playing for a bunch of sexy hot teenie girls some charts). Clearly this guy wasn’t interested in girls at all… but he needed hetero music… i’m still kind of confused

  24. i just got hitched of this article. often experienced. if these people only knew how we feel every time they tagged our face with “NO ENOUGH EFFORT” due to their requests. Lol. But yet seeing them pleased is still compensating. More gigs for us guys, :)

  25. StrangeMatter says:

    I’ve gotta admit, I’ve had a few 7s in my time. The thing is, some of them actually have requests worth playing. There’s been a few occasions where they’ve reminded me of a tune that I hadn’t thought about but worked a treat.
    As was pointed out, all requests should be handled on a case by case basis because you never know when inspiration may hit!

  26. I really really hate the repeated requests to look at my “playlist” or “library.” There’s so many reasons why that’s a bad idea.

    • [email protected] says:

      do you ever allow a drunk guy/girl touch your computer? no freaking way i will allow that !

  27. “Do you take requests?”

    “Sure! I take them all! ……..Every once in a while, I even play one or two.”

    :)

  28. I sometimes use the various requests I get to help judge the type of crowd that’s in for the night. If they’re asking for stuff that’s on target for the music policy I can possibly push some newer stuff more than I usually would and the opposite applies.

  29. The one who wants the request again.

    They come for a request … after some songs you play their request. After a while they are back at the booth …
    – hey you promised to play ‘bladibla’
    – and I did 3 songs ago
    – Oh man … I was just taking a piss or smoking a sigaret outdoors
    – sorry dude
    – come on play it again
    – sorry dude no can do … I just played it.
    – please again … this must be the best song ever, everybody will love
    – eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee NOT

    The best of all … The one who cannot remember the title

    Most of the time also had a tad of alcohol in his blood and start requesting songs by humming it, yelling some parts of the lyrics or could you play that one song from U2.

  30. I was playing in a club where commercial dance and house common is, a girl come to me and ask how can you dance on this ? I give her the name of a local dance school ;-)
    In summer I play most off the time for tourist and a girl comes to ask nirvana .
    I say this music we don’t play here
    And for a beer ? No and 2 beers ? No and for a blow job ? Really happen !
    Btw I didn’t play nirvana

  31. the first party i ever played i have each and everyone of these people. i refuse to play willow smith, i dont have it anywhere near my computer, i’m not going on youtube either. and i already played black and yellow. i tried really really hard to be as nice and understanding as possible. but after a certain point i just started ignoring people while gettin as drunk and stoned as possible.

    • Phil Morse says:

      “while gettin as drunk and stoned as possible.”

      Why do I get the impression you’d have done that anyway? :)

  32. Paul Cook says:

    Best one ive ever had is the “why aint you playing vinyl” guy, i was running timecode CDs and an x1, according to him laptops are the scum of the earth, i asked him what TT’s he had, with the reply of, “oh, i dont DJ”

  33. DJ F.U.N.R. (fuck u no requests) says:

    Dope post. I hate the “you know that track by Dr. Dre (blank stare)…. you know”, hate the “can you play (enter any genre)” while the party is crackin’, hate the girl or guy who comes and requests holding a drink and all up in my space. First thing I say is “if you break it you buy it”. Get the fuck outta here with your sloppy self and drink filled ALL the way to the top. I hate the “can I see your playlist”. I hate the “can you play it again”, i hate the “can you let the whole song play?”, i really hate fuckin requests. period.

    DJ F.U.N.R. from cerritos ca

    • My man, you have spoken music to my ears. Last night some really annoying drunk girls danced right next to the booth and threw beer all over my controllers. It took me two hours with my friend playing off his iPhone before I could get my gear dried and fixed. If anyone comes with drinks in their cup I’m going to start telling them to back off.

      To your list I would add I hate the “Can you play this dope track which in all actuality is really a B-side tune that you would only have if you bought the album of every artist in the world?”

  34. The worst type of requester has to be one of the following:

    – Indie Rock people who want to hear tunes that haven’t been made available to the public and that most DJ’s may not be aware of.

    I have friends who cater specifically to the Indie/Rock/Dance scenes. Here I thought a group like Phoenix was hot but I am supposedly 2 years too late.

    – The person who requests the most obscure/out of touch with reality track at the prime time at the club.

    Yes. It’s 130bpm fist pumping electro, pop and rap jams. You have the one guy asking you to play Autechre or Van Halen. Really?

    – The person who is Rapper, Producer or DJ, that wants you to play their song at prime time.

    Yeah right.

    • Phil Morse says:

      You just reminded me of another one!!! The one who requests if they can MC over your music. “Got a microphone? I’m a dope MC” etc etc. No you’re not. Now go away. :D

      • Anyone who usually asks for the mic always says “I am here with the Birthday (boy or girl)” or are part of the party that bought a VIP booth and expect you to stop the show so they can say something stupid.

        • [email protected] says:

          i bought a bottle of (bla) so you have to play what i tell you cuz i’m paying you… FUCK THE HELL OFF!!!!

        • [email protected] says:

          and the one who comes with a cd and ask to play his new tune right now because is a killer song!!!. Once i took the work of hear that at home and thx to god i didn’t play it on the disco. In that cases the best is to give him a card with your phone and ask him to send you the song by email (networking) in that way you can hear it at home while preparing and decide if it’s wort a shot

  35. DJ Christopher Jay says:

    Another variation of the “play it again” scenario…

    “Can you play ‘x’ song?”
    “Sorry, I already played it earlier”
    “But I only just got here! Can’t you play it again?”

    Someone mentioned above the “your music sucks” requester. My usual response is to just point to the full dance floor and say “they disagree.”

  36. Had a No.1 on Saturday – she kept kissing me on the cheek … which would have been awful for her if she had been sober. It was so hot in the venue and after keeping the D-floor absolutely packed all night – I was hot and sweating! I figured that would be painful enough for her in the morning when she recovered from her hangover.

    Maybe you need a “got-any-dubstep” character as well.

    Unfortunately none of my responses have been as polite as yours so far, the most polite I’ve been was “let me go strangle a cat, record the squelching noise and drum scratch a mellow beat over the top, that’s pretty much it, isn’t it?”

  37. One gig, a drunk girl kept asking me every 5-10 minutes for ‘something nice she knows’. She was my girlfriend…
    And she knew good music alright ;-) but liked the slower stuff I couldn’t play without dropping the flow and energy of the set.

    A bit off-topic, I suggest writing article about bringing your date/girlfriend to your gig, can be as eye-opening as this great article.

    Loving the website! My favorite, you make me look forward to mondays.

    PS> To all the offendees, are you real?

  38. This post was the best one I’ve read so far on this site. Well researched, great pictures, on-point descriptions, and great advice for how to handle all of them. At my gig one week ago I came across the flirty girl, the drunk guy, the girl (and friend) who keep coming back and insisting you play their music, the person who asks for something but never knows what, and the person who gets annoyed (and annoying) when you agree to a request but don’t play their tune right away. In the past I’ve experienced all the others, but never all in the same party (thank goodness).

    One recent phenomenon I’ve experienced is what I call “the rising star DJ girl.” This is one who instead of bugging you with requests insists on you teaching her how to spin so she can play the songs herself. She’s like the flirty girl only Super Saiyan Level 2. This type thinks that because you’re just “pressing buttons” it’s easy enough to learn how to do it all in two minutes. I’m usually a good sport about letting girls get near the decks, but only if it’s a house party where it doesn’t matter if the mix isn’t spot on and they aren’t carrying full cups of drinks at the same time. I’m sure others would handle it differently.

    If I’m okay to taking requests for a gig I’ll usually have pen and paper out in front of the booth where they can write to their hearts’ content. Sometimes requests are just awful and other times they really get the party bumpin’. I’m surprised at times how a certain track can get people going and I had never even considered it during preparation. That’s one reason I can never plan for my sets 100%. Everyone’s needs will be different.

    I’ve found that a good deflector for the flirty girls coming to the booth are other girls you bring to the gig with you. If the DJ comes with a female friend, girlfriend, or wife they can handle the taking of requests. That pretty much makes it impossible for the flirty girl to use any of her powers on the unsuspecting DJ. Then again, the seasoned DJ is probably desensitized to the flirty approach anyway.

    Keep ‘em coming guys. Good stuff.

    • [email protected] says:

      if a girl wants me to teach her how to dj i tell her ok, i will do it but at my studio at home. If she’s serious i will do it without problems, if she’s just flirting with you it works as well cuz you are at your studio with a girl… some privacy you know… and if she isn’t serious about it you just save yourself of a girl that only wants to show up and probably kill the dancefloor

  39. Hate to say it, but I feel like I’ve been the 7 type before. When the alcohol is flowing it’s tough to fight the urge to talk to the DJ about his rig and see what music he has.

  40. Not sure if I replied or not on this topic, but you know I’d love this post. So true.

  41. My favorite is the notebook.

    Personally, I use an old economics notebook with all the pages of notes ripped out. I just write REQUESTS at the top and number it 1-20 and let them go nuts :)

    • Phil Morse says:

      Only thing is, they’ll all try and outdo each other with the requests on reading what everyone else has written… could end up with some inappropriate suggestions as people try and impress their friends….

      • Inappropriate suggestions….those are the ones I want for No Breasts No Requests! :-)

        If anyone’s got any photos of some real gems, please send em my way to this address….

        http://nobreastsnorequests.tumblr.com/submit

        Thanks!!!

        Mick
        @mick_fiction

        • nice blog, Mick.
          did i mention that i once made a girl kiss me for a request? yeeeh, that was nice.
          anyway,i try to find a nice mashuped or cumbia version of a track ppl request and play that or have them type in their request and email in my backup itouch, so i might get it later (but its usually crap:)

  42. What would you do if someone demands a song and gives you a big tip?Would you play the song right away if it fits w the scene?

  43. I’d add another kind of people:

    Dancers!

    Since the area where I live produces lots of skilled urban style dancers, there are always a few of them frequenting this certain club and others.
    They’re always heatin’ up the dancefloor, they often need longer to warm up than most of the crowd, but when they start, the whole dancefloor erupts to a new level.
    I would strongly recommend to watch those guys and what tunes they’re freaking out to the most, and if you get lucky, they come to you to ask for more.

    They’re a good indicator about how the mood is on the floor, especially when they are regular visitors of a club – ask the management about them, and they could help you to influence what’s going on before it’s to late, e.g. the mood is dropping because that last two tunes were not really those killer choices.
    If the dancer stops, well that’s a sign. If he even goes to the bar to get a drink, that could mean he is exhausted or you’re too boring.

    Keep an eye on them!

  44. Big Mick says:

    I’m a college student, so I regularly encounter every one of these people at least twice a night when I’m playing. The best thing to do, I’ve found, is to have a notebook and pen for people to write down their requests. Then I pick one song on the list and play it. The girl who requested it (she’s always attractive and wearing skimpy clothing for some reason) grabs all her friends and they start dancing. It’s a solid way to get the party going again, and the attention of all the hot girls at the party isn’t a bad bonus either.

  45. I totally agree with all of you. When I play at my bedroom I play whatever house, trance, rock etc I like according to my mood but when I play at a party or a bar I am an entertainer so I must play whatever my audience wants (unfortunately pop and so on). Remember that you get paid to make people have fun. Of course the best is combining your taste on music with what your audience wants so everyone is happy!

  46. My favorite is when they ask for a song you already played and you explain that to them but get “But I wasn’t here.”

  47. Malcomito says:

    Hi, i´m from Ushuaia, Argentina, and working from the 90´s as a Mobile Dj, and 7 years ago at resident on a Club.
    I ALLWAYS respond that the requested song will be played soon… later i decide if i want to. To me, hearing requests is good to read the mood of the dancefloor, and as on this club comes a lot of people from diferent nacionalities and cultures, this help me to learn a lot. But, allways if the request to play some tune, i politely say “later, wait a little”, or “i haven´t that tune, but come tomorrow and i´ll bring it”…
    Sometimes is true, sometimes don´t but with a smile, and playing other good music, who cares?
    (sorry by the bad english ;) )

  48. mmmm guests requests – sweet memories on all of the top 10

  49. I love taking requests. A guy asked for some ragga while I was playing top 40… In my head I had that little voice saying “challenge accepted !”. Went latino, slow reggaeton, ragga. And came back in 128 bppm with Shakira. Hop !

    But I’ve had the drunk guy who doesn’t know what he wants…”can you play…ehr…ehr..ehr…? “. Just ignored him, had to…

    but having people bothering you with requests all night is tiring…it sucks the eneregy out of your set and your creativity. I’m thinking about having a friend handling them…

  50. Most of this article is ok but some major errors/mistakes (in my opinion) are the misinformed bias the writer has of “Latin” music. Lots of amazing house music and EDM in general have rhythms based on Latin origin. To just disregard music because you cannot understand what they are saying is, frankly, racist.

    I knew I should have stopped reading the article after the first type: flirty girl. I’m sick of the male-dominated and hetero normative tendencies of EDM, DJing, and the club scene. Lots of hetero, CIS gendered males who play into the “let’s make the hot girls kiss each other” or try to use their status as the DJ to their sexual advantage. It is appalling, immature, and so archaic. Stop thinking with your crotch and just do your job whether or not you are receptive to feedback from your crowd or not. And the mindless people who use their sexuality to pursuade a DJ to play their songs, c’mon! have some dignity and self respect.

  51. I always bring an assistant, or “hype guy/girl” with me. I have to pay them, but it is so worth it. I let them handle a majority of the people that walk up to the booth so I can focus on my mix. I always hire people who are very social, energetic, and like to get a few drinks in them. The hype guy/girl eliminates distractions and connects me to the crowd in a very positive way. Sort of like a surge protector

  52. I think the easiest way to avoid requests is to put a $50 tip jar discretely next to the booth with a sign on it saying “request = $50″ or any amount you like :) and point at it without saying a word or pull it out from the booth somewhere.

    -If they don’t throw in the $50 bucks then the song doesn’t get played at their request. You might play it later that night anyway.

    -Not everybody would pay $50 bucks to hear a track. Most people would leave you alone.

    -If somebody decides to tip for a track, you got yourself some extra pocket change for some late night Denny’s after the gig :)

    One solution to fix all problems. Easy!

  53. On #9, people that think you’re a jukebox. Sometimes they are actually nice to you or maybe regulars at the venue. When I realize they will keep coming back for more I just smile, give them a pen and a paper and say “cool man, write me down your playlist and give it to me all at once”.

    Half are just too lazy to write so they insist and say it anyways. Those you can easily ignore under the excuse “I told you to write it down bro! I got 10 songs on my mind right now”

    Others will actually write some stuff down and go away. Then it’s up to you to pick an appropriate song rather you want it or not. Either way you get rid of that person.

  54. I have a very “Deadmaus” solution. I wear a Boba Fett helmet when I’m really jamming out my mix, and I Present a request list and tip jar at the side or front of the DJ station. I direct requesters to write out what they want because we all know we can’t hear each other (and I have no memory for what they want, anyway; I could say yes all day long and without a list I’d just forget) Usually this works but when someone gets demanding I point at the tip jar and simply say “what, no tip?”

    I’ve been doing this for 8 years and only in the most crowded douchebaggy gigs does it not work. On those occasions, I have started hiring Stormtroopers. :)
    “Move along, nothing to see here” becomes fun if the security is dressed right!

    • [email protected] says:

      man i will pay only to see that stormtrooper dealing with the requesters :D

  55. I loved this article. I feel like I’ve met people from all of these buckets at one point or another, haha! On point! Good advice too :)

  56. andres moreno says:

    There is another type. I don´t have a name for it, but is the one who will touch your equipment to see what happens. I almost broke the nose of one of them once. I prefer 1.000 girls asking me for Guetta than just one of these idiots.

    • God, that is one hell of a bad punter to have anywhere near you when DJing!

      • [email protected] says:

        once i was playing , need to go to the restroom desperately and while i was leaving it flow i hear that the music started to crack down as if my hardisk was broken or something… when i came back to the booth i almost killed the guy that i saw playing dj hero with my equipment… the bouncer came but not for the guy… he came to avoid me killing that ass

  57. Robert Wulfman says:

    There’s also “Guy who actually requests great tunes that would fit the theme of the night but you didn’t bring them with you” and “Guy who obviously wants something but you can’t understand what they are saying because you are in a club”

    • Yes, there are actually occasional moments of genius from requesters. I have been inspired a couple of times by awesome requests that worked really well, and disappointed a few times when I knew the song they wanted, didn’t have it and then I wanted to play it!

      For the most part though, I’ve gotten worse with age. I think I used to be pretty easy, if I had it and it would work I’d play it. If it was fairly ambiguous maybe I’d take on it board and see if the crowd responded. Now I’ve degenerated into laughing in peoples faces…

      The all out worst is the phone person, who assumes you can just take their phone and play their choice to delight their friends. Fuck off love.

  58. I never appease any of these annoying people, usually just ignore them. They’re usually the types that don’t know anything about music. Then there’s always “that person” who asks for one of the Big 4: The Cure, The Smiths, Joy Division and New Order. Since I usually do vinyl it’s easy, just don’t bring that stuff. Can’t play what you don’t have.

  59. Wasserwalker says:

    my alltime favorite request came from a guy, with am mobile in his hands, asking for a track i never heard before :)
    after i say, i don´t have this song he ask me for “blutus, blutus – BLUTUS” ?!
    after a while i get it ->he aks me for bluetooth to send the track on my computer (a kind of clever guy, my computer can do blutooth for sure)!?!
    after years dealing with drunken people and her requests, i was a short time speechless ;)

  60. I had a non to polite girl ask me to play a track recently that I had never heard of. She got kinda upset with me and stormed of. She came back 20 mins later and requested the song again, this time I turned my laptop screen towards her and searched for the track in front of her to prove that I didn’t have the track. Again she stormed off. About 10 mins before the end of the night she came back to me and said “I’m still waiting for u to play that track” at this stage I was more than annoyed with her so i basically asked her to get away from me and stop wrecking my head. To that she replied ur the worst DJ I’ve ever heard and nobody here was enjoying themselves. Like I said there was bout 10 mins left before the end of the night and the dance floor was full with people getting down, so I took hold of the girl by the shoulders and turned her to face the crowd to show her she was wrong. She then turned back around and said the only reason people where dancing cus they where drunk. Sometimes u just can win.

  61. A high profile Old Skool DJ from the North of England, who shall remain nameless, told me once that blokes would often ask if they could have a look through his record box.

    His response was always: “Yeah, sure, can I f**k your wife?”

    Kind of extreme, but apparently it got the job done :-)

  62. I love those sods who ask for a very narrow sub-genre of music – such as “Scouse house”. A little TOO specialist, I think!

  63. I am a wedding DJ, and I realize that the situation is different from a professional DJ set as far as taking requests. I try to play them when I can (and especially when people are nice about it), but people don’t always understand that I’ve spent a lot of time working with the PAYING customer to play specific music. I have had all of these for sure, but how about the VIOLENT (and probably drunk) older family member at a wedding. I recently got “You’d better play a f-ing slow song right now a-hole or you’re gonna’ have trouble.” Right in the middle of a good dance vibe no less. I was worried that he was going to get physical so I faded into his slow song. Of course the old people were happy but the kids started yelling at me. It’s tough to play to everybody. I have read in some of the earlier posts about not giving up your control of the music, which is what I did. Happened right at the end of the night too, which kinda’ ruined the whole thing.

  64. This guy comes to you an hour into your set and asks for a party record you know will clear the floor, you tell him politely you’ll play it later, he tells you everyone loves it and everyone will dance to it, you tell him again you’ll play it later, he keeps on asking time and time again and you give the same polite reply, much later when you’re ready & the crowd is ready you play it, they go wild singing their heads off and he comes up to you and say’s
    “see I told you they’d love it”

  65. BadVintage says:

    I’ve been “juke-boxing” taking requests at several local bars over the past year and most of my sets come from requests. Some awesome, some mediocre and in frequently some absolutely awful. For these horrid requests, we’ve come up with, “The F**ked up Request of the Night.” After that (usually early on in the night), I proceed to get more selective on what gets played. Because I am at the bar, the genre switches frequently, but then again we don’t have much of a club scene where I’m at… except in my back yard. Just introducing more House, Techno and Trance over time to this backwoods area.

  66. and then there are those people who ask about your equipment, “Yea uh, I have like a Numark Mixer and Gemini CdJs, Whoa, are those the new Pioneers, epic” Whats even more annoying is when random people ask if they can “have a try” on your decks.

  67. GREAT ARTICLE!!!
    My personal favorite is the person who doesn’t greet you, yet shoves their bright cellphone (usually with the tiniest font) in your face and stands there waiting for you to play/interpret their scrawl. Truly annoying…

    • [email protected] says:

      in this cases i take my phone out, write “why do you write in your phone? can’t you talk ?” and then show them the phone in the same way on their face. Or if i’m busy mixing i just take the phone and put it in my back pocket. It makes them laugh and make them easier to work with or just pisses them off and they go away… ether way works better for you

  68. Joshua Newton says:

    “They’ve come all the way from Bogotá, Lima or Santiago to the New York, London, Paris or whatever city your venue’s in, just to ask for Latin sounds.” This is seriously one of the funniest quotes I have heard in a while. Props. lol.

  69. Another type of person is the guy or girl who comes up to you and says “Play something where the beat drops.”
    Or the inevitable person who comes up to you during your electro set and says “Play something that’s not dubstep.”

  70. And the person that wants a song from an artist right at the moment when you are playing that artist. They never want the song you are currently paying, it’s always another one they want. Ask for a title from them and they don’t know a single thing.

  71. What do you mean by Latin? Things like Shakira or anything else?

  72. #5, #6, #7, and #10 Happened to me this past Thursday…
    #10 was a result of #7 and #5 said she wanted “Reggae” But went #7 on me when I played Bob Marley because she actually wanted Latin Music… Good Times…

  73. Very good advice in this article…The worst, which you did not list, is the person who comes up requesting a song that you had played earlier in the night. I have a strict policy for myself that I will not play a song twice, which I have only broken twice, in the case of the host asking me. I generally just tell them I’ll play it later and continue with my set. Or if they are persistent, I will be the asshole that tells them to go away. Although that is not too proper, it works most times.

  74. Simplest way to limit the requests number (and make it actually worth it): I do have a sign (used to have it sticked on my laptop cover) givin’ the “request prices” that vary from flashing tits for a normal request to getting naked AND bending over for a dubstep request..

    And if it’s a man wanting a song played, the last line of my sign says to find a girl and have her request…

    I promise you lots of laughs from people (I work in Miami beach so it’s all tourists) and some nipples here and there…

  75. [email protected] says:

    one of my worst nightmares… a girl that came with a smile and politely and happily asked “can i ask you for 10 songs?” showing all her fingers next to her face… i still have nightmares of that face…
    Another time i was playing in a latin club (the one where all the people dance salsa so you can’t hit us latin guys for ask some latin tunes :P ) and a guy came along and asked me to play some balad of luis miguel… at 1 am with the dancefloor totally full…
    Anotherone. 12 at night, people getting into the vibe of some house music and starting to dance… and a stupid austrian girl asked me if i could play some walzer… FUCK MY LIFE!!! oder LECK MICH!!!. She was for sure one of the 18 year old girls that was making a course in some academy (here in austria thats tradition) and wanted to show off to all their friends. I just told her sorry but not the time, not the place.
    Anotherone… (yes i had a lot of bad times with stupid people) girl drunk saying is her birthday came and asked for a song that i didn’t have, no internet to play it as well. After that she came back with a barkeeper next to her and make him ask me for the song, i said the same. By the moment my coolnes was going away… afterwards came with the boss of the bar and asked me again and my response was exactly the same but coolness was gone. I said to her in front of the boss that i wasn’t a magician to make that song appear in my playlist or computer. She went away and then came back… started to yell at me and said a lot of stupid think… I don’t have to tell that my coolness was sending me greetings from the southpole at the moment but i was professionally enough to just cover my ears and ignore her for a while until she made a move that almost make me lose it… SHE TOUCH MY HEADPHONES AND MY COMPUTER !!!! WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH YOU §$%&§$/!”§%/$& PIECE OF $%&§$%& !!! I just told her never to do that again in her life in a real sever tone but the only thing that she said was that i was a shitty dj because i didn’t play her song… Afterwards the boss came back and talked to me about what happened and only at that moment he understood that we DO NOT HAVE to play always the songs that people want and that a lot of people is really stupid and spoiled… since that day i was free to refuse requests… but at what cost. By the way, the bouncer was a jocke, saw everything but didn’t took her out. I think that was one of the worst nights as a dj that i had

  76. [email protected] says:

    i just finished to read and comment the whole post and i just remember one of the most epic request in the whole universe. This bad ass looking, long beard, long hear, old random metal band, militar boots guy came to me while i was playing some house. My first impression was… he will ask something of nirvana or some comercial thing… He politely asked if i had any song of slayer. I answered no way man , sorry but this is not the kind of place to hear this song and i do not have that kind of music in my computer… he said ok ok no problem man, do you have by any chance anything of taylor swift? After few seconds of looking at his really serious face i wasn’t sure if it was a jocke or it was for real untill i couldn’t help it and laugh so hard that my stomach started to hurt. He was making me a jocke thx to god but the image of that moment will always stay with me :D

  77. It’s probably in the comments already, but I usually ask them to write the request down so I can look for it.

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