Digital DJ Tips reader Nick Bohannan writes: “I have been asked to be the DJ at a school disco, and remembering your advice to play gigs as soon as possible, I took the booking! Thing is though I have only just started, I have the new DJ Instinct by Hercules and I have literally only got a couple of songs so far. However, the disco is next term which gives me six weeks to pick good songs.”
“I’m not that bothered about the mixing (again mainly because of the advice on here that the music you pick is far more important than how you mix it). It’s a year 9 disco (ages 13 to 14) and the thing is that I do not know what songs to put in my collection. What do you guys think? PS I have checked out SoundCloud, and there’s little of use to me there.”
Digital DJ Tips says:
OK, step back a sec. Firstly, you’re assuming everything correctly. Yes, the songs will be paramount. No, mixing won’t matter. And in my opinion, yes, six weeks is more than enough time to prepare. (In fact, How To Digital DJ Fast teaches in just four weeks.)
Now music-wise, you need to put yourself in your audience’s shoes. What would you want to hear? There’s your starting point. I suggest SoundCloud and places like that are definitely not the right source to look for school disco music, as you’ve discovered. Start with current chart and also big chart hits from the past four years (your audience will have been too young to care about pop music much earlier than that). They should form the majority of your set. Look to get about double the amount of music you’ll need, to give you a choice on the day.
And as to where to get them from, iTunes or Amazon are about the cheapest for this type of stuff – and please don’t go down the road of trying to steal music. Be careful about what you buy, and do it legally. You’ll get guaranteed good quality files, and you’ll learn from the off to value your music.
Please come back and let us know how you got on.
Have you played school discos? What is your recommendation for getting the music right at such events? Do you agree with me that it is best to “get out there” and do it as early as possible? Please share your thoughts in the comments.