Home Forums The DJ Booth Dealing with requests at a house party with drunken teens

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    Jordan Brinkmann


    I have a house party that I’m going to be DJing at in the next month.
    I have just bought a Pioneer DDJ-SZ also and I’m really looking forward to try it out.

    Now I have a problem, this party is a party with about 150 drunken school kids in my year, and I have always been worried about DJing or whatever at one encase any of my equipment gets damaged, but that’s not my problem.

    I’m thinking of doing around a 2 hour set because people at parties like to have their early night playing what they want and YouTube and whatever and things like that, and I’ll DJ when people are starting to get more drunk.

    Now, the normal music we listen to at parties (unfortunately) is this big room and your electro/progressive house things, there’s no deep house, hip hop etc.
    I’m comfortable playing the big room etc but I’m concerned what I will do with requests or people going put this song on now and because they’re having alcohol they might become quite angry.

    I have seen an article on here about how to deal with requests but I feel like I am in a different situation to that, because I am going to receive requests asking for the worlds sh!ttest song on like The Beatles or The Smiths at a party from only like 1 or 2 people who want it on and everybody else if loving what is being played, and if you don’t play them songs they ask they will literally do whatever they can to either annoy you and get angry at you, and it’s not like you can get rid of them and throw them out, because believe me it’s not possible. Most of the guys there will understand my situation, but a lot of girls are like put this on, put that on and they’re like while you’re throwing this dirty tune with a mental drop then they’re asking you to play some kind of acoustic guitarist cover.

    Now you’re thinking like, you’re doing a bad job at DJing because you’re suppose to build them up etc but honestly, people listen to things weirdly. They go from melbourne bounce things like Uberjack’d to the next song being an acoustic guitarist, to then Let It Go -_- to then back to a big room track like animals.. and this is when they’re in control on YouTube. This normally only happens with parties of around 40 people, and the last 150+ people party the music was good, flowing well, so do you think I’ll be ok with that?

    I want to play a smooth 2 hour set with the electro etc music with no hassle from any of the drunken teens begging for these awful songs that do not suit it at all. I’m a 16 year old as well so I understand how they are as well.
    I have spoke to my friend and the host and they have turned around to just tell them to p!ss off and that I’m DJing but, I would like to hear what you have to say, any advise would be grateful!

    Thank you!


    Phil Morse

    Great question, we’ll publish it on the website on Sunday to get some view there too…



    Tell them in a very friendly way: You are a DJ not a jukebox.



    Their response: “What’s a jukebox?” 😉



    OK let me rephrase: I am a DJ not an iPod



    Now you’re talkin’ 21st Century. heheheheheh


    DJ Vintage

    iPod? What is that? Ohhhhhh …. wait, that’s an iPhone you can’t use to call people with, right?!


    Why Ipod?
    Rephrase it to
    ”I am a Dj,Not a Cellphone



    My tongue is planted firmly in my cheek right now, so pardon me if this is in poor taste.

    “Can’t you see I’m a little busy pressing play right now?”



    DJ Vintage

    Or how about this one …

    “Sorry, I do all my mixing at home”



    It would seems you worry too much in this situation to actually to have some FUN while dj ing,
    I would just passed this out ya know if the worry factor beats the fun factor



    the problem is with house parties is that you are usually so close to the people your performing for you will always get people coming up to you and you cant really do much about it,

    but i would say if your playing a banging set people will just get into it and forget about obscure requests or sometimes its good to have another dj or a friend behind the decks as well so they can talk to them and let you get on with your set.



    Your bigger problem is in your title. ..”drunken teens”.
    I wouldn’t play it. Something goes down and you are screwed.



    I play a lot of house parties. It’s all I play out for these days. I feel your pain (though I don’t play the big room thing; that’s a separate kind of pain in my mind…but to each their own). People can get annoying when they are trying to get you to change your mode up by requesting odd things at odd times. All DJs have to learn to deal with this but at a house party it is a different animal altogether.

    First; you’re not playing a club or rave. A good house party DJ needs to remember that. Your job is to rock the party, not show out for your genre of choice. You weren’t booked to play for a group of people who,for the majority, know what to expect musically before they even arrive. You’re playing for a group of friends and acquaintances who all want to have a good time. This is why that YouTube thing you described is ubiquitous. Everyone wants something different and everyone is okay with that. It’s a social contract. “We’re all together and we all want to hear something different. Let’s take turns.”

    That being said, if someone asks you to DJ one of these parties they obviously want to take a turn away from that and get a strong vibe going. That’s your cue. Build a strong vibe. Choose wisely when setting up your folders or crates or whatever. Take the music you like and want to play, but try to fit it with what you know everyone else likes to shift through when messing about with YouTube prior. Find songs in your silo that include the elements. Find some remixes of The Smiths if you have to, I’m sure they are out there.

    All DJs have to know exactly what to play next. That’s the skill, the technical part is a prerequisite to beginning to develop that skill. At a house party you have an advantage over other DJs though; you already know most of the people there and know what they like. Me? I play a lot of house and hip hop and bmore stuff when I play a house party because I know everyone gets a bit of what they want. I know my people. If you’re annoyed by people asking you to play obscure stuff then keep everyone happy enough that they don’t keep bugging you.

    And if it’s just one or two people, and everyone else is happy? Keep on keeping on, and welcome to playing in front of people. That’s just how it goes almost every time. Last time I played out the whole kitchen and living room was an impromptu dancefloor, everyone is going off to some bangin’ baltimore type stuff, and there’s still this one girl who keeps asking me to play Green Day. It got to the point where I weighed my options; do I want to put up with this all night vs. what’s going to go wrong if I play that right now? Also; do I have an edit? I did not. But everyone likes Longview. In it went, and it was great. I woudn’t have had that great dancefloor moment if I didn’t play her request.

    All I’m saying is, at a house party more than most other places, you have to trust the party. You should learn to see what they want before they come ask you for it. If you want to rock that party you have to make everyone happy. Trust the party, they’ll tell you what to do. More even than at a club or rave, you have to put your ego aside and do your job because no one in there came to see you; they’d have gone to the party anyway if you weren’t playing it so what can *you* bring to the party to make it better?



    Also, the part I forgot to type:

    Another advantage of playing house parties; you don’t actually have to deal with this problem if the host/owner of the house asked you to come do something specific and you’re doing it exactly as asked. You just tell the person annoying you to go talk to Jimmy (assuming the name of the owner of the house is Jimmy) because you’re just doing what he wanted. Not your problem. And if Jimmy comes and says “look man, I know, I get it, but can you just play the Smiths real quick?” then you kind of have to do it…it’s Jimmy’s house. If a club owner did that it would be really lame, and is unlikely anyway. If a home owner does it? Different story. They live there. They’re their guests.

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