Month: January 2017

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DJ Powers: The Line Dance

The true power of the line dance

All events outside the club that include a variety of ages will at some point do a line dance or group participation dance. As a DJ it took me a while to get to the point of being non judge mental about these dances. I was used to be upset that they would take all the hits and turn them into line dances. Its fine when every one in the event knows them but wastes the song when they don’t. They will spend the whole song  trying figure it out lol.

Well you know you will have to play that again right.

Line dance

The one thing Line dances do for people

Crowd participation dances is what some call them. That means that the dance floor is guaranteed to be packed. The dances usually have instructions to them so you don’t have to think once you get the steps down to the routine. One two three four five six seven and eight. Ok enough of the playing.

What is the real power of line dancing man c’mon lol

Here it is plain and simple. The dance floor is packed so no one is singled out and laughed at because of some old time dance moves. People have gotten a little older in age and in mind. There are a lot of old young people too. They haven’t really kept up with the dancing and may feel a little out of place on the dance floor.

The Line dances having the instructions to them that everyone follows is the answer to that dilemma for them.

So the true power of the line dance is “Protection and security”

Line dance

A line dance offers protection to those who are not secure in their 2 step game. It offers security in knowing that they will not be singled out.  Sort of like when people go the gym and feel people are looking at them. They feel more secure when it’s packed.

After the protection and security its just plain fun. Fun equals happy and happy equals laughter and laughter equals more enjoyment and just maybe after a couple of line dances and some drink insecurity flies out the window.  Now its a party. 

Line dance

So hey next time they are sitting in there chairs dancing and looking shy. Offer them some protection and drop in the wobble for the ladies.

Big Ty i’m out

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DJ powers: Nostalgia

What is Nostalgia?

My definition of nostalgia is a place and time where everything seemed perfect in my memories. It is a magical place where time itself has erased any stress or hardship from that time and left only the brightest shiniest smiles of all time. Its is a place that holds the most happiest memories I can think of.

Nostalgia

Where does Nostalgia live?

In the minds of your crowd. Each person that you see at the wedding, The birthday party, the family or high school reunions all has some nostalgic moments in their heads. Most never know that they have associated music with those great moments in time. Nostalgia can be created in a person by a smell , something they see , and more importantly for us is music.

nostalgia

What does Nostalgia do?

Oh yeah now we are getting to the meat of it all and what it means for you the DJ. Nostalgia will take a person including us to a place of complete happiness that live in our head as the past BUT brings those feeling to the now where they are experienced.  So every thought of the past is always experienced in the present.

What is nostalgic for you may not be for the next person.

Yes you will have to do your research on this. Take into account the people you are DJIng for. The age group and when as a group did they have the most fun in their lives.  Maybe around 15 to 25 age and that’s just a guest but a good starting place.  So what brings out these emotions for me will not do it for a 60 year old or a 50 year old.

How and why use Nostalgia in my sets. 

What you are doing in your sets is periodically hitting through music and place in your crowds memory that the best times of their life exist. If you touch this the party or what ever you are DJing will get a serious boost in enjoyment. So what I am saying is if you drop that song from the past and it works. You are tapping into the best times in memories and bringing them out to have the best times in the present party.

How to use it.

As with all things but especially this do not overdue it. You will kill the power of it if overdone. You are working with memories and memories are not perfect. You are tapping into the emotion of those memories and not if they are accurate or not. So drop those songs in to your crowd around 3 times in your set when you need a boost of good times. The biggest things about these songs are they haven’t been heard by your audiences in a long time.

Their power lies in not being heard in a while and that is why they are associated with the past. To be clear you are dropping a song that will bring back the joy that some of your crowd felt when it was out. You are then relying on the fact that all moods are contagious. Armed with this knowledge you have created an overall atmosphere of awesome. Not only for the people  who are having the nostalgic moment but also the people who are witnessing them be taken back to such wonderful times.

Check out this clip from “alive inside”.  The producers are trying hard to figure out a little bit about this man in the films life. In a way they are DJs doing their research to see what songs they could play to touch the nostalgic part of him. Well they did a good job check it out for yourself.

 

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How to be a DJ – The beginning is the key

The beginning

I can believe that most DJ’s start off with the love of music first. Most of us sit around and listen to music all the time. I found myself always gravitating to where the music was being played. Whether it was changing the records for my father while he danced or pausing and playing cassette tapes for family parties. Then I had the fever so bad I bought a basic mixer for 20$ from the pawn shop then began mixing with 6 CD player on one side and a DVD  player on the other. The mixing was terrible but the fever was growing LOL. But because the mixing was terrible and parties still rocked I learned a few things later on. Oh the funniest thing is when I finally decided to use the Laptop to DJ I didn’t know anything about DJ software. I hooked the Laptop to the Mixer and on the other channel was the CD player lol.

I know terrible right but the love was still there and the parties was always live. Of course the parties at that time may be more nostalgic then anything. If I had recordings of the mixes I’m sure I would cringed and you would too lol. My point in all this is in order to be a DJ you don’t have to run out and automatically buy all the expensive equipment you can get your hands on. The first thing you can do is invest in a good attitude towards it. Majority of the time we all start off as mobile DJs which is just another way of saying you’re not DJing in a set club yet or ever it depends on your interest. I actually enjoy the Mobile scene a lot.

When you are on the mobile scene you are DJing for all ages.

Weddings that will be from age 20 and up. Family reunions and also high school reunions, House parties and cookouts etc. So let’s take a look at this. We have love for music right. We have good music and a lot of it that we want to share with the world right. Now go back and look at the Mobile scene and see how your music would fit with some of those crowds. This is one of the biggest reasons New DJ’s give up. They usually see the love they have and never take the time to understand that they will be of service to people. No need to spend a lot of money on DJ equipment to be in service to yourself unless that’s what you want to do. If you want to be in service of others take some time to think about it first. You may have to think about this mobile scene to see where you fit and then adjust your music from there.

Something to express

The first Grandmaster and mobile DJ – Grand master flowers

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How be a DJ part 2. Crowd participant

man spying

Crowd participant

 

I believe one of the greatest things you can do before you go out and purchase the expensive equipment u will need is to be a conscious crowd participant. What I mean is to go out and have fun but instead of losing yourself in the moment, you will be observant of the crowd’s reactions to the DJ. Now don’t get caught up in who the DJ is or be over critical of them either. It’s just and honest observation. Listen to what if anything that the crowds says about them. This is the best way to get an honest impression of what people enjoy and why.  So your homework will to just go out to the club then go out to parties outside the club. See how club djs play different than a mobile dj.

See how people expect different music from the two. I remember I went to a birthday party and the DJ was a club DJ. He had been spinning for a while and was great technically.  He was given the wrong information about what to play at the party. The agent who booked him didn’t tell him who all was going to be there so his playlist was the same from the club he DJ’d at.  Needless to say he ended up bombing bad so much so the music was stopped and the party became a social gathering. I will get deeper about what happened to him in a different article but for now.

This is what the crowd around me was saying.

“A DJ is supposed to have everything people want to hear” “he not even mixing right”. I sat there and watched and listened all night. I noticed the bombing body language of the people and hoped that never happened to me. As a conscious crowd participant I got little insights on what people wanted. I also learned crowd reading responses. All the little things that you will never see as the DJ is always available to you as a crowd participant. The best thing that comes out of just being in the crowd enjoying yourself is you can hear what the DJ is doing right and maybe where they missed it a few times. This will go beautiful in planning your strategy for how you want to DJ.

 

Something to express.

LET IT BE KNOWN

 

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How to be a DJ part 3- Social vs Party music

Chair dance or party music

It’s time to take a good hard look at the music you have. We usually turn to djing because we love music. We love listening to music and playing music and collecting music. We’ve got cds stored , vinyl collections and 100,000 mp3’s. One thing though, What kind of music do you have? I remember having 10,000 mp3 songs and 9,900 of them were what I call social songs. Social songs are the songs that sound good but you are just head nodding and chair dancing to them.

They go great in social settings like get together’s, and some cookouts and things like that. Nobody told me this first though. I started spinning at parties with social songs.  So guess what they head nodded and toe tapped and chair danced. The problem with social music was once they started to dance I still had head nodding music hahahahahaha. It’s nothing like getting the party started and the only thing you have left to play is a Hardcore gangsta rap song from the 90’s. Drop it in with your eyes close praying and only to open them and the girls are looking at you like this. Hahahahahahahahahahahahahha

WTF face

My point in this is just to get you to really take a hard look at the music you have and see if it really is party music or sit down get a drink and head nod music. I could never let you guys get your first gig and realize you have too much head nodd and no party.

 

Now party music on the other hand we all know it and we’ve all danced to it at times.  It’s the music that gets you up out your seat and hit the dancefloor with your best moves. Depending on the crowd party and social music and interchange but we will get into that later. For now check your millions of music and realize what you actually have and what you may need depending on the kind of Mobile spots your want to DJ at.

 

 

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How to DJ part 4: The Love

A lot DJs will tell you that learning the foundation and the roots is the key to being a successful DJ. They will tell you that you have to master the basics and practice hard to succeed. Although I do find that all those things are important, I find that it is the love for DJing that is hands down the most important thing for a beginning DJ to succeed.  So that is my question to you. Are you interested in becoming a DJ because this is what you love to do? If there were no accolades to gain, No crowd to rock, and no exposure is this something you would continue to do when nobody is around? If you do have the love continue on if not you may want to rethink this thing before you go out and buy equipment. If you take trip to any local pawn shop you will see they are full of DJ equipment for whatever reason. If you have this love it will guide you the challenges and the successes of being a DJ. The love of what you are doing will grant you the patience to practice your craft and grow your business. Understand this , you will not just show up to a gig and play your finest playlist so every will shower praises of the greatest DJ of all time your way. There is some tidiest task involved in your preparation for any gig including free ones.  If you are looking to convert cds into mp3’s that will take a lot of patience to do. If its your first time and you want to get DJ sofware well that will take time to learn as well.  Because I will not sugar coat anything about being a DJ on this blog, you will need this love to sustain you while reading it. There are many small mistakes that you can potentially make while getting started. So these post are post to prevent some and may at times sound a bit negative and may discourage you. The love you have will sustain you through it to get to the meat of the post.  You ever hear sports figures talk about the love they have for the sport. What comes to my mind is Michael Jordan, Kobe and Lebron talk about the love for basketball they have. Well that love is what got them up in the morning at 5:30 am to shoot 500 to 1000 shots everyday. It is this kind of love that will make practice not seem like work. The kind of love that you hear when artist talk about forgetting how much time they spent in the studio recording and walking out to the sun shining after spending a whole night recording. I may have gone a little overboard talking about this but my point is when the pitfalls and challenges come with DJing it will be this love that sustains you through it. It will be fun and it will be a whole lot of fun. The preparation will be no more than a necessary step to get to the fun.  Nothing more fulfilling then after all the work you put in seeing all the smiles and enjoyment of a party you performed at. Every now and again hearing someone “maaan you rocked”

That’s the love !!!!!!! You need more proof check my man Henry out. Sums up what the basis of spinning music for people is all about on the ground level.

 

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How to be a DJ part 5- buying the equipment

Buying the equipment: 

Wow so we’ve come to a turning point. No way back now beginning DJs. Once you’ve committed to spending money on equipment you are now becoming a professional DJ. The first thing you will have to decide is how you want to play the music. You’ve probably seen  a DJ rocking somewhere and said hey that looks easy enough.

Watch as he scroll through the laptop and changed the songs on a controller of some sort. Well one thing about this is if you have cds as you main source of music then they will have to be converted into wav or mp3 digital formats.  Most laptop will have this software installed on them but it will take some time to convert a cd collection to digital formats. If you have the time and the grind then get to ripping before you decide your next move. For those of you who has a lot digital music you will want to sort through them to see how much party music you have.

 

Streaming services.

If you have streaming subscription service you still will not be able to mix those songs from that service. I believe some subscription services are trying to change this but even then you will have to rely on having internet connection to do so.

Believe me some of the places a mobile DJ plays in will not have internet services so that is not a reliable option. The reliable option is to have all of your music on either your Laptop and an External Harddrive . I find that stripping your laptop of everything but DJ related stuff will perform better using the DJ software of your choice.  You will not have to eliminate all of your personal music from you catalog just find another place to store them from your DJ music. If you can get a separate hard drive to store any personal music you love.  Back to the party !!!!!!!

I know most people already have a laptop at their disposal but if you don’t you will have to get a mid grade laptop. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy you don’t have to go and buy the top of the line Mac book yet. I’ve always had a saying “to let the gigs determine and pay for your equipment”. I have no problem if you find yourself stepping up in a certain arena to upgrade your equipment. For starters though your budget is the most important thing now.

 

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