Things you should never say to a DJ

So my friend and former DJ partner Jak got this from Rusty (aka Mudkids aka Bird Men of Alcatraz) and sent it to me. Are you following me so far? good.

I haven’t DJ’d in a club for a long time, but I can see where this is coming from. Nowadays, when I sit down with a client, I want to find out exactly what they want, then make it work over the course of an evening.. I just have to make it work. It’s a different sort of challenge compared to selling drinks and keeping people on the dance floor. I love it.

I remember once upon a time, a Tri Delt came up with a tape of a song she thought Jak & I had never heard before. A little game of stump the DJ, maybe. We threw it in the tape deck and laughed, because we had the original 12″. It got played next. And the Tri Delts go wild!

What NOT to say to a DJ…

I didn’t write this originally, but I will HAPPILY repost it because I agree with 98% of what is in this…

“What Not To Say To a DJ”

The D.J. has to play for more than one person…so, what you may hate may be another’s favorite song and EVERYTHING played here can be danced to one way or another.

BE SERIOUS! We know of NO songs played in a club that don’t have some sort of a beat!

Please don’t sing for the D.J.! They have to put up with smoke-filled rooms and dangerous decibel levels all night. Do them a favor and DON’T give them a rendition of your favorite song!

Oh sure, you polled EVERYONE in the club and, as their spokesperson, you are requesting the song.

If you are GOOD ENOUGH, you can get laid to anything!! (also been known as “buy the album and get laid for a month!”). If you need ME to play you a song so that YOU can get laid, you’ve got problems. Besides, point your girl out to the DJ and I will play it for her after you get wasted and pass out. 😉

The only people who can get away with that statement write the D.J.’s paycheck! Plus more often than not, the dj has the next song already cued up and ready to go, and does not have time to find your song, get it on the decks, and get it cued up in time to be next.

It’s a lot easier for you to go have another beer and figure out what you want to hear than it is for the D.J. to recite the name of EVERY record in the booth! Also don’t ask for a songlist! I don’t know of any club dj’s that actually keep a printed liist with them! We keep it in our heads or sometimes in a database!

It is not advisable to say this when the dance floor is packed (but, some people do anyway)! However, even if there is only ONE person on the floor, it STILL contradicts the statement. You’re just being rude. Have an open mind about music.

The D.J. won’t…I guess that blows a hole in that theory! Plus half the time I hear this, no-one goes to the dancefloor except for the person that asked for it, and when they realize they’re the only one that wanted to dance to it, they bail. If you ask the dj for a dance song and don’t dance to it, expect the dj to ignore your requests the rest of the night. However, if we play your song and you dance and have a good time, even if no-one else does, we’ll still take your next request seriously. We like to please, even if it’s one person at a time.

10. MOST IMPORTANTLY!!!! If your at a club or event that doesn’t play any Rock and Roll, DON’T ask “you got any rock & roll”? Just go outside to your car and turn on the radio or go home and watch MTV!!


If you ask for a song and the D.J. says he just played it, DON’T SAY, “Well, I just got here.” It makes absolutely no difference. None at all. If you want to be sure you hear your favorite song at the club, you better be there when the dj starts his/her set. We don’t have a flashing red light in the booth that tells us that you’re there and we can play your song now.

DON’T SAY, “Is this the only kind of music you play?” If you go to a Chinese restuarant, you wouldn’t ask for Italian food. Rock clubs play rock, alternative clubs play alternative, discos play disco, etc., etc., etc…

If you ask for a song, BE SPECIFIC. DON’T SAY, “I wanna hear something, anything but this!” Try going to the bar and saying, “I wanna drink something, anything but this…” You can’t complain if you’re not SPECIFIC. HOWEVER, if you ARE specific and the D.J. says he doesn’t have the song, DON’T SAY, “What?!! What do you mean you don’t have it? What kind of d.j. are you? Why don’t you get into the wonderful world of fast food! You obviously don’t know what you’re doing as a D.J.!”…
We may reply with “I don’t come to your job and SMACK the DICK out of your mouth when your working.”
THE DJ MAY SHOOT YOU!!! OR DROP KICK YOUR ASS MATRIX STYLE! Or just have you escorted out of the club. We can do that. Trust me. DO NOT BE AN ASS.

Special Note
A nightclub D.J. gets very little respect. They are expected to play everything for everybody. It is impossible to satisfy all to the people all of the time, yet club jocks are expected to do just that. If a radio jock tells his listeners a song is a hit, the majority of the people think it must be “because they said so on the radio.” However, 80f the time that same song was being played in a club long before the radio “DISCOVERED” the “NEW” song. So give the D.J. a break! The next time you request a song, stop and think before you speak. Remember a request is just that… a request!! It’s NOT a guarantee your song will get played!! Ask once for your song and the DJ will try and play it. Keep asking and you’re being a pain in the ass! Don’t send all your friends to request the same song hoping to get it played. DJ’s aren’t that stupid!! They get dozens of requests in a night and there isn’t enough time to play them all.

If you have a cd that you want the dj to play, and the dj agrees to listen to it, they’re ALREADY DOING YOU A FAVOR BY TAKING THE TIME TO DO SO. If they don’t play it don’t be pissed, they made a judgement call that the music wasn’t the right type to be played. If you wanna hear only songs that you wanna hear, STAY AT HOME AND LISTEN TO YOUR CD’S.

If you DJ or MC (or just say that you do) DONT ask me if you can “dj/mc for a little bit” AT MY GIG especially if I dont know you! If you wanna spin/mc at a club, talk to the owners and give them a mix tape! No one will take you serious without one. Of course unless you already have paying gigs (in which case you wouldnt be tryin to do it at my gig). They’re paying us to play music and make announcements, not to host open mic night.

DON’T TELL US THAT “I DO THIS TOO!” If you were a dj worth your salt you’d be working somewhere on a friday/saturday nite, not hanging on our coat-tails or spinning records in your mom’s basement.

My booth is NOT a “Coat Check” So don’t come up in it asking me if I could watch your coat/purse. If that is to much for you to handle you should have left it in your car!!!

Also don’t come up in the DJ booth and just hover around!!!! A DJ needs space to work.You don’t see me coming into your work and standing over your computer, or looking over your shoulder while your trying to work. That would just be plain rude!!

And if I do decide to let you hang around in the both, NEVER EVER set your BEER/Drink down around my VERY EXPENSIVE equipment!!!!! If that spills I’m out Thousands of Dollars!!!!! You don’t see me and my girlfriend hanging out on the hood of your car. So PLEASE show me the same respect for something important to me.

And above all and !!!Most Importantly!!!, if the DJ has one hand on the mixer, one hand on a turntable and is wearing headphones,
DON’T BUG US unless you know us!!!!!!!

Oh, I almost forgot one more thing. Don’t flash us any money for your request unless your “DONALD TRUMP”!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It’s a hard job being a DJ. Our work most of the time goes very much unappreciated. Think about it, we are the only people in the club who don’t get a chance to actually just sit and hang out with our buddies. If we stop to take a break, the whole club and the music stops with us. We spend sometimes 6 to 8 hours in a booth, STANDING the whole time. We are lucky if we get a chance to find a second to take a bathroom break. Cause when we screw up and the music stops everyone starts yelling and complaining. “Noone ever remembers when we are doing a good job, but screw up even once, and everyone notices”.

Shouts to my man Chizzy on that one!

Yeah, what he said ^^^^^^^^

Respect and Grace,

Rusty Redenbacher

5 thoughts on “Things you should never say to a DJ

  1. I couldn’t have put it in better words myself! We as Dj’s should post this at every gig we do.

  2. Man, you said a mouthful and it is so true! I love it and I do with people would get this through their heads! But it is impossible to educate the public, luckily my wife and my partner goes with me to every gig and spins for me when I have to use the toilet and she gets me my drinks and food so I can concentrate and actually do my job. The most fun job I have ever had and the most rewarding, but I do all my own setup and break down and sound check, etc. Hit me back with a reply, and keep on rockin’!
    Rob TheDeeJay Bass

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