What Makes A Good DJ?


What makes for a good DJ? Knowing your audience is number one. If you are playing to a twenty-something crowd you have to know what they like even if you, yourself are fifty-something.

A DJ that delivers the best is one who gets behind whatever music he or she has been requested to play. Personal preferences are the gift every DJ wants to spin, but not always the popular choice of the listening group.

The listeners may be in their sixties and seventies, and they don’t really want a constant diet of Taylor Swift, but could groove all day to the Stones. A good Disc Jockey gives the crowd what they want, but composed by a masterful DJ who can put a top coat on things, but must remember what’s underneath. Play to the depth of the listening audience and keep it smooth!

Like most things, Americans think the first DJ was an American innovation. (We are modern mimics of the Chinese in this way.) In fairness, some of the best music of all time was being produced in the USA. – think Elvis Presley and Frank Sinatra, but in actuality the first disc spinner was put into action in Paris, France in 1947. At the now, long remembered Whiskey A Go-Go Discoteque the turntables were hot and getting hotter as the trend began to spread throughout Europe and the United States as well as the Caribbean.

DJs’ spinning tunes out of loud speakers brought the much needed lift that people craved to get out of a postwar depression. It was perfectly timed. As Europe rebuilt itself, and their American and Canadian Allies needed an injection of light and laughter, it became clear that there would always be a place for deejays in the world.

Over the years, like anything creative and cutting edge being a Deejay wasn’t just about broadcasting tunes over the radio or from the booth of a nightclub. It evolved and being at the helm meant becoming a turntablist. This involves an ear for mixing sounds, the blending of more than one technology and physically manipulating the records and stylus to produce a one of a kind sound.

More than a few good DJs went on to become famous like Pauly D, Bob Crane, Lil John, and Graham Norton, for example. These guys furthered their career by reaching different heights within the acting and music industry, but will always be remembered first for knowing how to shine a spotlight on other artists’ talents.

While these guys could still pull in the big bucks, there are some newer very talented spinners on the block. Names that pull in the highest dollar for their expertise are Roger Shah from Germany, noted as “the best disc jockey in the world”. Then there is Noel Fielding, who keeps the music going, but also his audience laughing, as he was voted the best comedy personality on radio.

Planning a party? Got the right person in charge of music? Music can either make or break a good bash. Google your local DJ registrar, ask around, watch someone in action, but get yourself a good turntablist and then proceed to rock out.

Leave a comment below. Give a shout out to your favorite DJ and tell us why.