Requests

Tips and techniques of the trade

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KevinSchaper
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#16 Post by KevinSchaper » Tue Feb 11, 2003 12:48 am

since I dj too, I always feel kind of self conscious about making requests.. even though, ironically, I love it when people with good taste request stuff.. I should start forcing myself.

I don't really have horror stories - if I don't wanna play something I don't..the only time anyone 'managementy' was involved was when the staff DJ at a country western bar where we used to do a swing night happened to be in the booth when some couple requested a hustle song, and he shot 'em down a lot more harshly than I would.

I have a good story - I was DJing at a late night in seattle and some guy I didn't recognize, came up lookin like he was gonna beg for some neoswing, and I was like, "uhh, I don't have much time left, whats your request?" ..and it was Artie Shaw's Lady Be Good - a fine song, and a perfect time to play it..

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Platypus
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#17 Post by Platypus » Tue Feb 11, 2003 1:44 pm

and it is really difficult to say "no" to a 16-year-old who requests Fletcher Henderson "Hotter than Hell".......

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Mr Awesomer
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#18 Post by Mr Awesomer » Fri Feb 14, 2003 11:20 am

Platypus wrote:and it is really difficult to say "no" to a 16-year-old who requests Fletcher Henderson "Hotter than Hell".......
Sounds like a wet dream... what? nothing
Reuben Brown
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Platypus
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#19 Post by Platypus » Mon Feb 17, 2003 7:18 am

Yes, it is.

Chuckles
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#20 Post by Chuckles » Mon Feb 17, 2003 10:53 pm

Does anybody else find requests to be insulting? I don't mean the insultingly stupid "can you play BBVD/CPD/Brian Setzer" kinds of requests, which are more out of ignorance than malice. I mean the kind of "can you play Such-And-Such by the So-and-So Orchestra?" or "can you play something slower/faster/stupider?" made by a dancer or other DJ. I believe that DJs are DJs and not jukeboxes or metronomes. It just about trusting my judgment.
Alan Parsons

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LazyP
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#21 Post by LazyP » Tue Feb 18, 2003 4:26 am

Chuckles wrote:Does anybody else find requests to be insulting? I don't mean the insultingly stupid "can you play BBVD/CPD/Brian Setzer" kinds of requests, which are more out of ignorance than malice. I mean the kind of "can you play Such-And-Such by the So-and-So Orchestra?" or "can you play something slower/faster/stupider?" made by a dancer or other DJ. I believe that DJs are DJs and not jukeboxes or metronomes. It just about trusting my judgment.
Why would requests be insulting? The person asking is usually a guest at the place you are djing at. They have payed to get in (usually) and I believe they have a right to ask for music they want to hear. We as DJs on the other hand have the option to play what they want to hear or choose not to do so. We are there to cater to the audience, not to satisfy our own needs to play music we like. When somebody has a request I ask myself if I think this is something the majority of my audience would like to hear or not.
If I don't like the music the audience wants to hear, then I sholdn't DJ there, that's how I see it.

/Patrik Rydberg
The ultimate european swing site!
www.heptown.com

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GemZombie
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#22 Post by GemZombie » Tue Feb 18, 2003 12:15 pm

Chuckles wrote:Does anybody else find requests to be insulting? I don't mean the insultingly stupid "can you play BBVD/CPD/Brian Setzer" kinds of requests, which are more out of ignorance than malice. I mean the kind of "can you play Such-And-Such by the So-and-So Orchestra?" or "can you play something slower/faster/stupider?" made by a dancer or other DJ. I believe that DJs are DJs and not jukeboxes or metronomes. It just about trusting my judgment.
I agree with you mostly, I'm not sure I'm insulted, but annoyed at the lack of etiquette.

My opinion, apparently, isn't popular though.

I play requests, but I adjust how many, or what type of request I'll play depending on the venue/event. At home, I'm more likely to play a request than at a national event. It's just the way I work.

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GemZombie
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#23 Post by GemZombie » Tue Feb 18, 2003 12:18 pm

LazyP wrote:
Chuckles wrote:Does anybody else find requests to be insulting? I don't mean the insultingly stupid "can you play BBVD/CPD/Brian Setzer" kinds of requests, which are more out of ignorance than malice. I mean the kind of "can you play Such-And-Such by the So-and-So Orchestra?" or "can you play something slower/faster/stupider?" made by a dancer or other DJ. I believe that DJs are DJs and not jukeboxes or metronomes. It just about trusting my judgment.
Why would requests be insulting? The person asking is usually a guest at the place you are djing at. They have payed to get in (usually) and I believe they have a right to ask for music they want to hear. We as DJs on the other hand have the option to play what they want to hear or choose not to do so. We are there to cater to the audience, not to satisfy our own needs to play music we like. When somebody has a request I ask myself if I think this is something the majority of my audience would like to hear or not.
If I don't like the music the audience wants to hear, then I sholdn't DJ there, that's how I see it.

/Patrik Rydberg
Two things though.

1. I DJ almost always for free
2. The venue I run is completely free (actually, I pay to run it since I have to hire a babysitter, and get nothing in return except people around me having fun dancing)... thus the "They payed to get in" argument doesn't work for me. Do you think that makes any difference? Just curious.

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Ron
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#24 Post by Ron » Tue Feb 18, 2003 12:46 pm

I don't look upon most requests as insulting. I think the "can you play something slower/faster?" requests are kinda insulting, but when people specifically request a particular song, I'm all right with it, most of the time. I've had people come up to me with requests who I know love my djing so its not like they are saying they don't trust me. They just have a yen to hear "Roll Em Pete" by Basie/Williams, or "Wade in the Water" by Cassidy that night. And its no big deal to satisfy that yen.

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#25 Post by Nate Dogg » Tue Feb 18, 2003 1:16 pm

GemZombie wrote:
LazyP wrote:
Chuckles wrote:Does anybody else find requests to be insulting? I don't mean the insultingly stupid "can you play BBVD/CPD/Brian Setzer" kinds of requests, which are more out of ignorance than malice. I mean the kind of "can you play Such-And-Such by the So-and-So Orchestra?" or "can you play something slower/faster/stupider?" made by a dancer or other DJ. I believe that DJs are DJs and not jukeboxes or metronomes. It just about trusting my judgment.
Why would requests be insulting? The person asking is usually a guest at the place you are djing at. They have payed to get in (usually) and I believe they have a right to ask for music they want to hear. We as DJs on the other hand have the option to play what they want to hear or choose not to do so. We are there to cater to the audience, not to satisfy our own needs to play music we like. When somebody has a request I ask myself if I think this is something the majority of my audience would like to hear or not.
If I don't like the music the audience wants to hear, then I sholdn't DJ there, that's how I see it.

/Patrik Rydberg
Two things though.

1. I DJ almost always for free
2. The venue I run is completely free (actually, I pay to run it since I have to hire a babysitter, and get nothing in return except people around me having fun dancing)... thus the "They payed to get in" argument doesn't work for me. Do you think that makes any difference? Just curious.
In my opinion, if you pay the rent, than you should be able to play whatever you want. If there is no rent and you are the sole sponsor, you should play whatever you want. If you are part of some sort of dance club, then the dance club has veto power. Collectively, the group should decide what the request policy is. That policy may or may not be that the DJ can play whatever he wants.

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CafeSavoy
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#26 Post by CafeSavoy » Tue Feb 18, 2003 3:21 pm

LazyP wrote:
Why would requests be insulting? The person asking is usually a guest at the place you are djing at. They have payed to get in (usually) and I believe they have a right to ask for music they want to hear. We as DJs on the other hand have the option to play what they want to hear or choose not to do so. We are there to cater to the audience, not to satisfy our own needs to play music we like. When somebody has a request I ask myself if I think this is something the majority of my audience would like to hear or not.
If I don't like the music the audience wants to hear, then I sholdn't DJ there, that's how I see it.

/Patrik Rydberg
thank you. well said. although i usually don't make requests of other djs,
i have no problems with people asking for requests. at least not until it
becomes a nuisance, i.e., too many and too stupid.

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Swifty
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#27 Post by Swifty » Tue Feb 18, 2003 4:09 pm

I hate when other DJs I know and respect come up to me with a CD while I'm spinning and say something like, "Check out track 4, it's cool." Who do they think they are? It's like they think they know more than me or something. When I'm up in that booth, I'm omnipotent...they should totally know their place.

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GemZombie
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#28 Post by GemZombie » Tue Feb 18, 2003 5:59 pm

Swifty wrote:I hate when other DJs I know and respect come up to me with a CD while I'm spinning and say something like, "Check out track 4, it's cool." Who do they think they are? It's like they think they know more than me or something. When I'm up in that booth, I'm omnipotent...they should totally know their place.
Hahahaha.

Nice Commentary :)

Those of us who don't *like* requests dont' think we're God. We are a bit more protective about what we play, and thus less likely to play a request that doesn't fit into our DJ style.

There is the philosphy that a DJ should play to the crowd, and where I think that is partly true, it's also a DJ's job to do what he's (paid) there to do... DJ using his skills and collection. It really comes down to individual events and venues and what's expected. Every week I get a bunch of West Coast Dancers coming towards the end of the night, and they ask for a song or two. They want Christina Aguilara, or some other Pop tune in a night that has, up until that point, all swing dance music. I usually oblige them towards the end of the night when things have loosened up (the owner of the Madonna Inn has left, and I don't have to worry about offending him).

But as I've said before, I generally won't play that kind of request when I have a single one hour set, during a big "Lindy Hop" event (such as the binge). Hopefully, that's why I was asked to DJ... because they knew I would play Lindy Hop Music :) I thought I was obeying the "house rules".

Requets often end up being complete 180's from the style a DJ is currently playing, and can be disruptive to their set. Othertimes that may work, but ultimately it should be up to the DJ and the "house rules" as it were.

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#29 Post by shortyjul » Thu Feb 20, 2003 3:57 pm

i hate requests. i'll admit it. i ESPECIALLY hate requests from other dj's. let THEM get their asses hired or start a venue. blah.

p.s. i heard barbara morrison has a new swing cd. anyone heard of it?

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Mr Awesomer
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#30 Post by Mr Awesomer » Thu Feb 20, 2003 4:02 pm

GemZombie wrote:Those of us who don't *like* requests dont' think we're God.
As a DJ who doesn't like requests, I didn't realize you spoke for me. :lol:

Perhaps you should say: "As a DJ who doesn't *like* requests, I don't think I'm a God."

This is why you get yourself in trouble. haha
Reuben Brown
Southern California

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