Toon Town Dave wrote:No offense taken, I prefer a nice frank discussion. I do want to nit pick a few points in your reply.
Excellent. And a few nits coming back at you...
Toon Town Dave wrote:First, I was careful to choose the word intuition rather than instinct, going with the Merriam Webster definition: "2. c. the power or faculty of attaining to direct knowledge or cognition without evident rational thought and inference". Intuition is that sense that a particular recording would go over great despite never having played it for an audience before.
I have no objection to you indicating that your choices are based on "intuition." But, focusing your attention on this part of the definition: "...without evident rational thought and inference..."
IMO, the "professional" standard REQUIRES rational thought.
You can rationally think through how a particular recording might go over despite never having played it for an audience before. If you reasoning is based on concrete observations and reasoning - that is the professional standard. If you reasoning is based on "intuition" alone
...than that is something other than the professional standard.
Toon Town Dave wrote:Instinct on the other hand is relatively easy to replicate, instinct is basically a heuristic. For us, that safety song that we go to when we just can't think of what to play is an example of instinct.
Actually, my "safety songs" are all based on preparation, prior experience, common requests, etc. I have concrete and rational explanations for every song that is on that list. It has nothing to do with instinct.
Toon Town Dave wrote:
SoundInMotionDJ wrote:It is very likely that an automated play list could go "as good" a job as most of the DJs on this board....provided that the music selection was restricted to "familiar favorites" for the particular crowd at hand. Think of this as the DJ who begins each set with the full play list from their last set, and re-arranges a few songs and adds a couple of new songs.
The problem with this is that small set of songs gets tired really fast the emotions of the audience become mechanical.
Who said the list would be small or static?
I said "...the music selection was restricted to 'familiar favorites' for the particular crowd at hand." I have hundreds of songs that meet that description. I make my selections from songs that meet that description. Given 20 three minute songs an hour, I have literally DAYS worth of "familiar favorites."
Toon Town Dave wrote:Thanks to open, discussions like this, both off and on-line, DJ'ing in the swing scene is pretty good and always getting better. It helps newer DJ's add to their skills and us more experienced DJs re-think our own approach. DJ's are constantly the depth and even breadth of music played at dances is always growing.
I have some concerns about the 'sudden" "homogenization" of music across the country - but I agree that the "average" level of music has generally gone up as a result of sites like this where DJs can trade ideas and song lists.
Toon Town Dave wrote:Maybe I'm just reading this the wrong way but doesn't art usually involve some form of innovation? Art critics like to analyzing works after the fact but I really don't think the best works of art were derived without some sort of intuition.
All great art is a dirty combination of rules and broken rules. All great art pushes the boundaries of conventional thought and the "norm." All great art is also built on a foundation of classical technique, rational thought, and deliberate choices. You must know the rules so that you can choose when you want to ignore them, or to make new rules.
Until you know the rules, until you are conscious of the decisions are you making, until the moves are deliberate - you can not achieve "awesome" and you probably won't even make it to "great" on a regular basis.
Be warned that sometimes efforts to get to "awesome" fail and you are left with "awful." Awesome rarely degrades gracefully...you either achieve it, or you wind up with a roomful of people staring at you.
There is a professional standard. All professionals (or master craftsmen, if you prefer) can teach an apprentice to perform at the same level. You must be able to articulate your choices if you are to be able to teach someone else to perform at your level.