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What to look for in a disk jockey

Music can make or break the success of a party. The types and flow of songs play a strong role in whether people dance and otherwise get into the party spirit. Therefore, when you hire a DJ to provide the music for your party, you are entrusting him with a lot, so you want to choose someone who inspires your confidence.

Hiring the right DJ for your party is going to take some effort on your part. The ideal way to find a DJ is through first-hand experience -- you saw him at a club, wedding reception or other party or event, and you were impressed with his skills and demeanor. The next-best option is to take advantage of the first-hand experience of a friend or family member whose taste and referral you trust. And if that's not available, then you're going to have to do the legwork of contacting and feeling out a few DJ companies.

Important Disk Jockey Questions

Once you've found a DJ you think will do your party proud, meet with him and make sure he's the right choice by finding out the following:

Is he open to advance-playlist suggestions from you, and will he take song requests from guests during the party? Get an impression of whether he is rigid in his personal definition of what constitutes "DJ music." The last thing you want is a DJ who tells you what he will and won't play because he cares more about enforcing his own musical biases than in pleasing the particular crowd he's playing for.

Is he personable? His attitude toward taking song requests will be your first big clue, but during your meeting with him, notice whether he's taking notes and actually seems to be listening to your preferences and priorities for the event. And if you want him to provide commentary as well as music at your party, then you want to confirm that he's friendly and well spoken.

Is he reliable? You need a punctual and reliably mobile DJ, so when you meet with him, observe whether he's on time, and don't be afraid to politely ask him about what transportation he uses to get himself and, if necessary, his DJ equipment to and from events.

How much will his services cost? Like catering fees, fees for DJ services can vary wildly. However, it's worthwhile to pay a little more for a good DJ.

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