Advice on music library for a Wedding DJ
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  1. #1
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    Default Advice on music library for a Wedding DJ

    Hi guys,

    It's my first post on this forum after reading many good and helpful posts!

    I'm just asking to find out on what people say is the best way to build a music library for wedding djs and dealing with requests on the fly.

    My initial thoughts tend to be build the biggest library possible by collecting music and compilation albums and then running a program like pulse locker through Serato for any requests I don't have as well as expanding my collection by saving music for offline use.

    I just wondered what other people do and what works for them?

    Regards
    Paul

  2. #2
    Tech Convert
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    as a wedding dj myself, I started with my first wedding and took in all their requests and special songs. Build a library that you will use, don't build a library that you feel you may need. Dinner and background music, and dance music are 2 separate things. My playlist is ever growing just based on requests from couples.

    When i started i bought the billboard compilations, and "now that's what i call" series cds just to have something in case it was requested, but as I got deeper and deeper, i know have a wedding playlist for both background and dance that will appeal to about 85% of my clients. You will have clients that want something completely different, but you cant plan for that. I have a phone that i use in case someone MUST hear something (family song or something like that). If its a drunk asking for hotline bling, i don't pay it any attention. Weddings are a different beast all together. You are actually curating a night, not just djing for a bunch of drunks, although you may end up there

  3. #3
    Tech Mentor jimmyv's Avatar
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    Welcome to the forums.

    I have been a wedding DJ since 1992. Here a a few bits of advice that have worked for me...

    For starters, Google DJ Intelligence top 200 requests. They have several other top request as well. Build up your current top 40 library as well as previous years. Get yourself a subscription to a legal music pool like promo only. Check out iTunes for top hits and possibly wedding "collection" compilations. That should be a good start.
    Organization is key. Put your music into play lists like disco, 2016 pop, rock, hip hop etc. It's not necessary to have 20,000 songs on your computer. Keep your most used songs on your computer and keep the rest of your collection on an external hard drive.

    I'm assuming you're new to the wedding business. If you are, hook up with an established wedding DJ and learn the business before going out on your own. There is a lot to learn,and v if you're not prepared, you will destroy someones day.

    Just take your time, learn the ropes of DJ'ing a wedding, buy your music legally, buy the best gear you can afford.

    Feel free to hit us up if you have any questions.

  4. #4
    Tech Mentor Stephen Nawlins's Avatar
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    Welcome PaulKing26,

    I am DJ myself and making Weddings since 16 years.

    I have my whole Music collection on an external harddrive Folders like:
    - 70's
    - 80's
    - 90's
    - Party Sound
    - Latino
    - Rock'N'Roll
    - Funk
    - Rock
    - House
    - Oldies
    - etc...

    How Ever you are comfy and would storage your Songs by Style or Category...There's no "One Size Fits All" Solution as we are all individual.
    I made it that way because sometimes People just come with the request "Can you please Play some Funk" and so I can go thru the "Funk" Folder to find the Inspiration.

    Then when a couple sends me their requests, I check on my Harddrive if I have the Songs and create a new Folder on the Notebook called for Example "Wedding Julia & Eric" in which I copy the Songs for the Event.

    Then mostly their Request List comes in Excel-Format (or I convert or copy it into an Excel Sheet), so I can put comments behing the Songs, like for example which other song that I know could fit to it in my Set.

    When Requests are coming during the Party I simply use the Windows Explorer Search Function to find it.
    As a song can fit into more than 1 Category above I copied them, so possibly I get the same song a few times on my HD but Nowadays with HD capacities like 1 or 2 TB it's not a big deal.

    And then after 16 year and hundreds of Gigs, well I still try all this I told you before but mostly the "Freestyle Mode" gets Overhand and all the Organisation of Library, Folders and Categories was just lost time and I allready know which Song I Play next , just inspired by my mood, Feelings, the crowd and the groove of the Party in General...and then My Songs just could be all in the same Folder, just well tagged but I would exactly know what to type into the search function of the Explorer.

  5. #5
    Tech Guru DJAdeSands's Avatar
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    Welcome!!

    I'm not strictly a 'Wedding' DJ, but mobile, where Weddings make up about 40% of the work. Most of what's been said is bang on.
    What I have done, is build up a well organised collection, stuff that makes up the non-top 40 stuff.
    It's essential to have a well organised collection, because although the couple may give you an idea of what they like, the guests will hit you with it on the night, and it's generally going to be popular stuff anyway. The Now! Collections are a great place to start for top 40. The UK ones cover from early 80's right up to recent.
    I'm in N. Ireland so, here, my playlists may not work for you, because at weddings, music changes depending on region, but I do have my pop tunes in year order and star rated for dancefloor effect. A 'Wedding' folder on Traktor with essential 5 starred tunes for 1st dances, end of the night tunes, and playlists that couples have sent prior to gigs, great for inspiration.
    I do have a generic party folder seperated into Irish, Country, 60's, 70's, 80's, 90's, Party Rock, etc, containing dancefloor monsters that I dip into regularly for weddings, and these are a good help.

    It's important to know as well, that you may have a huge collection, you are much better getting rid of those tunes that you think you'll never use, you can always compensate if you don't have 'that' tune among the 40,000 tracks that you have, (which frankly is a ridiculous amount of music to take to a gig) if you don't have it, it's probably not worth having.
    When ya got a few Weddings under your belt, you'll see how your collection needs edited, what you need to add or change, and from that be able to put on a good show with little effort.
    I'm sure all our setups are totally different, although we may all put on similar shows.
    I've never gone to a wedding recently with music worries, I'm confident in my collection, it's an ongoing work in progress, has been for 19 years (from 1st wedding) - never stop curating that collection.
    A very important point raised earlier, is take less notice of the drunk person.. you are the curator.

    If you use serato/traktor, songs are available in seconds, and in the grand scheme of things, making sure id3 tags are correct is ESSENTIAL (otherwise you'll be hopping out of the software to search on OS)

    The selection from your collection is the key, a wedding is never an easy gig, you need a tailor made selection for an audience you don't really know..

    Sent from my SM-G900F using Tapatalk
    Last edited by DJAdeSands; 10-06-2016 at 06:39 AM.
    Denon DJ/MC6000KMK2/Launchpad S/LaunchcontrolXL/Traktor Pro 2/Bringin it since 96.

  6. #6
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    @DJAdeSands
    I may start a new thread if it looks like i'm threadjacking this one too much.
    There's a chance i may be relocating to Ireland (County Mayo), & I would be looking to continue DJing once we where settled. I know you're in the north, but would i find it to be much different to working in the UK? ....i'm talking about regular mobile work here, so probably a fair number of weddings. (I realise i'll have to do my homework, re' local trends / music)
    Any useful tips would be appreciated.
    Cheers

    IAN WILLIAMS

  7. #7
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    Hi everyone,

    Thank you all for your responses it is a great help and benefit to hear tips from others. I've worked in the Wedding Industry for 6 years now as part of an Acoustic Duo however we are normally performing during the ceremony and wedding breakfast, the evening reception is where we tend to end so it's a complete new kettle of fish!

    From hearing what others have said it appears that actual DJ skills and mixing isn't as essential as song selection as the wrong song at the wrong time could be a disaster! I guess I will start to get the 'Now..' series compilation albums to start building up the current charts and then use the dj intelligence sites to get inspiration for the most requested songs from older eras and different genres. After a few I suppose you will then get into a little routine of having say 6 songs that all work well together rather than constantly thinking what song next.

    It's all a learning curve but it's great fun and hearing from others that are well established within the business is inspiring.

    Thanks folks!

  8. #8
    Tech Guru DJAdeSands's Avatar
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    Big time.
    Off topic - I got a booking for next year where the groom's from County Mayo.
    Even between the North and the Republic, there's quite a difference in music, I do get quite a few bookings in the Republic, and I generally don't find a massive difference, but enough to consider your music choice.
    I did a wedding for a couple last year where they won a competition to have their wedding in a rather extravagant venue here in the North, they were from England and they gave me a list of music they and their guests wanted, I used that and used my own experience to fill the gaps, it was a fantastic night. Their request list helped a lot, but really, a lot of stuff contained on the list would not have been music I would ordinarily have played, it made it even more awesome.
    I have been in England too when other weddings have been on, and the music choice has been quite interesting, it's definitely not what I was used to, but then, ask a DJ in England to do a 'Donegal Disco' they'll look at you and wonder what the hell yer on about..

    Certainly if ya want to discuss it further, I'd be glad to lend opinion/help (not that I'm the authority on Donegal Discos) but been at this long enough to have seen most things at gigs.

    Sent from my SM-G900F using Tapatalk
    Last edited by DJAdeSands; 10-06-2016 at 02:26 PM.
    Denon DJ/MC6000KMK2/Launchpad S/LaunchcontrolXL/Traktor Pro 2/Bringin it since 96.

  9. #9
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    Interesting!
    If the move happens, i may be in touch for a chat
    (Even with the current exchange rate, we can still buy a four bedroomed house with a couple of acres out west for the same price as a terraced house in our part of the UK)
    Anyway, back to the regular DJ chat!
    Cheers

    IAN WILLIAMS

  10. #10
    Tech Guru DJAdeSands's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thisisian View Post
    Interesting!
    If the move happens, i may be in touch for a chat
    (Even with the current exchange rate, we can still buy a four bedroomed house with a couple of acres out west for the same price as a terraced house in our part of the UK)
    Anyway, back to the regular DJ chat!
    Yea, no probs..

    Sent from my SM-G900F using Tapatalk
    Denon DJ/MC6000KMK2/Launchpad S/LaunchcontrolXL/Traktor Pro 2/Bringin it since 96.

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