Hey DJ Play That Song For Me & Other Requests

Learn how to ignore requests without looking like a jerk!


dj requests

One of the most difficult things for a new DJ is knowing how often to respond to requests—of any kind—and when to do so. Once you step inside that DJ booth you will be (mostly) in charge of entertaining the masses for the evening. That means putting together a few great set lists plus a few extra ‘just in case’ tracks, awesome transitions and maybe even a few funny words to keep the energy up all around you.

Even though that’s your job, there will always, always be a few backseat drivers who want to tell you what you should be doing. It’s annoying and it will piss you off. But just because some kid in neon sneakers is trying to tell you how to do your job…doesn’t mean the kid is wrong.

It will be up to you to figure out how to respond when you hear “Hey DJ play this song next,” or “Hey DJ play this mashup” and a ton of other suggestions, requests and advice for the one inside the DJ booth.

Learning how to respond to these “Hey DJ” requests will help make your night free of stress.

DJ Play This Song

Out of all the requests that will be made of you once you get inside the DJ booth, you will hear “Hey DJ play this song” more than anything else. It is so hard for new DJs to say no to multiple requests because they simply want to do what they’re told, which is to keep the clubbers happy.

The problem, as all DJs soon learn, is that you will be bombarded with requests and once you start granting them you will be expected to grant them all. The good news is that you can handle this. Take all the requests—some will probably already be in your set list—and play what you want. You are the DJ and it is your job to play the music.

Play This Artist

The popularity of most artists is cyclical, which means at certain points they are more ‘in demand’ than others. You might find yourself getting a ton of Katy Perry requests during the summer months and then you won’t get a request for her for months. Club and partygoers are music lovers and they have their favorite artists whom they want to hear when they’re having a good time.

This “Hey DJ play” request can be handled the same as the song request. Take them all so you don’t alienate the audience, but use your discretion to decide what requests to grant. You might find that 15 different requests are for the same artist, which means you’re set list is lacking in that area.

You don’t have to grant every song or artist request, but you can use them to learn how to change your tracks on the fly.

Hey DJ, Play More Hip Hop (EDM, House etc…)

Some clubbers are just…clueless. They go to a club known for a particular genre of music and then get upset because they want to hear another genre. Add in alcohol and it’s a recipe for disaster…if you let it. These guys will test your patience—if you let them—and make you second-guess your desire to be a DJ.

Your choices are pretty limitless here, but my preferred technique when dealing with these guys is to just tell them “Hey man, this isn’t that type of club” and that usually clears it up right away. For most of these guys. If they get more persistent than that tell them to take it up with the owner.

hey dj play my song

Let Me See Your Set List

While most DJs really hate getting song requests my least favorite “hey DJ play” request is the guy (or girl) who isn’t requesting anything, but is peeking over my shoulder trying to look at my set list and artist information. Call me paranoid but I just don’t like it. Once this clubber has been noticed, he or she will usually come right out and ask you for a copy of your set list.

Of course it is your choice whether or not you want to share it with them, but if you’re trying to do more than DJ you might want to think twice about being so free with your hard work. If your music is available somewhere, direct them there where they can purchase and download the tracks they love.

I Wanna Buy Your CD

Okay so maybe 10 years ago people were asking to buy your CD, but CD, MP3 or whatever; people will often shove money at you in the DJ booth and expect you to magically produce a hardcopy of your greatest tracks. If you do have CDs available you should have someone around who can handle that for you (girlfriend, manager, groupie etc…) or tell them you’ll be selling them after your set.

If you don’t have anything to sell with you, hand out business cards, fliers or glossies with your contact information on them so your fans know where to go to get more of your musical genius.

Just become someone shouts out, “Hey DJ, play…” doesn’t mean you have to give them what they want.

I hope I helped you learn how to handle all the DJ requests you’ll get in a night. Email in the box below to get access to Free video DJ lessons that will answer all of your questions on how to become a disk jockey!

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