Tips for DJing house parties
DJing house parties can be a good way to fine tune your skills. I loved DJing house parties. Here are my tips:
Streaming vs a hard drive
If you're not mixing then you may want to have access to the internet. People may request songs that you don't have.
YouTube and Spotify have premium services that allow you to play music without advertisements. These may be an option if you're not mixing music. If you're streaming music then you need to make sure that your internet connection is good enough to prevent the music from cutting out.
If WiFi isn't available or is patchy then you probably need a data plan from your mobile provider.
You can have songs on a hard drive. I take this approach.
Some people use external hard drives.
If people request a song then you can put it on the hard drive. Of course you'd want the popular songs in the genre that you're playing on the hard drives. However it's always good to experiment with lesser known songs and alternatives too.
Know your audience before the event
You should at least know what people like before you start playing. Usually the host would give you this information prior.
You wouldn't want to play dubstep at someone's 80th birthday for example. Some 80 year olds would like dubstep, but most people of this age wouldn't.
If people aren't dancing it's usually a good sign that you need to change the music.
Good equipment are essential
If you're not bluetoothing to the equipment at the house party then you must have good speakers.
Learn how to quickly transition from DJ decks to a web browser without issue.
I haven't personally had Karaoke gig as part of a DJ gig but my friend DJ Handease has. He usually has a hot key that he uses if he needs to shut off Karaoke. He says that sometimes drama happens and having an off switch is good.
Have a suitable volume
While some hosts may prefer it loud, some hosts would prefer it quieter to allow people to talk. Ask what the host would prefer beforehand.
Some people at the party could have different ideas. Some people would want you to turn it up, even if it's already loud.
Always obey the host.
I usually have two volumes. I have a regular volume and a separate volume I use when people ask me to turn the music up. I keep it at the second volume until the song ends then turn it back down.
Ensure that you test your system before the party
You don't want to turn up and have things not work.
If you're using the host's speakers then you may want to turn up a day before. This will allow you to have a thorough test.
Protect your gear
Drunken people can be a hazard for DJ equipment. They can spill drinks, bump into things and pull wires out. Electrical tape can be used to keep wires in place.
Some people build a wall around their equipment. This can be done at home.
If you can have any cords out of the way of people's feet otherwise they may trip and/or cause the music to stop suddenly.
Is mixing music necessary?
You would probably mix a set if you are playing electronic dance music. However if you're playing pop or oldies then typically you're not required to mix music.
Regarding drinking at parties
Some DJs do drink at parties, and that includes me. You may want to mention to the host that you're having a few drinks at the party; it's the polite thing to do.
Of course you wouldn't want to get to drunk that you can no longer operate your equipment!
Don't forget to dance and have fun!