Traditionally, a disc jockey (DJ) has been an on-air broadcaster who selected music to air on a radio station and chatted between songs. However, this job has changed substantially over the last 30 years. Radio stations now often use centralized network programming transmitted by satellite or the Internet, so most DJs work at music clubs, special events, and parties, especially for weddings and similar private occasions.
A good DJ needs to have professional equipment unless he or she exclusively works in venues that already provide it. This frequently consists of a PA (public address) system with speakers and microphones, as well as turntables and computers, tablets, and other digital media players. While versatile disc jockeys still perform hands-on work with vinyl records and professional turntables, in many situations, digital music solutions offer a more consistent and flexible set of options.
The other important skill for a DJ is the ability to communicate effectively. A good DJ needs to fully understand the expected audience at an event or party that he or she is hired to provide music for. This is of paramount importance with weddings; the bride and groom are likely to have a planned music list, and it is up to the DJ to make sure that it is executed to their expectations.
Most disc jockeys tend to work as self-employed freelancers, making themselves known and available to party and wedding planners. Music and dance clubs, as well as exhibition and party halls, may also hire dedicated disc jockeys to work for their establishments as well. Disc jockeys tend to work evenings and late nights during the week, with weekend nights being especially heavily booked.
Disc Jockey (DJ) Tasks
Create a fun, musical environment appropriate for each event.
Serve as disc jockey in various lounges or nightclubs.
Maintain up-to-date musical inventory for a variety of categories such as classic top 40, dance oriented rock, Latin, classic disco, reggae, and classic rock.
Teach line dance lessons, perform backstage tours, and announce bands.