A lot of people ask me for help on creating the perfect playlist for their party and believe me it’s a lot harder than you would first think!
Looking back through the years there are a number of songs that have lodged themselves firmly in the “party floor filler” genre and you will hear them pretty much at every party you go to. The reason for this is that upon hearing these songs it is highly likely that people will get up and head towards the dance floor for a boogie.
Fine examples of such songs are Abba’s Dancing Queen, Build Me Up Buttercup from the Temptations, It’s Raining Men, Billie Jean, etc. These are without a doubt tried and tested party classics and whilst you might not want to listen to these tracks outside of the party atmosphere, all taste, decency and dignity certainly need to be left at the front door as you make your way onto the dance floor!
Try to think of songs that you can dance to rather than songs you like to listen to. An example of this could be Dire Strait’s Money For Nothing, an absolutely fantastic song to listen to, not so great to dance to. Try listening and dancing to the songs, you’ll be surprised! Some of the best songs in the world are just really awkward to dance to.
Look at the age ranges of your guests, work out what songs were in the charts when they were growing up. Try to keep your list of tracks to songs that people will instantly recognise, there’s nothing worse than playing a song to a packed dance floor and then everyone looking at each other thinking “what’s this?”, before you know it they’ve all wandered off and we have to start all over again!
You Choose The Music
For too long now DJ’s have decided on what songs are played at people’s parties and sometimes it is best left to the party organiser to come up with their own list, after all, you know your friends and family far better than we will so it makes sense. What we’re not asking you to do is choose every single song for the whole evening because that’s basically telling a DJ that you have absolutely no confidence in their ability or experience to choose the correct songs.
How many songs should I choose?
If you remember that each song is roughly 4 minutes long you can average around 15 songs per hour so for your average evening party of around 4 hours you’re looking at a total of 60 songs which really doesn’t sound like a lot!
Now, you could log into my Event Planner and choose every song for the night, however, to be honest, the best way forward is to suggest 15 to 20 songs to the DJ that you do want to hear during the evening together with information on the sort of vibe you want to create. A list of songs you don’t want is also very useful! Any experienced DJ will be able to use this information to put together a night of music that will hopefully get people on their feet and dancing!
Quite often I’ll get guests coming up to me during the evening and say “can you play this song NEXT”. Now, I normally don’t have a problem with this, especially if it’s a song that fits in with the style I’m currently playing but if the song doesn’t really fit then it can and probably will break the dance floor and people may sit down.
Playing a song at the wrong time can seriously impact the success of your party, and I will cover this in my next blog post.