The customer is always right and we aim to play your favourite music and not ours. That said we can offer this advice on party playlists for DJs. Short playlists of your favourite music are fine, a list of about 20 tracks is about right. Unless its a party for teenagers or a prom night more than this or a list that includes music requests from all your guests can have a negative effect.
In the build up to your party there will be a lot of excitement and many people will have ideas and suggestions some of these suggestions will be about the music the DJ will play. Sometimes people ask friends and family to select a few tracks and compile what they think is the ultimate party playlist. This type of playlist does not work, and here's why. Today people have far greater access to music it is quite common that each person you ask will want something very specific that nobody else will like. In fact many people will wish to appear knowledgeable about music and ask for obscure tracks that few people have heard of. The band may have had a recent number one hit but its the third album track that gets requested. This makes most playlists compiled with the help of family and friends a random selection of unpopular tracks that will leave the dance floor empty. Its a party but very few people, if asked in advance will ask for party music.
Long prearranged play lists never work anything like as well
as an experienced DJ reading a crowd and playing music in
reaction to the party atmosphere. If a particular type of music works the experienced party DJ will notice this and select the next track accordingly. The Party DJ should also be noticing who is dancing to what and who is still sitting down. If the dance floor action cools a bit this is the time to work in some variety that will hopefully be more appealing to the wall flowers. When done correctly nobody will notice the Party DJ is playing a mix that varies between the latest club dance music to Frank Sinatra as well as everything in the middle. What counts is continuity and that the DJ is building the party atmosphere. Requests on the night are the best way to do this.
When a music request is given on the night the DJ can see if the person who asked for it is actually in the room. Some requests prompt show stopping dance routines that can really break the ice. Even if it was an 18th birthday party if gran and grandad get dancing to an old time favourite everyone would be cheering and dancing with them. With a pre arranged playlist the DJ would never know who the old time track was for and therefore not know when the best time to play it would be.
Having said all this if you are planning a party just for teenagers such as a prom night ignore what we have written above. This age group will know what they like and not settle for less.