There’s a quote folks in the DJ industry use all the time.
“Everyone thinks they can DJ!”
This statement in itself is true! Most people look at the DJ and believe that its really not all that hard, especially when you're talking mobile DJ's that perform corporate events and weddings.
Truth be told, the actual technical act of ‘disc jockeying’ is NOT very hard, especially if they’re not doing things like beat-matching or song-mixing while they blend songs. If DJs aren’t doing that, then no- the act of DJ’ing at that point is not much more then using a computer or some turntables to switch between songs.
However, that’s NOT what we pay DJs to do. Yes, anyone can switch songs back and forth, just like technically ANYONE can take pictures or even bake a cake. But the real value of a DJ comes from a few other areas, just like those other jobs mentioned above.
Where is the value in Hiring a Professional DJ?
You pay a photographer not to ‘press a button on a camera’, but to capture little moments in the best light and exposure. You pay a baker not to mix some batter from Kroger and put it in the oven but to craft a great-tasting, custom-decorated cake. The same goes for a DJ. You’re not paying them to ‘play songs on an iPod’, but rather to:
Emcee and lead an event, acting almost like a second coordinator
Set up a quality sound system, make it sound good, and use it to create a buzz and contagious energy in a room to make sure you and your guests have a great time and dance all night long
Put together a song list that will create peaks and valleys during an event and keep the dance floor full
So while it’s true that anyone can perform the general ‘action’ of DJ’ing, being able to lead a party and not just randomly pick songs and hope for the best is something that takes experience, trial-and-error, and experimentation. All of which your college buddy Rick with the ‘fire mixtapes’ probably doesn’t have!