Pressing random shuffle on your iThing means you’ll get hits, misses, nursery rhymes, Christmas carols and repeats. Making a playlist is one of the first things to start when planning a party, not one of the last. You’ll need two lists – one for the beginning of the party as people arrive and whilst they are eating, and one to get your dance floor roiling. Here we go, joe…
CHOOSE A PROGRAM
Start loading your own music and collecting songs on Spotify (my preference) or iTunes/Apple music. Pick the songs you love, the songs you know everyone loves, and the songs you know get people grooving. Once you start, it gets easier and easier, and as your list grows you’ll get a feel for the kind of music you want to play.
Whenever you hear a song that you love, or know is great dance floor hit, Shazam it then add it to your ever gorwing list. The Shazam app is great for collecting fabulous songs that you hear but don’t know the name of.
You’ll need approximately 12 songs per hour. If your party goes from 7-1 you’ll need about 72 all up
Dump all the songs you choose into one playlist to sort out later
When in doubt, add more classic crowd pleasers. Imagine how people will react to the song choice- no one rushes to the dancefloor for a song they have never heard before
Playlists are not an education in ‘good music’ for your guests – pick songs to suit most of the people most of the time.
That being said, it’s ok to throw in a couple of secret favourite songs that you can’t help dancing to but may cop a bit of curry for their uncoolness. It’s your party, it’s your music.
You could ask your guests to nominate a song with their rsvp to help expand your list.
MAKING THE PLAYLIST
You’ll need two playlists – one for cruising and grooving at the beginning of the night, and one for dancing disco moves. Try to keep the tempo, mood and/or BPM’s consistent in each list, and avoid crossing genres suddenly. (.ie. crazy disco to heavy metal)
Making the crusiy playlist for the beginning of the night is the easiest. Anything that you love that doesn’t make the cut for dancing can go into this list. Shuffle is ok to use with this playlist as it is background music and song placement is not critical.
For the all-important dancing playlist, start with a hook – a great well known song that gets everyone moving. It’s a good idea to throw a hook in throughout the playlist to bring people back to the floor, or amp up the action of those already on it. Don’t top load the play list with the ‘big stuff’- you don’t want to tire people and then the fillers fail to keep things going.
Play it over a couple of time to get the feel – you may want to move songs up or down the list. Do you want the dancefloor to get rowdier or does it need a breather
Do not use shuffle on your dancing mix.
PLAYING THE PLAYLIST
Use crossfade. This stops awkward pauses and silences between songs. There is a crossfade function in both Spotify and Apple music.
Double check that the repeat and shuffle buttons are off.
Put the playlist where it can’t be touched – do not allow people to fiddle with your song choices. It is rude and gets messy to listen to. You’ve put in the work in – don’t let someone bully their choices onto your guests.
The dance floor traditionally opens up after the speeches -having wild bangers playing whilst people are greeting each other is not ideal.
HAVING A PARTY OR WEDDING?
Choose what tasks you want to do yourself. Making a playlist is one of the more relaxing elements of party planning. If you’d like to leave it to the pros, these guys are some of our favourite DJ’s:
A brilliant crowd mover. Maddie has impeccable taste in tunes and keeps the dancefloor moving. When she is playing, we all have a beaut time
Tim is an all-rounder smashing out the hits. Will play what you ask him to, but is a genius at reading the dancefloor. And a really lovely man to boot.
0434 236 444
Crazy fun boys. These self-proclaimed superstar DJ’s are on a mission to bring the glamour and excitement back to your dance floor.
0400 655 156
One of Melbourne favourite PBS radio presenters/party starters. For a funky, soul-filled groovy dance floor this is the man for you
NEED CATERING AS WELL?
We love awesome parties – especially those with terrific tunes.The energy of lots of humans dancing and drinking and eating is the essence of our lives. We’ll help you out with loads of ideas to complement yours, plenty of great tucker and bar staff that are guns at pouring a drink. Plus we’ll do the dishes.