Sarasota Best DJ Tips – Are You Hiring the Best DJ for your Event or Wedding?

David Turner Music Blog - Music tips, info, ideas and news, Sarasota Wedding and Event DJ Service

In this installment of our Sarasota Best DJ Tips informative blog, let’s take a few minutes to consider what constitutes a great wedding or special event disc jockey. If you’re looking to book a DJ to provide great wedding or event music, you are probably considering the price, the experience level, the DJ’s music collection, and possibly a few additional factors (professionalism, demeanor, visuals, and more).

While price may be the single largest factor in your decision to book entertainment for your special event or wedding, it is certainly not the only consideration. After all, the old saying about “getting what you pay for” is often true. However, that said, it’s not uncommon to find decent local Sarasota DJs (or disc jockeys in any part of the planet for that matter) who will perform at a reasonable rate for your event. With the digital music revolution of the last couple decades, it has simply become easier to disc jockey than in the past, leading to an influx of at least reasonably competent DJs. While they may not be club performers, or set the world on fire with their creativity, they can certainly cover the music portion of the job.

It’s important to note that simply being able to DJ, and having a good music collection is just a small part of the equation. You’ll want the DJ that you hire to be comfortable handling MC duties, including introducing the wedding party, various announcements during the party, etc.  You’ll also want the DJ to have good, reliable equipment, and be professional acting. Spending a little more may help to ensure a better entertainment experience at your party.

Getting an experienced DJ will certainly increase the odds of your party being successful.  When considering the DJ’s experience level, it’s not always just about how long they’ve been doing their thing.  It’s just as critical to make sure he/she has worked the type of event you’re planning (wedding, corporate party, Mitzvah, etc.). Even an extremely talented DJ who’s used to doing local clubs and festivals could screw up a wedding if they have no idea what happens at a typical reception, or can’t handle the stress-load that frequently accompanies weddings.

Moving on to the topic of a DJ’s music collection, it’s important to note a few things. First of all, don’t be easily wowed by your prospective disc jockey when he or she talks about their music collection. It’s not uncommon to find DJs bragging about having thousands of songs in their library, or even tens of thousands in some instances. What’s more important is the quality of those songs (both in terms of popularity, and perhaps audio quality, too). After all, hypothetically, having a few thousand of the biggest hits ever recorded across multiple genres is more important than a DJ who has a personal collection of 30,000 songs, 29,000 of which are too obscure for anybody to care about at a party.  Also, your DJ should be using quality audio files, not low-fidelity junk ripped off from YouTube (yes, it happens…lol).

Hiring a disc jockey who is truly professional acting can be kind of hit or miss, as well.  Large agencies should be researched, particularly if they are given the flexibility to send anyone to DJ your event. Talking with your DJ directly on the phone should give you a pretty good sense of where they’re at, with regards to professionalism. There’s really not one indicator of whether your prospective DJ will be great. Reviews are reasonably helpful. However, they can’t always be trusted at face value. Same goes for fancy websites, videos, etc. The technology age provides aspiring DJs with lots of tools, and even some smoke and mirrors, that will certainly try to convince you to hire them.  While reviews, videos, etc. certainly help to find a great DJ, nothing beats a good phone conversation.

Lastly, it’s important to consider the visuals.  I’m referring to a couple of things here…the appearance of the DJ and his/her rig, as well as lighting, etc.  We strive to have a very neat appearance on stage here at David Turner Music, dressing nice, and keeping cables and extra stuff tucked away and out of sight.  We typically use a six foot table, covered with a black scrim as the foundation.  On top of that, our rig is laid out in a way that is visually appealing and balanced.  Our light bar features wash lights, pattern effects, laser effects, and even a strobe.  It’s a perfect balance of looking good, without detracting from the focus of the party, which is the bride and groom/client/guests/etc.

Well, that’s probably a great place to leave it for now. If you’re interested in booking David Turner Music for your wedding or special event in Sarasota, FL or anywhere else, give us a call today. We’re always more than happy to discuss entertainment options for your wedding or event.  And, don’t forget that we also serve Tampa, Ft. Myers, Naples, Orlando and beyond!!  Thanks for tuning in!

Sarasota Best DJ Tips – Wedding Music Selection

David Turner Music Blog - Music tips, info, ideas and news, Sarasota Wedding and Event DJ Service

 

An image of a live sound mixer in the foreground, with a DJ rig and Sarasota's David Turner Music logo in the background

David Turner Music and your wedding…just the right mix!

On occasion, here at David Turner Music, we will be blogging about DJ-ing weddings and events (among many other topics), in an effort to provide clients with some insight on the approach we take at wedding receptions, private parties, corporate and themed events, etc. While the overall approach to DJ-ing is similar for all of these parties, we want to share some things that we feel make a successful event. In this installment of the blog, I want to talk about disc jockey music selection for the different types of events, starting with weddings.

Wedding receptions can typically be broken down into a few parts, as far as music is concerned: Special Music Segments(Wedding party intros, first and special dances, etc.), light dance sets, dance sets, and the dinner set. When choosing a great DJ in Sarasota, Tampa, Orlando, Naples or Fort Myers, Florida, you will clearly want him or her to have a variety of great music in their collection and, possibly more important, know the appropriate time to play that music.  After all, you’ll see a lot of DJs brag about having tens of thousands of songs on tap. But, of course, that’s just part of the equation.

As an example, every bride and groom will have their favorite artists and songs on a playlist that they will supply to a DJ prior to the event, but it’s important to understand that their favorite music might not speak to all of the guests at the wedding. That said…make no mistake…YOU DEFINITELY PLAY THE SONGS THAT THEY REQUEST FOR THEIR WEDDING! However, maybe you can fit the slightly less popular or more obscure stuff in during dinner, for example. When you want a packed dance floor at a wedding, you really have to be playing the biggest hits…hits that everybody knows…not just the bride and groom.

As far as wedding party intros and special dances, they will, of course,  involve playing exact requests.  So, nothing to worry about there.

Dinner is the perfect time to focus on the bride’s and groom’s music requests…especially lesser known stuff and slower songs. Most wedding guests are engaged in conversation at this point, and also more receptive to music that they may not be as familiar with, anyway. So, go ahead and get those more obscure/mellow/chill requests in before the party kicks into gear!

Light dance sets at weddings might consist of a pre-dinner dance set, or an instance where some guests are finished eating, while others are not quite done. You’re not ready to blow the place up with the latest Bruno Mars, Ed Sheeran or Coldplay song, but you want to “fill the void” so to speak, with some decent and danceable stuff. Go ahead and DJ some second tier hits while you’re prepping for the big set that will follow.

The big dance sets at a wedding reception in Sarasota, or any other place for that matter, will be huge hits from different decades and styles, and maybe a few regional-type favorites…just do a great job mixing and transitioning and all will be well.

So, that’s about it for the first rendition of the “Sarasota Best DJ Tips” blog. Stay tuned for additional posts in the near future, and thanks again for considering David Turner Music of Sarasota, FL for your disc jockey and live music needs on the west coast of Florida! – DT

Wedding Ceremony Music Ideas

David Turner Music Blog - Music tips, info, ideas and news, Sarasota Wedding and Event DJ Service

As a provider of quality musicians for wedding ceremonies in Sarasota, Tampa, Fort Myers, Naples, and Orlando, Florida, I often encounter questions from clients regarding the style of music and type of musical groups we offer here at David Turner Music. Currently, we offer the more traditional wedding music options like strings (solo violin, solo cello, string duos, string trios, and string quartets) and flute (I play flute with strings, in a solo setting, or even with background tracks). As a saxophonist, I can offer a more contemporary take on the wedding ceremony, playing pop music, jazz, etc., along with some more traditional songs as well.

All of this said, it’s very common to see classical strings performing popular music for weddings these days. It seems like simply a matter of finding good sheet music and/or arrangements of the latest pop songs, and letting the musicians do their thing, right? Well…not exactly.  This is where it becomes critical to find a company like David Turner Music to oversee this process. Sometimes, appropriate pop music for wedding string groups is difficult or impossible to find. So, instead, tweaking or rearranging piano music for the group, or even writing out new parts will often be required. We have the expertise to do this at minimal cost to you, and the end product will be much better than some of the “faking it” that occurs with our competitors (only one or two instruments in a group playing at a time, more than one instrument playing the same exact part, etc.). Additionally, when I’m playing flute on the job, my years of learning to improvise means that I can comfortably make up great inner parts on the spot when playing pop music as part of a string duo, trio, or quartet. Ultimately, you want to be sure that the pop music you’ve selected for your ceremony processional, recessional, etc. is played well, and actually recognized and enjoyed by your guests. We will do our best to make sure your ceremony is unique and memorable, by offering great sounding pop and classical wedding music!

I have many Florida brides and grooms ask me “what are other people doing for ceremonies?”  These days, there’s not really a simple answer to that question. Some clients still utilize traditional classical music for their wedding ceremony, some want a lot of popular music, and many choose to utilize both. It’s not uncommon to start a wedding processional here in central Florida with Pachelbel’s Canon in D, shift to a song by Ed Sheeran, play a Beatles song for the bride, and exit to Mendelssohn’s wedding march, for example. In the case of semi-traditional Jewish weddings, brides and grooms may take a similar approach, mixing classical, pop, and traditional Jewish selections for ceremony. It really comes down to personal preference…after all, it’s your big day!!

Saxophone is a unique and more contemporary instrument to use for wedding ceremonies, and provides a different kind of vibe, for certain. Most often, I’m asked to play pop music for my ceremonies in the Sarasota, Tampa, Naples, Fort Myers and Orlando area. However, some light classical music can certainly work as well. I like to utilize background tracks whenever possible, to provide the nice full sound of a larger band playing at the wedding ceremony. I’m familiar with a ton of pop music from the 1950s up until today, so special requests are usually no problem at all.

Another thing that I’ve had success with at my Florida weddings (with string groups, flute, and saxophone), it’s taking a song that may be too fast, too heavy (think rock and roll), etc., and changing it to fit the more reserved ambiance of a wedding ceremony. For example, I once played a nice slower version of Billy Joel’s classic “Uptown Girl” on flute, with guitar and violin, for a brides entrance. It was cool, because it still sounded familiar to the guests, but fit in nicely with the more traditional songs that preceded and followed.

Well, hopefully this answers some of the questions regarding wedding ceremony groups and current trends in ceremony music selection. And, don’t forget about our wedding FAQ section on the site for more general info about ceremonies, cocktail hours, and receptions. Until next time, thanks so much for tuning in to Sarasota’s David Turner Music blog…where we discuss all things related to top-notch musical entertainment for your wedding or event in the greater Sarasota, Naples, Fort Myers, Tampa and Orlando, FL areas!

DJ Versus Live Music for my Wedding

David Turner Music Blog - Music tips, info, ideas and news, Sarasota Wedding and Event DJ Service

Now that we’ve added a DJ option for weddings and events in the Sarasota, FL area, I wanted to take a few minutes and hit on some key points to consider when looking for wedding entertainment. Specifically, I want to get into the wedding disc jockey versus wedding band argument. Of course, for many, it’s not really an argument at all…it’s simply a matter of the entertainment budget. We know that weddings aren’t cheap…with the average cost typically coming in at over $30,000 in the year 2014, according to a survey by The Knot, and touched upon by this article in the Huffington Post:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/03/13/average-cost-of-wedding-2014_n_6864860.html

As a musician, I hesitate to push people toward a DJ option without first considering a live band for the reception. But, if you’re spending a reasonable amount on the wedding venue, food, flowers and other stuff, and still coming up short on funds, a DJ might end up being your best, and only, realistic entertainment option for the reception.  That said, there’s no reason to be disappointed by this choice…just read on to find out why!

While there are great wedding bands in Sarasota, Tampa, Naples, Orlando and Ft. Myers, FL, a lot of the newer pop music that is preferred for wedding receptions can be difficult to replicate live. Even some of the best local wedding and event bands will, unfortunately, be using tracks to produce this music, which is somewhat disappointing. In a sense, this new generation of popular music is like processed food. It sounds great, but requires an extensive ingredient list concocted in a studio…and may be bad for your health as well…LOL.  Seriously, though….if you’re paying thousands of dollars for one of the best wedding bands in central Florida, you don’t really want mediocre tracks running behind them…it’s kinda like really expensive karaoke with a few good wedding singers (if you’re lucky).  And if the band doesn’t play with tracks, it better be at least 10 musicians strong, with multiple synthesizers and racks of effects, or it won’t sound anything like that new Calvin Harris, Chainsmokers, Jason Derulo, or Bruno Mars track you’ve been listening to non-stop!  Having a (good) DJ at your wedding means that you will have the original songs playing…songs that cost tens, if not hundreds of thousands of dollars or more  to produce, in the best studios in the world, playing for your listening pleasure.

Another consideration is the fact that disc jockeys can play many, many more songs for your wedding reception.  It’s not uncommon for the typical DJ to have thousands of the best wedding reception and party songs in their collection, with thousands more available via streaming if they have Wi-Fi at the wedding venue. No local band can compete with that.  In fact, you probably won’t find a wedding band anywhere in Florida or beyond able to offer this type of capability for fulfilling special music requests.

Now, before I go too much further, and get my fellow musicians mad at me (especially those that play wedding ceremonies, cocktails and receptions), it’s important to state that there’s something special about having a live band play for your wedding, too. This is especially true if you’ve hired great and talented musicians here in Florida. It’s visually dramatic, interactive, and adds a special touch to the reception. This is part of the reason we offer a “live music” DJ option here at David Turner Music.  Booking this package for your wedding event ensures that your guests will still get a unique Florida wedding experience, at a fraction of the cost of completely live entertainment. Click here for more info on David Turner Music’s “live music” DJ option.

With overall wedding budget being a huge factor in the band versus DJ argument, it’s important that we briefly touch upon this more obvious consideration.  While a DJ will certainly reduce your wedding entertainment costs, I definitely don’t recommend you look for the cheapest disc jockey you can find.  Believe it or not, a good DJ is a very talented guy or gal. At minimum, if they aren’t formally trained in music, they will have spent a lot of time learning to mix songs in a manner that will sound smooth and appropriate.  They’re tech-savvy, using expensive equipment, and tend to have good rhythm, and know a lot of songs that will keep people dancing. Expect to pay as much as you would for a one or two piece wedding band, at least in the central Florida area. And, don’t forget, disc jockeys have a lot of money wrapped up in the PA system. So no…your iPod running Pandora through cousin Mike’s Bluetooth beach speaker will not sounds the same…at all! Spend a few extra bucks and enjoy your wedding reception!!

Well, that’s about it for now.  Please stay tuned for more upcoming blog posts from David Turner Music that will give you great wedding planning ideas and advice! We want your Sarasota, FL area wedding to be the best it can be, with the best wedding entertainment available at your budget level! If you’re interested in our services, please head to our Wedding Musicians and DJs page today for more info!  Or, take a moment and contact us for pricing information.

Our Newest David Turner Music Website

David Turner Music Blog - Music tips, info, ideas and news
A gold colored David Turner Music logo on a white background, with the lower case "d" crafted to look like a musical note.

David Turner Music – Serving Greater Sarasota, FL and Beyond…

As summer continues here in Sarasota, FL and beyond, David Turner Music is currently in the middle of a website re-design, utilizing both elements and design aspects from our past websites, as well as great new concepts! We’re trying hard to provide our prospective and current clients with useful information regarding wedding and event music planning here in the greater Sarasota, FL area. We look forward to having a simple to navigate, informative, and useful site that will showcase the many entertainment options we provide.

This new site will, of course, feature our great lineup of live music acts for weddings and events. But, we’re also very excited about our newest addition to the entertainment lineup. We are now proud to offer a DJ service for weddings and events. Beyond that, we are offering a wonderful new concept for those that are planning a wedding or event, but struggling with the decision of whether to use live music or a DJ. Perhaps it’s a decision based on budget, or perhaps they want to be certain that the very newest and hottest music is a part of their celebration. We are hoping to make that decision a little easier, offering a bit of both worlds with our new “Live Music” DJ concept. This will offer clients a top-notch DJ who is also a professional musician, so that they can have the best of both worlds.

So, please stay tuned for these exciting new changes, and feel free to have a look at the ever evolving davidturnermusic.com!