Archive for November 7th, 2007

Is Your Music In A Rut? Here’s How To Make It Rut-Free!

Wednesday, November 7th, 2007

In a typical 4-hour evening, most bands or DJs will play 60 to 70 tunes. And sometimes, it seems like it is the same 60 – 70 songs, night after night, party after party. This is one factor which contributes to event chairpersons’ never-ending search for someone “new” and “different” – they are trying to extricate themselves from a musical rut.

However, in seeking change, your party chairs may be overlooking two facts:

1. Many bands have hundreds more songs at their disposal, and deejays have
thousands of tunes to choose from. They don’t have to always play
“New York, New York.”

2. Also, many of those “same” songs you repeatedly hear are actually Audience
Requests. (The band is probably just as sick of them as you are.)

I mention this because – as wonderful as “new” and “different” can be – good is actually of more importance. And while a different band or DJ is new, they may not be better than vendors you already use. So, if you are otherwise happy with your music provider, but simply want more variety, here are 3 potential solutions to your problem:

A. Look at your band’s song list (the complete roster of tunes they can play.)
Pick 20 to 30 good, but seldom-heard songs. Instruct your band leader to
incorporate these into the the first two musical sets of the night. The
music will seem fresher immediately. (A DJ’s options are almost endless.
Simply tell them what your criteria are.)

B. Also ask your band or DJ to avoid songs that you are both weary of
hearing, unless and until they are explicitly requested by your guests.

C. Finally, if you have hired live music, be aware that the addition of even one
extra instrumentalist or vocalist can dramatically alter the look and sound of
a band. In this way, a familiar combo can suddenly seem new.

However – be prepared for some of your group to be less excited about these changes than you are. When my band was playing for a bride who loved to dance Swing with her Dad, one of her guests took me to task for “ruining” our music with all those Jitterbugs. This unhappy lady was only slightly mollified by my assurance that we were following the bride’s instructions, and that we still knew all our other songs as well.

It just goes to show that what seems like a musical rut to you is really somebody else’s groove. (Look out! They’re requesting “New York, New York” right now!)