what makes a good DJ

What Makes a Good DJ?


A great DJ can be one of the most memorable parts of an event. Great songs and transitions play a huge role in make parties, wedding receptions and corporate events a lot of fun. 

So, “What makes a good DJ?”

If you are planning an important event and considering hiring a DJ, you’ll want to find someone who’s not just good, but GREAT.  

This article will break down all of the elements of a good DJ.

What Qualities Should a DJ Have?

Good DJs have several qualities in common. They know their audiences intimately, and as such know how to make a crowd happy. Being a good DJ is more than just playing enjoyable songs.

Here are the 6 most important qualities you’ll find in good DJs:

1. They have great equipment

they have great equipment

A great DJ must have good equipment and the ability to use it. For example, they need to know what a transition is or how to perform one. A good DJ stands out from the rest. When looking for a DJ, see what kind of equipment they have and read their reviews. Keep in mind that anyone with speakers and a laptop has the potential to be a DJ. So, be thorough as you do your search. A DJ that is too cheap might lack a powerful light show or a large selection of songs to play.

2. They have a passion for their work (music)

they have a passion for their work

A good DJ exudes positive energy through their passion for what they do.

3. They know how to put on a performance

A great DJ recognizes the importance of the event and delivers an excellent performance.

4. They have strong people skills

they have strong people skills

A DJ needs an upbeat personality and an ability to deal with a variety of people in positive ways. Nobody wants to upset a bride or groom on the most important day of their life.

5. They are up to date with the latest songs and trends

There’s nothing better than hearing your new favorite song or even a new song you’ve never heard before at a party.  It just hits different. 

6. They’re kind and professional 

Often underestimated, but invaluable.

There is no one specific skill that a great DJ possesses; a good DJ should have a combination of various skills.

Knowing what goes into what makes a great DJ will ensure you have hired someone professionally capable of handling your event. And when you’ve selected the perfect DJ for your event, everyone will have an amazing time. 

Every Good DJ Has Great Equipment

every good DJ has great equipment

Seems simple enough. But what great equipment consist of? Great equipment extends past the essentials like high quality speakers and a laptop. It includes acoustic engineering, mixing software and lighting. 

Standard Equipment

Standard DJ equipment starts with an input device. Depending on the DJ, that includes anything from a laptop to two turntables. Some DJs still prefer CD decks. Beware! Unprofessional DJs have played songs from their cell phones.

Speakers and cables are also essential. And pay attention to the speakers that your potential DJ offers. The size and output make a difference. Ensure your DJ has a variety of speakers available. If they only have a small speaker set and your venue is outdoors, they won’t be a good DJ for you.

Special Equipment

A good light show makes a difference during a special event. An empty hall with two speakers resting on a table won’t be as memorable as a darkened venue with a colorful light scheme that pulsates to the beat. And everybody has a good time when a machine kicks out some fun fog for dancing.

You don’t need to know what kind of computer software your DJ is running. But you need to know if your DJ can mix one song into another. A seamless transition keeps the flow of the event fun. Make sure your DJ has a mixer or mixing software that allows them to bring down one song while bringing up the next flawlessly.

You should also be concerned if your DJ doesn’t have a pair of headphones wrapped around their neck. Transitions will fail if the DJ hasn’t properly cued them up in the first place. These may seem like standard protocol for any DJ, but the wrong assumption can ruin an entire night of fun.

A Good DJ Has a Passion for Music

A Good DJ Has a Passion for Music

The best DJs truly love what they do. DJs without a love of music is like a doctor who doesn’t like healing. 

They Know What the Audience Wants

Special events like weddings, New Year’s Eve parties, corporate events, and private functions have a wide variety of attendees. A good DJ looks at their audience and knows what they will like. Knowing what will get the crowd dancing ensures a great DJ will have a successful event.

Timing and feeling the crowd are crucial. An experienced DJ knows when to play that classic track that everybody loves. They are also familiar with what new songs have fun and catchy beats. 

A Knowledge of the Latest Hits

A successful DJ has an eclectic range of tracks that keep the party going. Knowledge of classic hits and modern songs makes a good DJ stand out. When the crowd is having a good time, an experienced DJ knows when to lay down that new popular song.

Additionally, a good DJ handles requests with ease. Inexperienced DJs refuse to take requests because it challenges their flow or the set that they have in mind. But a good DJ knows how to cue the next song, transition, and take requests. They also can incorporate those songs into their set and make it sound good.

A Good DJ Can Put Together the Perfect Performance 

A successful DJ is prepared but also knows how to be spontaneous. When choosing the right DJ, you don’t want someone who doesn’t take your event seriously. A DJ who takes your event too lightly is just as bad as a DJ who takes themselves too seriously. 

A good DJ is prepared for the event in advance but also knows what the crowd enjoys and how to improvise. Often, an audience doesn’t feel the vibe. An inexperienced DJ might stay the course to get through the event. But a professional DJ will adjust to the crowd’s needs. A good DJ may have to throw away their entire set on the spot and start fresh to keep the audience dancing.

The ability to read the crowd is essential to every good DJ’s performance. When a DJ can’t read the crowd (quite a few can’t), they ruin the mood of the entire event. A DJ that studies the audience will ensure a good experience.

Hire a DJ that pays attention to what makes a crowd dance and what songs make them head to their seats and sit down. Preparation is more than just having a library of songs ready. It includes changing those songs whenever necessary to keep people dancing.

Understands Rising Sets That Fall at Just the Right Time 

The best DJs build up their sets and drop them at the right moment. This talent ensures the crowd isn’t overwhelmed with a constant barrage of fast dance tracks or slow songs that lull them to sleep. The best way to know if a DJ has this skill is to read their reviews. High star ratings and positive feedback almost always guarantee a DJ puts together a perfect performance.

A Good DJ Has Strong People Skills 

As explained earlier, reading the room separates the great DJs from the less-than-desirable ones. But a DJ that can read the room but isn’t approachable misses out on the opportunity for a wonderful event.

Every Good DJ Is Approachable

A good DJ has an approachable personality. They are also capable of getting along with the crowd. Some hostile DJs refuse to be interrupted. These DJs believe they know better than you and that speaking to you will only ruin their set. Avoid these DJs. They will strain an event.

Great DJs are excellent at handling requests. They also establish a rapport with the audience. Make sure the DJ you hire has strong communication and microphone skills. Experienced DJs know when to get on the mic and involve the crowd.

A good DJ also pumps up the crowd, not just through their microphone skills but with a complimentary light show. When a DJ involves the audience in their performance, the event feels more inclusive and special to those who are a part of it. A good DJ is friendly and approachable. 

A Good DJ Gets Along With the Venue and Staff

Note that a good DJ doesn’t have to keep just the audience happy. They maintain a positive relationship with the venue and its employees or hired contractors. 

DJs often perform at wedding receptions. Simple mistakes by an unapproachable DJ might ruin the entire event. When a DJ is unapproachable, they won’t know when unique moments occur. An inexperienced DJ will miss moments like the bouquet toss or cake-cutting ceremony because they have not communicated with the event staff or the hired photographer.

A good DJ is part of the experience from start to finish. They aren’t just there to make music. They are there to make the night unforgettable. Hiring your DJ who has a positive and approachable attitude is essential for a memorable experience.

A Good DJ Stays Up With Trends

Keeping up with music trends and sites is essential for a successful DJ. They can’t keep the crowd engaged without knowledge. Knowing popular trends helps. But knowing when it is appropriate and inappropriate to play those trending songs is better. 

The top country song at the moment might not be appropriate to play when someone asks for a country song. But understanding the top country songs will ensure a good DJ knows the perfect time to drop them.

Keeping Up With Technology

A DJ with outdated technology might not be the best choice. A DJ that doesn’t keep up with trends in the industry might be a DJ stuck in their ways. Otherwise, they are unapproachable or expect the event to go a specific way that is not in the best interest of the attendees.

Also, a DJ that doesn’t keep up with technology advancements and trends might have outdated equipment. Outdated equipment tends to malfunction. You don’t want a beautiful moment ruined because a song stops playing or the lights go out. 

A good DJ also has a social media presence. Great DJs use digital marketing as a means of advertisement. A DJ with a weak social media presence might be someone with a less than ideal set-up. Determine if your DJ has an excellent system and view their site or social media.

It doesn’t hurt to know that your DJ keeps up with fashion trends. Unprofessional DJs don’t dress appropriately for the occasion. They may wear outdated or offensive attire. A crowd expects a DJ to look a specific way. A good DJ understands this and keeps up with trends to dress accordingly. 

A Good DJ Understands Risks and Maintains Safety

Good DJs understand liabilities and insurance. Most venues provide insurance coverage, but DJs are responsible for things that can go wrong. If someone trips on a loose cord that the DJ has left exposed on the dance floor, that may be the responsibility of the DJ. A good DJ knows what dangers there are and how to avoid them.

Additionally, a good DJ is aware of copyright infringement laws. Be careful of inexperienced and unprofessional DJs. They might be playing their songs illegally. Good DJs are aware of copyright laws and protect their clients from risks.

Back-Up Equipment and Equipment Insurance

Equipment fails, and sometimes no one is at fault. Faulty electrical wiring might blow a speaker or an entire set of equipment. A good DJ has backup equipment ready and available whenever unfortunate accidents occur. 

No one wants the night to end because of an unexpected event. Great DJs keep equipment insurance just for these situations. An inexperienced DJ might not be ready for these situations where faulty equipment ruins the night.


Knowing what makes a good DJ means knowing you’ve selected the right person that will make your event memorable. As you search for the perfect DJ for your event, keep these qualities in mind before choosing. 

Make sure your DJ has a good equipment set-up. They must have appropriate speakers and a powerful light show. A good DJ is positive and approachable with a passion for music. They have a strong social media presence and a professional attitude. A good DJ comes to your event prepared but open with a sense of spontaneity. 

Our professional and affordable DJs at LIV Entertainment have all these skills and more! Contact us today so we can help you find the best DJ for your event. 

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