DJ styles to avoid

Mobile DJs are usually organic; They learn by doing and copying. Many don’t have degrees in mass communication or haven’t even been to DJ school. Sometimes they learn techniques that are horrendous, but they just don’t know any better. If you fall into one of these categories, don’t worry…just fix it, move on and watch your reputation, referrals and income skyrocket.

the pucker

I hope you have heard of this one before. If not, either you’re not a DJ, or you’re bad. Being a vomiter is similar to a guy with a comb on him. He thinks he’s fooled everyone, but everyone laughs at him behind his back and no one wants to be the one to tell him he looks ridiculous.

A vomiter is someone who uses that fake DJ voice that people do when trying to imitate a DJ. It sounds like they’re talking with a half yawn, as they move their inflections around. Sounds like a cross between Bill Clinton and Harry Carey. The term “vomit” comes from the sound someone would make if they were vomiting and speaking at the same time. (Do not try!)

While it is somewhat difficult to accurately describe vomiting, it is not difficult to recognize. It used to be common with radio DJs in the 50’s to 70’s. I think it has finally been effectively phased out even in the smaller markets. The only time you hear it now is at carnivals, by the carnies who operate the rides and have access to a microphone… and mobile DJs.

If you still don’t know what the sound is, call your local radio station and ask to speak to one of the DJs. Tell him you want to know what “vomit” means. He will gladly do an impersonation for you.

To find out if you are doing this or any other bad DJ technique, you should record yourself at one of your live concerts. Give yourself an honest review and then fix it!

The Yucker

A “Yucker” is similar to a Puker, but just talks like he’s about to laugh out loud at any moment, except he never does. The best example of this is any comedian imitating Bill Clinton. Or just listen to Bill himself to get an idea.

the growler

It’s easy to figure this out. It’s okay to growl once in a while for emphasis…like twice a night. Otherwise, don’t growl.

The whisperer.

Usually a mumbler has a problem with articulation. He is not opening his mouth wide enough for his speech to be clear. While it’s not a good technique to sound like a high school English teacher, you should be understandable. One way to cleanse the joint is to practice tongue twisters. Another is to speak with a moderate smile. Emphasis on the word MODERATE. If you overdo it, you run the risk of becoming…

the smiley

At some point someone decided that DJs should smile, because that makes them sound happy. This technique is still going strong and the pro-smile gang will practically stone you if you suggest they stop smiling. While a very subdued smile is fine to avoid sounding like a babbler, a huge smile sounds as sincere as a used car salesman’s and screams “fake.”

the screamer

I know I said five, but this one deserves a place of its own. There is no need to shout. Go ahead and project your voice, but remember, this is not community theater. The microphone can pick you up very well. If you speak a little louder than moderate and don’t vomit, gag, smile, snarl, or babble, chances are you sound pretty good.

The real DJ education you should derive from all of this: keep it natural. Keep the energy up, but not too high. Speak clearly, but don’t state too much. Practice at home, so that when you get to the concert, you’ll have it mastered.

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