Got an event coming up and a limited budget? Have no idea how to play music at a party without a DJ? When music is so essential to a party, this is a terrible dilemma to be in.
Fortunately we’ve got the answers you need to resolve this problem. But before we get started, I wanted to touch on a common misconception people have about DJs.
What A DJ Actually Does
Contrary to what people think, a DJ isn’t just there to play a few records. They’re responsible for much more: namely, to keep your party going and stop it from going stale.
The best DJs understand the musical pacing of an event. They know how to set the mood when guests are arriving, then how to change things up to get people mingling. DJs intuitively know how to stop a party from dragging. They’re constantly adapting the music to suit the changing mood.
That’s something you won’t be able to replicate when partying without a DJ. You won’t be able to bring a spontaneity to your music the way a DJ can. Guests can’t make song requests, and you can’t pay 100% attention to only the music, being the busy party host you will be.
I’m not telling you all of this to disappoint you, but I think it’s important you understand the reality. I’ve had organisers tell me in the past DJs don’t matter. If you don’t care about music, that’s fine, but ultimately the music isn’t there to serve you – it’s there to keep your guests engaged and happy throughout the entire event.
How To Play Music Without A DJ
I know DJs can be expensive to hire. And if you’re already thinking how to play music at a party without a DJ, then cost would’ve factored in already.
There are 3 alternatives you can use, let’s look at them now.
People are listening to more music than ever and streaming offers fans unlimited opportunities to hear a wider range of music. Services like Spotify offer music at a superior quality to CDs. You can select hundreds of tracks without ever getting bored.
That said, if you want to stream music at your party, make sure you opt for ad-free services. The last thing you want is for an insurance advert to pop up while everyone is grooving away on the dancefloor. The only way to avoid ads is to pay for the premium service; Spotify Premium costs $9.99 per month
Be aware that streaming services are not 100% perfect. Sometimes albums can have the wrong tracklisting or contain mixes you might not recognise.
Going for the radio
If you don’t care about the type of music you want, then consider turning to the radio instead. The best way to play radio is through apps, and like the streaming services, you’ll need a subscription to avoid ads.
iHeartRadio is one of the most popular radio apps, you can find playlists there covering almost any mood and genre. Pandora Radio allows users to create their own radio stations. You can read more about these radio station apps.
Create a custom playlist
If you don’t know how to play music at a party, without a DJ, and without much money either, then this is the option for you. Creating a playlist on iTunes is the most creative alternative here, you get to curate to your heart’s content. You need to make sure you have enough disk space to accommodate all your recordings. You also need to create a long and varied playlist to run all night and keep guests entertained.
The downside of creating your own playlist is that after you’ve set things up, that’s the only music you will have for the entire night. Your guests won’t be able to make requests and you won’t be able to change things up if your party vibe unexpectedly changes.
Tips For Playing Music On Your Laptop
After you’ve worked out how to play music at a party without a DJ, now you’ve got to safeguard it and keep your creations secure.
To stop guests tampering with your playlists, make sure you lock your computer screen using a screensaver with password protection. You don’t want any “guest DJs” ruining the playlists you’ve spent hours cultivating and potentially wrecking your party.
Using a password also stops guests from using your computer to browse the web whenever they want a timeout.
Make sure your sound system can pump out music loud and proud. You may need to test different speakers first, then play around with sound balance and volume. Unless your party is a small affair, don’t rely on your computer’s speakers for the job. Guests talking will drown out the music.
Make sure you also keep your laptop locked up and hidden away to prevent any unexpected accidents. I once went to a party where someone had accidentally knocked a glass of red wine over the host’s $2000 laptop, instantly destroying it.
Finally, make sure you’ve checked everything technical is working well before your party begins. You don’t want to get stuck with speakers suddenly glitching or buffering problems affecting your music.
It’s understandable if you have no idea how to play music at a party without a DJ. Music is essential at any party, it can make or break your event and leave your guests with good or bad memories. Hopefully this list has given you options to think about.