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Terre Haute Federation of Musicians
The Business of Music 4


            Over the holidays a lot of parties use DJs rather than union musicians. I hate to see it, but its a fact of life. Theyre out there. Nothing is worse than losing a gig to a mobile DJ. You take lessons, spend thousands of dollars, practice for years to become a professional musician, then some kid right out of high school buys a few CDs, gets some sound equipment, and starts stealing jobs right out from underneath you. Those gigs include weddings, corporate events, private parties, school dances, etc. Theyve become more prevalent than pizza shops.

            There are DJs and KJs. KJs are karaoke jocks who sing-along with CDs, entertain, and get the audience involved. Many DJs and KJs provide constant entertainment, cater to the audience, and have goodies such as lighting, confetti guns, bubble machines, and charge big bucks.

            What are you doing? When you take a break is there something going on? What does the audience hear? NOTHING!!!?? The DJs and KJs are feeding off the flotsam and jetsam of bad bands, non-professional musicians, and those weekend beer-bonging warriors who play for $50 and all they can drink. They give us all a bad name. AND leave a huge market for CD spinners to fill. These speaking-jukeboxes are just filling a void that some musicians have left in their wake of empty bear cans, foul language, distasteful jokes and urine-stained bar walls.

            How do you promote yourself? Are your business cards and brochures up-to-date? [You do have cards and brochures, dont you?]. Do you have a demo tape or CD, website, e-mail address, union membership? Youre a professional. Why not?

Most people would rather hear a live band than a recording. Thats in your favor right away. For dancing, most people prefer a band rather than a CD. Take advantage of that. Live Music is Best is not just a slogan its a truism. Many people think DJs are cheaper than a live band. Some are. Most are not!

            Where do the DJs and KJs think the music theyre spinning comes from anyway? Certainly not them. Playing a stereo does not a musician make.