It’s always a good idea to have every single track from every genre in a DJ’s library. More songs means the ability to cater any gig in terms of music satisfaction.
But the question is, will you need all of it ?
Definitely not at once.
No matter how large your music collection is, it needs to be organized, tagged and well grouped.
If you’re at the beginning of your DJ’ing career, things will be easier for you to set up your library structure.
Once you own a huge music library, it gets harder to sort it out and find what you look for.
What determines how many songs you should have as a DJ are these 3 simple headlines:
1- Songs in your entire library
2- How many tracks you need for a gig
3- How many of those tracks you play at a gig.
Your Entire Music Library
I wouldn’t put a limit on the number of songs a DJ has in his grand music collection. As much as you can have.
As long as you keep everything organized and under control (tags, genres, categories etc.), more music will give you the advantage of playing gigs of all sorts.
Cost of digital storage is very affordable and easy to get. An external 1 TB hard drive would hold tens of thousands of tracks.
I mentioned this before, always back up your music. 2 separate copies other than your main source, if possible.
Music You Need For A Gig
Let’s talk about a regular DJ gig. It lasts about 4 to 5 hours, maybe 6.
There is no way you can play more than a certain amount of songs in this time frame.
On the other hand, every event has its own theme, vibe and atmosphere.
You spin house, top 40, electro house or trance at a club, specially requested songs at a wedding or sweet 16, other genres depending on the age of audience.
Playing a rock or country song at a major club gig is less than usual.
My point is that you can easily figure out what genres you’d be playing from at a gig before you start.
In that case, the number of tracks needed would be probably twice more than what will be played.
Let’s say, if you need 100 tracks to play, keep 200 in your playlists.
Number Of Songs You Play At A Gig
I explained how long a DJ should play a song earlier.
2 to 3 minutes in average.
if your gig is for 5 hours which is 300 minutes, it means you’d be playing around 150 songs, maybe less.
Now, think about how many tracks you have in your music library. 10 thousand, 15 ?
Imagine yourself buried under all those songs trying to find what to play next. No way ! Because you don’t need all of it.
That’s what makes digital DJ’ing ideal for listing and sorting a huge music collection.
All you want is 150 songs out of what you have. During live performance, you may play less, maybe something you didn’t plan, but after all it’s all there.
Just type the artist, name or genre in the search box and instantly find it.
A digital DJ has the advantage of making playlists and saving them. My advice to you is creating them before you play your gig.
It doesn’t mean you have to use all.