Did Laidback Luke Give DJs The Worst Advice Ever???

Did Laidback Luke Give DJs The Worst Advice Ever???

I’ve said it before, Laidback Luke is one of my favorite DJs….period.  Super cool dude, and if every DJ were like him, the world would be a much, much better place.  But with that said, he really messed up here.  Or at least he didn’t clarify who he was talking to.

I’m referring to his recent list, “Laidback Luke’s 5 Golden Rules For DJs” which was a guest editorial he did for InTheMix.com/au.  READ IT HERE.  I have no problem with the his last 4 rules:

5) Pay Attention To Your Energy
4) Listen To Loads And Loads Of Tracks, On A Daily Basis
3) Learn Your Gear! (Or Have A JD Who Can Help You)
2) Learn How To Read A Crowd

Good advice, and yes I added a little something to Rule #3.  And I do admit that’s the one I need to get better at.  But anyway, I agree with these for the most part, and especially put emphasis in #s 5 and 4.  I feel like those are a couple of my strengths as a DJ.  So with that covered, it’s actually his #1 rule that I take issue with:

1) And My Golden Rule…

“Play 50% for the crowd and play 50% of what you want…but only play tracks you really like. If something’s the most popular track ever and I don’t like it, I won’t play it. With the 50% rule, I always get a nice middle ground of the hits I like, but enough space for me to introduce new tracks as well.”


Jeez.  Talk about dangerous.

Ok, don’t get me wrong….this is a great rule for Luke himself to follow, or any other DJs playing festivals or shows with a concert like atmosphere where people come to see the DJ.  But that’s about it.  I mean, I guess if you’re an up-and-coming DJ or duo, and you wanna try to build a name for yourself by throwing and promoting your own shows, this rule could apply as well. But for the majority of Open-Format DJs who are starting at ground level, trying to move up in the club and bar circuit, this is potentially disastrous advice.

If I were a club owner, I’d instantly fire any DJ who thought this was a good plan.  You’re really not gonna play the hottest song at the moment because YOU don’t like it?  FIRED.  You’re gonna drop “Triumph” by Wu Tang and let it ride all the way out because you think it’s dope?  FIRED.  Really, what’s the point of Rule #2 if you are just gonna say “fuck it” and follow Rule #1 anyway?  Kinda contradictory in my opinion.

Now, I apologize for not getting more in depth here.  The reason being that tomorrow, my friend Digital Dave and I are gonna do a Point/Counter-Point feature on why or why not DJs should be playing “Timber”.  I’m sure you’re all super excited now, but seriously, this is a huge issue (or “problem” as I look at it) and it really needs to be discussed.  For now, I’ll just leave you with exactly what I do believe in:

For most DJs, our job is to please the crowd and play what they want to hear.  And if you can do it using your own style, that’s awesome.

Again, much more on this tomorrow.


  1. Playing just what “they want to hear” puts you on a very even level with any other club that can read a top-40 countdown. What draws them to come see you and bring their dollars to your establishment instead of going elsewhere? Seems like from a club owner perspective, I want people that will bring the people in, not just someone that will play the same top-40 that every other DJ is playing. If the crowds wanted jukeboxes, DJs wouldn’t exist.

  2. ” Playing just what “they want to hear” puts you on a very even level with any other club that can read a top-40 countdown. Seems like from a club owner perspective, I want people that will bring the people in, not just someone that will play the same top-40 that every other DJ is playing. ”

    Just to be clear, you’re saying the best way to bring in a crowd is to NOT play what they want to hear?? I just want to make sure I have that correct before I really comment lol.

  3. , my strenght comes to peferction when there is weakness opportunity abounds to turn our weaknesses into strenghts, so I believe!Anyway, thanks for letting us share your pic, be sharing it on my wall in fb regards!

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