English for DJ’ing

    Business Spotlight 5/2018
    Von Karen Richardson

    Now that the vinyl revival is in full swing: be in ~in vollem Gang seinfull swing, many of us may regret having thrown out our record players and given away our old singles and LP records. But this has led to a new kind of retro act: the vinyl DJ.

    Especially popular with those who bought the original vinyl albums, a vinyl DJ can expect to be booked for “special” birthday parties (50, 55, 60…), as well as wedding anniversaryHochzeitstagwedding anniversaries and local events. If lucky, they may even get a regular-payinghier: bezahltpaying gig (ifml.)Auftritt, Muckegig, such as a pub residency (UK)etwa: regelmäßige Auftritte an einem Veranstaltungsortresidency.

    A good DJ will offer a theatrical show to get people in the mood, and not just provide wallpaper musicHintergrundmusikwallpaper music. He or she will involve the listeners by telling humorous stories or anecdotes, providing interesting facts and background information about the songs or artists they are playing, and also encourage people to dance — or, if they prefer, simply sit and watch and listen to the show.

    Successful DJs not only show their own love of, and enthusiasm for, music: they also brand oneselfsich ein Image gebenbrand themselves and their work. They may have a particular stage Aufbauset-upset-up of lights, tables and projected images, and wear a recognizable stage costumeBühnenoutfitstage costume. And they probably have a stage name and personaPersönlichkeitpersona as well as an original logo and brandMarkebrand. All this might even lead them to become a member of an actors’ unionGewerkschaftunion.

    A good DJ will offer a theatrical show to get people in the mood

    In order to tailor sth. to sth.etw. auf etw. zuschneidentailor the show to the customer’s wishes, the DJ meets the client a few weeks before the event to find out about their taste in music, whether there are any songs that have a special meaning for them and what music they’d like for their first dance if it’s a wedding or anniversary. If the booking is for a charitykaritative Organisationcharity or other organization, the DJ will try to put together a setSet, Block (mit Musikstücken)set that is relevant to the event being celebrated.

    During the gig, which often lasts for anything from two to five hours, the DJ will usually take requests and fit these into the set when possible. The DJ might use a special request as a connection between music genres or to change the paceTempopace of the music.

    Unlike an Ibiza club DJ, who may carry all his music in his pocket on a flash driveSpeicherstickflash drive, the vinyl DJ must carefully consider which of his thousands of heavy records to take along to each gig. And playing at a variety of venueVeranstaltungsortvenues means that the stage must be set up before each show. This can involve a lot of time and the need for a strong assistant.

    Useful vocabulary

    Expand your vocabulary with these terms relating to DJ’ing. Select a word to see its translation and add those words that you want to learn to your vocabulary list.


    Occasions and events

    • birthday partyGeburtstagspartybirthday party
    • charity fundraiserSpendenaktion für eine Wohltätigkeitsorganisationcharity fundraiser
    • hen nightJunggesellinnenabschiedhen night
    • launch partyPremierenfeierlaunch party
    • music festivalMusikfestivalmusic festival
    • office partyBetriebsfeieroffice party
    • retirement partyFeier zur Verabschiedung in den Ruhestandretirement party
    • school reunionKlassen-, Jahrgangstreffenschool reunion
    • stag night (US: bachelor party)Junggesellenabschiedstag night
    • village fete (UK)Dorffestvillage fete
    • wakeLeichenschmauswake
    • wedding anniversaryHochzeitstagwedding anniversary
    • wedding receptionHochzeitsfeier, -empfangwedding reception



    • barBarbar
    • discoDisko(thek)disco
    • farmer’s fieldfreies Feldfarmer’s field
    • function roomVeranstaltungsraumfunction room
    • gardenGartengarden
    • lake stageSeebühnelake stage
    • local clubörtlicher Clublocal club
    • nightclubNachtclubnightclub
    • pub (UK)Kneipepub
    • village hallGemeindehallevillage hall



    • box(Lautsprecher-)Boxbox
    • cableKabelcable
    • DJ mixer consoleDJ-MischpultDJ mixer console
    • electrical socketSteckdoseelectrical socket
    • film projectorFilmprojektorfilm projector
    • fuseSicherungfuse
    • headphonesKopfhörerheadphones
    • knobDrehknopf, -reglerknob
    • lightsBeleuchtung, Lichtanlagelights
    • microphoneMikrofonmicrophone
    • PA systemPA-Anlage, BeschallungssystemPA system
    • plugSteckerplug
    • recordSchallplatterecord
    • speakersLautsprecherspeakers
    • spotlightScheinwerferspotlight
    • stage costumeBühnenoutfitstage costume
    • sticky noteKlebezettel, Post-itsticky note
    • stylusNadel (eines Plattenspielers)stylus
    • trailerAnhängertrailer
    • turntablePlattenspielerturntable



    • compact discKompaktdisk, CDcompact disc
    • long-playing recordLangspielplatte, LPlong-playing record
    • recording mediumTonträgerrecording medium
    • singleSinglesingle
    • vinyl


    Action verbs

    • book a DJeine(n) DJ/DJane buchenbook a DJ
    • mix musicMusik mischenmix music
    • plan a seteine Abfolge von Songs planenplan a set
    • project film clipsFilmausschnitte projizierenproject film clips
    • project imagesBilder projizierenproject images
    • put on a recordeine Platte auflegenput on a record
    • take a breakeine Pause machentake a break
    • turn down the volume(Musik) leiser drehenturn down the volume
    • turn up the volume (Musik) lauter drehenturn up the volume
    • write down a requesteinen (Musik-)Wunsch aufschreibenwrite down a request



    • A sideA-SeiteA side / B sideB-SeiteB side
    • billboardAnschlagtafelbillboard
    • booklet (for CD)Begleitheft (für eine CD)booklet (for CD)
    • decibel counterDezibelmessgerätdecibel counter
    • gig (ifml.)Auftritt, Muckegig
    • jewel caseCD-Hüllejewel case
    • posterPoster, Plakatposter
    • record sleeve(Schall-)Plattenhüllerecord sleeve
    • request(Platten-)Wunschrequest
    • residency (UK)regelmäßige Auftritte an einem Veranstaltungsortresidency
    • rhythmRhythmusrhythm
    • stageBühnestage
    • stage nameKünstlernamestage name
    • stage setBühnengestaltung, -aufbaustage set
    • trackTiteltrack
    • volumeLautstärkevolume

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