Derek Tarpey

Lake DJ  -  Lake Tahoe

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12 Questions to ask before booking a DJ



1.  Are you a FULL-TIME Professional DJ, or is this your "Part Time" job ?

       Many DJ are not full-time, but have other full-time job, and only DJing as a hobby.  Part-time DJ's can be good, but you should be careful.  They are less likely to have the time needed to fully prepare for your event.  And in most cases their full-time job will also take precedence over your wedding.

       LAKE DJ is my FULL-TIME Profession.


  2.  Will you personally be the DJ at my event ?

       Some DJ companies are actually "Booking Agencies" and have a number of DJ's  working for them.  If you are lucky enough to get their best DJ, they will be experienced and fully qualified.  However some of their other DJ's will not be as proficient.  You may also find your DJ is dealing with an absent DJ from another event, instead of concentrating on your event.

       At LAKE DJ we do not book any other DJ's to work for us.  My sole focus is always event I am playing at.


  3.  Are you insured ?

       Any reputable business will carry full insurance.

       At LAKE DJ we have full public liability insurance with the American DJ Association  


  4.  Do you have a list of the equipment you will be using ?

     Many sites will advice you ask if a DJ's equipment is "Professional."  However there are vast differences between equipment, whether it's "Professional" or not.  Any DJ who is proud of the equipment they use, will have a list available or even more likely posted the list on their website.

       LAKE DJ uses the very best equipment with names like Bose, Denon, Dell, Shure and Martin.  In every case there are less expensive versions of our equipment. However  I do not believe in saving money at the expense of quality.  To see a list of the equipment I use please Click Here


  5.  How long have you been DJing ?

       While it is not necessary to have many years of experience it is helpful, and while every DJ has to start somewhere, should it really be at your event?  I would have to say some people are naturally talented, however a minimum of ten years experience is desirable.

       I started DJing in Clubs and Night Clubs in 1977, but switched to DJing predominantly weddings and private parties around 1980.


  7.  Do you belong to any professional or trade organizations ?

       Professional DJ's should always be involved in trade organizations.  Many of these organizations enforce a code of ethics, and the absence of membership could indicate lower standards on the part of a DJ.

       At LAKE DJ we are members of the following trade organizations. 

       South Lake Tahoe Wedding and Honeymoon Association

       Nevada Wedding Association

       American Disc Jockey Association


  8.  What do you usually wear to an events ?

       I am sure you have heard of the DJ who turned up in jeans and a T Shirt.  While I have found most DJ's are dressed appropriately, this is a question you should ask. 

       I normally wear a dark suit, white shirt and tie, but I also wear a tuxedo, if requested.  There is also a space on my contract for clients to specify the desired attire.


  9.  Can we select our own music ?

       Any DJ who is unwilling to accept your playlist or take requests should not even be considered. 

       I always ask my clients to provide a "Playlist" and "Don't Playlist".  I also offer a free consultation to discuss my clients music requests and the style of event.


10.  Do you Carry "Back Up" equipment to the event ?

       Many DJ's who claim to have "Back-Up" equipment, do not actually bring it with them to the event.  In some cases the equipment may even be in use elsewhere.  "Back-Up" should also mean every piece of equipment is duplicated, not just the most important pieces.  Any sound system has many parts, Amplifiers, Speakers, Equalizers, Microphones, and Computers.  

       LAKE DJ carries a full range of Back-Up equipment to every event.


11.  Do you use CD's or MP3's ?

       There are a number of views as to the merits of CD verses MP3.  The quality of a CD is undoubtedly better than an MP3.  MP3's contain only about 10% of the information on a CD, no matter what the MP3's Bit Rate.  However the sound of a high quality MP3's is perfectly acceptable.   

       LAKE DJ uses both CD's and MP3's.  I prefer to play CD's as the quality is better, but I also carry over 15,000 MP3's to every event.  And at venues with Wi-Fi I have access to over 4 millions songs.


12.  Do you take breaks ?

       Unlike a band, it is usual for a DJ to request "Breaks."   However this is also a question you should ask. 

       At Lake DJ I don't not request any formal breaks during an event

Please contact us for a FREE Consultation

Tel  (530) 577-3414    Cell  (530) 416-5253


Members of  

  American Disc Jockey Association

  Lake Tahoe Wedding & Honeymoon Association

  Nevada Wedding Association

Find us at

  Wedding Guide  Party and Wedding Info.              My Party Planner

     Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority

   WedAlert.Com      Tahoe's Best

Wedding DJ and Master of Ceremonies for over 20 years, Derek Moved to

South Lake Tahoe in 2002, and now performs at weddings in both California & Nevada.

Lake DJ