Thinking a Dj is “better” than a band or a band is “better” than a Dj. (8 Critical Mistakes Series Part 2)

Thinking a Dj is “better” than a band or

a band is “better” than a Dj.

“If music be the food of love, play on.” – William Shakespeare

Here’s what Djs and Bands alike don’t want you to hear: There are weaknesses with hiring either a band or a Dj!

Dj’s have some considerable strengths: they are usually cheaper than a professional band, they can setup into a smaller space and they can play a large range of music.

However they can’t interact with an audience the way a REAL LIVE band can. They can’t stop and start songs and address the crowd on the fly in the personalized way a great entertainer can. They aren’t really creating the music, but rather re-playing what’s already been created. Their sound is good, but it’s not the great WOW factor that a top-notch professional band provides.

The Band on the other hand can really elevate the party to the next level with an energy and WOW factor that’s hard to capture unless you’re there in the moment. If the band is professional they will know how to emotionally connect with the audience and bring them into the show. The sound of a group of talented human individuals coming together just can’t be replicated by a computer and the experience of a live band is distinct from a Dj.

However, there are some significant challenges to the band, they take up more floorspace, they cost more (generally) and if they aren’t professional they can absolutely ruin your wedding. This is why the truly professional bands in most areas (especially Toronto) are so busy and booked up. It’s not uncommon for my band to have bookings years in advance because the demand is greater than the (quality) supply. Another issue with bands is that they have a smaller repertoire of music they play from, but the songs they do know are usually the best of the best and are performed at a high level with more impact (See Mistake #5 about Quality Vs. Quantity of songs)

I hope this report helps you steer away from the “dark side”, that is budget Djs and amateur part- time bar bands. However, if your budget is tiny and there’s no way to expand it just realize that you are taking a bigger risk with a “budget” band.

Here’s why: A terrible Dj will just play terrible songs too loudly and kill the vibe. A terrible band will play terrible songs and sing them off-key, at a volume that hurts your ears and scares the old people out of the room.

With that said, a professional live band can be so much more impactful and memorable than even a great Dj. They are making eye contact, involving people in the show, inciting a dance party and it just sounds amazing. The live band is a WOW kind of experience.

The good news is this: most professional bands are now offering a Dj service to incorporate into their live music sets. This truly is the best of both worlds and highly recommended for when bands take a break (all bands are going to need a few short breaks throughout the reception dance).

I would ask any prospective bands if they also offer a Dj service between sets or if you’re able to bring your own music playlist to play during breaks. Ask yourself: What scenario would be the best possible experience for me and my guests?
A band? A Dj?
Why not both?

About the Author:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERADavid Fraser is the founder and band leader of DCF Weddings based out of Toronto, Ontario, Canada.  He specializes in live music that’s exciting, entertaining and engaging and has been involved in the wedding industry professionally for over 8 years.

to meet David and learn more about his services visit

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