The Art of Being Aux

The art of being aux is simply that – an art.

Being in control of what music is being played all night is quite the responsibility, and only certain kinds of people can handle the heat. One bad song and everyone starts voicing their dissatisfaction quickly and probably most of the time, harshly. But fear not, here at Her Campus Bryant we have some seasoned aux-masters that can help you along to perfect this art. Soon, you will be the person everyone turns to when they need that fire playlist at the party!

Now let's get started...

 

Tip #1: Know Your Audience!

This is HUGE. If you’re pregaming with your girls in your suite or apartment, you might have a little more leniency to try out some new stuff you found on Spotify’s ‘Fresh Finds’ playlist. We suggest artists like Benny Blanco or Quinn XCII for this situation (we promise, they have some bops). However, if you’re in charge of the music for a partying you’re hosting, you have to be able to read your audience, as well as establish what vibe you want your party to be radiating.

Want to get people dancing? You have to have the right beats. No, we’re not saying play the "Cotton Eyed Joe" or the "Cha Cha Slide", but there are definitely some songs that can get the crowd moving. Maybe "Forever" by Chris Brown or "Intoxicated" by Martin Solveig is the vibe you're going for.

There are different levels of dance jams, so make sure to know your audience BEFORE they arrive, so you can craft the perfect playlist.

 

Tip #2: BE VERSATILE

Although it is tempting to play your favorite alternative bops or your favorite hip-hop jams, it isn’t the time when you’re in control of aux. If no one knows the song, you’re in trouble. But, hopefully, that is an obvious no-no. BUT, your playlist must be versatile.

The key to every successful aux-person is having some throwback 2000’s hits, current chart toppers, the occasional hard rap, and maybe even a legendary classic rock song. People LOVE a playlist that has it all. If you’re at a party and you first hear "Kiss Me Thru the Phone" by Soulja Boy, and the next song is "Thank U, Next" by Ariana Grande, you’re going to be living your best life. But, imagine after Ariana it’s "Bohemian Rhapsody" and then maybe "Handclap" by Fitz and the Tantrums? You are ensuring everyone in the room is pleased and can sing along. This is very VERY important.

 

Tip #3: Know How to Operate Your Tools

Are you using Spotify or Apple Music? If you don’t have Spotify Premium, we recommend not using it (although, it is our favorite). The commercials will kill the party and definitely harm your aux-cred.

Also, make sure you know how to work your phone, the speakers and whatever music platform you’re using. Are you connecting via Bluetooth, or are you using a physical aux cord? Make sure you’re internet is connected and the music platform won’t glitch – no one likes those weird awkward silence moments when the music stops (it's almost as bad as when the lights turn on).

Another important tool is knowing how to queue songs. We typically just queue one song at a time. Unless your playlist has the perfect variation already lined up, queuing is a must. Especially when people start running up to you (secret’s out! They know you’re aux) and start requesting every song they have ever heard.

 

This brings us to our next tip…

 

Tip #4: Be Careful with Requests

Requests are tricky. People want to hear what they want to hear, but if it’s a dance party and someone requests "My Heart Will Go On" by Celine Dion, there are going to be some issues. Requests are all fun and games until everyone at the party starts asking you to play their favorite song. We advise that you take a max of 5 a night. This also means it is up to your discretion to determine what requests are worthy of being played. It’s a tricky game, but once you establish your power (and people trust your music skill), they will begin to back off and trust your instincts.

 

Tip #5: Not Every Song on a 10-Hour Playlist Will Get Played

When you plan your party and begin making the initial playlist, the excitement can sometimes take over. It is important that you remember the party may only last 2-3 hours tops if its start-time is 10 pm. Do not get carried away and make a 10-hour playlist! Not even a quarter of the songs will get played, and some key jams may be left out! No playlist should realistically be over 3 hours or so. Always remember this!

 

Lastly…

Since your phone/laptop is connected to speakers, whatever you do on your phone WILL. BE. HEARD. Being aux is great and all, but it does have some responsibilities that come along with it that can be not-so-great.

People forget that when you go on Snapchat, the volume may turn down. If you take a snap, the camera sound may go off through the speakers, or the music may completely stop if you hold down on the button too long. Don’t even try and take a Snapchat video! The music will cut-out immediately.

Also, do not try and play any videos on your phone. They will either stop the music and play over the speakers, or the sound of the video will mix with the music and cause chaos.

Last but not least, REMEMBER TO TURN OFF YOUR RINGER. If your ringer is on and you get a text, you bet the whole room will know and it will immediately become annoying. Don’t be that person!

 

Well, we truly hope these tips were helpful! We know it’s a lot to be in control of music, but just like anything else, the more you practice the better you will become! Being in charge of aux is truly an art form, and many people do not know how to do it correctly.

Have the most well-crafted playlists and banging parties around when you use these tips! Your neighbors will thank you.