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Welcome to the Cocktail Party Music Guide

Here you will find plenty advice on cocktail party music

Finding the right cocktail party music can be surprisingly challenging if you are not really into music. But if you give this some thought before your party, it should be straightforward.

Music is one of the vital ingredients of any good party, like the food and drinks. Here we discuss all the music options available and give you some suggestions on what music to play.

Usually the music starts slower and softer and builds up as the party progresses. For cocktail parties, the music is generally at such a volume that people can converse and hear one another easily. At least at the start of the party ….

There is a range of styles that work well as cocktail party music, including groovy lounge, slow and deep house, drum & bass, acid jazz, jazz, blues and Latin music. Some of Cocktail Mixing Master’s favourite albums and artists include:

Ø The Café del Mar range (lounge)
Ø The Buena Vista Social Club range (Latin)
Ø Royksopp (groovy lounge)
Ø Kruder & Dorfmeister (electronic chillout, downtempo)
Ø Ministry of Sound’s Chillout Sessions range (electronic chillout, downtempo)
Ø Groove Armada
Ø Morcheeba (electronic vocal)
Ø Jamiroquai (acid jazz)

The music should be upbeat and put your guests in a good mood. If you struggle to find music, Google “cocktail party music” or “buy party music”. Or go to any online music store.

There are more than one medium you can use to produce your cocktail party music

Ø Live music

A live jazz band can add a very nice touch to a party. BUT do not hire a band you do not know, haven’t heard of, haven’t heard yourself or have not been recommended by a reliable source. Few things can stuff up a party like a bad band.

A band is generally expensive as well, particularly the good ones, if you can find one. So, we suggest that you think carefully about a live band first and if you decide to hire one, do your research thoroughly.

Bear in mind a band requires some space – it’s unlikely to work in your 400 sqaure foot bachelor’s pad.


As with a band, make sure you get a DJ that knows his/her stuff by getting good references or hiring someone you have seen before. A bad DJ can also stuff up a party good. DJ’s are generally less expensive than live bands. Often the venue where you have the party (if not at home) has an in house DJ or can arrange one.

Remember, a DJ also requires a bit of space (like a table in a corner) but less so than a band.

Ø Electronically

Through a CD or DVD player. A DVD player is nice in the sense that it provides background visual entertainment as well. If you have nice music on DVD only but do not want the visuals, simply turn your TV screen off.

Cocktail Mixing Master’s medium of choice is an iPod. You can create play lists long enough to last the whole party and longer and you can easily and conveniently change to music if you like at any point – no need to store CD’s next to the hi-fi. No need to change music constantly. And no more scratched CD’s, HOORAY!!

If you can, have speakers throughout the venue so that the music can be heard throughout. Decide what music you want to play at various stages during the party and get this ready beforehand, but be flexible.

See what the mood is during the party and decide if you need to change the music or not. And as you probably have experienced, one of the guests will (fortunately or unfortunately) take over the job of being DJ on his/her own initiative.

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