I admit it, I am addicted to playing jukeboxes. I have been known to judge the quality of a bar by the songlist on the jukebox. There have been nights that I’ve spent more money playing songs on the jukebox than I have on drinks.
While I am not a music snob, I do feel there are certain rules everyone should follow when playing a jukebox. Here are my tips for Jukebox Etiquette:
Take one song to select your songs
Your friends are waiting for you to rejoin them and there are probably other people who want to play the jukebox. Try to select all of your songs during one song.
Never play the same song twice
If you already played a song, it is off limits for the rest of the night.
Play one song per artist
Radio doesn’t do it, why should you? Everyone loves Jimmy Buffett, but no one wants to hear his greatest hits CD in its entirety at the local bar every Saturday night.
Play for your audience (Part I)
The main advantage and disadvantage of Internet jukeboxes is access to every kind of music. So even though you can search for it, don’t play your favorite gangsta rap during happy hour at a blue-collar neighborhood bar. A good gauge of this is the volume: Did the bartender turn down the volume when your song came on — or worse, skip your song? If so, better rethink your selection.
Play for your audience (Part II)
Playing the jukebox is not a contest to see who has the most obscure music knowledge. Pick something you think people will recognize or at least enjoy, even if they don’t know it.
Mix it up
Have you ever been able to guess the who played the jukebox based on the year the last 10 songs that played were popular? Don’t play all your favorite songs from your freshman year of college in a row unless it’s a special occassion, like a high school reunion. It’s lame.
Avoid using the “Play My Song Next” feature
In my opinion, this is another disadvantage of Internet jukeboxes. However, it can be useful late at night when you’re not sure if or when you’ll hear the music you play. My advice: Wait 15-30 minutes. You might be pleasantly surprised and get to play your songs without spending the extra money.
Don’t leave credits on the jukebox
Play all your songs or don’t be surprised if your credits (and therefore, money) are gone when you come back to try to play them later.
Don’t try to influence others
If there’s something you’d like to hear, get out your money and play it. Don’t try to talk a stranger into playing a song for you. Also keep in mind, just because a guy or girl is alone at the jukebox does not mean he or she is an easy target to hit on. Save it for later.