DJ Tips & Techiniques: Scratching

In this brief article, we comment on some of the most popular topics, how to scratch, how not to scratch and the technique involved.

Posted by Michael Bordash on Sat Jan 5, 2002

As we all know, the turntable can be used as a percussive instrument, ie, scratching. One of the uses of scratching is for fills between different lines or parts in a song. The scratch sound can also be heard as the lead in many song parts.

Playing the Basic Scratch

1. Place your record on a slip-mat on the platter of your turntable.

2. Start your record spinning on the platter by pressing the start/stop button on your turntable.

3. Carefully place the stylus at the beginning of the track and make sure your hear some white noise for a moment.

4. Press the start/stop button again to stop the record and place your first three fingers on the record. Slowly drag the record back and forth. Keep it smooth at first so you get the sound and the arc motion right. When you get the hang of it, start moving your hands faster and in different rythms. Sound good?

Remember, start by using continuous noise, such as white noise. Once you begin to get a good rythm down, pick out a sound effect or spoken word to scratch over. Once you're at this point, you're well on your way to mixing your scratch technique with your favorite songs.

A warning, scratching is moving the record while the needle is IN THE GROOVES, not moving the needle itself across the record. You'll kill your records and needle.

Other Links
Book: The Art of the DJ

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