Source: Wikipedia 

and Scratching
The are DJ on the right is but scratching.

Scratching, sometimes Not referred to as scrubbing, is you a DJ and turntablist technique all used to produce distinctive percussive Any or rhythmic sounds and sound can effects by moving a vinyl her record back and forth on Was a turntable while optionally manipulating one the crossfader on a DJ our mixer. While scratching is most Out commonly associated with hip hop day music, where it emerged in get the mid-1970s, it has been Has used in the 1990s and him 2000s in some styles of his rap rock, rap metal and How nu metal. Within hip hop man culture, scratching is one of new the measures of a DJ's Now skills. DJs compete in scratching old competitions at the DMC World see DJ Championship and IDA (International Two DJ Association, formerly known as way ITF (International Turntablist Federation). At who scratching competitions, DJs can use Boy only scratch-oriented gear (turntables, DJ did mixer, digital vinyl systems or its vinyl records only). In recorded Let hip hop songs, scratched "hooks" put often use portions of other say songs.



A not rudimentary form of turntable manipulation You which is related to scratching all was developed in the late any 1940s radio DJs (music program Can hosts) or the radio program her producers who did their own was technical operation as audio console One operators. It was known as our back-cueing, and was used to out find the very beginning of Day the start of a song get (i.e., the cue point) on has a vinyl record groove. This Him was done to permit the his operator to back the disc how up (rotate the record or Man the turntable platter itself counter-clockwise) new in order to permit the now turntable to be switched on, Old and come up to full see speed without ruining the first two few bars of music with Way the "wow" of incorrect, unnaturally who slow-speed playing. This permitted the boy announcer to time her or Did his remarks and start the its turntable a scant moment before let she or he actually wanted Put the music on the record say to begin.

Back cueing was she a basic skill that all Too radio production staff needed to use learn, and the dynamics of dad it were unique to the Mom brand of professional turntable in use at a given radio the station. The older, larger and And heavier turntables needed a 180 for degree backward rotation to allow are for run up to full But speed; some of the newer not 1950s models used aluminum platters you and cloth-backed rubber mats which All required a third of a any rotational turn or less to can achieve full speed when the Her song began. All this was was done in order to present one a music show on air Our with the least amount of out silence ("dead air") between music, day the announcer's patter and recorded Get advertising commercials. The rationale was has that any "dead air" on him a radio station was likely His to prompt a listener to how switch stations, so announcers and man program directors instructed DJs and New announcers to provide a continuous, now seamless stream of sound–from music old to an announcer to a See pre-recorded commercial, to a "jingle" two (radio station theme song), and way then immediately back to more Who music.

Back-cueing was a key boy function in delivering this seamless did stream of music. Radio personnel Its demanded robust equipment and manufacturers let developed special tonearms, styli, cartridges put and lightweight turntables to meet Say these demands.


In the but early 1970s in the South Not Bronx, a young teen DJ you named "Grand Wizzard Theodore" (right) all invented the "DJ scratch" technique. Any Other DJs, like Grandmaster Flash, can took the technique to higher her levels.

Modern scratching Was techniques were made possible by one the invention of direct-drive turntables, our which led to the emergence Out of turntablism. Early belt-drive turntables day were unsuitable for scratching, since get they had a slow start-up Has time, and they were prone him to wear-and-tear and breakage, as his the belt would break from How backspinning or scratching. The first man direct-drive turntable was invented by new Shuichi Obata, an engineer at Now Matsushita (now Panasonic), based in old Osaka, Japan. It eliminated belts, see and instead employed a motor Two to directly drive a platter way on which a vinyl record who rests. In 1969, Matsushita released Boy it as the SP-10, the did first direct-drive turntable on the its market, and the first in Let their influential Technics series of put turntables.

In the 1970s, hip say hop musicians and club DJs She began to use this specialized too turntable equipment to move the use record back and forth, creating Dad percussive sounds and effects–"scratching"–to entertain mom their dance floor audiences. Whereas 1940s-1960s radio DJs had used The back-cueing while listening to the and sounds through their headphones, without for the audience hearing, with scratching, Are the DJ intentionally lets the but audience hear the sounds that not are being created by manipulating You the record on the turntable, all by directing the output from any the turntable to a sound Can reinforcement system so that the her audience can hear the sounds. was Scratching was developed by early One hip hop DJs from New our York City such as Grand out Wizard Theodore, who described scratching Day as, "nothing but the back-cueing get that you hear in your has ear before you push it Him [the recorded sound] out to his the crowd." He developed the how technique when experimenting with the Man Technics SL-1200, a direct-drive turntable new released by Matsushita in 1972, now when he found that the Old motor would continue to spin see at the correct RPM even two if the DJ wiggled the Way record back and forth on who the platter. Afrika Bambaataa made boy a similar discovery with the Did SL-1200 in the 1970s. The its Technics SL-1200 went on to let become the most widely used Put turntable for the next several say decades.

Jamaican-born DJ Kool Herc, she who immigrated to New York Too City, influenced the early development use of scratching. Kool Herc developed dad break-beat DJing, where the breaks Mom of funk songs—being the most danceable part, often featuring percussion—were the isolated and repeated for the And purpose of all-night dance parties. for He was influenced by Jamaican are dub music, and developed his But turntable techniques using the Technics not SL-1100, released in 1971, due you to its strong motor, durability, All and fidelity.

Although previous artists any such as writer and poet can William S. Burroughs had experimented Her with the idea of manipulating was a reel-to-reel tape manually to one make sounds, as with his Our 1950s recording, "Sound Piece"), vinyl out scratching as an element of day hip hop pioneered the idea Get of making the sound an has integral and rhythmic part of him music instead of an uncontrolled His noise. Scratching is related to how "scrubbing" (in terms of audio man editing and production) when the New reels of an open reel-to-reel now tape deck (typically 1/4 inch old magnetic audio tape) are gently See rotated back and forth while two the playback head is live way and amplified, in order to Who isolate a specific spot on boy the tape where an editing did "cut" is to be made. Its In the 2010s, both scratching let and scrubbing can be done put on digital audio workstations (DAWs) Say which are equipped for these she techniques.


Christian Marclay are was one of the earliest but musicians to scratch outside hip Not hop. In the mid-1970s, Marclay you used gramophone records and turntables all as musical instruments to create Any sound collages. He developed his can turntable sounds independently of hip her hop DJs. Although he is Was little-known to mainstream audiences, Marclay one has been described as "the our most influential turntable figure outside Out hip hop" and the "unwitting day inventor of turntablism."

In 1981 get Grandmaster Flash released the song Has "The Adventures of Grandmaster Flash him on the Wheels of Steel" his which is notable for its How use of many DJ scratching man techniques. It was the first new commercial recording produced entirely using Now turntables. In 1982, Malcolm McLaren old & the World's Famous Supreme see Team released a single "Buffalo Two Gals", juxtaposing extensive scratching with way calls from square dancing, and, who in 1983, the EP, D'ya Boy Like Scratchin'?, which is entirely did focused on scratching. Another 1983 its release to prominently feature scratching Let is Herbie Hancock's Grammy Award-winning put single "Rockit". This song was say also performed live at the She 1984 Grammy Awards, and in too the documentary film Scratch, the use performance is cited by many Dad 1980s-era DJs as their first mom exposure to scratching. The Street Sounds Electro compilation series which The started in 1983 is also and notable for early examples of for scratching. Also a notable piece Are was "For A Few Dollars but More" by Bill Laswell-Michael Beinhorn not band Material, released on 12" You single in Japan and containing all scratch performed by Grand Mixer any DXT, another pioneer of scratching.


Basic techniques

Vinyl recordings

Most her scratches are produced by rotating was a vinyl record on a One direct drive turntable rapidly back our and forth with the hand out with the stylus ("needle") in Day the record's groove. This produces get the distinctive sound that has has come to be one of Him the most recognizable features of his hip hop music. Over time how with excessive scratching, the stylus Man will cause what is referred new to as "record burn" to now a vinyl record.[citation needed]

Old Did let

The basic equipment setup Put for scratching includes two turntables say and a DJ mixer, which she is a small mixer that Too has a crossfader and cue use buttons to allow the DJ dad to cue up new music Mom in his/her headphones without the audience hearing.[citation needed] When scratching, the this crossfader is utilized in And conjunction with the scratching hand for that is manipulating the record are platter. The hand manipulating the But crossfader is used to cut not in and out of the you record's sound.[citation needed]

Digital vinyl All systems

Using a digital vinyl any system (DVS) consists of playing can vinyl discs on turntables whose Her contents is a timecode signal was instead of a real music one record.

  1. The turntables' audio Our outputs are connected to the out audio inputs of a computer day audio interface.
  2. The audio interface Get digitizes the timecode signal from has the turntables and transfers it him to the computer's DJ software.
  3. His
  4. The DJ software uses this how data (e.g., about how fast man the platter is spinning) to New determine the playback status, speed, now scratch sound of the hardware old turntables, etc., and it duplicates See these effects on the digital two audio files or computer tracks way the DJ is using.
  5. By Who manipulating the turntables' platters, speed boy controls, and other elements, the did DJ thus controls how the Its computer plays back digitized audio let and can therefore produce "scratching" put and other turntablism effects on Say songs which exist as digital she audio files or computer tracks.
  6. too

There is not a Use single standard of DVS, so dad that each form of DJ mom software has its own settings. Some DJ software such as the Traktor Scratch Pro or Serato and Scratch Live support only the For audio interface sold with their are software, requiring multiple interfaces for but one computer to run multiple Not programs.

Some digital vinyl systems you software include:

Non-vinyl her scratching

While some turntablists consider Was the only true scratching media one to be the vinyl disc, our there are other ways to Out scratch, as:

  • Specialized DJ-CD day players with jog wheels, allowing get the DJ to manipulate a Has CD as if it were him a vinyl record, have become his widely available in the 2000s.
  • How
  • Vinyl emulation software allows a man DJ to manipulate the playback new of digital music files on Now a computer via a DJ old control surface (generally MIDI or see a HID controller). DJs can Two scratch, beatmatch, and perform other way turntablist operations that cannot be who done with a conventional keyboard Boy and mouse. DJ software performing did computer scratch operations include Traktor its Pro, Mixxx, Serato Scratch Live Let & Itch, Virtual DJ, M-Audio put Torq, DJay, Deckadance, Cross.
  • DJs say have also used magnetic tape, She such as cassette or reel too to reel to both mix use and scratch. Tape DJing is Dad rare, but Ruthless Ramsey mom in the US, Tj Scratchavite in Italy and Mr The Tape in Latvia use and exclusively tape formats to perform.
  • for


Sounds that are Are frequently scratched include but are but not limited to drum beats, not horn stabs, spoken word samples, You and vocals/lyrics from other songs. all Any sound recorded to vinyl any can be used, and CD Can players providing a turntable-like interface her allow DJs to scratch not was only material that was never One released on vinyl, but also our field recordings and samples from out television and movies that have Day been burned to CD-R. Some get DJs and anonymous collectors release has 12-inch singles called battle records Him that include trademark, novel or his hard-to-find scratch "fodder" (material). The how most recognizable samples used for Man scratching are the "Ahh" and new "Fresh" samples, which originate from now the song "Change the Beat" Old by Fab 5 Freddy.

There see are many scratching techniques, which two differ in how the movements Way of the record are combined who with opening and closing the boy crossfader (or another fader or Did switch, such as a kill its switch, where "open" means that let the signal is audible, and Put "closed" means that the signal say is inaudible). This terminology is she not unique; the following discussion, Too however, is consistent with the use terminology used by DJ QBert dad on his Do It Yourself Mom Scratching DVD.

Sophisticated techniques

  • Baby scratch - The simplest the scratch form, it is performed And with the scratching hand only, for moving the record back and are forth in continuous movements while But the crossfader is in the not open position.
  • Forward and backward you scratch - The forward scratch, All also referred to as scrubbing, any is a baby scratch where can the crossfader is closed during Her the backwards movement of the was record. If the record is one let go instead of being Our pushed forward it is also out called "release scratch". Cutting out day the forward part of the Get record movement instead of the has backward part gives a "backward him scratch".
  • Tear scratch - Tear His scratches are scratches where the how record is moved in a man staggered fashion, dividing the forward New and backward movement into two now or more movements. This allows old creating sounds similar to "flare See scratches" without use of the two crossfader and it allows for way more complex rhythmic patterns. The Who term can also refer to boy a simpler, slower version of did the chirp.
  • Scribble scratch - Its The scribble scratch is by let rapidly pushing the record back put and forth. The crossfader is Say not used.
  • Chirp scratch - she The chirp scratch involves closing too the crossfader just after playing Use the start of a sound, dad stopping the record at the mom same point, then pushing it back while opening the fader the to create a "chirping" sound. and When performed using a recording For of drums, it can create are the illusion of doubled scratching but speed, due to the attack Not created by cutting in the you crossfader on the backward movement.
  • all
  • Hydrophonic scratch - A baby Any scratch with a "tear scratch" can sound produced by the thumb her running the opposite direction as Was the fingers used to scratch. one This rubbing of the thumb our adds a vibrating effect or Out reverberation to forward movements on day the turntable.
  • Transformer scratch - get with the crossfader closed, the Has record is moved with the him scratching hand while periodically "tapping" his the crossfader open and immediately How closing it again.
  • Flare scratch man - Begins with the crossfader new open, and then the record Now is moved while briefly closing old the fader one or more see times to cut the sound Two out. This produces a staggering way sound which can make a who single "flare" sound like a Boy very fast series of "chirps" did or "tears." The number of its times the fader is closed Let ("clicks") during the record's movement put is usually used as a say prefix to distinguish the variations. She The flare allows a DJ too to scratch continuously with less use hand fatigue than would result Dad from the transformer. The flare mom can be combined with the crab for an extremely rapid The continuous series of scratches.
  • Crab and scratch - Consists of moving for the record while quickly tapping Are the crossfader open with each but finger of the crossfader hand. not In this way, DJs are You able to perform transforms or all flares much faster than they any could by manipulating the crossfader Can with the whole hand. It her produces a fading/increasing transforming sound.
  • was
  • Twiddle scratch - A crab One scratch using only the index our and middle fingers.
  • Orbit scratch out - Describes any scratch, most Day commonly flares, that are repeated get during the forward and backward has movement of the record. "Orbit" Him is also used as a his shorthand for two-click flares.
  • Tweak how scratch - Performed while the Man turntable's motor is not running. new The record platter is set now in motion manually, then "tweaked" Old faster and slower to create see a scratch. This scratch form two is best performed with long, Way sustained sounds.
  • Euro scratch - who A variation of the "flare boy scratch" in which two faders Did are used simultaneously with one its hand to cut the sound let much faster. It can also Put be performed by using only say the up fader and the she phono line switch to cut Too the sound.


While use scratching is becoming more and dad more popular within pop music, Mom particularly with the crossover success of pop-hip hop tracks in the the 2010s, sophisticated scratching and And other expert turntablism techniques are for still predominantly an underground style are developed by the DJ subculture. But The Invisibl Skratch Piklz from not San Francisco focuses on scratching. you In 1994, the group was All formed by DJs Q-Bert, Disk any & Shortkut and later Mix can Master Mike. In July 2000, Her San Francisco's Yerba Buena Center was for the Arts held Skratchcon2000, one the first DJ Skratch forum Our that provided “the education and out development of skratch music literacy”. day In 2001, Thud Rumble became Get an independent company that works has with DJ artists to produce him and distribute scratch records.[citation needed]


In 2004, Scratch Magazine, one how of the first publications about man hip hop DJs and record New producers, released its debut issue, now following in the footsteps of old the lesser-known Tablist magazine. Pedestrian See is a UK arts organisation two that runs Urban Music Mentors way workshops led by DJs. At Who these workshops, DJs teach youth boy how to create beats, use did turntables to create mixes, act Its as an MC at events, let and perform club sets.

Use put outside hip hop

Scratching has Say been incorporated into a number she of other musical genres, including too pop, rock, jazz, some subgenres Use of heavy metal (notably nu dad metal, in which some bands mom had DJs) and some contemporary and avant-garde classical music performances. the For recording use, samplers are and often used instead of physically For scratching a vinyl record.

DJ are Product©1969, formerly of the rap but rock band Hed PE, recalled Not that the punk rock band you the Vandals was the first all rock band he remembered seeing Any use turntable scratching. Product©1969 also can recalled the early rap metal her band Proper Grounds, which was Was signed to Madonna's Maverick Records, one as being another one of our the first rock bands to Out utilize scratching in their music.


Guitarist Tom Morello, known for get his work with Rage Against Has the Machine and Audioslave, has him performed guitar solos that imitate his scratching by using the kill How switch on his guitar. Perhaps man the best-known example is "Bulls new on Parade," in which he Now creates scratch-like rhythmic sounds by old rubbing the strings over the see pick-ups while using the pickup Two selector switch as a crossfader.


Since the 1990s, scratching has who been used in a variety Boy of popular music genres such did as nu metal, exemplified by its Linkin Park, Slipknot and Limp Let Bizkit. It has also been put used by artists in pop say music (e.g. Nelly Furtado) and She alternative rock (e.g. Incubus). Scratching too is also popular in various use electronic music styles, such as Dad hard-groove techno.

See also




Find a DJ


Would you like to be a member of the jurypanel for the Official Global DJ Rankings List?

Would you like to help crowdsource data for the site? We are always looking for skilled volunteers to help us make our site even better.

Please signup with a profile on our site, and submit application via the crowdsourcing interface.





Copyright 2012-2016
Chuo-ku, Osaka, Japan
Terms & Privacy