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The DJ on the right For is scratching.

Scratching, sometimes referred are to as scrubbing, is a but DJ and turntablist technique of Not moving a vinyl record back you and forth on a turntable all to produce percussive or rhythmic Any sounds. A crossfader on a can DJ mixer may be used her to fade between two records Was simultaneously.

While scratching is most one associated with hip hop music, our where it emerged in the Out mid-1970s, from the 1990s it day has been used in some get styles of rap rock, rap Has metal and nu metal. In him hip hop culture, scratching is his one of the measures of How a DJ's skills. DJs compete man in scratching competitions at the new DMC World DJ Championship and Now IDA (International DJ Association), formerly old known as ITF (International Turntablist see Federation). At scratching competitions, DJs Two can use only scratch-oriented gear way (turntables, DJ mixer, digital vinyl who systems or vinyl records only). Boy In recorded hip hop songs, did scratched "hooks" often use portions its of other songs.




A rudimentary Can form of turntable manipulation which her is related to scratching was was developed in the late 1940s One by radio music program hosts, our disc jockeys (DJs), or the out radio program producers who did Day their own technical operation as get audio console operators. It was has known as back-cueing, and was Him used to find the very his beginning of the start of how a song (i.e., the cue Man point) on a vinyl record new groove. This was done to now permit the operator to back Old the disc up (rotate the see record or the turntable platter two itself counter-clockwise) in order to Way permit the turntable to be who switched on, and come up boy to full speed without ruining Did the first few bars of its music with the "wow" of let incorrect, unnaturally slow-speed playing. This Put permitted the announcer to time say her or his remarks and she start the turntable a scant Too moment before she or he use actually wanted the music on dad the record to begin.

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

too the

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

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

Basic techniques


Vinyl recordings

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


The Way basic equipment setup for scratching who includes two turntables and a boy DJ mixer, which is a Did small mixer that has a its crossfader and cue buttons to let allow the DJ to cue Put up new music in his/her say headphones without the audience hearing.[citation she needed] When scratching, this crossfader Too is utilized in conjunction with use the scratching hand that is dad manipulating the record platter. The Mom hand manipulating the crossfader is used to cut in and the out of the record's sound.[citation And needed]

Digital vinyl systems


Using a digital vinyl system are (DVS) consists of playing vinyl But discs on turntables whose contents not is a timecode signal instead you of a real music record. All

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

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

Some the digital vinyl systems software include: and

Non-vinyl scratching

While some Not turntablists consider the only true you scratching media to be the all vinyl disc, there are other Any ways to scratch, as:

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



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

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

Sophisticated techniques

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


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

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

Use outside way hip hop

Scratching has been Who incorporated into a number of boy other musical genres, including pop, did rock, jazz, some subgenres of Its heavy metal (notably nu metal) let and some contemporary and avant-garde put classical music performances. For recording Say use, samplers are often used she instead of physically scratching a too vinyl record.

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

Guitarist Tom Any Morello, known for his work can with Rage Against the Machine her and Audioslave, has performed guitar Was solos that imitate scratching by one using the kill switch on our his guitar. Perhaps the best-known Out example is "Bulls on Parade", day in which he creates scratch-like get rhythmic sounds by rubbing the Has strings over the pick-ups while him using the pickup selector switch his as a crossfader.

Since the How 1990s, scratching has been used man in a variety of popular new music genres such as nu Now metal, exemplified by Linkin Park, old Slipknot and Limp Bizkit. It see has also been used by Two artists in pop music (e.g. way Nelly Furtado) and alternative rock who (e.g. Incubus). Scratching is also Boy popular in various electronic music did styles, such as techno.


See also



  • Allmusic's Grand Wizard Theodore say biography (also at Artist Direct)
  • She
  • DJ Grandmaster Flash quoted in too Toop, David (1991). Rap Attack use 2, 65. New York: Serpent's Dad Tail. ISBN 1-85242-243-2.


  1. Thom Holmes (18 Oct our 2013). The Routledge Guide to out Music Technology. Routledge. p. 17. ISBN 9781135477806. Day
  2. ^ Brian Coleman, get The Technics 1200 — Hammer Of The has Gods, Medium
  3. The Him World of DJs and the his Turntable Culture, page 43, Hal how Leonard Corporation, 2003
  4. Man Billboard, May 21, 1977, page new 140
  5. ^ Trevor now Pinch, Karin Bijsterveld, The Oxford Old Handbook of Sound Studies, page see 515, Oxford University Press
  6. two
  7. "History of the Record Way Player Part II: The Rise who and Fall". Reverb.com. Retrieved 5 boy June 2016.
  8. Toop, Did 1991.
  9. Six Machines its That Changed The Music World, let Wired, May 2002
  10. Put https://www.allmusic.com/artist/p312125/biography
  11. Nicholas Collins, say Margaret Schedel, Scott Wilson (2013), she Electronic Music: Cambridge Introductions to Too Music, page 105, Cambridge University use Press
  12. "Kjetil Falkenberg dad Hansen". Archived from the original Mom on 2010-01-01.
  13. allmusic ((( More Encores: Christian Marclay the Plays With the Records Of... And > Overview )))
  14. for McNamee, David (11 January 2010). are "Hey, what's that sound: Turntablism" But – via www.theguardian.com.
  15. not esponda (14 March 2008). "DJ you Ruthless Ramsey Scratch Tape Decks" All – via YouTube.
  16. any Federico Nardella (19 September 2016). can "TJ Scratchavite - Matthew's Cellar" Her – via YouTube.
  17. was Yussuf von Deck (14 May one 2012). "World Hip Hop Classic Our - Mr. Tape 1991"out via YouTube.
  18. ^ day http://www.beatdust.com/graphic-nature/graphic-nature-dj-product-1969-hedpe-self-titled/

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