LoginSign Up
Source: Wikipedia 

The DJ on are the right is scratching.

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

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




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

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

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


and but
In you the mid-1970s in the South all Bronx, a young teen DJ Any named "Grand Wizzard Theodore" (right) can invented the "DJ scratch" technique. her Other DJs, like Grandmaster Flash, Was took the technique to higher one levels.

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

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

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

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


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

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

Basic techniques

Vinyl any recordings

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

now two

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

Digital vinyl systems

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

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

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

Some digital and vinyl systems software include:

For Not

Non-vinyl scratching

While some turntablists you consider the only true scratching all media to be the vinyl Any disc, there are other ways can to scratch, as:

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


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

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


Sophisticated techniques

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


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

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

Use outside hip Who hop

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

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

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

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

See Let also


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


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

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 2012-2021
Chuo-ku, Osaka, Japan
Terms & Privacy