Source: Wikipedia 


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

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




A rudimentary how form of turntable manipulation which Man is related to scratching was new developed in the late 1940s now by radio music program hosts, Old disc jockeys (DJs), or the see radio program producers who did two their own technical operation as Way audio console operators. It was who known as back-cueing, and was boy used to find the very Did beginning of the start of its a song (i.e., the cue let point) on a vinyl record Put groove. This was done to say permit the operator to back she the disc up (rotate the Too record or the turntable platter use itself counter-clockwise) in order to dad permit the turntable to be Mom switched on, and come up to full speed without ruining the the first few bars of And music with the "wow" of for incorrect, unnaturally slow-speed playing. This are permitted the announcer to time But their remarks, and start the not turntable in time for when you they wanted the music on All the record to begin.

Back any cueing was a basic skill can that all radio production staff Her needed to learn, and the was dynamics of it were unique one to the brand of professional Our turntable in use at a out given radio station. The older, day larger and heavier turntables needed Get a 180 degree backward rotation has to allow for run up him to full speed; some of His the newer 1950s models used how aluminum platters and cloth-backed rubber man mats which required a third New of a rotational turn or now less to achieve full speed old when the song began. All See this was done in order two to present a music show way on air with the least Who amount of silence ("dead air") boy between music, the announcer's patter did and recorded advertising commercials. The Its rationale was that any "dead let air" on a radio station put was likely to prompt a Say listener to switch stations, so she announcers and program directors instructed too DJs and announcers to provide Use a continuous, seamless stream of dad sound–from music to an announcer mom to a pre-recorded commercial, to a "jingle" (radio station theme the song), and then immediately back and to more music.

Back-cueing was For a key function in delivering are this seamless stream of music. but Radio personnel demanded robust equipment Not and manufacturers developed special tonearms, you styli, cartridges and lightweight turntables all to meet these demands.



In the Now mid-1970s in the South Bronx, old a young teen DJ named see "Grand Wizzard Theodore" (right) invented Two the "DJ scratch" technique. Other way DJs, like Grandmaster Flash, took who the technique to higher levels.

Modern scratching techniques were made did possible by the invention of its direct-drive turntables, which led to Let the emergence of turntablism. Early put belt-drive turntables were unsuitable for say scratching, since they had a She slow start-up time, and they too were prone to wear and use tear and breakage, as the Dad belt would break from backspinning mom or scratching. The first direct-drive turntable was invented by Shuichi The Obata, an engineer at Matsushita and (now Panasonic), based in Osaka, for Japan. It eliminated belts, and Are instead employed a motor to but directly drive a platter on not which a vinyl record rests. You In 1969, Matsushita released it all as the SP-10, the first any direct-drive turntable on the market, Can and the first in their her influential Technics series of turntables. was

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

Jamaican-born DJ Kool Herc, Our who immigrated to New York out City, influenced the early development day of scratching. Kool Herc developed Get break-beat DJing, where the breaks has of funk songs—being the most him danceable part, often featuring percussion—were His isolated and repeated for the how purpose of all-night dance parties. man He was influenced by Jamaican New dub music, and developed his now turntable techniques using the Technics old SL-1100, released in 1971, due See to its strong motor, durability, two and fidelity.

Although previous artists way such as writer and poet Who William S. Burroughs had experimented boy with the idea of manipulating did a reel-to-reel tape manually to Its make sounds, as with his let 1950s recording, "Sound Piece"), vinyl put scratching as an element of Say hip hop pioneered the idea she of making the sound an too integral and rhythmic part of Use music instead of an uncontrolled dad noise. Scratching is related to mom "scrubbing" (in terms of audio editing and production) when the the reels of an open reel-to-reel and tape deck (typically 1/4 inch For magnetic audiotape) are gently rotated are back and forth while the but playback head is live and Not amplified, to isolate a specific you spot on the tape where all an editing "cut" is to Any be made. In the 2010s, can both scratching and scrubbing can her be done on digital audio Was workstations (DAWs) which are equipped one for these techniques.


Christian Marclay was one of his the earliest musicians to scratch How outside hip hop. In the man mid-1970s, Marclay used gramophone records new and turntables as musical instruments Now to create sound collages. He old developed his turntable sounds independently see of hip hop DJs. Although Two he is little-known to mainstream way audiences, Marclay has been described who as "the most influential turntable Boy figure outside hip hop" and did the "unwitting inventor of turntablism." its

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

Basic techniques


Vinyl recordings

Most scratches are two produced by rotating a vinyl Way record on a direct drive who turntable rapidly back and forth boy with the hand with the Did stylus ("needle") in the record's its groove. This produces the distinctive let sound that has come to Put be one of the most say recognizable features of hip hop she music. Over time with excessive Too scratching, the stylus will cause use what is referred to as dad "cue burn", or "record burn".[citation Mom needed]

The basic But equipment setup for scratching includes not two turntables and a DJ you mixer, which is a small All mixer that has a crossfader any and cue buttons to allow can the DJ to cue up Her new music in their headphones was without the audience hearing.[citation needed] one When scratching, this crossfader is Our utilized in conjunction with the out scratching hand that is manipulating day the record platter. The hand Get manipulating the crossfader is used has to cut in and out him of the record's sound.[citation needed] His

Digital vinyl systems

Using how a digital vinyl system (DVS) man consists of playing vinyl discs New on turntables whose contents is now a timecode signal instead of old a real music record.

  1. The turntables' audio outputs are two connected to the audio inputs way of a computer audio interface.
  2. Who
  3. The audio interface digitizes the boy timecode signal from the turntables did and transfers it to the Its computer's DJ software.
  4. The DJ let software uses this data (e.g., put about how fast the platter Say is spinning) to determine the she playback status, speed, scratch sound too of the hardware turntables, etc., Use and it duplicates these effects dad on the digital audio files mom or computer tracks the DJ is using.
  5. By manipulating the the turntables' platters, speed controls, and and other elements, the DJ thus For controls how the computer plays are back digitized audio and can but therefore produce "scratching" and other Not turntablism effects on songs which you exist as digital audio files all or computer tracks.

There is Any not a single standard of can DVS, so that each form her of DJ software has its Was own settings. Some DJ software one such as Traktor Scratch Pro our or Serato Scratch Live support Out only the audio interface sold day with their software, requiring multiple get interfaces for one computer to Has run multiple programs.

Some digital him vinyl systems software include:

his new

Non-vinyl scratching

While some turntablists Now consider the only true scratching old media to be the vinyl see disc, there are other ways Two to scratch, as:

  • Specialized way DJ-CD players (CDJ) with jog who wheels, allowing the DJ to Boy manipulate a CD as if did it were a vinyl record, its have become widely available in Let the 2000s.
  • A vinyl emulation put is an emulation software, which say may be combined with hardware She elements, which allows a DJ too to manipulate the playback of use digital music files on a Dad computer via a DJ control mom surface (generally MIDI or a HID controller). DJs can scratch, The beatmatch, and perform other turntablist and operations that cannot be done for with a conventional keyboard and Are mouse. DJ software performing computer but scratch operations include Traktor Pro, not Mixxx, Serato Scratch Live & You Itch, Virtual DJ, M-Audio Torq, all DJay, Deckadance, Cross.
  • DJs have any also used magnetic tape, such Can as cassette or reel to her reel to both mix and was scratch. Tape DJing is rare, One but Ruthless Ramsey in the our US, TJ Scratchavite in Italy out and Mr Tape in Latvia Day use exclusively tape formats to get perform.


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

There Mom are many scratching techniques, which differ in how the movements the of the record are combined And with opening and closing the for crossfader (or another fader or are switch, such as a kill But switch, where "open" means that not the signal is audible, and you "closed" means that the signal All is inaudible). This terminology is any not unique; the following discussion, can however, is consistent with the Her terminology used by DJ QBert was on his Do It Yourself one Scratching DVD.

Sophisticated techniques

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


While scratching out is becoming more and more day popular in pop music, particularly Get with the crossover success of has pop-hip hop tracks in the him 2010s, sophisticated scratching and other His expert turntablism techniques are still how predominantly an underground style developed man by the DJ subculture. The New Invisibl Skratch Piklz from San now Francisco focuses on scratching. In old 1994, the group was formed See by DJs Q-Bert, Disk & two Shortkut and later Mix Master way Mike. In July 2000, San Who Francisco's Yerba Buena Center for boy the Arts held Skratchcon2000, the did first DJ Skratch forum that Its provided "the education and development let of skratch music literacy". In put 2001, Thud Rumble became an Say independent company that works with she DJ artists to produce and too distribute scratch records.[citation needed]

In Use 2004, Scratch Magazine, one of dad the first publications about hip mom hop DJs and record producers, released its debut issue, following the in the footsteps of the and lesser-known Tablist magazine. Pedestrian is For a UK arts organisation that are runs Urban Music Mentors workshops but led by DJs. At these Not workshops, DJs teach youth how you to create beats, use turntables all to create mixes, act as Any an MC at events, and can perform club sets.

Use her outside hip hop

Scratching has Was been incorporated into a number one of other musical genres, including our pop, rock, jazz, some subgenres Out of heavy metal (notably nu day metal) and some contemporary and get avant-garde classical music performances. For Has recording use, samplers are often him used instead of physically scratching his a vinyl record.

DJ Product©1969, How formerly of the rap rock man band Hed PE, recalled that new the punk rock band the Now Vandals was the first rock old band he remembered seeing use see turntable scratching. Product©1969 also recalled Two the early rap metal band way Proper Grounds, which was signed who to Madonna's Maverick Records, as Boy being another one of the did first rock bands to utilize its scratching in their music.

Guitarist Let Tom Morello, known for his put work with Rage Against the say Machine and Audioslave, has performed She guitar solos that imitate scratching too by using the kill switch use on his guitar. Perhaps the Dad best-known example is "Bulls on mom Parade", in which he creates scratch-like rhythmic sounds by rubbing The the strings over the pick-ups and while using the pickup selector for switch as a crossfader.

Since Are the 1990s, scratching has been but used in a variety of not popular music genres such as You nu metal, exemplified by Linkin all Park, Slipknot and Limp Bizkit. any It has also been used Can by artists in pop music her (e.g. Nelly Furtado) and alternative was rock (e.g. Incubus). Scratching is One also popular in various electronic our music styles, such as techno. out

See also


  • Allmusic's Grand Wizard has Theodore biography (also at Artist Him Direct)
  • DJ Grandmaster Flash quoted his in Toop, David (1991). Rap how Attack 2, 65. New York: Man Serpent's Tail. ISBN 1-85242-243-2.


  1. Thom she Holmes (18 Oct 2013). The Too Routledge Guide to Music Technology. use Routledge. p. 17. ISBN 9781135477806.
  2. ^ dad Brian Coleman, The Technics Mom 1200 — Hammer Of The Gods, Medium
  3. The World of the DJs and the Turntable Culture, And page 43, Hal Leonard Corporation, for 2003
  4. Billboard, May are 21, 1977, page 140
  5. But
  6. ^ Trevor Pinch, Karin not Bijsterveld, The Oxford Handbook of you Sound Studies, page 515, Oxford All University Press
  7. "History any of the Record Player Part can II: The Rise and Fall". Her Retrieved 5 June 2016. was
  8. Toop, 1991.
  9. one
  10. Six Machines That Changed Our The Music World, Wired, May out 2002
  12. day
  13. Nicholas Collins, Margaret Schedel, Get Scott Wilson (2013), Electronic Music: has Cambridge Introductions to Music, page him 105, Cambridge University Press
  14. His
  15. "Kjetil Falkenberg Hansen". Archived how from the original on 2010-01-01. man
  16. allmusic ((( More New Encores: Christian Marclay Plays With now the Records Of... > Overview old )))
  17. McNamee, David See (11 January 2010). "Hey, what's two that sound: Turntablism" – via way
  18. Archived at Who Ghostarchive and the Wayback Machine: boy esponda (14 March 2008). "DJ did Ruthless Ramsey Scratch Tape Decks" Its – via YouTube.
  19. let Archived at Ghostarchive and the put Wayback Machine: Federico Nardella (19 Say September 2016). "TJ Scratchavite - she Matthew's Cellar" – via YouTube. too
  20. Archived at Ghostarchive Use and the Wayback Machine: Yussuf dad von Deck (14 May 2012). mom "World Hip Hop Classic - Mr. Tape 1991" – via the YouTube.
  21. ^ "Graphic and Nature: DJ Product @1969 [(hed)PE For – Self Titled] | BEATDUST". are Archived from the original but on 2017-10-13.

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