View Full Version : Scratch session critique.

04-18-2012, 10:50 PM
What's up guys, I've been on here creating threads asking about scratching, and mixing hiphop. I just wanted to post up my first EVER scratch session and wanted you guys to give me some pointers, or critique on my session. In this session, I'm practicing tears and some baby scratch (learned from watching DJ Angelo videos :) ) and I've been scratching for about 4 months on turntables now.

-Constructive criticism and how I can improve** thanks..


04-19-2012, 08:18 PM
You were doing a lot of three staged tares (forward/back/back or forward/forward/back) Try doing some other variations like forward/forward/back/back or forward/back/back/back/forward/forward. This also will help keep you out of the trap of ending your phrases on the same beat all the time. I fell into that and am just getting out of it three years in.

04-20-2012, 07:46 PM
Thanks! +rep for being the only person to respond.

04-21-2012, 07:56 PM
You need to vary what you're doing in several ways, most importantly speed. Think about your tears and baby scratch speed on a scale from 1 to 10. You're doing most everything at the same speed setting. Trying doing it at twice the speed of the beat, the same speed, and half the speed. As the other dude said, switch it up so you're doing different combinations of moving forward and back - but apply different speeds to that - to each cut. Try varying your speed relative to the beat - twice the speed, the same speed as the beat, and half the speed. Do those combinations in straight time, and also triplets. Start your combinations with forward movements on the record, and then the same ones starting by moving backwards.

You're also pretty uniform in the length of the scratches - they're all pretty "long" or "open". Baby scratches and tears, certainly when you're a beginner, sound dirty and rough. Try keeping the sounds as short and tight as possible. Only move the record a little bit, but make sure it's fast enough so the pitch doesn't come out too low. Play around with the beginning of the sample to get an almost chirp-like sound.

Try using a vocal sample instead a uniform sound. It will help you hear and feel the speed/length variations better. With a uniform ahhh-like sample, it's hard to hear those variations.

Think about musicality. Swing to the tempo and feel of the track. Imagine you're scatting or doing a guitar or trumpet solo.

And lastly - move on to other scratches, especially chirps and transforms. Tears and Baby Scratches need to be used in moderation, as small accents and flourishes in the bigger contexts of the more structured, cleaner sounding scratches.

04-21-2012, 09:08 PM
thanks djwes, and so are my scratches dirty and rough or just uniform ? don't really get you there but other than that i'll start using acapellas to scratch.

04-22-2012, 12:12 AM
thanks djwes, and so are my scratches dirty and rough or just uniform ? don't really get you there but other than that i'll start using acapellas to scratch.

I'm not nearly as experienced as djwes, but I listened to it a while ago and the first thing I thought of was the length and speed of the scratching. I think you need to shorten the length and speed it up with the beat, as you seemed way off beat with most of them. I think it was about 1 minute or a bit more in you sped up and it started to sound much better, but then you didn't keep that up.

Just practice practice practice. Also what are you using to scratch on?

04-22-2012, 02:03 AM
Yeah it takes me awhile to get warmed up, I start off sloppy then I get into it. And I'm using technics .

04-27-2012, 09:06 PM
DJ Armani messaged me, asking for clarification on my response above. The best way to explain is to show. Here's a quick video demonstrating some of the variations I explained, all mostly tears and baby scratches done without any cross fader (except at the end... you know, couldn't help myself). Pardon the record skipping. It's not a performance, just a hasty lesson.


04-27-2012, 09:14 PM
It sounded very stiff and repetitive to me, and almost like you were cutting with the turntable motor turned off. Also, the sample you were using isn't great.

The positives were that it did sound quite controlled and you're not trying to run before you can walk.

I would try combining baby scratches, forwards, marches and the tears you're doing in this file. What's really missing here is hearing the sample being released so you can actually hear what it is. This file almost sounds like a robot hand is controlling the record as it's so stiff and lacking variation. You don't need to be able to do crazy complex techniques to sound good, but take a few simple techniques, mix them up, throw in some releases on the sample, and I think it'll sound much better than this, ala DJ Wes's example above.