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This article was written to help you learn how to scratch and also to help you become better at scratching if you already know how. There are basic techniques and advanced techniques, all a lot of fun to achieve...

The baby scratch is the simplest scratch to learn. It does not require use of the cross-fader. It is performed simply by moving the record back and forth along the sample rythmically. That's it.

Audio files:
Baby Scratch
Baby Scratch over a beat.

The forward scratch is made just by replaying a sample over and over again in rhythm with the beat.

A backward scratch is the same except it's done backwards. Combining both with stabs or chops can be very effective.

Audio files:
Forward Scratch
Forward Scratch over a beat.

Chops are relatively easy. Turn the fader on quickly as you "stab" the record forwards rhythmically.

Audio files:
Chops over a beat.

Chirps can be very effective if done properly, and they sound wicked when done quickly.

1. Start off with your fader on
2. As you move the sample forward, cut off the sound.
3. Turn the fader on as you drag the record back again.

Audio files:
Chirps over a beat.

A tear skratch requires a lot of control with your turntable hand. The idea of a tear is that you're moving the platter back and forth in a rhythmic motion. For example: Forward-Back-Back. FBB would be one stroke forward and two strokes back. What makes tears more useful is when you make combos of tears such as Back-Forward-Forward or even Back-Back-Forward-Forward.

Audio files:
Tears over a beat.

The transform scratch is a funky technique which can be hard at first. The idea is to drag the record back and forth on a long sample like "aahhh" and quickly cut in the fader as you move the record along making a cut-up version of the original sample.

Stabs are similar to chops except they are generally a lot faster.

The twiddle is exactly like the crab (see below) except instead of using 3 or 4 fingers, you use only 2 (your index and middle finger).

Audio files:
Twiddling over a beat.

The concept of crabbing is very easy to understand, but very hard to master. Basically, as you move the record back and forth, "brush" or "snap" your pinky, ring, middle, and index fingers against the fader one by one. It should make 4 distinct sounds if done properly.

To help get the technique down, try putting a loose rubber band on your fader and attach it to a corner of your mixer. Another thing I find it helpful is just to to the flicking motion in your spare time (ie: at school, when watching tv etc.), it helps you become familiar with the motion. Gripmasters also help strengthen the joints in your fingers and make it easier to crab.

Flaring is a simple enough concept, yet it can be very hard to get it down and to master it. It's very hard to explain, but here goes. Here's how you do step-by-step:

1. Start with the fader on
2. As you move the record forward, cut the sound off/on quickly.
3. Keep moving forward and then back again and cut the sound off/on quickly.
4. Repeat and you're flaring!

Audio files:
Flaring over a beat.

FLARES (2 Click)
A 2-click flare can be achieved the same way as a 1-click flare except on the forward and back motions, click the fader twice for each motion instead of just once for a 1-clicker. You must do this 2 clicks fast if the sample you're cutting is short.

Enjoy! :)

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