In this article we will run through some basics to start and how London DJs should set up for bars and nightclubs (even for bedroom set ups).
The scratching technique and art was developed by the early hip hop DJs Grandmaster Flash and Grandmaster Wizard Theodore. Scratching is the is when you are moving the record up and down (back and forther) in numerous varieties to create a sound. Advanced scratching involves the use of crossfader along with the record in a coordinated manner. Scratching is an art and skill. It requires dedication and many hours of practice. Even the master scratchers such as DJ Q-Bert, Craze and the old pioneers put in many hours to get the skills they have. Like with many hobbies and skills, the basics are easy to grip however, any aspect to an advanced level the more time is needed to spent to master the skill.
To learn basic scratched basic equipment can be used but if you want to be a DJ that plays at London bars and nightclubs then they will most likely have professional industry standard Technics 1210s or Pioneer CDJs. Belt drive decks are a definite no no with scratching. We are assuming that you have good equipment. If you are using turntables then both normal and battle mode can be used but battle mode is preferred as more of the vinyl area is exposed and also battle mode prevents the newcomers from accidentally brushing the start and stop button in a scratch.
If you are going to scratch you will have to make time to set up the tone arm, counter weight and anti-skate everytime you have a set at a London bar or nightclubs of they have different London DJs playing. DJ’s use different needles and they will most likely have different settings so you should find the right settings for you. If you are starting out on turntables the video below is a very good example in how you should set up for scratching on turntables. On CDJS (Pioneers) you should adjust the jog wheel for platter sensitivity dependant on how heavy or light handed you are.