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Speed, Strength, Endurance


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#21 Symatic

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Posted 15 May 2017 - 11:07 AM

 

From watching Pete and Sy cut, I'd also propose that you're possibly moving the fader long distances and that smaller movements will help speed you up.

 

I thought you scratched reverse at first because the fader spent so much time on the other side :p

When I drop the sound I always have a habbit or puling the fader to the other band to cut out the beat. That's a bad habbit. I do it too often :d

 

haha i've been working on doing this intentionally :) I used to do it with one type of scratch, but i've been working on incorperating it into thoer techniques and you get a cool cutting effect on the beat along with the cuts, but theyre offbeat to each other so it soinda really choppy when its right



#22 A-Skate

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Posted 29 November 2017 - 09:52 AM

I thought I'd share a couple of thoughts which I realized have made a world of a difference for me personally. I've had a break from practicing/turntablism for almost a decade, but I'm amazed by the progress during the last couple of months after getting back to it. I've pretty much surpassed what I achieved in over five years when I first started. I scratch with my weak (left) hand on the record and back in the day interest in practicing pretty much died with the lack of progress (also a lack of mates and jam sessions).

 

Drilling the basics:

- Minimum hand movement. I mean, strip it down to the last millimeter. Drilling tears and and babies for even a few minutes every practice with intentionally focusing on barely moving the record hand. I believe this is what Symatic is referring to when talking about relaxing yourself. With minimum hand movement and getting consistent helps to reduce strain. Of course you have constantly push your comfort zone, but I clearly remember being too aggressive with the record hand back in the day. The smallest details, like how little you should lift your record hand on release, can make a huge difference.

 

- Tears. Lots of them. This time around I really started being analytic about my practicing habits. Now I've intentionally focused on doing tears with movement of the palm/knuckles/fingers only, not the entire arm/shoulder etc. Same thing as above, just relaxing and starting super slow (minimum movement, slow pitch etc.) and building up muscle memory. When things become effortless, moving on to triplets, double timing, higher BPMs. Also doing babies with the palm motion only with the platter off is a great strength exercise.

 

- Focusing on 2-click and 3-click orbits and different rhythmic and timing patterns using them. Brings benefits to transformers, but this was my biggest revelation. Pre youtube you had all these fancy tutorials about advanced scratches, but looking back at them now, seems as if they were over-complicating and over-mystifying what were essentially only variations on 2-clicks and 3-clicks. After getting comfortable with 2-clicks and 3-clicks, learning boomerangs, aquamans, swing flares, etc. becomes a breeze.

Of course youtube has helped a ton, but still having a solid foundation is the key. And for me, it feels like a snowball effect: had most of the fader foundation (basic 2-clicks, solid transformers, crabs), but with a new mindset and outlook, the progress has been faster than I expected. I just never had a solid record hand, but now it's finally coming along...
:)


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#23 Symatic

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Posted 29 November 2017 - 11:11 AM

back in the day interest in practicing pretty much died with the lack of progress (also a lack of mates and jam sessions).

 

yeah having people to cut with is so important, you get a real life scenario to actually compare what you're doing to other real humans, rather than just having a relationship with your computer and thinking either "oh fuck im not as good as so-and-so" or being deluded and thinking "whoa i'm better than so-and-so".

not that comparing yourself to others is crucial, but its just having the real life examples and communication with people can set you right i tihnk. the super scratch sunday meetups really helped me get out of my own head.

 

 

 

 

Drilling the basics:

- Minimum hand movement. I mean, strip it down to the last millimeter. Drilling tears and and babies for even a few minutes every practice with intentionally focusing on barely moving the record hand. I believe this is what Symatic is referring to when talking about relaxing yourself. With minimum hand movement and getting consistent helps to reduce strain. Of course you have constantly push your comfort zone, but I clearly remember being too aggressive with the record hand back in the day. The smallest details, like how little you should lift your record hand on release, can make a huge difference.

 

 

yeah this is a good point - i'd also say that while aiming to get it down to the smallest mm is a good excercise, it's also good to look at it like - that's the smallest movement, and you can now scale it up to bigger movements, and learn how to get from one to the other, which ones work harmonically, so oyu can now move from the smallest mm to the biggest 10 cm movement or whatever, and learn what the qualities of each one are, where youre limits are, and how you can move between the different "sizes" of movement easily.


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#24 A-Skate

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Posted 29 November 2017 - 12:06 PM

Good points, especially the social aspect of cutting. It's all about fun and encouragement. :)

 

Comparing my former self to what I'm today, what's really been a big help lately has been practicing meditation and mindfulness. All of a sudden once you're in the comfort zone or drilling basics, you're able to start paying attention to your posture, isolate body parts and become aware of the bad practices you're holding on to.

 

Just last night I was practicing chirp 2-click orbits combos and I noticed after a while I had been clenching my jaw like crazy. After relaxing myself, I noticed my fader hand was constantly shifting, meaning transitions between the two techniques were sloppy. Just continuing on without a pause, having the ability to shift attention to the different things you're doing at the same time, has made a scratching a meditative experience. I have a mirror in front of my setup, so I pay attention to what my hands are doing, but I try to close my eyes from time to time to have a listen to what my body is doing.

:)



#25 Symatic

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Posted 29 November 2017 - 12:32 PM

totally - I don't know how to meditate but scratching is definately starting to feel like that kinda of state of mind, where i'm kind of focused and not focused at the same time, and sometimes i can feel that i am able to operate independent parts of my body (mostly hands) in their own way, which becomes very liberating. also the ability to feel where you need to go next while scratching, rather than feeling bound to a particular routine of movements. its hard to describe, but its like being able to think about the next couple of notes or even bars, whilst still paying enough attention to what youre doing right now.


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#26 Jam Burglar

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Posted 29 November 2017 - 02:33 PM

You know, I think a lot of DJs miss out by getting too minute in the movements.  It's good to be able to go there, but there's also something to be said for really digging in and making broad moves with the record.  Listen to old school DJs like Jazzy Jeff, Flash, Jam Master Jay, etc.  They get some of the nicest sounds by going all out on the wax.  Not out of control mind you, but definitely pushing way beyond what you see a lot of these technical cats doing.  Like Sy is saying, its the juxtaposition between the small movements and the big ones that can really open up your ability to emphasize.

 

There's also that back and forth between true flow and planned out combos.  When I look back on my progression, I'd say the lack of disciplined work on combos has probably held me back.  I'm much more of an "internalize the techniques and try to express with sounds" type of scratcher but that can limit your range.  On the other hand, if you get too deep into practicing combos you can end up "talking" a lot but not really saying anything interesting or cohesive.

 

When I look at my favorite scratchers its usually their well roundedness that draws me in.  They can get really technical but also drop super funky cuts, they can hit you with a wall of sound or be able to pause, and they can drop impressive combos but also be able to flow like they're telling a cohesive story instead of just stringing random combos together for a few minutes.  D is probably the prime example, but Mello D, Craze and Klever also come to mind.


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#27 djdiggla

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Posted 29 November 2017 - 08:04 PM

I thought I'd share a couple of thoughts which I realized have made a world of a difference for me personally. I've had a break from practicing/turntablism for almost a decade, but I'm amazed by the progress during the last couple of months after getting back to it. I've pretty much surpassed what I achieved in over five years when I first started. I scratch with my weak (left) hand on the record and back in the day interest in practicing pretty much died with the lack of progress (also a lack of mates and jam sessions).

 

Drilling the basics:

- Minimum hand movement. I mean, strip it down to the last millimeter. Drilling tears and and babies for even a few minutes every practice with intentionally focusing on barely moving the record hand. I believe this is what Symatic is referring to when talking about relaxing yourself. With minimum hand movement and getting consistent helps to reduce strain. Of course you have constantly push your comfort zone, but I clearly remember being too aggressive with the record hand back in the day. The smallest details, like how little you should lift your record hand on release, can make a huge difference.

 

- Tears. Lots of them. This time around I really started being analytic about my practicing habits. Now I've intentionally focused on doing tears with movement of the palm/knuckles/fingers only, not the entire arm/shoulder etc. Same thing as above, just relaxing and starting super slow (minimum movement, slow pitch etc.) and building up muscle memory. When things become effortless, moving on to triplets, double timing, higher BPMs. Also doing babies with the palm motion only with the platter off is a great strength exercise.

 

- Focusing on 2-click and 3-click orbits and different rhythmic and timing patterns using them. Brings benefits to transformers, but this was my biggest revelation. Pre youtube you had all these fancy tutorials about advanced scratches, but looking back at them now, seems as if they were over-complicating and over-mystifying what were essentially only variations on 2-clicks and 3-clicks. After getting comfortable with 2-clicks and 3-clicks, learning boomerangs, aquamans, swing flares, etc. becomes a breeze.

 

 

That's good advice for me.. especially the bit about focusing on 2 and 3 click flares which I'm horrible at. I can basically only OG flare. 


 Have you considered getting an RME? 

 

 



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