Is Your Style Full of Poor Choices?
In scratching there are many cool and not so cool styles out there. Some are trendy, and although you may not like them, it seems many dj’s are keeping these styles alive. Like most trends, you'll also find many dj’s following them, even if they’re not feeling it. On the other hand, others ignore trends simply because they’re trends. However, if you want to express yourself with scratching you need to trust your own tastes, trendy or not.
Time Can be Your Worst Enemy
If something doesn't grab you, there's absolutely no reason to force it. Even if it seems like you're the only one that doesn't like it, have the courage to let it go. Time is precious. If you're spending time learning things you don't like in addition to things you do, imagine how much longer achieving a high skill level will be.
The saddest part is you’ll start dropping things anyway, good or bad, because of overwhelm. You could end up losing better parts of your style to make way for things that don't fit you well. Now you're even further away from your ideal sound and you’ll NEVER get all the time you spent back. Not only that, but you’ll have to work even harder to rediscover what you do like. You’ll also have to break the habit of scratching in ways you dislike.
So How do You figure out What's Not Worth Your Effort?
In scratching you have many things to consider. Technique, genre, tempo, samples used and techniques and styles associated with those samples, as well as many other things worth considering. For example, if you don't like Electro or some other genre, don't spend time learning to scratch over it. Yes, many have done and continue to do it. Yes, many dj’s will argue it's the best way to learn how to scratch fast because of the high tempos electro is known for. However, if you don't like electro than you don't like electro and nothing you do will ever sound convincing over it. Just like if you get zero enjoyment out of listening to Polka music. Why would you spend any amount of time trying to express yourself as a Polka artist?
customize Your Development
Without the clutter, you’ll have more room to dig into the styles you enjoy. You’re a unique individual with your own set of fingerprints and your own combination of life experiences. You’ll probably enjoy more than one style of scratching. Thus, basing your style on a combination of others will lead to a voice unique to you. Of course there are other things that lead to self expression, but this is a big part of it.
Be Aware of an Untrained Ear
It's important to know, the less exposure you have to scratching, the less you’ll be able to tell what styles stand out to you. Don't worry though because anything you really don’t like will stand out. As you continue to develop your ear for scratching, you can keep narrowing your focus and more easily pick apart your likes and dislikes.
Some Doors Must Stay Open Before They Close
Like everything, there are exceptions to the rule. There might be styles that are less desirable to you, yet are useful for your style. You have to take a closer look and decide if it's worth your time to work on it. If so, be sure to put the right amount of focus on it. Have a goal of doing it your way, so it makes sense for your overall style and what you enjoy hearing.
Some Final Words on being Unique
Being unique doesn’t mean being unique just for the sake of it. It means finding yourself and putting a spotlight on it. As mentioned, your total life experiences are not the same as anyone else's. It's impossible, so you’ll naturally sound unique when scratching. All you're trying to do is go beyond what's natural and be much bolder. When you're true to yourself the joy can’t be compared, so stop wasting time travelling someone else's journey and take pride in your own.
Article written by Kwote