Why Weak Record Control Equals Weak Scratching
Having outstanding record control is the holy grail of scratching. Yet it’s often overlooked, even by people you may consider advanced. The biggest reason for this is people's obsession with fader techniques.
Flashiness Can be Distracting
You may have noticed, most modern dj's use the fader quite heavily. In fact, it's normal to see thousands of fader clicks happen within a minute or so. If you don't know any better, it's easy to think scratching is all about ripping the fader. Thus, many dj's load up on fader clicks with little regard to record control. This often leads to uncoordinated, sloppy sounding scratching.
Their scratching lacks emotion because they aren't developing record control to an equal or higher level than fader work. It’s ironic because having great record control helps you to develop fader work effectively. Mainly because what you do with the record dictates fader timing.
Record Control Equals Emotion
You must realize that scratching is music. Music's purpose is to stir up emotion in the listener. That being the case, you should have some control over what emotions you trigger in your audience. One thing that connects most with people is the pitches you use. Pitch control in scratching is a HUGE part of record control!
Lower pitches tend to represent mellow, melancholy feelings. Higher pitches tend to represent extreme intensity and excitement. There are many shades of those pitches, as well as all other pitches between them. Not to mention, countless combos of pitches that can make up a scratch phrase and what it represents. Bottom line, without highly developed record control, you’ll lack expression and never connect strongly with your audience. Clearly, this is important if you want to be a successful dj, so stop overlooking record control.
Attack Your Record Control from Different Angles
There are two methods for developing record control that get HUGE results. The first involves zero use of the fader. That's right, ZERO! If you're accustomed to always using the fader, you're going to have to be less dependent on it.
When first doing this, it's like taking a look under the hood of your car. From the outside it may look like a really nice vehicle, but if you've been neglecting what's going on inside, it's not going to be pretty. Don't worry about this! It's actually great to realize how flawed your record control is. Once you're aware of where you're at, you have a bigger chance of overcoming your weaknesses.
Keep in mind, you must approach faderless scratch practice with focus. You need to have specific things to focus on or you will NOT get the results you're striving for. There are three scratch techniques that are beneficial to focus on. The baby scratch, drag scratch and tear scratch. These three techniques are the heart of all record control. In fact, most scratching is simply variations of baby and tear scratches.
The next method should be used as part of the previously mentioned strategy, but is also useful to apply with the fader. This involves keeping your hand on the record at all times. This means you never release the record. You only push the record forward and pull the record back for all movement.
Generally, dj’s release the record when they want it to move forward. This is unfortunate because you give up control over the pitches you can use when holding the record. If done while using the fader, you can breathe some life into your fader based scratches!
Be Sure to Get Your Priorities Straight
You should never be 100 percent focused on any one area of your scratching. Obviously, record control is just one aspect of scratching. However, it is the MOST important and should be treated as such. The exception being, you already have stellar record control, but your scratching with the fader needs more development. Most likely that won’t be the case, as most dj’s have less record control.
Gain the Most Record Control Efficiently
Since record control is such a deep issue, professional guidance is the fastest way to develop it. Although you now know the general areas of record control that need attention, you'll likely have different weaknesses in different areas that are personal to you. These things won't always be obvious. Even if they were, you won't always know how to overcome your issues. Don't allow yourself to get lost in a sea of problems! Take charge of your progress with my scratch lessons for dj’s!
Article written by Kwote