I recently received a question about how to start scratching with vocal samples. Great question!
Scratching vocal samples is the same as scratching any sample and there are some additional things to take into consideration.
Here are the basic steps to get you going:
- Learn and practice the basic scratch techniques using the ahh sample which makes learning easier.
- Start practising the basic scratch techniques using vocal samples.
- Through practice and experimentation, discover which scratch techniques work well with the specific vocal sample you are using.
- You will discover that some scratch techniques such as the transformer scratch might not work so well with very short samples.
- Once you know which techniques work well, practice those even more.
- You can start scratching with vocal samples at any time in your learning – the baby and chirp techniques work well for most samples.
- Realise scratching takes time and practice there are no short “cuts”. I recommend starting slowly at the beginning, practice deliberately and work your way up to scratching with vocals.
Want more tuition?
Here is an extended preview of one of my three vocal cuts tutorials. I am cutting up the “say what” sample (from scratchy seal vinyl) and breaking down the various scratch techniques that work well with this sample.
Scratch techniques used include: stabs, dices, dices and drags, transforms, chirps, see-saws, boomerangs. Putting it all together becomes vocal phrasing.
The full tutorial covers:
- Scratching with the Say What sample
- Vocal Phrasing demo
- Scratching with the 1-2-3-4 sample
- Vocal Phrasing demo
- QnA Practice
Preview even more School of Scratch Vocal Cuts Tutorials
If you want more help with improving your vocal cuts and phrasing, I invite you to check out my online School of Scratch. You can be located anywhere in the world, you just need wifi to watch the video tutorials and interact with your classmates aka the Supa Scratch Crew.
Ready to dive in?
Find out more about joining School of Scratch and become part of our Supa Scratch Crew community of supportive, like-minded DJs here:
Happy Scratching! 😀
– Emma Short-E
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