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Skratch Lessons: Scatting

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This page contains a transcription of a video lesson from Hip-Hop Scratch with DJ Qbert. This is only a preview of what you get when you take Skratch Lessons at ArtistWorks. The transcription is only one of the valuable tools we provide our online members. Sign up today for unlimited access to all lessons, plus submit videos to your teacher for personal feedback on your playing.

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there's a saying in jazz music that's
called say it before you play it.
And you know they do a lot of scatting and
And what scatting is, is just making a
bunch of noises with
your mouth that are on beat or kind of
your singing or
whatever with words that don't even make
any sense, you know?
It's kinda like I'm, I'm rapping, but I
don't know what the hell I'm saying,
you know?
But, I guess you can kinda still make it
rhyme, you know?
You know?
Stuff like that.
So what you're trying to do,
with scratching, to get your patterns
really nice.
'Cuz, you know, a lot of guys, they have,
they could say a million patterns with
their mouth, but
they can't get it with their hands.
So just say it while you're scratching,
you know?
So that's how you do it.
All, all these things, you're saying with
your mouth,
can be translated into your hands.
And I think it's, that would be the
easiest way to make up all these
weird patterns, cuz I don't know, it's
just how it is, you know?
Scatting, so practice your scatting,
you're scat scratching.
And when you're doing with your hands, and
say there's no turntables around, you just
say it with your mouth.
[NOISE] You just do that all day and then
when you get home you'll find hey,
I got an infinity of patterns I could do.
And with all the techniques you learn, you
combine that with your scatting.
And, you're home free forever.
A favorite scat would be, okay, let's say,
let's say this song, right here.
You know, it's, this beat is, Bust a Move,
by, Young MC.
If you don't know how to scat,
you could just listen to the way they
rhyme, you know?
I, I forgot how the lyrics go in this, in
this song.
It's like, kinda like, then the fellow
says [SOUND].
Something like that.
But I guess just listen to it.
This is, I know this is the instrumental,
but go home and listen to your favorite
rap song and listen to the way the MC is,
is is, I'm seeing how he's rapping,
and just, you know, pretend you're on a
different planet.
And that you don't know what the hell he's
saying, you just hear a bunch of noises
and stuff of, you know of what he's saying
and translate that into scratching.
And, as well as with any other music.
You can listen to jazz music and listen to
the way guys are playing their horn or
Or guys playing the guitar and it's all
pretty much the same.
It's just a language, it's a musical
It doesn't have to mean anything,
but in the abstract world of music it does
mean something in a weird way so.
All right, I guess it doesn't.
But it is, it is what it is.
And yeah.
So scatting.
Just playing around, you know, have fun.
Make up your own rhythms and your own
And there's another thing when you're
Swing it, too.
In jazz they say it ain't no thing if it
ain't got that swing.
That's another thing we'll talk about
So, we'll talk about swing in another
section of this university, but
right now practice your scat-at-ta-at-ing.
Just freestyling.