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Skratch Lessons: Breaks/Juggling

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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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I wanna talk about juggling.
Little basics of juggling and what it is.
Basically it's the break.
And, the term break ya know,
if you hear like break dancing, or b boys,
it's break boys.
And the break is the part of the song
where the music breaks down and
it's just the drums.
And we're only using that part and that's
the origin of hip hop.
So let's find a break on a song.
Like usually it can be in the middle or in
the beginning or at the end.
But in this case, okay this song right
here is.
God Made Me Funky, right?
And that's the music, right?
Let's look for the break.
Okay, this song happens to be the break is
in the beginning.
The break, right?
There's no instruments going on except for
the drums.
And that's what they break-dance to.
Speed that up.
That's where they break-dance to with the
MC, and that's the origin of, of hip-hop.
And so the music's gonna come back soon.
Right around here.
Let's speed it up.
I'll show you.
So you can
That's the music right there you know.
And as it gets more.
You can't MC to that or
you can't rap to that.
You probably could, but
it's a little too much going on so you
just want to rap to the break.
Or dance to the break or scratch to the
So in order to keep that going, you.
That's why you have two turntables.
So you have a break there.
And then you look for the break over here
So in the headphones.
Let's pretend the headphones were on.
[SOUND] Like this is what I'd be hearing
[SOUND] On this in the headphones.
The outside world wouldn't hear this
[SOUND] You know,
rewind fast forward stuff.
[SOUND] Just I would in the headphones.
When I find the beginning [SOUND]
Then I would put it on and
just continue the beat.
All right.
So we're gonna move this one over here
And then MC can just keep rapping to that.
And that started in in supposedly Jamaica.
They had two turn tables to keep the beats
The DJ was the MC.
So when they say DJ in Jamaica they're
really talking about the MC.
Cuz he was doing both.
He would be on the mic.
You know, talking Patois or whatever.
You man, or whatever, you know, Jamaican
talk mon, everybody smoke some splits mon,
and whatever.
And so Kool Herc from New York.
Was from Jamaica, got that idea, and
brought that to the Bronx.
And he did that with funk music.
And so that's what we're hearing right
Is, like, 70s funk James Brown-type stuff.
And that's the start of hip-hop, really.
Using the breaks in funk [SOUND]
And Grandmaster Flash as well,
kinda like pioneered that and
perfected it, to keep the beat on beat.
All right?
then Grand Grand Master Theodore came
along and he invented the scratch.
Which is, before the scratch is was just,
you'd just cut the record in like this
Keep the beat going right?
And Grand Master, Grand Master Theodore
Brought in the skratch you know?
that's called the skratch, the first
skratch, the baby skratch, right?
So that's the, beginning of juggling,
of course, it got more advanced and
You do all these different kinda tricks
with the beats and everything.
Let's try this one right here.
A little faster beat.
Just keep the beat going, right?
So, it's an endless loop.
You know, you can do all these things with
one turntable or two turntables.
Do another break.
And of course if you've got two records,
you can kinda do different tricks.
Let's double time the beat.
both records are off by one by one-eighth
So if I put the record in the middle,
the feed in the middle you hear both
records playing off beat.
Just original on beat.
This is off beat.
That's, like, some basics of juggling.
We'll, we'll, we'll get more into this,
as, we talk more about it.
But that is little history of where the
break comes from.
What b-boy means.
And breakdancing.
And the root of hip hop music and stuff.
And yeah.
Let's break it down.
ways of
But it can get way more advanced than
This is just, basic stuff.
we get more into depth on the little
individual techniques.
As this goes on.
This is besides scratching this is a whole
nother world right here.
Or some people call it backtracking.
Some people call it beat creating.
Back to back.
All kinds of names, you know.
But, in modern day skratchers it's called
the juggle.