This is a public version of the members-only Hip-Hop Scratch with DJ Qbert, at ArtistWorks. Functionality is limited, but CLICK HERE for full access if you’re ready to take your playing to the next level.

These lessons are available only to members of Hip-Hop Scratch with DJ Qbert.
Join Now

Digital Applications
Training Dojo

In this section, you can have call and response sessions with experienced skratch djs. They'll skratch the questions, and you skratch the answers. Here, you can try to copy them or just freestyle. Try out the skratches you've learned and put them together in your own way. It's that easy!

When you get better, you can post your own call and response "sessions" for the training dojo so that others can skratch along with you too!

Beat Juggling
Setup & Gear
Helpful Hints
Guest Professors
30 Day Challenge
«Prev of Next»

Skratch Lessons: Counting Beats - Part 2

Lesson Video Exchanges () submit video Submit a Video Lesson Study Materials () This lesson calls for a video submission
Study Materials
information below
Lesson Specific Downloads
Play Along Tracks
Backing Tracks +
Written Materials +
Additional Materials +
resource information below Close
Collaborations for
resource information below Close
Submit a video for   

This video lesson is available only to members of
Hip-Hop Scratch with DJ Qbert.

Join Now

information below Close
Course Description

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.

CLICK HERE for full access.
So next, we'll divide that into 16 notes.
All right?
So this is in between these of course.
Looks like a ruler now.
All right,
so now this is the way we calculated
It goes like this, one and a two and a
three and a four and
a one and a two and three and a four and
Oh that's a tongue twister.
So this is called the E.
This is called the U.
All right.
E, U, E,
U, E, U.
All right.
So if you wanna start on the first E.
This is the one E.
It would start like this.
All right?
One E and a two E and a three E and
a four E and a.
All right, pick, pick one.
Any one. What number? >> [MUSIC]
>> Three E.
Okay, three E would be right there.
1E and a 2E and a 3E and a.
All right, so I'm going to start
scratching right there.
Whoo, that's a tough one.
Well, not really.
1E and a 2E and a 3E and a.
All right so
I started on the 3 and
I mean the 3E.
So I wanna start on, let's do an.
All right?
Let's start on a 1.
All right?
So that would be, 1.
1, All right?
So I started on the 1.
All right.
You guys, you guys get this?
Yeah, you guys know the stuff.
So, yeah, that's,
how to divide the numbers up.
And let's do something different.
These, these in between ones,
are called the the upbeat, right, is that
right, the upbeat?
And, and, and, and, and 3 and 4 and right?
So, these 1s in between the 8th notes,
these which make up the 16 notes.
One, two, three, four, five, six, seven,
eight, nine, ten, eleven.
What up?
That's going to be hard to say,
but easier to say 1E and a 2E and a 3E and
a 4E and it's easier to do that.
Those are called 16th notes.
Because we divided the whole thing into 16
All right?
So now, we're going to do something which
is very
very important, when I learned this, it's
going to make your scratches real funky if
you can do just these, these in-between
the 8th notes.
These like syncopated 16th notes, that's
what they called them.
There, these are the syncopated 16th notes
e-a-e-a-e-a-e-a-e-a-e-a-e-a-e-a, so those
are in-between those 8th notes.
That's these scratches right here.
All right?
So those are very important because it's
nice to end your scratches
on those sometimes.
So I'm gonna end my scratches.
Then I'm going to land it on one of those,
Right, those are 16th syncopated notes.
So those are gonna
make your scratches a little funky.
And so, what I like to do, I like to hear
a lot of emcees when they're rapping.
What they do is they mix it up, they'll
land it on,
a lot of emcees usually land it around the
All right?
So the rapping and the rhymes are coming
on the floor.
You know, I'm not a great rapper, but,
it's like, you know, bla bla bla bla bla
bla bla cat, na na to bo su bo fuma fuma
flat, du du du du du du du rat.
And someone, someone, someone, someone,
la, la, la, la, slat.
So, you're usually landing it on the four.
And then the funky rhymes are gonna land
on the four, and the next one will be on
So [SOUND] rhyme. [SOUND] rhyme.
You see how that second one was right
All right, so if you're rapping, if you're
All right?
So now I, I landed those on the four.
So now I'm gonna start lining them on the
All right?
That's not called the, I guess you could
call it the four, but
usually it's called the three, [NOISE].
So we're gonna land this on the three.
All right?
All right.
So it's nice to mix that up.
So, right now, I'm, I'm gonna land it on
the, on the four,
and then I'm gonna go to the three a, on
the four, and on the three.
All right?
See how that kind of mixes up together?
So that's a really good combination to
mess with the listener's ear, because they
don't know when it's going to come out.
It's either going to
land on the four or the.
Kinda funky like that.
All right?
So, right now, I'm gonna land it,
also another way to land it is on the 4E,
right here.
I'm gonna land all my rhymes on the 4E.
All right?
All right, see that?
All the rhymes landed on the 4E.
Now it doesn't have to be like that.
You can always land in, anywhere you want.
All right so, for instance, let's do why
don't you guys pick something.
Where do you want me to land my rhymes at?
Two on the two right here.
Okay, that's gonna come up real quick,
here go.
It's gonna be like a one, two.
1E and a 2E and a right there.
Is that right?
1E and a 2E and.
Yeah, that's right.
So, you guys get that?
It's not that complicated but, there's no
rules really.
You can land wherever you want.
But this is a basic mathematical division
in music and music is all math, and
of course, it does sound a lot better when
it's all mathematical,
even though we don't know it.
It's like the Fibonacci sequence in
You know, the universe is made of math.
And that's why, flowers look nice and
trees and lightning,
because it's all Fibonacci sequence.
You know?
Look, look on the internet and
look at the the golden mean, Fibonacci
What is it, what else is there?
The golden rectangle.
>> The golden rectangle, all that stuff,
it's all math.
All this stuff is math, and it is very
beautiful when it's all mathematical and
it doesn't have to be like that, you know?
Poetry's abstract so you can do whatever.
But this is a very simple mathematical
rule of how to break up
beats up to 16 notes.
It can get more complicated, we're going
to triplets, but
for now 16 divisions of beats.
All right?