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Skratch Lessons: Drum Skratching Part 1

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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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All right, we're gonna talk about
Everyone's always asking me how to drum
scratches and scratch drums or whatever.
So we're gonna do, we're gonna start from
the basics.
All right.
[SOUND] Okay.
We need some drum sounds of course.
All right, here we go.
So the basics would be.
You got a, a kick.
[SOUND] Then you got a snare.
[SOUND] So this kick goes right in front
of the snare.
[SOUND] All right?
And there's another way, which is a snare
kick. All right?
Bass kick.
[SOUND] Snare bass.
[SOUND] Or kick snare.
[SOUND] Snare kick.
All right?
So the basics is.
[SOUND] And so on, right?
So practice that, and
if you don't know how to do that, that
would be what you gotta start with.
And those are like, you know, release
[SOUND] Stabs.
That's why it's very important.
I always tell everyone, the most important
scratch is stabs, right?
Because that's gonna make every scratch
you do after that real clean and
precise, right?
And that's also,
I need to work on that actually.
You're gonna look at your line on the
record, or wherever you mark your record,
and that's how you know where the sound's
Now with drumming it's gonna be very
precise because you're gonna be-
[SOUND] Scratching that kick and then
you're gonna go right to the snare.
[SOUND] Which is like, you know,
it's not like a where it's like anywhere
you scratch is gonna be like, sounds cool.
But this is gonna be like, right exactly.
Precise, you know, precision-type
All right, so,
pretty much if you beatbox with your
mouth, I can't do it, but
if you go, boom, boom, chi, boom, boom,
That's the exact same thing
as drumming, right?
So you're gonna be.
You should say it with your mouth.
Boom, boom, tap, tap, tap, boom, tap,
boom, boom, boom, tap, tap.
Know what I mean?
So, just like with jazz you gotta say it
before you play it and
that's how you're gonna come up with all
these patterns.
Everyone's always asking how you make
It's all scatting, you know, in jazz
they're like [SOUND].
It all comes from the mouth, all right.
From your mind.
So you gotta say it before you play it.
I know that it kinda looks funny.
Your, your mouth is moving.
[SOUND] And that's why people are moving
their mouth when,
when they're playing when they're
Giving you that [SOUND].
It looks funny, but it's because they're
trying to communicate with their hands
but, you know, communication comes from
right here.
it doesn't have to, you can do sign
language, but
you know, how you, you know what I mean.
Anyway, so.
[SOUND] Drumming.
Practice your stabs.
All right, so, when you get that down,
then you're gonna move on to practicing
letting both go at the same
time like this.
[SOUND] See that?
[SOUND] All right?
So, then you're gonna start going,
this is the pattern that I had learned a
long time ago.
It was a song called banana rama boo bama,
boo bana bana boo bana what,
what's that song called?
You know what I'm talking about?
[SOUND] You know what I'm talking about?
Well anyway, so with that, from that
pattern I was like, oh okay,
maybe you could drum like that, you know?
All right, so
that's how I came up with that but
only well let's just talk a little bit
about history.
So, the first person that was noted doing
a drum scratch,
you know, not just scratching.
[SOUND] Which was of course Grand Wizard
Theodore, the guy that invented scratches.
After that, you know Jazzy J told me that
he was the first one to go.
All right?
So that was back in the, probably 70s or
early 80s.
Whether I should ask him what exactly, I
don't know when it was.
But Jazzy J is supposed to be credited for
the first guy that that scratched drums.
Yeah, you can learn that.
If you wanna learn that, that is actually
what you should learn first.
All right, so, after you get that,
then you're gonna go on to the
banana-rama-bo-bama scratch, which is-
All right?
So what that is, I'm gonna slow it down
and it's gonna sound like this.
All right, let's slow it down even more.
All right.
Let's see if we can do it even slower.
I mean, it's different patterns, but
basically what I'm doing is-
There's a bunch of these, and a bunch of
[SOUND] So I'm mixing those up, all right?
So it's like-
All right?
you're gonna be practicing, getting the
And getting both at the same time.
So you're not going-
See how that's using the fader?
I'm just letting it go.
Watch the fader.
Which makes it really easy.
All right.
So what's happening is as soon as it's,
it's hitting the snare,
[NOISE] I'm going right back to the kick.
[NOISE] All right.
That's a little, you know, kinda tricky
little precision right there.
[NOISE] All right, so that is the main
first difficult thing to do.
That, right there.
And from there, if you got all your stabs.
Then you can do that transition
much easier.
So practice doing this.
Right, getting those two notes in there-
With minimal fader
movement, that you need.
You just need to do it.
I'm not going.
[SOUND] See watch the fader.
I'm not transforming it.
[SOUND] I'm just moving the fader open
like this.
I mean you could if you want.
[SOUND] But it makes it a little harder.
So then, you wanna work on, after you get
you're gonna work on Snare Kick.
All right?
All right.
All right, so once again.
[SOUND] Usually beats start with a kick,
you're gonna have to jump back to the
All right.
So same concept, it's just you're using
Snare Kick instead of Bass Snare.
So there's Bass Snare.
[SOUND] And then there's Snare Bass.
All right,
so those are all four type stabs, all