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Skratch Lessons: How to Fix a Skipping Tonearm

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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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[MUSICy What's going on guys,
today we're gonna talk about a problem I
saw this
morning when I was fixing the turntable.
The DJ was telling me that he had a lot of
skipping issues inside serato and
on vinyl, so he though he had bad RCAs.
But I asked him to let me take a look at
it first before he tried anything.
And actually what was going on was, is
that every time his turntable was making
a revolution, the needle was jumping
It just kept backing up.
And what I noticed was, is that this top
right here on the top of the tonearm,
was way overtightened, which would cause
this not to be able to move freely.
So here's something you can do at home to
check and see whether or
not this is your problem.
What you wanna do is get the tone arm to
where it's floating.
It's it's not lowering or raising on it's
You wanna just kinda mess with the weight
until it seems to like
float in the air, right?
And then what you can do is set your
antiskate to zero, and
if you notice, it goes back and forth
freely, no problem.
Now if this was over tightened, it'd have
a really hard time
moving from side to side, it would kinda
just wanna stay in one place.
And you can know that it's really good if
you move your antiskate
to three and it moves the tone arm all the
way back on its own.
And the tone arm is gonna seem to wanna
skate, stay there.
That means you know your antiskate is
working great.
Now, if that's the case and you're having
jump issues because your tone arm either
wants to stay not moving side to side or
in the center instead of up and
down the way that it's supposed to, here's
what you can do.
Take a small flathead screwdriver and
you're gonna notice that there's, they're
double screws.
They're intertwined screws.
So the inner screw controls pushing down.
On the actual tone arm and the outer screw
controls tightening that inner screw.
So, in a less confusing way,
the way to fix it if it's too tight to
take a screwdriver on the inner screw and
turn it maybe 180 degrees lefty, lefty
loosey righty tighty.
So, you know, maybe you turn it 180
degrees, and
then hold the inner screw in place as you
tighten the outer screw.
And then try it again.
See if you're moving easier now.
And then if you have to, repeat those
Now if you have a problem where your tone
arm wants to stay in the middle,
instead of going up and down.
There's two screws on either side of the
tone arm that allows it to go up and down.
It's where it hinges.
So, you can do the same thing with those
two outer screws.
They're built the same way.
Do a 180 on the middle screw and then
tighten the outer screw and try again.
See if it lifts and drops.
Now what this is gonna do,
is allow you to have, you know, seamless
mixing, blending, scratching.
Because your needle's not jumping in and
out of grooves due to this being too
tight, all right?
If you guys have any questions,
please direct them to the turn table tune
up section of the forums under Ask Qbert,
and I'll try to get to you guys as soon as
Hope you enjoyed.
More to come.
Stay tuned.