Turntables 101

DJ, producer and hip-hop collaborator Skratch Bastid's beginner's guide to disc jockeying


SKRATCH BASTID plays the Red Bull Thre3style World DJ Championships World Finals Night 2 with Jazzy Jeff, Starting from Scratch, Four Color Zack and Hedspin at the Virgin Mobile Mod Club, Wednesday (November 6) doors 9 pm, $10. TW. redbull.ca/3styletickets.


1. Etiquette

“DJing is all about playing the right music at the right time. You need to be mindful of where and when you’re playing. You don’t want to play all the biggest tunes of the night at the beginning of the party.”

Important “Within the DJ community, showing some restraint as an opening DJ will gain you a lot of respect, and you’ll end up with those headlining gigs sooner.”

2. Safety

“Wear earplugs and watch your monitor level. You think you need to be blasting it, but you can really do some damage to your ears if you’re DJing regularly and not careful. I’ve met some DJs who are damn near deaf now.”

3. Research

“Your ears and your eyes are your greatest assets. Spend a lot of time listening and watching. YouTube is an amazing resource now, but you could also try reaching out to DJs in your community for technical tips and tricks.”

4. Listen

“Try not to stare at your laptop screen all night, and focus on using your ears more. It’s how it sounds that’s important, not how it looks. And with scratching, watching the screen will just screw you up.”

5. Practise

“Practise a lot and be yourself. The internet is great, but putting in time is more important. Opening gigs might seem boring, but that’s how you’re going to learn.”

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