How To "Cut" Like a DJ

Learn "cuttin'," a DJ scratch method where one hand moves a vinyl record back and forth on a turntable as the other hand moves a mixer control, switching sound channels off and on.

Instructions

  • TIP: Cutting was created to manually extend a song's strongest part, or the "break," by alternating between cues on identical records.
  • Step 1: Use your thumb and forefinger to slide the mixer's crossfader control, switching between turntable sound channels while cutting breaks together.
  • Step 2: Play record one's break as you backspin record two to its cue. At the end of record one's break, release record two and switch the fader to channel two. Now you're cutting.
  • FACT: In 2002, Grandmaster Flash played before the Queen of England and Prime Minister Tony Blair at the Commonwealth Games.
  • Step 3: Play the break on turntable two while spinning back to the break on turntable one. Play the turntable one break and spin back to the turntable two break. Repeat.
  • Step 4: Play the break on turntable one while cueing the record on turntable two at its break. Use headphones to listen to the record you're cueing as the other record plays.
  • Step 5: Listen to a song on turntable number one and find a music phrase with a strong break. Use a crayon to mark right before the first note. Mark the second record's break.
  • Step 6: Play a break from the cue to the end. Place four fingers on the record and spin it back to the marked cue point. Practice backspinning.
  • TIP: Don't worry about ruining a record, turntable, or needle if you're serious about mastering basic DJ techniques.
  • Step 7: Use two copies of the same LP, easier for beginners because record cue points will be the same for both records. Put a record on each turntable.

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