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How To Needle Drop Like a DJ

The needle drop is a hip-hop DJ technique where a turntable stylus is placed at an exact point on a vinyl record, usually a break in a song. Perfect this technique and become the next hottest DJ.


  • TIP: Many DJs make needle drops without stickers, timing beats per minute with the visual location of the record's label logo.
  • Step 1: Play to the end of the sample. Repeat or loop the sample by lifting the needle and putting it back down at the sticker cue point. Avoid scratching the vinyl. Now you're smooth.
  • FACT: In 1935, radio commentator Walter Winchell coined the term "disc jockey."
  • Step 2: Gently place a round colored sticker on the vinyl record. The sticker's edge should touch the needle as it plays the sample's exact beginning note.
  • TIP: The needle drop is a faster way to loop a sample than using a mixer with a crossfader.
  • Step 3: Lift the stylus off the record at the break before the sample begins, using the turntable's stylus arm lifter device.
  • Step 4: Locate the sample's exact beginning note by manually setting the needle down on the record and gently lifting it off and setting it down again.
  • Step 5: Play a record on a turntable. Select a sample or music phrase in the song. Play the record again and again, listening for where the sample breaks.

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