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How To Transform Like a DJ

Learn how to transform, a hip hop DJ technique that combines scratching on vinyl with the rhythmic use of a mixer's crossfader control.


  • TIP: Hold the thumb and forefinger on the crossfader slider. Keep your hand off the mixer for more control.
  • Step 1: Move the turntable two record slow and the crossfader fast and you're doing a transform scratch. You've got rhythm.
  • FACT: The term "transform" came from the sound that 1980s "Transformer" cartoon robots made when transforming into cars and vice versa.
  • Step 2: Quickly move the mixer's crossfader slider back and forth with the other hand. Keep the same beat as turntable one's record, creating a stutter effect.
  • Step 3: Cue the start of a music sample on turntable two. Play the sample. With fingers on the record, pull the record back and play it forward. Repeat.
  • Step 4: Place records on the turntables. Play the record on turntable one. For beginner DJs, this record should have a slow steady beat.
  • Step 5: Play the record on turntable two. Select a sample or music phrase from this record.
  • TIP: For beginner DJs, the sample should have a strong break, such as funk records by artists like James Brown.
  • Step 6: Remove each turntable's rubber piece, replacing them with slipmats that allow the turntable to rotate as you hold the record in place -- essential for scratching.

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