DJ Eldorado is back with a guest review of instructional DVDs that aim to teach you how to DJ — and to his surprise, given the challenge of teaching DJing, he’s got only good things to say. Drop the iPods and learn real vinyl and computer programs like Final Scratch: can these show you the way? Read on. -PK
If you’re interested in learning how to be a DJ check out DJ Shortee‘s How-To DJ Instructional DVD series. The two instructional DVDs (DJ 101 and DJ 202) cost US$28 each and will have you spinnin’ like a pro in no time.
Your host is DJ Shortee, a turntablist of 10 years, Playboy’s official tour DJ and the only female DJ featured in Doug Pray’s acclaimed movie Scratch. Shortee’s also in the upcoming hip-hop DJ movie “Mistress X,” so she’s got cred, ok?
The scratching section alone on DJ 101 is worth the price of admission. One of the most fun parts of DJing is scratching, taking a few beats from a record and scratching them up like you’ve got fleas! If you want to learn how to scratch go into the Scratching section and learn everything from the baby scratch, to the stab, transform, chirp (the connector scratch), the push, flare and the crab.
From one of Shortee’s scratching lessons:
The first thing you need to know is how to mark your records, in order to mark your records you need stickers. First you find the sound that you want to scratch. I like the ‘awww’ sound because you can do the most with it and it’s the best to learn on. Find the beginning of the sound, find a clean break, stop the turntable. Then you take a sticker and put it on the top (at 12 o’clock)… Next is hand positioning, before your begin to scratch you have to have good technique and you have to have good control, relax and try to keep your elbow above the turntable… it’s good to have your hand level and to have a light touch with control.
Shortee’s DJ 101 is for beginner to intermediate DJs and lessons include: equipment, mixing, scratching, beat juggling, routines and interviews. DJ 102 teaches intermediate and advanced DJing with a great Tips and Tricks section and a tutorial on Stanton’s Final Scratch. The DVDs are definitely fun to watch on your PowerBook, especially while traveling. Don’t forget to bring your cool DJ headphones so that you look slick and don’t blow away the neighbors.