Canadian Musician - May/June 2017 - Page 31

DIGITAL MUSIC Sara Simms captivates the world as an innovative DJ, turntablist, and electronic music producer. Her upcoming single, “Automatic Superstar,” will be released on her own label, Simmetry Sounds, in spring 2017. Follow @sarasimms on social media and visit for more. deejay stutter is a Toronto-based turntablist, producer, and beat digger. His current projects include the Skratchinpad, a portable skratch practice tool. Follow deejay stutter’s adventures on Instagram: @deejay_stutter and @skratchinpad Skratching Essentials S Tips from Sara Simms & deejay stutter ara Simms recently created Turnta- blism 101: Skratching Essentials, her first turntablism course for Ask.Audio. This informative and engaging new tutorial series teaches the art of turntablism and also features Toronto-based turntablist and producer deejay stutter. Curious to learn more about scratching? Read on for some exclusive scratch tips from two of Toronto’s most influential and in-demand DJs. Meet the DJs CM: Introduce yourselves and give us a quick idea of your respective back- grounds. Simms: My name is Sara Simms and I began DJing over a decade ago. My original influ- ences were DJs who battled in the DMCs and Vestax Extravaganza, including DJ Qbert, DJ Swamp, Infamous, DJ Hanger, and DJ P-Mon- ey. I was taught by DJ Labo and deejay stutter in Toronto and inspired by great Canadian DJs like DJ Dopey, Junior Flo, and the Turnstylez crew. I’ve battled in Toronto and Miami under the name DJ Ychuck and was the runner up in Scratch: The Ultimate DJ Contest competition. stutter: My name is deejay stutter and I start- ed DJing 20 years ago with friends in high school. When I started scratching I was heav- ily influenced by legendary DJ crews such as the Invislbl Skratch Piklz, The X-Ecutioners, and The World Famous Beat Junkies. Eventually, I dabbled in production and formed a group named Fineprint, which led to us releasing two albums and touring Japan. Cuttin’ It Up CM: There are so many types of scratches to master. Are there any foundational scratches in particular you recommend beginners learn first? stutter: For me, I have a tendency to always W W W. C A N A D I A N M U S I C I A N . CO M circle back to the military scratch, stabs, tears, and crabs. These four scratches really test fun- damentals like record movement, hand con- trol, and basic fader rudiments that are trans- ferable to more advanced scratches. Perfect these and you’ll be well on your way. slow, steady tempo before attempting a high speed. I would also encourage new DJs to find a mentor or make friends with a more experi- enced DJ. It’s important to jam with other DJs to challenge yourself and grow as an artist. Simms: Start right at the beginning with the baby scratch, and definitely learn to scratch in time! I agree with stutter – one of the best scratches to learn early on is the tear, which will help DJs to develop hand control. stutter: Just like you would with any other instrument, in order to improve you need to put in countless hours to build co-ordination, stamina, and muscle memory. In terms of tempo, I find myself practicing to all types of beats crossing over all musical genres. Equipment CM: What type of equipment do you recommend for people looking to start scratching? Top Five Turntablists CM: Name some DJs that aspiring DJs should listen to, along with any albums or songs you recommend people check out. Simms: I would recommend Pioneer DJ’s PLX- 1000 turntables and a battle mixer. If you’re just starting out, a two-channel battle-style mixer with a good quality crossfader will do the trick. When you’re ready to invest in a more serious mixer, I’d recommend the Pio- neer DJM-S9, a Rane mixer, or Thud Rumble’s TRX series mixer. stutter: Make sure to check out DJ Qbert, D-Styles, DJ Toadstyle, Kid Koala, and Ricci Rucker. Listen to their scratch-based albums and live performances like Wavetwisters, Phan- tasmagoria, Klamz WbFVFVBFFw2B6'GVV7G&R7GWGFW#&VǒBG'VǒBFWVG2'VFvWBg&FRrVBbFR7V7G'V( @7VvvW7B'F&R&V6&BW"7V62RЦ&B"fW7FGG&B6WR@WvF'F&RfFW"ƖRFR&FVfFW "g&6fFW"f"GW&F&W2( B&V6V@"bfW7FE2"FW"GW&F&PvFvF'VRF"FB2FR&ƗGF&VGV6RFRF6FS&7F6RF04ӢFRfR&62&7F6RF0R66&S63N( 2vB&BF&VvFǐ&7F6R66VGVRWfVbN( 2W7Bf"R"3֖WFW2FvV^( &Rf'7B7F'FrWBN( 2&R'FBF7FW"V667&F6B63vVB6V6WBD'&6RvvFR#bD2ƖRv&B662FW"rD2FƗ7FVF6VFRDWvVD7&R6&F6&7FBBG&`^( &RF6V"7GRD6WG2G'6VVrW@fFfRD2ƖR&B&&BW&Rv6'&FR67&F6rFFV"֗W26V6WB6P6RfFV0g&6&b7GWBЧFW.( 2GW&F&Ɨ6У6&F6pW76VF26W'6RBwwrWGV&R66&66W62f"&Rf&FFR6W'6R"F6vWf6@wwrFW&66&F6vW76VF22BR22( "3