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Just wondering: would it be necessary to create separate pages for turntablist and for turntablism? Or redirect from one of both? Spinster 06:23, 2 Sep 2003 (UTC)

I don't think there's any need for both - I'll move this page to turntablism (which I think is the better title), which should leave this as a redirect. --Camembert


Turntablism is currently used on Wikipedia to describe techniques such as scratching, which was developed by Grand Wizard Theodore in the early eighties, long before DJ Babu supposedly coined a term for what this article describes as scratching. Hyacinth 03:52, 2 Apr 2005 (UTC)

"CD turntablism?"[edit]

This article omits to mention Deejaying with CD on CD players with interfaces for turntablism. 08:02, 28 November 2005 (UTC)

That's because there's no such thing as CD turntablism. Only if you basterdize the meaning, which is probably unavoidable. The definition: The ART of manipulating sound and creating music using phonograph turntables and an audio mixer. Phonograph turntables, not CD players. Most CD/Digital DJ's just beat mix, which does not make you a tablist. For the DJ's that do skratch and beat juggle with CD's or digitally, it is much easier and shouldn't even be compared. You don't have to worry about skipping. There's no needle. It's not even real scratching, it's an algorithm. And with juggling you can set up cue points making it very easy. I don't think they are the same ball park even --DJBryson 16:25, 2 April 2006
While I normally agree with you, I think that the new generation(s) of turntablists are using CD decks and computers to achieve the same goals as many did with vinyl. It is an elitist stance to take to say "you're using a different instrument, it's not the same music".
Maybe we need a new term for the music and culture of turntablism, regardless of the technology used. BillWeiss 23:57, 26 April 2006 (UTC)
No. You cannot scratch with a CD. You can use software to manipulate digital tracks to achieve a similar effect but the data is read off the CD in one direction and then manipulated afterwards. You are probably thinking of Final Scratch? 01:13, 21 May 2006 (UTC)
The effect is the same. It seems to me to be splitting hairs to argue that it's not scratching because the data is read only once.
There are several "CD turntables" out there, not running Final Scratch. They allow "scratching" -- BillWeiss | Talk 01:47, 21 May 2006 (UTC)

Real scratching requires a needle, end of story. CD/Digital DJ's that call themselves tablist's or skratch DJ's are wannabe's. it's totally different and shouldn't be compared. --DJBryson, 17 June 2006 (UTC)

  • Although I do agree with DJBryson, I still think that this subject ought to be incorporated into the article. Many renowned DJs share the sentiment that CD scratching is a misnomer, to say the least. It would help a great deal if the differences could be examined and included in the article. (FWIW, I came to this article hoping to find out the difference between Vinyl and CD turntablism.) Cheers, Folajimi (leave a note) 10:16, 16 July 2006 (UTC)
I don't get it. It isn't any "easier" to scratch with a CD turntable. Both require patience and practice. It's just another tool. The CD turntables are set up to emulate vinyl so that the skill set will cross over to a certain extent, but the DJ is not going to sound very good without practice, even if she or he has been scratching for years on vinyl before picking up the CDJ (or whatever). Also, final scratch aside, take a look at the numark CDJ or the Tascam CD-roller combo that hooks onto a regular turntable. I suppose it isn't "scratching" if you define that as something done with a needle, but the skills are the same since you are literally using the turntable and a record to manipulate the sound. I don't see anything wrong with using the phrase "CD turntablism" or simply calling it turntablism.--csloat 06:48, 31 July 2006 (UTC)
I think though you're forgeting that with vinyl you have to take into account the physics of the needle and the tone arm, that groove it needs to stay in is tiny.maxcap 11:26, 31 July 2006 (UTC)
So would you say that if a DJ uses stickers, or straight tonearms, or adds extra weight to the cartridge, that it isn't "turntablism"?--csloat 18:58, 31 July 2006 (UTC)
I don't know, that's getting beyond my depth. I'm no DJ. I was merely bringing up a point. maxcap 19:13, 31 July 2006 (UTC)
Fair enough... my point was just that these are different tools for a similar task; turntablists use stickers to make finding the groove easy, and straight arms and weight help keep the needle in the groove. I think "turntablism" is the word that describes the art form and skill set, and CD/mp3 turntables have developed based on those skills. they have their own set of challenges as well - a vinyl DJ cannot make the leap to CDJs or final scratch without some practice. Skipping is not a problem, but figuring out the software is a new challenge. (on final scratch, of course, skipping is a problem, as the grooves have coded information, so the same issues apply.)--csloat 21:24, 31 July 2006 (UTC)

Everyone keeps mentioning the "Final Scratch" system. "Serato" should be the system mentioned as it is superior. I would also say that a DJ that uses Final Scratch or Serato to mix, scratch, and juggle is a turntablist as these systems still uses phonograph turntables. However, I suppose you could argue it isn't because the scratching sound is actually an algorithm and not real scratching (even though sound difference is indistinguishable). The mechanics are the same with Serato/FS. With CD/Digital decks, the mechanics are not the same, hence the reason they should not be thought of as the same. If we accept CD/Digital DJ's as tablist's then do we also accept people scratching with software and a mouse as tablist's? You have to draw the line somewhere don't you? It doesn't even sound like real scratching with CD/Digital turntables. Only Serato and FS actually sound like scratching. For example, Numark's CDX and HDX come very close, but the sound and manipulation emulation is just not the same. The skill set is not the same either. It is easier to scratch and juggle on digital decks for reasons already mentioned. It is a good point about the staight arm turntables and skipless turntables, but they are still using a needle and tonearm. The bottom line here i think is that one is the real thing and the other is emulating the real thing. I think turntablism will, and already is, basterdized to encompus all decks with platters. But most vinyl tablist's will never accept CD/Digital DJ's as tablist's. I would go even further to say House/Trance DJ's aren't tablist's either cause they don't usually scratch or juggle(with exceptions like Bad Boy Bill). They only beat mix and play with levels. It's still art, but I think you need to be able to master all the elements of turntablism to call yourself a tablist. --DJBryson 20:03, 13 August 2006 (UTC)

Of course House/Trance/d n b/whatever-ever dj's aren't turntablist (unless of course they incorparate turntablist techniques to whatever genre they're into), the whole point of creating the term was to seperate ourselves from those who specialise solely in beatmatching techniques. As for vinyl versus cd, your argueing sementics, however, allow me to indulge: it is the mental attitude and physical technique that define a person as a turntablist, not the equiptment they use to express themselves on. As for sound difference between the two, yes there is a sound difference, but on the cd turntables I have spent time on (eg. Pioneer CDJ 800 mk2's, and CDJ 1000's) that isn't necesseraly a bad thing. When putting cuts on a track I will generally try to use the cdj as appose to vinyl as it removes that nasty bass rumble and crackle you'll get with vinyl. And finaly, ANYBODY THAT SAYS SCRATCHING OR JUGGLING ARE EASIER ON CDJ's CLEARLY HAVE NOT DEDICATED YEARS OF THEIR LIFE TO MANIPULATING VINYL! I have seen truly great scratch dj's (though I will not name them) crumble badly when using CDJ's. Anonomous Pee.

  • I generally agree with the point made here about how using CD's isn't authentic. Here is one more question about authenticity though. What about products like Ms. Pinkys that used a disk and a needle, but don't actually make any sound themselves. I feel that since "what you do" is exactly the same (as oposed to CD's were even at it's best is still emulation) there is still an intermediate step of reading data and telling a computer what to play. Now I have a friend who uses them (I my self am not a DJ) and I can't tell the difference between the sound, and I get the sense from him that they "feel" the same as real disks.Pwright329

Very good point Pwright. Like I said already, I think it is still turntablism if you use Serato, FS, Ms Pinky, Mix Vibes, etc. Sure, technically it's not real scratching, but the sound is indistinguishable to the human ear. You cannot tell the difference. Besides that the mechanics are exactly the same. (tone arm, platter, needle etc). As for this remark above "ANYBODY THAT SAYS SCRATCHING OR JUGGLING ARE EASIER ON CDJ's CLEARLY HAVE NOT DEDICATED YEARS OF THEIR LIFE TO MANIPULATING VINYL!" First of all CDJ's are just one type of CD/Digital deck. Ok, if you don't set up cue points it's almost the same skill set. Although you don't have to worry about heavy hands cause there's no skipping. But besides that it's close. But! if you set up cue points so you don't have to back spin, it is WAY easier and shouldn't even be considered beat juggling. Peace out --DJBryson 18:12, 10 December 2006 (UTC)

Turntablism is a subgenre of hip hop?[edit]

I think this is a bit too narrow.

OK, the following is discussed under "history". Nevertheless turntablism is not just Hip Hop.

Turntablism can be found well outside Hip Hop. I think of Christian Marclay, Philip Jeck and Otomo Yoshihide (among others) who have used the turntable in their own rights.

I'm also missing links to Pierre Schaeffer and John Cage. They did turntable works long befor Hip Hop. Stefan Beck (

Also as mentioned towards the end of the article there has been a bit of a split with turntablism and hip hop. It is used less and less in actual hip hop and also more and more in rock. It started as a sup group of hip hop but it has become a simple mastery of an instrument. You wouldn't say guitar is a sub genre of rock, it's just an instrument that can, and often is, used in that type of music.Pwright329

~Again, very good point Pwright. Turntablism came before hip-hop as is dicussed on the main page. Hip-hop turntablism is different. I don't know if i agree about turntablism being used less in hip-hop and more in rock. Turntablism is more rare in rock. Turntablists almost always use hip-hop beats. Rap, hip-hop, trip-hop, acid jazz, dub, breaks, instrumentals. These all have the core of a hip-hop/rap beat. If you watch DJ competitions these days it's almost all hip-hop music. There was a lot of dance in the past, but that was when it was just beat mixing. Since scratching, and juggling, it's been dominently rap/hip-hop. You said "You wouldn't say guitar is a sub genre of rock" A Genre is the type of music. The guitar is an instrument that is used to create different types of music. The turntable can be used as an instrument the same as a guitar. Some will argue this, but the turntable has been an established instrument for a long time. I learned to play the trumpet much easier that I learned to beat juggle. So I would go as far as to say that not only can the turntable be an instrument, the skill set required is more advanced then other classic instruments. Turntablism is a sub-element of hip-hop. Hip-hop is often referred to as a genre of music, but it's actually a culture containing 4 elements: Rapping/MC'ing, hip-hop style dancing/breaking, Grafitti, and DJ'ing. DJ'ing can then be broken down into elements: Mixing, Scratching and beat juggling, collectively known as Turntablism. Turntablism is also considered a genre/type of music by some. This music is hip-hop based containing mixing, scratching and juggling. If you are talking about Turntablism as a genre/type of music, then yes, it's a sub genre of hip-hop. But turntablism is an art form that technically could use any genre/type of music. Calling turntablism a type of music is like calling hip-hop a type of music. Hip-hop is the culture, the genre/type of music is "Rap". Turntablism is an Art, the genre/type of music usually rap, but can be anything. --DJBryson 18:34, 10 December 2006 (UTC)

Large edit[edit]

How do people feel about the change made here? It's a big change. -- BillWeiss | Talk 02:53, 22 October 2006 (UTC)

New School section[edit]

I just made a big edit to this section. What I did:

  • Removed names of DJs (etc) that weren't wikilinked.
  • Removed names of DJs (etc) which didn't have wiki pages. This and the above item were done to remove less notable names.
  • Minor rewording.

My reasoning is, this isn't a list of new school turntablists. It should just be representative of the group that are influenced by the old-school.

Thoughts? -- BillWeiss | Talk 18:27, 15 January 2007 (UTC)

"VT" content[edit]

User:VT ConQuest is adding quite a bit of material about "Visual Turntablism" and their own work (diff shows the changes over more than 50 edits). As well, this is the only thing that this user has done on WP (Special:Contributions/VT_ConQuest). What do people think? I'm tempted to call the whole thing vandalism (given the huge changes with a seemingly self-serving purpose), but I'm not sure. -- BillWeiss | Talk 15:32, 25 January 2007 (UTC)

Language in the article[edit]

The article is very thurough but it isn't written in an encyclopedic manner: "Alongside the evolution of scratching, which deserves an article in itself" I think the language in the article should be revised.... —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Redslap (talkcontribs) 14:39, 17 February 2007 (UTC).

Partial list of "new-school DJs"[edit]

I've just removed this from the "Turntablist (DJ/Turntablist): Second evolution of the artist" section. No one will be happy with any subset of DJs we can have there, so we can just leave it at "New DJs, turntablists and crews". Thoughts? -- BillWeiss | Talk 18:37, 5 May 2007 (UTC)

Turntablism is the brother of canabilism.[edit]

It says this in the summary's first paragraph at the end. Seems like vandalism, but I'm not knowledgeable enough about this subject to know. 23:21, 31 May 2007 (UTC)


I'm 99% sure that I invented scratching in a similar manner. So this article needs to be revised to show that Grand Wizard Yuriy was the first person to ever move a record under a stylus faster than the intended speed (in either direction) causing the sound we now associate with "scratching." I did it in 1957, before stereophonic records. I'll leave it to you to fix the error (obviously I'll provide the citation). (talk) 09:09, 23 November 2007 (UTC)

I'd love to see that reference. Can you post it here? -- BillWeiss | Talk 16:08, 23 November 2007 (UTC)

GRAMOPHONE Magazine - December 1959 - Vol. XXXVII, No. 449 - pages 267 to 269. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:40, 23 November 2007 (UTC)

Interesting. Is there any chance you have that around and a scanner? I would love to see the article. Once I've seen it I would be happy to help you revise the article. -- BillWeiss | Talk 20:29, 24 November 2007 (UTC)

I'm afraid I don't have access to any scanner. However, turning a record faster than the intended speed (while under a stylus, with the pre-amp and amp turned on and connected to a speaker) is so complicated only a few people in the world can do it. I've been doing it since 1957, you'll never find another person who can do that was even born then. The citation is wholly unnecessary and only a formality. (talk) 01:27, 25 November 2007 (UTC)

Actually this was done long before, in the 1920s by Dada artists. csloat (talk) 19:36, 9 October 2009 (UTC)

new section names, editing VT info[edit]

Jeebus, guys. I have to change the section names as unencyclopedic, sorry. Also the VT stuff must be severely cut due to concerns about undue weight. And the thing in the lead about this being a new form in 94 (rather than a new word) which the article contradicts. (talk) 09:32, 14 February 2008 (UTC)

Cut VT info is here if someone wants to make a separate article with it. This article still needs a heavy copyedit for capitalization and tone. And of course cites. Dream the impossible dream. (talk) 10:20, 14 February 2008 (UTC)

Made the caps consistent throughout article (I hope). (talk) 18:59, 26 February 2008 (UTC)

DJ Krush[edit]

I'm sort of shocked that any discussion of turntablism can go on without a mention of DJ Krush, who was certainly there early before the term was used to describe solo hip hop DJs. (talk) 20:07, 3 April 2008 (UTC)Mmays

that mixer?![edit]

That's a sad mixer for any DJ but a turntablist. I would suggest Rane TTM56 but for overall agreement I think a Vestax PMC05 or PMC07 would be a better selection as an example. from SqrachMasda —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:41, 7 July 2009 (UTC)

Blaxthos just changed it to a picture of a full DVS system with CDJs and computers ... this is a step in the right direction, but this article is about turntablism, not about DVS or CDJ styles (although the latter have been incorporated into turntablist repertoires). My other problem with the photo is the product placement - it's almost an ad for Torq DVS software. I'd much prefer to see a photo of actual turntables here -- the type that spin vinyl, the original tool of turntablists. I'll look for a better photo when I can but if someone else beats me to it please do! Thanks csloat (talk) 19:33, 9 October 2009 (UTC)

I added a link to the wikipedia article "Sound Effect"[edit]

Let me comment that it is well to take this subject seriously because the use of the turntable in this way is everywhere. However, anyone who thinks that the turntable is a musical instrument instead of a sound effect maker has a defect in their appreciation of music. I have not checked to see if there are similar articles on washboardism, spoonism, kneeslappism, bucketism, or as one might add to the list from Willis Alan Ramsey's first album, wallsandfloorsism..... I merely say that a link to "Sound Effect" is justified and necessary. (talk) 17:42, 13 September 2009 (UTC) Eric


Beat mixing and beat juggling were both extremely common during the disco era -- for me, one of the most interesting aspects of the disco "scene." Based on the content of the article to date, that makes disco the first genre in which turntablism was used as a performing art, which surely merits mention. Perhaps someone with some knowledge of the subject could add a little information about that? --Tedd (talk) 16:00, 22 September 2012 (UTC)

Opinion and Citations[edit]

This article has a good base of information that is related to the subject of Turntablism, however, is lacking much needed citation. I noticed that there are appropriate links of people or terms that are already in existence in Wikipedia, which is a good start, but additional information requires citation. For example:

  • When discussing Kool Herc's break-beat djing, your information is something which I've come across before in a book called Can't Stop Won't Stop by Jeff Chang on page 112. That book would be a valid source to cite the information you are relaying in the Hip-Hop section of the article.

Also, I noticed that there are further readings listed at the bottom of the page. Did you get some of your information from those readings? If so, cite them!

On the topic of citations, the first one that is listed is not accessible anymore and a there aren't enough credible book/established publication/established organization-type that are being used. Just generally, all information needs to be cited with credible sources in order for this article to be a well-supported one!

My last note is on bias. In order to keep this article like an encyclopedia article, bias needs to be eliminated. One example of this in the article is:

  • The type of DJ that specializes in mixing is well respected for his own set of unique skills, but playlist mixing is still DJing in the traditional sense.

That statement is an opinion and also, what do you mean by the traditional sense in regards to DJing?
--Tyeargin92 (talk) 23:06, 5 February 2015 (UTC)

Remove quote?[edit]

I'm not sure this quote is necessary in this article. It is awkwardly placed and the content doesn't really add to the quality of the article either. Would it be ok if I removed it?

John Oswald described the art: "A phonograph in the hands of a 'hiphop/scratch' artist who plays a record like an electronic washboard with a phonographic needle as a plectrum, produces sounds which are unique and not reproduced—the record player becomes a musical instrument."[2]

Leonai J (talk) 16:51, 19 October 2016 (UTC)

Women and Turntablism[edit]

This section is almost entirely about the alienation of women in DJing and does not highlight any of the achievements or influences women have had in turntablism and in hip-hop DJing culture. We should work on fixing this, a good place to start would be by noting and giving credit to specific female DJs in the industry. Leonai J (talk) 17:04, 23 November 2016 (UTC)

Hip hop bias[edit]

This paragraph clearly expresses an opinion. I am not sure whether to edit it to remove the bias or to remove the paragraph entirely because it seems out of place and incoherent where it currently exists. Any thoughts?

"On stage the DJ would provide the music for the MCs to rhyme to, scratching records during the performance and showcasing his skills alongside the verbal skills of the MC. The most well known example of this 'equation' of MCs and DJ is probably Run-D.M.C. who were composed of two MCs and one DJ. The DJ, Jam Master Jay, was an integral part of the group since his turntablism was critical to Run DMC's productions and performances."

Leonai J (talk) 17:16, 23 November 2016 (UTC)

More references added since December 2008?[edit]

This article was tagged in December 2008 as needing more inline citations. That is over 8 years ago. Are more citations needed now?--Dthomsen8 (talk) 23:50, 15 July 2017 (UTC)