HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Each year I do a review of the previous year and share it with you, so you can see where we have been and where we are going.
Let’s dive in.
What went well?
Last year was a year of great change and transition for Studio Scratches.
The change actually began in September 2013 when I quit my job to make my School of Scratch a reality.
January 2014 kicked off with me getting my head down, as I started producing content for the School ready for launch.
The Studio Scratches site continued alongside this.
Here’s what went well in 2014 each of these two areas.
- Scratch DJ Equipment Guide – I wrote and launched a free 182 page guide designed to guide you through buying your first Scratch DJ setup.
- Interview series – It was amazing to be able to interview some of my scratch heros and learn how they approach scratching so we could incorporate ideas into our own practice.
- Other articles – I shared ideas to help you make progress with your scratch practice.
- Free tutorials – I shared a few full length videos from inside my online School of Scratch.
School of Scratch:
On May 27th 2014, School of Scratch opened it doors to new members.
Here are the highlights:
- 60 videos in 7 Courses added in just over half a year:
- Course 1 – Equipment Needed (9 videos).
- Course 2 – Equipment Set Up (6 videos).
- Course 3 – Before you Start Scratching (3 videos).
- Course 4 – Scratch Techniques (17 videos).
- Course 5 – Scratch Combos (10 videos).
- Course 6 – QnA Training Videos (16 videos).
- Course 7 – Technical Guides (3 Videos).
- Over 12 hours of content available.
- Members joined from all over the world including:
- United Arab Emirates, Australia, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Brazil, Belarus, Switzerland, Germany, Spain, Finland, France, Greece, Hungary, Indonesia, Ireland, India, Italy, Cambodia, Korea, Lithuania, Latvia, Moldova, Macedonia, Netherlands, Norway, Panama, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russian Federation, Sweden, Singapore, Thailand, Trinidad & Tobago, Taiwan, Ukraine, Vietnam, Zambia, UK, USA, Canada. Phew!
- Community forums – I’m proud to be part of such a positive, supportive online community.
- Many new members posted their first ever video and received direct feedback from myself and the other students.
- Some students had their first ever gig and scratched live for the first time in front of an audience. WOW!
- Monthly prize draw contests – 5 students won Turntable Lab Vouchers or Kutmarks labels by submitting a video of themselves scratching that months chosen technique. All levels of students enter and give each other feedback.
- Live scratch room jams – Once a month we meet up for a live jam, share scratch inspiration and even teach each other new things, plus help out anyone struggling.
- Private Facebook group – anyone who joins the school gets access to the private facebook group, which is one of the friendliest and supportive groups I have ever been part of! We are all in there on the daily!
- Video production quality improved – I learnt a great deal about video production and have steadily increased the quality of the videos using pro microphones and lighting.
- Animated scratch notation diagrams – At the request of students, I created animated notation diagrams to make it easier to follow along the timing demos in the videos.
- Overall tutorial quality – I take great pride in the fact that the School tutorial videos are produced to a high standard. They are well thought out, clearly broken down and feature crystal clear audio, and HD video quality. I put my heart and soul into creating the very best scratch tutorials possible to make things as easy as possible for the students and I believe this has been achieved.
What went less well?
- The Studio Scratches site was a bit neglected and the posting schedule was sporadic.
- The amount of time I spent creating videos and helping students in the School meant this site came second.
- I struggled to:
- get the right balance between posting free content here and paid content over in the School.
- provide regular useful content here, without devaluing the content I created for my paying School members.
- I didn’t produce many free videos for YouTube.
- I didn’t produce many new beats.
- Perfectionist tendencies – I tend to spend a long time working to create “perfect” videos and blog posts, when in reality, it would be better to get the content out there.
What to expect this year / What am I working toward?
Now I have made the transition into offering my first serious teaching product and service, I am looking to restore the balance of content between Studio Scratches and School of Scratch.
The tagline of this site is:
Dedicated to assisting you become excellent at the art of scratching.
The primary goal of this site is simply to help you become a better scratch DJ.
With that in mind, I’ve decided to refocus on you the reader and provide helpful free content here.
I am committing to posting something useful once a week.
This will be things like:
- Articles on the mindset needed to practice and improve your scratching.
- Practice tips and tricks.
- Freestyle scratch videos that many of you have said provide inspiration for you to get on the cut.
- Combo demo videos and rough scratch notation.
- The occasional full length tutorial from inside the School of Scratch.
- Updates from School of Scratch – I’ll let you know what’s going on in the classroom and community so you can see how joining will benefit you.
Beat making is no longer an area of focus as I feel I can add more value teaching and is where my passion truly lies. That said, I am still known to crack out the beat making gear now and again so you never know.
My old, free YouTube tutorials are still available and give good basic level instruction into starting to learn how to scratch, however I am not featuring those tutorials prominently on the site, mainly because the new ones I am producing for School of Scratch are so much better in every way.
This site will remain ad and sponsor free for the best reader experience possible.
If you get value from the free content here and want access to a comprehensive course which guides you through the process of learning how to scratch in a simple step by step manner, you can graduate over to my rapidly growing School of Scratch.
School of Scratch
My goal for the School is simply to: make it the very best online “How to Scratch” course.
I want it to be the most thorough, comprehensive course available and the complete and definitive guide to scratching.
I’ve worked hard to make sure this is the case and plan to continue working towards this by:
- Producing new tutorial videos and course content for the classroom. I get requests for new tutorials all the time and there is so much more to teach.
- Breaking techniques down into the simplest forms possible, so you stand the very best chance of understanding what’s going on and being able to perform the techinique yourself.
- Supporting the online SoS community by answering questions and sharing insights in the forums, live chat and Facebook group.
- Hosting live jams.
I’ve purposefully designed and created the School to make the process of learning to scratch easier – helping you to improve your skills in the simplest way possible and reduce the time it takes to progress.
If you have received value from the free Studio Scratches content, are serious about improving your scratch skills and are ready to make an investment in learning new skills which will take your scratching up a level, School of Scratch is the next logical step. It provides a positive learning environment which supports and encourages you every step of the way.
To achieve what I am setting out to do with Studio Scratches and School of Scratch, I’ll be working on:
- Improving my scratching and learning new techniques.
- Improving my teaching skills.
- Improving my video production.
- Improving output – less perfection, more personality!
So to sum up, Studio Scratches will bring you free content to help you get better at scratching, whilst School of Scratch is the main offering / product, which is designed to help you get a full and complete, first class scratch education.
Immediate Upcoming Content
I can tell you that the following content is due for release on this site very soon:
- A QnA video with DJ Fumo that we recorded especially for you! Plus an interview with the man himself.
- Mini Scratch Combo Videos – quick demos to give you ideas and inspire your scratch practice.
Let’s kick off the year with a free gift to inspire your scratch practice.
Here is a beat for you to practice with, my small way of saying thanks for being a Studio Scratcher.
Download sixtytwopointfive (right click to save) – 62.5 BPM – perfect for double time.
Over to you
How about you? Do you have any scratch goals for this year?
What are you struggling with?
Please leave me a comment or if you would rather share privately, email me.
Thanks for being a Studio Scratcher!
I truly value your support and encouragement.
Wishing you an awesome 2015!
Happy Scratching! 😀
– Emma Short-E