Today we are celebrating School of Scratch Student DJ Nick Diablo from the USA, who has recently completed the 100 Days of Scratching challenge! ??❤️
Here is Nick’s 100th day post:
View this post on Instagram
Congrats to our awesome student @djnickdiablo on completing ? Days of Scratching! ?❤️? #Repost @djnickdiablo with @make_repost ・・・ Today is the final day of my ? Days of Scratching. It took me 10 full months to complete my ? days. I do my best to practice everyday at minimum of 15 minutes. It is difficult to submit an entry consecutively with a family, responsibilities, a house remodel, and learning new scratches. This was an awesome journey tho. I am finally able to do a lot of scratches properly now thanks to the guidance of @emmaholmez and @schoolofscratch. This clip is significant in the fact that I have been asked to collaborate my scratch skills on a track with the crew @dngreyelnd. This is just an random idea for a hook that I was toying with. Its not what I am actually going to submit but I thought the scratch lines sounded dope so I wanted to share it. The dope beat you hear is done by @midi.chlorian a very talented beat and remix creator who you should follow. I am thankful and grateful for this opportunity. ?? I hope you all enjoyed my ? Days of Scratching. Thanks to everyone who supports. #scratching #schoolofscratch #djnickdiablo100DaysOfScratching #100DaysOfScratching #the100dayproject #turntablesdaily #scratchislife #ilovescratching #freestylescratching
Huge congrats Nick!
I asked Nick some questions to help those of you who are considering doing the 100 Days of Scratching Project.
Welcome Nick! Can you give us some background on your interest in music, DJing and scratching?
There’s so much I could tell you but I will try and make this quick. Being 46 years old I have quite a history with music. Let’s just say that dance music has had the largest impact in my life, however, I have always been into Breakdance and Hip Hop as well. I started DJing 33 years ago and have been collecting vinyl for 34 years. I was a battle DJ back in the late 90s and early 2000s but I never thought I was good enough for the DMCs. Especially losing to I-Emerge at a Guitar Center battle in Paramus, NJ back then I realized I need to stick to House Music battles. I always scratched but I was never into it like I am now. From 2008 to 2016 I ran a live internet radio show on antifmradio.com on just about every Wednesday night from 7-10pm est. My show was called “Knockturnal Emmisionz” and I featured a different electronic dance music genre and theme every week. My show ran for over 300 episodes at 3 or more hours a clip. Then in 2016 three things happened:
- After 8 years of running my live show I felt my show was lacking proper handwork. I also felt, for having such a love for the art DJing why don’t I start learning everything.
- I realized that after 30 years of not using my left hand to throw the record I felt I was doing myself a disservice and started training on it full time.
- After attending the 2016 DMCs I felt there was no reason I couldn’t be up there. So I started working towards and competed in my first DMC in 2017.
Since then I have been feverishly compiling skills and learning the craft, even took Beat Juggle lessons from Roli Rho. I have been part of many DJ Battles and currently entered my 4th DMC trying to gain experience through performance. I have been lacking on correct scratch movements and thats why this year I joined school of scratch to better enhance my skill build. 11 months later I am flying thru learning intermediate and advanced scratch techniques thanks to Emma Short-E & School of Scratch.
What made you decide to undertake the 100 day challenge?
I wanted to learn the correct execution of scratches I have always wanted to perform. I figured joining School of Scratch and participating in the 100 Day Challenge would help me accomplish my goal.
What was your approach?
I started with revisiting the basics. Then started working on scratches I always wanted to perform. I kind of bounced around between experience levels because some of my basics like Slices and Dices needed to be fine tuned before performing some of the intermediate and advanced scratches.
What is your recording and posting workflow like?
That varied throughout this undertaking. Adulting got in the way a lot, so my 100 Days started January 1st and ended November 1st. A lot of my videos I practiced the scratches for a few hours sometimes days before I posted anything.
What are your top tools / apps / software / equipment to capture and edit?
My Samsung Galaxy 8+ phone camera is it. That’s how I recorded and edited all of my videos also using an iRig2 for direct audio.
If we are talking DJ equipment I use Serato with my Pioneer DJM S9 and Denon VL12s the most out of all 3 of my set ups.
I also us Ableton for any edits.
What did you learn?
I learned many new scratches as well as the correct execution of the basics which is vital. I also learned some scratches take so much time to master.
What were some of the highlights of the 100 day project for you?
The breakthroughs! ALL of the breakthroughs most definitely. Seeing the improvements myself. Looking back at my scratching before is kind of painful to watch, HAHA!
What helped you on your way?
Drills, drills, and more drills. Making sure I started each scratch slow and gradually getting faster. Also, persistence is key.
What didn’t work?
Trying to do the scratches fast to start just leads to frustration.
What was the most challenging part and how did you deal with that?
I would say proper execution on some of the more advanced scratches is definitely tough at faster speeds so slowing down to speed up is key.
What are your top tips for anyone who wants to undertake this challenge?
- Do it on YOUR time, don’t feel rushed. If you can’t do it that day then do it the next. It’s YOUR 100 days.
- PRACTICE! I did a minimum of 30 minutes a day. Sometimes I would spend a few hours until I either made improvements or got frustrated with myself lol.
If you were to do this challenge again, what, if anything would you do differently?
I would incorporate more combos in my videos.
You are a School of Scratch student. What has your school and learning experience been like?
Most of my interaction has been in the FB group and everyone is very helpful. Emma’s videos make it really easy to learn.
How do you approach ongoing learning and staying fresh?
With persistence. Drilling every day and making sure to be present for learning and growing is important.
Do you have any wisdom on learning that you can share with our students?
Don’t get too frustrated with yourself. Just keep going. It takes so much time to learn the muscle memory.
What is next for you?
I’m going to keep working at new scratches and combos as well as get into more beat juggling practice sessions. My main goal besides trying to win next years DMC will be to start creating a scratch album of my own. I really have so much fun with this #scratchlife,
Where can we find you online?
Is there anything else you want to add?
Yes. Don’t stop doing what makes you happy. Scratch everyday!
That’s a wrap!
Thanks Nick! It was great to witness your progress over the 100 days, thank you for sharing with us!
Thank you for being part of our Supa Scratch Crew. Looking forward to seeing your continued progress.
About 100 Days of Scratching
100 Days of Scratching is a project I started and completed (see here) and have been encouraging my students to do the same – as a way to get in the habit of daily practice, documenting progress and connecting with others.
Nick joins fellow School of Scratch Students aka the Supa Scratch Crew: Jairo, Mike Marble, Ouille, D Supreme, Robert, Jenny Pocket, Eric Spindler, Roli Rho, Andrei, Jaden, Molino, Jamie, Jerry, Alina, Toby, Jay Rakim, Vanessa, Julian, Crystal, Smallimus, Allexia, Thomas, Ashley, Adam, Erick, Magnus, Roly G and Denise who have all completed the 100 Days of Scratching project. What an amazing crew of creators!
Wanna take part in the 100 Days of Scratching Project?
You can take part in the 100 Days of Scratching project and join our group of supportive DJs here:
Happy Scratching! 😀
– Emma Short-E