Today we are celebrating School of Scratch Student DJ Jenny Pocket from the USA, who has recently completed the 100 Days of Scratching challenge! ??❤️
Here is Jenny’s 100th day post:
Huge congrats Jenny!
I asked Jenny some questions to help those of you who are considering doing the 100 Days of Scratching Project.
Welcome Jenny! Can you give us some background on your interest in music, DJing and scratching?
I have been DJing for over 10 years with no formal training just learning on my own and having guidance from local DJs. I entered a few DJ competitions which have been really fun and challenging. The part I was always missing was the turntablism and being able to do more than a baby scratch.
What made you decide to undertake the 100 day challenge?
I had been considering the 100 day challenge for years but since I had never really committed more than a week in a row to scratching, I didn’t think that I would stick with it.
After attending a ladies scratch session in LA with the Ladies of Sound, my friends and I were really determined to get better. That’s when we decided as a group to start the 100 days of Scratch Challenge.
What was your approach?
Initially, I printed off tools from School of Scratch, watched a couple videos, and set a deadline of about 5 months to complete. From there I just made it a point to work in at least 10 – 30 minutes per day to scratch.
What is your recording and posting workflow like?
I’d start off by watching a scratch video and practicing for about 10 minutes. Then I’d freestyle for a minute and record. I didn’t have any fancy equipment. I found anything to put my phone on. Put the speaker right next to it and recorded.
What are your top tools / apps / software / equipment to capture and edit?
As I got more into it, downloaded phone apps like Prequel. Then I’d match up the recording from Serato to the iPhone video. It was challenging to get the timing right but made the audio much better.
Eventually I bought a phone stand and a trrs to trs cable to record the sound directly to the phone. I wish I had gotten that much sooner.
What did you learn?
I also learned to just go for it and that it didn’t need to be perfect. When I trained to run a half marathon, I could barely run one mile, but consistent effort got me to the finish line. That’s the way I looked at the 100 Day Challenge. I had to trust in the process.
What were some of the highlights of the 100 Day Project for you?
Becoming comfortable with scratches that were difficult for me to start with. As time went on I began feeling more confident in scratching and it shows in the videos.
What helped you on your way?
Accountability. Knowing I had to post to social media and that I was in this with my DJ friends, kept me from giving up. I had also set a realistic deadline which meant I had to scratch and record it at least 20 times per month.
What didn’t work?
Putting off scratching until I felt motivated. I had to find the best time for me to be able to watch a lesson, practice and hit the record button. Eventually I found that scratching in the morning before heading to work was my time (pre-Covid stay at home orders).
What was the most challenging part and how did you deal with that?
There were times where I felt that I wanted to be better already. I guess it’s that way with anything. We want results and we want them quick. I had to remind myself that the journey was part of the fun.
What are your top tips for anyone who wants to undertake this challenge?
I’ve got a few:
1. Even if you already have scratch experience, go slow. Take the time to un-learn bad habits and re-learn new ones. Invest in a DJ school or online school, like School of Scratch where you can learn at your own pace.
2. Get some friends to join you and help you stay accountable. It’s been nice having friends to lean on or ask for advice when things get challenging.
3. If a scratch or combo isn’t making sense, look up several tutorials, reach out to other DJs or just take a quick break from it. Some scratches take longer to learn than others.
4. Posting online means that people feel like they are a part of your journey and they want to see you succeed. There could be something to learn from their constructive criticism but also remember they only see a small portion of what’s being posted online. So, don’t take it too personal.
5. Keep going and have fun!
If you were to do this challenge again, what, if anything would you do differently?
Take time to be a little more deliberate. Getting on the tables almost every day was great and did make a difference, but structure makes a bigger impact.
You are a School of Scratch student. What has your school and learning experience been like?
I learned about the School of Scratch back in 2016. I signed up for the two free video lessons. Even though Emma scratches Hamster style, I still learned quicker than I had by just watching videos on YouTube. A couple years later I decided to sign up.
For me, the School of Scratch has been a tool box that I can always go back to. When I feel like my scratches are getting stale or I am ready to move on to a new one, I can log in and take on a new challenge.
How do you approach ongoing learning and staying fresh?
Freestyle sessions help me to keep things fun, but when I feel like I am just doing the same things over and over again, I know it’s time to log back into School of Scratch and learn a new technique.
Do you have any wisdom on learning that you can share with our students?
Have fun! Not everyone has to be the exact same. Make time to learn the scratches and then freestyle over a beat. Then of course go back and work on those techniques to keep them clean.
What is your favourite scratch sound / tool / record?
Ahhh is always so comfortable.
What is your favorite scratch technique?
Who is your favorite DJ?
There are so many talented DJs, just to name a few DJ Premier, Craze, Miles Medina, J.Espinoza, Annalyze, Patty Clover, I could go on, but basically any creative DJ that can bring an element of turntablism and good music
Do you have a favorite track by another artist which features scratching?
The first song that comes to mind is Statik Selektah, “The Thrill is Gone.”
What is next for you?
200 Days of Scratching! I’m going to be focusing more on combos, beat juggling, and putting together routines. As I focus on those things, I will likely be entering more DJ competitions.
Where can we find you online? Please include links and promote yourself as much as you want.
Anything else you want to add?
I am grateful for the School of Scratch. Emma makes breaks down the techniques in a way that is easy to understand. There are so many resources available and a community to help.
That’s a wrap!
Thanks Jenny! Thank you so much for sharing your experience and process with us. There is so much that students and participants can take from this and implement to help them. Stoked that you are continuing, onto 200! You are a role model for other scratcher ladies! ?❤️
Thank you for being part of our Supa Scratch Crew. Looking forward to seeing your continued progress and videos on Instagram and inside our School.
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.
Jenny joins fellow School of Scratch Students aka the Supa Scratch Crew: Eric, 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