Today we are celebrating School of Scratch Student Toby Tobsucht from Germany, who has recently completed the 100 Days of Scratching challenge! ??❤️
Here is his 100th day post:
Huge congrats Toby! You smashed it!
I asked Toby some questions to help those of you who are considering doing the 100 Days of Scratching Project.
Hey Toby! Can you give us some background on your interest in music and scratching?
I grew up with the record collection of my step-dad, so I got used to handling turntables quite early. I even started to make some “best-ofs” recording his old vinyl, which mostly contained 70s classic and hard rock, such as Deep Purple, Zeppelin and Sabbath.
As I got older I discovered German Hip Hop of the late 90s, such as Absolute Beginner and Kool Savas. After that, me and my homies dove deeper into the artform and discovered all of the golden era American 90s Hip Hop.
Of course Djing and scratching was a big part of HipHop music at the time and I always loved the sound of it and admired the people who brought mad skills to the decks.
As I started Djing for private parties I knew that I wanted to implement some scratches into my mixes, as I play mostly Hip Hop, Funk & Soul.
What made you decide to undertake the 100 day challenge?
After starting to learn scratching and joining School of Scratch, I guess I was looking for an option to motivate and challenge me to hit the decks more frequently. I discovered that Instagram has a very active turntablism community and got inspired by people who were doing scratch challenges on there. With the help of additional material from Emma I just decided to start my 100 days journey and become a part of that community.
What was your approach?
My only real approach was to scratch every day and get see what that does to my scratching game. I tried not to make too much plans on what I was going to do especially for the 100 days and just continued my way of practicing, drilling and checking out the SoS content, monthly challenges and achievements. I tried to go slow though, as I didn’t want to rush to more complex techniques to early.
What is your recording and posting workflow like?
I tried to keep things as simple as possible. I just recorded a bit of me scratching using my mobile phone for recording the videos feeding it with the sound coming out of the recording bus of my mixer. After that I edited and cut the videos using the standard iPhone camera app and uploaded directly to Instagram. So the content didn’t even leave my phone.
Top tools / apps / software / equipment to capture and edit?
Serato DJ Pro, Mixars DUO, Technics 1210, iPhone SE, Line 6 Mobile In, ArktisPRO Gooseneck iPhone Holder, Practice Yo Cuts! and Super Seal scratch records.
What did you learn?
A lot. I basically started with the very basics such as Babies and some Militaries. During the 100 days I made it to drilling Boomerangs, Chirp Flares and See Saws. So most of the more advanced techniques I can do right now entered the arsenal during the 100 days.
What were some of the highlights for you?
The biggest highlight for me was that people started cheering me on from my everyday life. I never thought that so many people I know actually watched these videos. The best compliment I got was during a set I played couple of weeks ago where one of my closest friends came to me after a scratch transition and said something like: “Dope! You rehearsed that, right?” when it was actually a freestyle transition.
What helped you on your way?
First and foremost the super amazing School of Scratch Fam. I got so much input, positive energy and critique from people, which I couldn’t even imagine when I started. Also personal input and guidance from Emma was helping a lot: when I got stuck with what I wanted to do next, that got me going again.
What didn’t work?
Trying to get every video, especially the freestyle ones, super clean. Sometimes I got a little bit stuck in trying to upload a perfect video, when it is totally normal and cool to have some sloppy parts in there from time to time.
What was the most challenging part and how did you deal with that?
Hitting the decks on days I wasn’t really in the mood for scratching. What really helped me was just telling myself to start for a short period of time. That is also something I learned from you. Whatever you want or need to do when you don’t really want to, just start doing it for a couple of minutes and most of the time you won’t stop till you have finished. Like this a quick 5 minute drill can turn into a full on 1 hour scratch session, because you sometimes find the motivation and time after you start and not before.
What are your top tips for anyone who wants to undertake this challenge?
Just start, don’t rush and try to find a daily routine. After a couple of days it will come naturally like brushing your teeth. Also have fun doing it, experiment and don’t try to be perfect. Really try to see your practicing time as a positive space you created for yourself to concentrate, focus and just think about what you are doing at that time.
If you were to do this challenge again, what, if anything would you do differently?
I would get a portable, so I could continue practicing while I’m travelling.
What is your favourite scratch sound / tool / record?
I like rough sounding samples. One I really started to love is the sound of a braking car I guess. It’s on the first Super Seal. Sounds really rough drilling techniques like Boomerang, Flares and such.
Who is your favorite DJ and which recorded scratch do you like the most?
DJ Babu. Definitely the opening scratch of Dilated Peoples – Worst comes to Worst
What is your favorite scratch technique?
For now: Joe Cooleys. Super funky and perfect for transitioning.
You are a School of Scratch student. What has your school experience been like?
I am super happy that I found the place and I can recommend joining the school 100%. It is very rare to find communities on the web that are so supporting and free of hate & jealousy. It is just a place of helping each other out plus you are getting access to all the content you need to become good at this. Emma is doing a killer job and you will get to know so many people who are having fun learning how to scratch and even folks who have been in this for a very long time and will help you out wherever they can with their scratch wisdom. SoS Love! ?❤️
What is next for you?
I just ordered a portable, so I am super excited that I will get to scratch wherever I go and whenever I want to. In addition I want to start a little beatjuggling and come up with some mixtapes. So stay tuned!
I am also trying to spin live a little bit more and get more consistent in my mixes in live situations.
And the 200 days project will start early October!
Where can we find you online?
@tobsentobsucht on Instagram.
Mixcloud (This is where I will upload my mixtapes!)
Anything else you want to add?
Thank you for featuring me! One love!
That’s a wrap!
Thanks Toby! It was super inspiring to watch you start from the beginning, show up each day, practice deliberately and make consistent progress. You set a benchmark for what students who follow that process can expect to achieve. Thank you for being part of our Supa Scratch Crew and for all you contribute. Looking forward to seeing your continued progress and creations 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.
Toby joins fellow School of Scratch Students aka the Supa Scratch Crew: 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