Whilst I enjoy teaching you scratch techniques, I also love to encourage you with the mindset you need to approach learning. It might even be more important.
I find it just as if not more rewarding than busting out a perfect chirp flare scratch! I love it when you guys make progress by implementing these tips.
So, today I would like to talk about the “hard work” of scratching.
People often write to me asking me how long it took me to reach my current level of scratching, or how long it takes to get “good” at scratching. I tell them that I have been scratching for 13 years, since 2000. After 4 years I started to feel really happy with the sounds I was making and the patterns I could perform.
Many people don’t want to hear that answer or are discouraged to say the least. But it doesn’t have to be that way. I want you to be encouraged and at the same time be honest about what it takes.
Scratching is fun, but it can also be frustrating, especially if you are new to the art form. Sometimes we look for secrets and shortcuts to make things easier and take away the frustration.
This great article by Caleb Wojcik sums up my view of the solution that I believe if you embrace, will help you. Caleb explains in a very clear way and I wanted to share it with you:
The original article can be found at Expert Enough.
The Lost Art of Hard Work
Binge diets for 30-day fat loss.
Get rich quick schemes.
Everywhere you turn in our society there are quick fixes. If you don’t want to work hard anymore it seems like you don’t have to.
But when you really think about these “easy” options, do they really improve your quality of life?
When you starting looking for shortcuts to get better at something, what are you really doing to yourself?
You immediately start selling yourself short.
A GROUNDBREAKING IDEA
If you are looking for a single, mind-blowing tactic you’ve been missing your whole life that will instantly make learning or practicing way easier, you’ll never find it. You’ll waste hour after hour searching.
Here is the best thing you can possibly do to get better at something.
Put in the damn time.
You want easy? Here are three simple steps to follow:
1. Read a book or watch a video on the topic.
2. Go practice in solitude for a few hours.
3. Reflect back on what you learned in a journal.
No excuses. No insomnia from worrying about whether or not you are good enough. No more freaking infomercials.
Here’s your prescription:
Put in the hard work all day, collapse into bed extremely exhausted, and call me in the morning. I’m confident you’ll wake up feeling better already.
What’s keeping you from putting in the work?
Why do you keep looking for a quick fix?
So there you have it. Are you putting in the work or looking for a quick fix?
This isn’t meant to be harsh, sometimes I look for quick fixes and shortcuts just like everyone else. But overall, I have put in the hard work and need to continue to do so if I want to improve. I can tell you that the only thing that has worked and continues to work for me is putting in the work, despite any frustration.
Do you know how long it took me to get the 2 click orbit scratch down? It wasn’t a quick and easy process that’s for sure! Over and over I practiced, for hours at a time, for at least a good couple of weeks. I walked around practicing the fader movements mentally and physically when I was away from the decks. One day I finally got it, as will you. It is an awesome feeling when you finally get it and this is part of the payoff for your hard work.
Would you really want to wake up one day and instantly have the scratch skills of someone like Qbert? Wouldn’t it take away that feeling of accomplishment? The skills we gain through our hard work are our reward and ours to enjoy. They are the payoff and I believe are part of what makes our struggles worthwhile. I have heard Qbert say that he has worked on scratches for months, with this being someone that we might assume is just naturally gifted and talented. NO, you guessed it, he’s putting in the work too.
Today I would simply like to encourage you to:
- Watch one of my scratch tutorial videos, or someone else’s if that is better for you.
- Go practice the scratch technique in solitude for a few hours.
- Reflect back on what you learned. Post in the comments here if you like!
I promise you if you do this, you will feel better and make progress.
Accept and surrender to doing the work and putting the time in. Embrace any frustration that comes and get on with enjoying the process of becoming better at scratching.
I’ll leave you with this quote:
“I know what I have to do, and I’m going to do whatever it takes. If I do it, I’ll come out a winner, and it doesn’t matter what anyone else does.”
– Florence Griffith Joyner
In an upcoming article I will cover how deliberate practice can help you get the very most from your hard work and practice, whilst not offering any phoney shortcuts.
Until next time…
Happy Scratching! 😀
– Emma Short-E