Chirp Scratch

The Chirp scratch was invented by the DJing legend Jazzy Jeff. In an interview with Eye Magazine, Jazzy Jeff said:

“It’s funny ‘cause when you’re creating history, you never think that’s what you’re doing. You know, I’m in the basement messing around, then I go to the party and do this scratch and everybody goes off, and I’m like ‘Wow! I did dome sh!t that everybody likes.’ You’re not thinking, ‘They’re gonna call this the Chirp Scratch, and it’s gonna be in the books and go around the globe.’ Trust me, though, it trips me out when I’m watching a DMC video and DJs in Norway or Australia know who Jazzy Jeff is.”

Forever humble…

Anyway, the Chirp is a great rhythmic tool and sounds great when used in a variety of different rhythms. It’s an open fader scratch, making it great for combining with other intermediate open fader scratches (for example the different Flare techniques, which we will cover shortly). 

It’s a slightly strange one to learn because you are actually closing the fader in an off-beat motion so it’s one you have to sort of ‘feel’. As such, I recommend breaking it down and learning it slow, before moving onto higher speeds.


Intro (00:07)

Technique (00:11)

Common mistakes (01:44)

  • Overdoing the tapping of the cross fader
  • Hands don’t stop at the same time

Timing (02:40)

  • Quarter notes
  • 8th notes
  • 16th notes
  • 32nd notes 

Speed (03:35)

  • Speed trainer & Zoom in exercise

What level are you? (04:11)

  1. Technique (no music)
  2. Quarter note
  3. 8th note
  4. 16th note
  5. 32nd notes
  6. Accents and pitch
  7. 8th note triplets

Complete and Continue