DJ Dain
DJ | Producer | Musicologist

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Summer Sessions - Lesson 5

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This past Wednesday evening was the final summer session at Table Tutors. Hard to believe it's already come to a close.

After warming up, Wundrkut led us through some new techniques. This time we focused on rhythmically scratching vocal samples - chopping them up to create new phrases. I wasn't expecting it to be as much of a challenge, but I found a lot of the execution came from hand control on the vinyl and familiarity with how the words took up space on the record. Yet another skill I want to develop and will require disciplined practice.

From there, we put on the backing beat we had agreed upon from the previous lesson. We went back and forth either practicing the new technique or our routines we had prepared. Meanwhile, Wundrkut and some of the other staff prepared some devices for filming. Once the cameras were set up and audio was routed, we each took turns attempting to perform an 8-bar routine featuring some of what we had learned so far. I think it's fair to say that we all found ourselves in a different state of mind once we were in front of the camera. I know I felt much more conscious of my mistakes and flubs. We rotated our performances, and everyone ended up recording three times. I felt that my last one was my weakest. My guess is that I was getting increasingly self-conscious and overthinking my performance. One of the other students said he really liked the latter-half of my first attempt. Hopefully, the footage that gets edited together shows off the best bits of our attempts. I'll update with the final video once it's live.

So, that leaves us with what's next. I've been informed that there will be a follow-up session series in the coming months. However, between work and finances this coming month, I don't think I can justify the investment. If anything, I think I may try to save some money to upgrade my mixer to something like the new Pioneer DJ DJM-S3. A DJM-S9 is too far on the horizon for me right now, but the new S3 might be the right fit so I can practice on proper equipment. After that, I think a second Stanton STR8. 150 is necessary for me to better practice my beat-juggling.

My experience at Table Tutors over the course of these sessions has been profoundly valuable. From working with incredibly talented teachers, to the support of my fellow students and community, to the inspiration and drive to become better at this craft. In a few weeks, I have been able to see the landscape and where my skills fit into the greater picture. Having a new perspective to evaluate my abilities and start planning goals was worth the price of admission alone. I look forward to rejoining the school one day. I hope my chronicles may encourage you to try it out for yourself.