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Phrasing is the act of breaking up a sample into either words or syllables by pausing the record with your hand in between each word or syllable. This can be done with or without the fader, but using the fader will give a sharper, cleaner sound.

Say we have a sample that says “I can break it down”. To phrase that sample you would add pauses between each word, “I-can-break-it-down”. Some samples might be a little more difficult. “Cut like a guillotine” is a well-known phrasing sample but you can’t really break it up by words or samples.

Instead, you need to pick out where you can add pauses so that it can be in time with the beat you are playing to. Such as “Cut-like a-guillo-tine”. “Like a” is technically two syllables but in order for it to sound right, we use it as one. Similarly, “guillotine” is three syllables but to make it fit we treat it as one. Once you’re comfortable separating a given sample try grabbing specific parts to then do other scratches with.

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