Beat juggling is the act of manipulating two or more samples (e.g. drum beats, or vocal phrases), in order to create a unique composition, using multiple turntables and one or more mixers. This can involve pauses, scratching, backspins and delays. It could be seen as fingertip sampling, and the turntable and mixer combination could be seen as an instrument from which sounds are made, from the sounds of other instruments (samples).
Beat Juggling has its roots in cutting, in which a small section of a beat is looped using two copies of the same record. This was first done by Kool DJ Herc, and later refined by DJs such as Grandmaster Flash in the early 80s. Two other fundamentals of modern beat juggling technique include "tapping" or "walking," where the DJ taps the record in between percussion sounds, stopping it momentarily to slow down the beat, or pushing it faster to speed it up, and "shuffling" or "strobing," where the DJ loops the two records at different points in the beat, literally remixing the record live by playing new combinations of the sounds on the records.
The term is an invention of the media, and not the actual title given by the creators. Juggling the beat merely describes what is being done. The inventor of the technique, DJ Steve Dee from Harlem, NYC, referred to it simply as bringing "The Funk" out of a record. He effectively made his own beats from reconstructing different parts of songs. The technique was refined by the DJ group The X-Men, whom DJ Steve Dee founded, they later were to become The X-Ecutioners.
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