Learn How To Use a Turntable

Posted: February 23, 2012 in Music
Tags: , , , , ,


For most people of my generation, a turntable is just an antique. For those  who would like to someday have their own vinyl experience, I will teach you how to use a turntable and take care of records.

1. Try not to get fingerprints on the surface of the record: Unlike a CD, there is music on both sides of a record. And unlike an mp3, you can pick it up and handle it! It is safe to hold the record by its edges. To hold it in one hand, place one finger in the hole in the center of the record and your thumb around the edge.

2. Place the record on the turntable: After choosing which side you wish to listen to, place that side face up on the turntable.

3. Clean the record: You should always wipe the record clean before playing to remove any stray fingerprints or dust. This will help the record to play more smoothly and sound better. Next, press the “cueing” button on the turntable and move the needle towards the record and let it hover above. This will cause the record to start spinning. Gently hold the cleaning brush on the record in the same direction as the grooves.

4. Check the needle for dust: If dust is on the needle, the record will not sound right.

5. Gently place the needle on the record: Visually determine where the music starts for the song you wish to listen to. The beginning track is towards the outer edge of the record and each succeeding song is closer to the center. Press the “cueing” button once again to allow the needle to drop.

6. Listen and enjoy your record!

P.S. Be prepared to flip your record after 20-22 minutes.

  1. Fin says:

    I’m a college freshman, and vinyl is without a doubt my favorite way to listen to my music! I bought my first record (A New World Record by Electric Light Orchestra) about two years ago and my first turntable a few months later. Since then, my vinyl collection has grown to about 40 modern albums (records released by artists from about 1990 and later) and about 30 classic albums (mostly ELO and The Beatles, admittedly). I keep my eyes out for new releases on vinyl that I want, as well as visit independent record stores (or thrift stores!) when I get the chance. I’m glad that more and more people in my generation are becoming interested in vinyl records. There’s just something about them that makes listening to music more enjoyable than clicking “play” on iTunes.


    • skyraincloud says:

      Thanks for the response Fin! I totally agree! There is something that feels authentic about actually holding a record in your hands and putting the needle on its grooves. It is definitely more enjoyable than just hitting the “play” button on an iPod.

      • Fin says:

        There’s so much more of an experience to records, especially ones from the 60s and 70s when bands got really creative with album art, backmasking, etc. Or the Monty Python record designed specifically to confuse the listener where there was no tracklisting, double grooves, and both sides were labeled side two. Gotta love Monty Python.


  2. Shpuffy says:

    It does have an interesting title, anyone that wants to learn how to use a turntable would probably be directed to this blog. It does use Education. Does include a photo. Has category of MUSIC. Has 6 tags. Forgot what “call to action” means. 50/50. GG bro.

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