Yes, I do scratch - MY ASS!
just kidding. I used to be a vinyl jock in the 80's. I liked to practice my mixing skills but now with cd's and such I only beat mix now.
I was very impressed with the denon dj's skills at Idea Sharing #9 in CT last year. very cool.
its part of the show. the more animated and dramatic you make the basic moves, the more you can "sell" the scratch... it fits in the set, and adds flavor to your product.
3 click orbits and crabs and stuff all sound great, but if the people cant see you doing them, the sound gets lost in the mix. did the dj do that or was it part of the song already? hell, i thought that the dj that played dontcha the first time i heard it in a club was the worst scratch dj i had heard in years... until i realized that the trainwreck i heard wasnt actually him, but was part of the song.
just a few basic cuts and forward scratches to drop in a beat or a sample does more for the crowd than you could imagine. throw in what i call a little "body rock" and youre in there like swim wear.
lean alot, use exaggerated hand, arm and shoulder motions, and after you nail the scratch, give a head bob that even the good dr. dre would be proud of.
using and selling scratch dj techniques are another tool, often overlooked, in a good djs bag of tricks. you dont have to scratch to be good, but live scratching is one of the few things that djs bring to the table that technology hasnt automated.
with playlists and shuffle and crossfade and beat sync... the technology is on a path to find songs from the playlist, find a random song with similar bpm, sync the beats, and crossfade from 1 to 2...
if a computer program can do all those things, all thats left for me to offer is scratch ability and knowing how to work a crowd.
maybe i should learn how to do the cha cha slide and teach people the macarena. last i checked, they dont have a cd player that can do that yet.
I do it for the show as DJDX said. I have only done it a a few weddings as it just isn't the place for "hot dogging". I do it at clubs gigs and high schools. It is not something that is needed anymore as most normal songs are filled with breaks and scratches where as 10 years ago you had to do it yourself. People used to be able to tell what you were doing without seeing you but now you have to do it and then some people have no clue what the heck you are doing.
I think it comes down to self gratification. It is just like my light show...nobody cares but me.