Table of contents
- 3/4 split - left hand (S+123)
- 3/4 split - right hand (4567)
- 2/5 split (S+12 / 34567)
This page will cover some of the most common playstyles in IIDX. There are plenty of styles in active use by high-level players that are not covered here.
If you are a beginner, please read Tips for Beginners page first for suggestions.
This is currently the most used playstyle; it was popularized by former top ranker 1048 (Toshiya).
The advantage is that this gives your pinky close to the turntable, and it is easy to switch to a 2:5 formation when there are lots of scratches. The downside is that it is difficult to learn initially.
In this variation of 1048, you normally have three fingers on buttons 1-3. When you need to hit the turntable, you temporarily switch to another playstyle (usually 2:5 formation – thumb on 1, index on 2 – and then switch back.
You naturally put your left hand at a 45-degree angle, so that you hit button 1 with bottom of your thumb, and use the index finger to hit the top part of button 3 – as shown above in the picture.
Occasionally you’ll need to hit button 3 with your right thumb, and rarely, hit button 4 with your left hand.
In this variation of 1048, you keep your three fingers static on buttons 1-3, but stretch out your pinky to move the turntable (without really moving away from button 3). This is only possible if you have large hands and/or long fingers – hence the name god pinky!
In this variation of 1048, you use your wrist for the turntable.
It was not a major playstyle in the past, but more IIDX players started to adopt it when more high density charts were added (perhaps around Spada when Leggendaria was introduced). It was initially popularized by insane BMS players who played with this style on the original JKOC controller, where the turntable distance is shorter.
Most players shift their entire body slightly to the side, so that you can place your scratch arm almost perpendicular to the cabinet.
Wristing has been a controversial among traditional players in the past, but as U*TAKA and RAG have shown, it is a competitive playstyle that is becoming less divisive.
In the past, this was one of the popular playstyles. While this is known as Dolce style, it is a bit of a misnomer, as he uses a variety of playstyles.
The issue with this playstyle is that you need to bend your middle finger a lot, since it’s much longer than your thumb. For this reason, it may be difficult to time on buttons 1 and 2, and you may have difficulties hitting 1-2 trills or denim patterns.
This was also one the most popular playstyles long ago – but has since fallen out of favor. Technically this is not a 3:5 style as you will often hit buttons 4 with your left hand.
The (severe) downside to this playstyle is that you cannot possibly hit the turntable with your hand fixed in symmetric position, so you would need to temporarily switch to 2:5 or TAKA.S formation.
Many people who started out playing rhythm games on a keyboard naturally transition to this playstyle, since it matches “S D F space J K L” layout used in other games.
This style was frequently used in the past as well, but it is considered less than ideal.
This also has a severe downside that you cannot hit the turntable, so you must temporarily switch to a different playstyle when you see scratches.
Your left thumb is responsible for both button 1 and 3. Japanese players call this “thumb slide”.
Since two fingers are responsible for three buttons, there are issues when dealing with patterns with heavy 1/3 notes.
To overcome this:
- you can bring the right thumb over to hit button 3, sharing the responsibility of button 3 with your left thumb. This is called 3/5.
- just use this in conjunction with other playstyles like TAKA.s or 1048.
This is popularized by top ranker TAKA.S. While it is not as popular as 1048, it is still one of the major playstyles that remain among high-level players.
The difference between the style above and this – is that the thumb can simultaneously hit both 1 and 3. You use the tip of your left thumb to hit button 3. For button 1, you either use the bottom part of your thumb or part of the palm that connects to your thumb.
Like 3/5, this style has a severe disadvantage when the pattern is heavy on 1/3 notes. To overcome this, you use this with other styles like 1048.
The first two styles - ring on 7 and pinky on 7 - are the two popular choices. Others, not so much.
A variant of this style is called flat pinky; here, you use the blade of your pinky instead of the tip to hit 7.
Other combinations are rarely sighted but they do exist (index-thumb-ring-pinky, index-middle-ring-pinky).
A special case is middle-index-ring-thumb - DJ EBY
It’s worth noting here that most players use one of the 3/4 split playstyles above as their primary style, and 2/5 as a secondary option for heavy scratch-sections. There are not many players who who use a 2/5 playstyle as their primary one. The videos below are shown only to illustrate the respective styles.
This is your only choice in 2/5 basically.
These are just examples of how you could cover buttons 3-7 with your right hand. There are no hard rules; the only common thing is that
- Thumb is responsible for button 3
- Ring or pinky is responsible for button 7, mostly dependent on your 3/4 style.
You use all of your fingers to hit buttons 3-7. Not as common as it is not very comfortable.
Hokuto is a style that does not have a static assignment of fingers to buttons, instead moving the hands around to hit buttons as the chart demands. Hokuto players tend to use a limited set of fingers (usually index and middle, sometimes thumb).
While this isn’t strictly a playstyle, it’s worth highlighting here. Before the difficulty spiked through the roof in IIDX – perhaps before Spada - it was not uncommon to see high level players use unconventional playstyles. These days, this technique is seen less often but still used by some players to handle certain patterns – like denims and rapid jacks.
Dolce was well known for this; if you watch his old videos this is evident. The difference between this “freeform” vs. hokuto is that freeform players still have some sort of a primary playstyle that is more conventional.
Two types of one hand players:
- players who choose to play SP one-handed exclusively
- players who use one hand technique for things like scratch-heavy charts
Example of one-hand only players:
One-handed Copula SP Kaiden by MESO - their newer videos are also worth a watch.
Examples of one-hand technique used in scratch-heavy songs:
License for this page: CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 KR
This page is based a translation of this page on namu.wiki.