Can You Skip Songs on Vinyl?

Ever found yourself itching to skip a track on your vinyl record? It’s a common desire, especially when you’re eager to hear your favorite song. This article is poised to guide you through the dos and don’ts of navigating those grooves without damage.

Dive in for some safe-skipping strategies!

Key Takeaways

  • You can skip songs on vinyl by lifting the tonearm and placing it on a different track, but you need to be careful not to scratch the record.
  • Some new turntables have a skip feature that lets you jump tracks without touching the needle.
  • Skipping tracks too often or in the wrong way can damage your records and affect sound quality. Keep them clean for better music and safer skipping.
  • If skipping songs isn’t ideal, consider full album plays, digital versions of specific songs, playlists, buying singles, using other formats like cassettes or CDs, or listening to live music.
  • Modern players with buttons to jump between songs might make skipping easier, but remember that part of vinyl’s charm is enjoying its unique sound journey.

The Fundamentals of Vinyl Records

A vintage record player with vinyl records and speakers in a bustling atmosphere.
A vintage record player with vinyl records and speakers in a bustling atmosphere.

Vinyl records work by storing music in the grooves that spiral from the edge to the center of the record. A turntable’s stylus, or needle, rides these grooves and picks up vibrations.

These vibrations get converted into electrical signals and then into sound through speakers. On a vinyl record, each song has its own section that is discernible to those who pay close attention.

The experience of playing vinyl is special because it creates rich sounds that many people love. Record players spin these discs at certain speeds—usually 33 1/3 or 45 revolutions per minute—to get the right pitch and tempo of a song.

Taking care of your records is important too. This means cleaning them regularly and keeping them in their sleeves when not in use. Dust and scratches can ruin both sound quality and playability if you’re not careful.

The Process of Skipping Songs on Vinyl

A spinning vinyl record on a vintage turntable in a cozy room.

Curiosity might get the best of you when it comes to vinyl—can you actually hop tracks like you do with digital music? Let’s delve into the art and technique behind skipping songs on your trusty turntable, where precision meets old-school charm in an intricate dance of needle and groove.

Traditional Approach: Lifting the Tonearm

Lifting the tonearm is how most people skip tracks on vinyl. You carefully pick up the stylus from the record’s groove and place it at the start of another song. This method takes a steady hand because a slip can scratch your precious record.

To avoid scratching, use your turntable’s cueing lever, if it has one. This lever lets you raise and lower the needle gently without touching it. Always be gentle with your records—rough handling may harm them or dull the stylus.

With some practice, you’ll confidently hop from song to song like a record player expert!

Contemporary Approach: Utilizing a Skip Feature

New turntables have a cool trick up their sleeve. They come with a special skip button that jumps to the next song without touching the tonearm. Just press it, and boom—you’re at the start of another track! This built-in feature makes listening easy and safe for your vinyl.

Say goodbye to needle scratches and hello to smooth transitions. With this modern tool, DJs and music lovers can breeze through records, finding their favorite parts in no time. It’s simple: tap the button, skip ahead, and keep enjoying your tunes. worry-free!

The risks associated with skipping tracks

Jumping over tracks on a vinyl record might seem easy, but beware—it comes with dangers. The stylus, or needle, can scratch your precious album if it lands too hard. These scratches don’t just look bad; they make your music sound worse.

They can add pops and crackles to the tunes you love. Also, a sudden move could drag the stylus across the record, leaving a long scratch.

Handling records often means getting dirt from your fingers onto the surface of the vinyl. Even tiny pieces of dust may create big problems when playing music. A good way to keep records clean is to use a soft brush before each play.

This helps get rid of debris that can cause skips and jumps. If you are careful when trying to skip songs on vinyl, you help protect the music quality for years to come.

Starting a Record from the Middle: Can You Skip Songs on Vinyl?

Yes, you can skip songs on vinyl, but it takes a gentle hand. To start a record from the middle, carefully lift the tonearm and place the needle onto the desired track. This manual method needs practice to avoid scratching your record or damaging the stylus.

Some newer turntables have features that let you skip tracks easily without touching the arm.

It’s important to keep records clean for good sound and safe skipping. Store them in their sleeves when not in use. After mastering skips on vinyl, consider other ways to enjoy your music without jumping tracks.

Alternative Methods for Skipping Tracks

Starting from the middle of a record might not always be ideal. Instead, try other ways to move past songs you’d rather not hear.

  • Listen to the whole album. Sometimes, tracks flow into each other and are meant to be heard in order. Give it a try; you might discover new favorite tunes.
  • Go digital for specific songs. Use streaming services or digital downloads to play just the songs you love.
  • Make a playlist. Combine your top tracks from various albums into one list on a music service.
  • Consider buying singles. Look for 7-inch records that typically feature one hit song and maybe a B-side track.
  • Use cassette tapes or CDs. They allow fast-forwarding to skip tracks easily.
  • Upgrade your turntable. Some modern players have buttons that can jump forward or backward between songs.
  • Enjoy live music instead. Hear bands perform, and they often skip straight to their hits.


Vinyl records bring a special sound that many love. Yes, you can skip songs, but it takes care. Be gentle to keep your music and player safe. Remember, vinyl is about the full experience.

Enjoy each record as a unique journey through sound!


Is it possible to skip songs on a vinyl record?

Yes, you can skip songs on vinyl records by carefully lifting the stylus and placing it at the beginning of a different track—but be gentle! Dropping it too hard might damage your record.

What should I do before trying to skip a song on my record?

Before skipping to another song, make sure your hands are clean. This helps avoid getting dirt or oil on your precious vinyl that could sit in the record sleeve and affect play quality.

Can skipping tracks harm my vinyl or stylus?

If done correctly, skipping tracks won’t harm your vinyl or stylus. However, if you’re not careful when moving the needle, you run the risk of scratching your records, so practice caution!

Should I clean my record before attempting to skip a song?

Definitely! A quick clean removes dust that could get caught under the stylus during track changes, keeping both your records and needle in top shape for an awesome listening experience.

David Grik, a celebrated turntable expert and audio reviewer, brings over 15 years of experience in sound engineering and vinyl technology. An MIT alum, his insights and reviews guide enthusiasts in the world of high-quality audio. You can learn more on the About Us page.

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