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Juggling practice, start with scarves?

Discussion in 'Juggling' started by KichigaiKamono, Jan 11, 2013.

  1. I was watching an old video about clowning from the Ringling Bros. Circus Clown College, where they said a good way to start juggling is by using lightweight scarves to throw and catch slowly. Well I got some new clubs for christmas and I'm having to re-teach myself to juggle due to previously doing it wrong, so would anyone recommend I try that out first to get the hang of it? Are there any other good little tricks for someone rather clumsy with bad depth perception?
  2. Zeeppo

    Zeeppo New Member

    There is a great book by the Klutz publishing company. It is called juggling for the complete Klutz. It also comes with a set of three balls. Balls is where you want to start and bean bags are even better because they do not roll away on you. Once you learn a standard three ball cascade it translates very well into rings, clubs, swords and so on.

    Balls, clubs and so on you toss up from one hand to the other. Scarves you are dropping from one hand and chasing with the other hand. The patterns are not the same.

    As for depth perception the best trick is to get the toss and arc just right. Once that becomes automatic you do not have to work very hard at juggling.

    If you cannot find this book private message me your address and I will send you a similar text.
    • Thanks Thanks x 5
  3. A. C.

    A. C. New Member

    I tryed to learn with balls, little luck. I then used scarves, and learned well. Balls came fairly easy over a couple of days, rings right away, and a little bit more with the clubs.

    The idea with the scarves is to teach your two brain sides to work with each other, one side controls the other sides hand. These differnt objects all require a different move to toss it and catch it.

    I also listen to Windy by the association to jugle to...
  4. Pinky the Clown

    Pinky the Clown New Member

    My experience was different. I started with balls and was very determined to learn balls so it took me a long time to learn to juggle. But after I got basic cascade pattern down and learned some basic tricks, I went to clubs. Rings are not as easy for me. I haven't tried scarves. I totally love the home made clubs I made to learn on because I really wanted to learn how to juggle clubs so that I could go to a juggling convention and try out everyone's clubs to see which ones I like. Clubs are so expensive and I am glad I learned before buying my set. The home made clubs are softer too on the hands and head so that eased the learning pains.

    When I could not juggle and really wanted to learn, I went to a juggling convention and asked each juggler to show me how to juggle. Each person seemed to have a different way they learned and different tips. So I came home from the convention and put what I learned into practice and learned the cascade on balls about 3 weeks later. So I totally recommend to try to get to a juggling convention. One of the things that helped me was when a juggler told me to pretend I was throwing my balls at my shoulders and this helped me to break the habit of chasing balls when you first start out.
    • Thanks Thanks x 2
  5. Pinky the Clown

    Pinky the Clown New Member

    oh yeah and also you can pretent that there is a piece of glass in front of you. I am not as fond of practicing in front of a wall but that has helped some people too. I like to practice in front of a sofa because it catches the balls for you. Another thing is to count out loud 1 and 2 and 3 and 4 and......"1" is my right hand and the "and" is my left hand. I then worked up to doing the alphabet, "A and 2 and 3 and 4 and" so that that there are 8 tosses for each letter of the alphabet and then I would just see how far I could get throught the alphabet so it developed endurance and helped me to see progress and feel a whole bunch of accomplishment the first time I made it through the alaphabet with 8 tosses for each letter. It also made it easy to determine how many tosses I accomplished.
    • Thanks Thanks x 2
  6. Pookie

    Pookie Well-Known Member

    In my attempts to learn to juggle, the biggest problem that I've had is to learn to let the object I'm juggling to come to my catching hand, and not reach up and get it. When you start doing that, well, it's all over. While practicing with scarves, I have been able to overcome that particular problem.

    Also, the only real secret to juggling is that you only have to keep one ball in the air at a time.
  7. Barnie Bonkers

    Barnie Bonkers Well-Known Member

    I learned to juggle when I was in High School… I’d seen something on TV about how trying to learn with tennis balls was a bad thing, and that you needed something with more weight, So I bought three rubber balls about the same size as tennis balls, and learned how to juggle standing next to my bed (so if I missed, I didn’t have to chase them all over the place.) I sorta got it the first day, but for the next couple of days, I would count to see how many times I could juggle before dropping a ball… by the end of the week, I was pretty good at it.

    I then learned how to juggle knives (the “trick” to juggling knives is if you miss-toss one, there is no law that says you have to catch it!) I also learned how to juggle and ride my unicycle at the same time… How and where you focus your eyes is kinda interesting. I’ve tried to juggle scarfs, but after juggling other things the scarves are WAY to slow, and I couldn’t really get the hang of it…

    Since I learned how to juggle, there have been long periods of time when I haven’t juggles, but it comes back quick enough… (Unlike riding a unicycle, which takes about a week to re-learn)

    Now I’ve been keeping three small rubber balls in my jacket pocket so I can practice whenever I feel like it. It’s much harder with the smaller/lighter balls, but I figure that if I have to try harder, it will make me better at it.

    I use-to have juggling clubs that I made from plastic toy bowling pins and wooden dowels. I don’t know what happened to them (hey.. It was a long time ago) but recently I bought three plastic (short) kids toy baseball bats at the dollar Store… Taping the handles didn’t add enough weight, so I will cut the handles and add a short section of wood doweling, and then re-tape them.. But for a buck each, they work pretty good.
  8. SCOOP

    SCOOP Ace Reporter

    to be honest i teach scarves cause it gives a person trying to learn to juggle some self esteem and encouragement
    personally i don't think juggling scarves transfers to balls.
    the motions are complete opposite and the speed difference is hard to get use to as well
    scarves you lift and drop, balls you throw the only thing that is the same is your target spot the point your dropping the scarves is the same spot you want to throw balls to.
    and the catch as well scarves your grabbing in a down word motion. balls your actually catching.
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  9. OkiDoki

    OkiDoki New Member

    Use them both. Balls and scarves. Scarves for the brain exercise. Balls for the throwing exercise. Rings and clubs come after the balls.
    • Thanks Thanks x 2
  10. TorontoBoy

    TorontoBoy Active Member

    I recommend beanbags. They can be of similar weight to balls and they don't roll away.

    Sit down and splay your legs out in front of a wall, then learn to juggle. The balls will/should fall right in front of you when you drop them. You might even have a stick handy to collect balls that go further afield. The wall helps you with juggling on a single vertical plane in front of you. If you throw too far it hits the wall and bounces back to you, thus saving you the trouble of go fetch.

    See? And you thought being lazy has no benefits!
    • Thanks Thanks x 6
  11. CottonCandy

    CottonCandy New Member

    I have to say that juggling is the hardest thing for me to seem to be able to grasp. And just a funny little story on my dingbatted-ness. I was told to try juggling next to a wall. Tried it for weeks. Made ZERO difference in my being totally inept. Then suddenly a month or so later it dawned on my lightening speed mind that maybe, just perhaps I was supposed to do it FACING the wall. Yes. I had been standing with my back to the wall expecting it to somehow help. Sigh. Anyway. Maybe I should try again the correct way. :D
  12. tim

    tim Have red nose, will travel

    Try it standing on your head.
    • Laugh Laugh x 1
  13. Pookie

    Pookie Well-Known Member

    Cotton Candy, you have stumbled upon a great clown routine.

    You try to juggle, and are unsuccessful. You read a book that says to stand by a wall, so you stand with your back against the wall. Maybe you do a little better, but not able to master juggling. Then you realize you should face the wall!!! Suddenly, you can juggle and perform tricks and difficult juggling patterns!! Hurray!

    Then you move away from the wall and can't juggle well anymore. Go figure...
  14. dova75

    dova75 New Member

    So scarves or no scarves. I guess I will have to try it with scarves and see if that helps.
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  15. Loopy

    Loopy Well-Known Member

    I've tried to figure out what the easiest step program from basic to advanced juggling this is what I've got for myself to this point; scarfs then hacky sacks then real juggling balls then maybe rings then hardest I plan to attempt will be clubs but I looked into it clubs are hard and people get their hands banged up at first when they begin training but I found they sell Foam training clubs I'm going to try that route before I get the real ones.
  16. LarryTheClown

    LarryTheClown Well-Known Member

    I'd star with bean bags or Russian juggling balls (i.e., hollow plastic balls filled with salt). There are also ones that are filled with silicone gel. Basically you just don't want the balls to roll away. Don't start with anything lighter, though. Scarves and probably hacky sack balls, I think, don't have the right heft or the right size.

    If you want to progress to larger equipment, the juggling balls have to feel about the right size as the ones you're practicing with. That wa you'll instinctively know how to adjust your grip.

    Finally, don't be afraid of juggling clubs. It's true that they might hurt your knuckles. However, materials these days are much lighter. An older juggler showed me his set made of some solid wood, which I image can do some damage. I have a nice set made mainly of hollow plastic, which is easy on the hands. The rubber knobs at the end are the only "hard" portion, I would say, but I would say it's rare to come into contact with them when you're aiming for the shaft.

    I started juggling maybe a year and a half ago, and I've gotten good enough to juggle pins down a parade route.
    • Thanks Thanks x 4
  17. Olaf89

    Olaf89 New Member

    I highly recommend the scarves. They worked for me and I found it impossible before I used them. The scarves help to build the muscle memory needed to juggle correctly.
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  18. I learned scarves, blocks, and balls during a circus unit in fourth grade, too bad I can't do it anymore...
  19. Olaf89

    Olaf89 New Member

    Just start practicing again, you'll soon pick it up again.
  20. Loopy

    Loopy Well-Known Member

    I DID IT GOT IT DOWN, and now back to the unicycle especially since the snow is disapearing.
    • Optimistic Optimistic x 1

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