The Internet Juggling Database


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SS Ben's Guide to Juggling Patterns

Ben Beever - 20th January, 2002.
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7) MISCELLANEOUS

BALLS

(A)

The type of balls you juggle with can make a big difference. Different kinds have different positive and negative attributes. These include: grip, give, weight, size, and visual impact. How important some of these aspects are, depends on the type of juggling you want to do, as well as personal preference. However, with most of them, there is a balance to be found, as illustrated by the table below, which describes the problems encountered with balls at either end of the scales.

AspectIf too littleIf too much
GripBalls will often slip out of your handLoss in throw accuracy, as the ball ‘sticks’ when you throw or catch to your hand when you release it. Balls get dirty or sandy easily.
GiveBounces out of your hand on catch. Rolls away on hard surfaces. Mid-air collisions are often terminal.Loss in throw accuracy, as the shape of the ball changes every time you catch it
WeightBounces out of your hand on catch. High throws difficult to make. Wind can blow balls off course. Hard to juggle fast enough.More difficult to throw accurately. Muscles get tired too quickly.
SizeBalls can slip between fingers on catch.Inaccurate throws are more common. Balls collide in the air due to lack of room. Cannot hold many balls in hands.
Visual ImpactInappropriate for performance. Can’t see balls against the background.High risk of theft.

Grip: Cloth is nice material for grip purposes. Suede is particularly pleasant, although it does start to flake off after a couple of years of use. The plastic-type coatings commonly found on cheap balls are decidedly too sticky for high-skill work, whilst smooth solid balls can become very slippy when your hands start to sweat.

Give: Lentils, seed (preferably sterilised), rice, shot, and small plastic pellets are all good fillings for balls if you want a fair amount of give. How compactly they are filled is also crucial. I personally prefer balls which can be squashed quite a bit, but equally, some like very little give, such as with hard silicone.

Weight: If you want to build up your muscles, or improve your endurance, then 400+ gram balls are in order. For normal practising purposes though, most jugglers prefer balls weighing somewhere between 50 and 200 grams, depending on the number of balls in their pattern, and the stamina of their arms. Generally, balls weighing 120 grams or more are desirable when juggling 4 (or less). With 5, 80 to 150 grams seems to give the optimum balance between endurance and accuracy. With 7, lighter balls are definitely advantageous; 60 to 100 grams is recommended. With 9 or more, 50 to 80 gram balls will probably afford the best chance of achieving decent runs. If you get to this stage though, taking your watch off could make a difference.

Size: Again dependent on how big a pattern you want to juggle. Most jugglers prefer balls between 2½ and 3 inches (6 to 8 cm) in diameter, and use these same balls for all their patterns. In fact, when juggling 6 or more, smaller balls can help considerably, as they greatly reduce the likelihood of collisions. I personally find 4 to 5½ cm (about 1½ - 2 inch) balls preferable for high numbers.

Visual Impact: White, bright, or multicoloured balls are recommended, both for performance and general juggling. Many-a-time I’ve thrown some dark coloured balls up, only to lose them against the ceiling. For ultimate visual impact, Aerotech’s glowballs are a must (Tel: 0151 637 2200 for info or to order).

MOTIVATION

This goes back to what I said in the introduction about juggling being fun. Well, to some people it is, and (bizarrely) to some people, it isn’t – we all like different things. In general though, the more you enjoy something, the more motivated you are to do it. You will then practice more, and therefore get better at it. Juggling is no exception – if you love it, you’ll probably become an expert.

Now there’s nothing better for boosting your motivation, than seeing someone else perform a gorgeous trick or pattern. As I said earlier, it was the ‘Tomorrow’s World’ TV program back in 1993 which made me decide to get seriously into juggling. In case you haven’t seen it, a chap called Mike Day was juggling the synchronous pattern (6x,4)*, with white balls against a black background. At the time, I could only just manage a shaky 4 ball fountain, and I couldn’t work out what was going on in this weird 5 ball pattern. I remember that it seemed to look like some kind of multiplex pattern; but most of all, I remember sitting there with my mouth open, thinking, ‘This is the greatest thing I have ever seen anyone do’. I knew I had to learn to juggle that pattern, or die trying.

Even after you learn to juggle proficiently, motivation levels can still go up and down. Discovering siteswap notation for example, can be very satisfying for jugglers who enjoy mathematics, allowing them to understand and learn ever more complex patterns, or attempt ever higher throw values.

The more competitive-minded jugglers can be spurred into practice by watching someone pull off a feat of skill which they themselves might just be able to do.

Numbers jugglers get excited when they manage to flash one more ball, or pull off their longest run.

Other turn-ons include buying a new set of balls, finding the joys of passing patterns, joining a local juggling club, or going to a juggling convention.

There are also reasons why motivation levels can drop. For example, if you’ve been working on a pattern for months without any apparent progress, it can be very disheartening. There is good evidence however, that even though you seem to have reached a plateau, your subconscious is actually getting closer to ‘solving’ your pattern.

NUMBERS JUGGLING

Some jugglers relish the challenge of keeping ever higher numbers of balls in the air. Not surprisingly though, the more balls you are juggling, the harder it is to do ‘tricks’ and pattern variations. With 2 hands, 3 balls is the minimum number you can ‘properly’ air-juggle with (I expect some will disagree), and therefore allows the maximum amount of creative freedom; there are vastly more variations performed with 3 balls, than with all higher numbers put together.

Initially with 4 balls, you struggle just to keep the basic fountain going – it may take months of practice to get it comfortable. With time though (and luck), it is possible to do fairly complex tricks, such as behind the back throws, Mills Mess, Rubenstein’s Revenge, and so on. However, the slow graceful elegance, which was possible with 3 balls, is no longer attainable. Also, being about twice as many balls in the air, much more effort is required just to keep the balls dancing, so there is little in reserve for smoothing out inaccuracies which (now more commonly) occur.

5 is considered by most jugglers to be very much more difficult than 4. It often takes years to get confident with the 5 ball cascade. The amount of freedom afforded whilst juggling 5, is greatly reduced (ie you can’t just throw balls whenever you feel like it), and throws need to be quite a lot higher, faster, and more accurate than with 4. Again, the number of realistic, ‘non-siteswap’ patterns is slashed. A few jugglers learn the ‘5 ball Mills Mess’, but not without a lot of dedication. In fact, getting the basic 5 ball cascade ‘solid’ is quite an achievement – there may well be less than a thousand 5 ball jugglers in Britain. If you do get to the stage of being able to hold a 5 ball cascade together, you will probably have a fair idea of how many more balls you have the potential to juggle, based on how much effort it took to do 5. If you got there with less than 3 years of 5 hours-per-week practice, you may fancy your chances against the higher numbers....

The first 6 ball pattern I attempted, was a half-shower, involving 5 sellotaped-up plastic-coated monstrosities and a battered lime. The idea came from trying to do 5 balls, with my right hand throwing higher than my left (over the top of the pattern), and my hands throwing alternately (this was before I knew about SS notation). It soon dawned on me that there was a bit of a gap in the pattern. Immediately, I ran downstairs to hunt for an approximate sphere, and returned with the fruit item. I launched the objects as before, and to my delight, the pattern worked; I found myself juggling 6 balls for the first time (in the SS 75 half-shower). Many jugglers agree that this pattern is the easiest way to handle 6, as the fountain requires much more accurate throws, to prevent the 3 balls (in each hand) from hitting each other. Indeed, not many jugglers spend a lot of time on the 6 ball fountain before trying 7.

The 7 ball cascade can take forever to learn, and very few jugglers get the pattern solid. The sheer number of balls in the pattern makes it a bewildering sight when you first attempt it, even though you know (in theory) exactly what to do. It can be weeks before you even ‘flash’ the pattern (throw and catch all 7 balls starting with 4 balls in one hand is half of the problem. Having said all this, if you really want to learn 7, then you will probably get there eventually.

7 ball patterns are almost exclusively ‘SS patterns’ – that is, they play with the height (whilst keeping the rhythm constant), and sometimes use synchronous or multiplex throws, but rarely do the other pattern-features (such as throw site/position/type) vary from the basic. If and when you manage to get somewhere with 7, you might even think of attempting more. There are a handful of jugglers who can maintain a 9 ball cascade for a few seconds, but as yet, no-one has ‘qualified’ 11 (made 22 consecutive catches). If you are that way inclined, why not see how close you can get?

Finally, for those who like to have some idea of how remarkable their numbers juggling skill is, below are some probable ‘ball-park’ figures of the number of people in the world who have flashed different numbers of balls. These figures are based partly on my own beliefs, and partly on the figures put forward by someone on the rec.juggling newsgroup, who I believe wants to remain anonymous (although I think he was fairly accurate):

Balls:3456789101112
People:200M5M500K50K10K1K20040102

(M = 1,000,000 ; K = 1,000).

These figures are very likely accurate to within a factor of 10, and the accuracy probably increases as the number of balls increases.

PRACTISING

Practising requires a combination of enthusiasm and patience. If you have both in abundance, you will have no problems putting in the hours needed to reach the higher levels of skill. If you are not so fortunate, then you may have to practice sometimes when you don’t really feel like it. Anyway, in this section I will try to give some tips for making the most of your practice time:

Firstly, I’ve found that juggling with different types of balls (even at the same time) can be very useful in a few ways: 1) It enables you to get a good idea of which type you most prefer. 2) It allows you to improve different skills – for example, juggling larger balls will improve your endurance, and your skill in dealing with collisions, whilst small balls will allow you to carry on for longer (with bigger patterns) and improve both your confidence and accuracy. 3) It gives you a slightly better understanding of the available juggling-space in front of you, and how to use it most effectively.

Secondly, it is important to remember that your subconscious mind tries to ‘solve’ your juggling problems long after you stop practising. This means that spending 10 minutes on a trick or pattern, resting, then trying again later that day or week (say for another 10 minutes), can be as beneficial as an hour’s practice all in one go. The conclusion is, that it doesn’t matter too much if you have several days of rest in-between practice sessions. A post I saw on the ‘rec.juggling’ newsgroup (due to Iain Duncan, June 5th 2000) addresses this issue, and is worth including here (though it is rather technical):

"Why does our skill seem to improve in-between practice sessions?"

"Neurologists call this the reminiscence effect, and it has been studied quite a bit in sport science in many other sports. It is definitely real, though of course no one knows exactly how it works. The prevailing theory is that new training of a motor activity sends neurons down new synapse pathways in your brain. As you do the motion more and more, these pathways become more deeply ingrained, and are called engrams. It is when they are much easier for your brain to fire than other related pathways that a trick becomes automatic. Hence the difficulty of breaking bad habits in any training. One is trying to ingrain a different but similar synapse pathway while it is a already easier for your neurons to fire down the old engram. Also, you can never erase learnt engrams (nothing to do with the scientologists misuse of the same word you can only make the newer ones stronger. As to the reminiscence effect, the prevailing theory is that after a certain density of training is reached, the development of engrams cannot keep up with the training. However, when training is stopped, the brain continues to mull over these new engrams. A week, two days, whatever later, when training is resumed, the engrams are stronger as they were still being developed during rest. This is thought to be the same process that goes on during sports visualization, and there have been a number of double blind studies showing that neural pathways actually get further ingrained in the same way during visualization as during actual practice. At any rate, at the elite level in almost every sport, coaches have their athletes use visualization a lot, and deliberately schedule total rest as part of the training cycle, often as much as 6 weeks of scheduled rest ( not injury time ) in the training year. Personally, I've noticed the effect most when I have been practising something more than I'm used to for a while, and then take a lay off for whatever reason."

Here’s one from Anthony Gatto: balance things on your chin whilst juggling. I can’t really emphasise this, as I am hopeless at balancing, but he says it allows him to see where the middle of the pattern is, thereby helping him to keep his pattern in the same place, and make more accurate throws.

A tip for the numbers juggler: if you are trying to flash 7 (say), for the first time, then start with 2 balls, and throw them as you would the first 2 throws in a 7 ball cascade (ie do 7700000), and catch them. Try it with your right hand throwing first, then the other way round. If you don’t drop, then get 3 balls and do the first 3 throws (ie 7770000), and so on, until you are attempting to flash the 7. By doing this, your brain can work on dealing with 1 extra ball at a time, and will be able to build up a model of where each ball goes, piece by piece. Similarly, if you are learning to juggle a SS, try increasing the length of your run by 1 throw on each successive attempt, until you can throw the whole sequence twice round.

If you want to improve your 4 ball fountain, it will almost certainly help to attempt 5. Even though you may catch none of the balls, have about 10 tries at flashing a 5 ball cascade. After this, have a rest for a minute, then try your 4 ball fountain again, and you should find that it feels more relaxed than before. In simple terms, this is because any experience with more difficult patterns ‘stretches’ your ‘learning muscle’. This technique works for any number of balls.

Sometimes, when you watch someone practising a trick, they make the same kind of mistake again and again (eg their 2nd throw from the left hand goes too far forward etc). If this happens, I strongly advise you to approach them, and ask whether they are aware of it, because there is a fair chance that they aren’t, and it could save them hours of practice. Obviously, you can’t rely on others to just come up to you and tell you (especially if they can’t do the trick themselves), so if you’re getting stuck on a particular pattern, it is a good idea to ask someone (preferably a juggler) to watch and point out any specific problems. Failing this, use a video camera, and analyse the pattern yourself. If you can consciously see what the problem is, your subconscious doesn’t have to spend hours working it out by trial and error.

A more general tip: think positive and talk to your body. A positive attitude and positive words are very important in juggling (and life in general) – if during your pattern you start to think, "There are at least 5 balls in the air – I can’t possibly deal with that many", then your 7 ball cascade will collapse. Ideally, you should (make yourself) think, ‘I can do this’. If you find it impossible to be so optimistic, then just try to not think about anything. Also, I am pretty certain that when you say something, what you say alters or reinforces what your brain thinks, and your body responds appropriately. This means that if you pull-off your longest ever run of the 4 ball Mills Mess, it might be a good idea to verbally congratulate your brain and hands for doing so well. This may encourage them to remember how they did it.

From time to time, people post tips on practising technique to the rec.juggling newsgroup. These can be read at www.juggling.org (then click on ‘News and old news’).

WORLD RECORDS

As you may have noticed, the Guinness Book of Records now seems to be more interested in tracking the longest cow pat throw, than the most number of balls, rings or clubs juggled. Here then, are the (unofficial) records (as far as I am aware) for the number of objects flashed and qualified, in solo and 2-person passing patterns (usually ultimates), with balls, rings and clubs:

Solo

ObjectsFlashedQualified
Balls1210
Rings1410
Clubs97

Passing:

Balls1715
Rings1614
Clubs1310

A ‘flash’ is when each object is thrown and caught at least once. ‘Qualifying’ is when each object is thrown and caught at least twice (at least, these are the definitions as I understand them).

There is every chance that one or more of the above records has been surpassed, as we seem to be in a time when juggling records are being improved upon every year or so. If you have good reason to believe that any of them are out of date, then drop me an email, and I’ll update them.

8) SITESWAP APPENDIX

This chapter contains some of the more interesting siteswaps. The lists are by no means exhaustive, but they do provide a wide range of different-feeling patterns. For concision, throw-values will be written next to each other (without spaces or commas), so the SS 5 3 1 for example, will be written 531; any 2-digit throw values will be separated off by a comma, eg 10,47531. I have also underlined the throws which occur whilst the pattern is in ‘ground state’ - these are the places where the pattern can be entered/exited from/to the standard cascade or fountain. For example, with 51414, the last ‘4’ is underlined because this is where the SS ‘3’ can be inserted (as many rounds of it as you like)- ie the sequence 51414 51414... 5141 333...3 4 51414 51414... is jugglable.

As a visual-aid, below are the relative heights to which the SS values 3 to 7 should be thrown, when juggled with 1.6 beat holdtimes - which is about what most jugglers use:

Remember that ‘2’s do not have to be thrown at all, ‘1’s are ‘zipped’ across to the other hand (in any pattern containing ‘3’s or higher), and ‘0’s should involve an empty hand.

2 BALLS

(J)

Siteswapping with 1 ball is rather trivial, so we’ll start with 2. Although the possibilities are still very limited, 2 ball siteswaps do provide a useful introduction for those who are new to the concept of juggling a string of numbers.

Period 2: 31 40 (31 = Shower; 40 = 2 in 1 hand)

Period 3: 312 330 411 501

Period 4: 3302 4013 4112 4130 5111 6011

Period 5: 40123

3 BALLS

3 balls is just enough for some reasonably complicated SSs, of which ‘1’s are ‘bread and butter’. ‘2’s can also be used to great artistic effect, as they allow a bit of time to wave a ball around randomly, or take a bite out of an apple. ‘0’s (unless immediately followed by a ‘1’) tend to feel rather wasteful, so try putting the free hand on your hip to keep it active.

Period 2: 51 60(51 = Shower, 60 = 3 in 1 hand)

Period 3: 423 441 531 504 612 711 801

Period 4: 4413 5124 5304 5340 5511 6015 6051 6231 6312 6330 6411 7041 7131 7401 8013 8040 8130 9111

Period 5: 51234 51414 52413 52440 52512 53034 53403 55014 61251 61305 61314 61350 63051 63141 63303 63501 64005 64014 64050 64140 64500 66300 70161 70251 70305 70314 70350 70701 72330 73131 73302 73401 74130 74400 75300 81312 81330 83031 84012 84030 90141 90303 90501 91401

Others: 525141 615600 713151 5505051 6050505 6131451 6161601 6316131 8123601 71701701 530534034 7330730370330 714014714700 741701740041

Multiplex: [4,3]0521 [5,4]0141 [4,3]041 [5,4]01521 [5,4]60021

Synchronous (Remember, ‘*’ means, ‘repeat on the other side.’):

(4x,2x) (4x,2x)(2,4) (4,2x)* (4x,2x)(4,2x)* (8,2x)(4,2x)(2x,0)*

Synch-([4x,4],0)(6,0)(2,2x) ([6x,6],0)(2x,0)(0,6x)(2,2x)

multiplex:([4x,4],0)(6x,0)(2x,2)* ([6x,6],0)(2x,0)(0,6)(2x,2)*

4 BALLS

Siteswapping with 4 balls affords a vastly increased amount of creative scope. From the immensely versatile 534, to the ridiculous but strangely addictive 9313, the possibilities are endless. If you are new to 4 ball SSs, I recommend starting with 5344, 6334, or 6424.

The most common mistake jugglers make with 4+ ball SSs, is to throw their ‘3’s too high - remember, ‘3’s should be as low as you can possibly make them (preferably less than 10cm high).

Period 2: 53 71 80 (53 = Half-shower, 71 = Shower, 80 = 4 in 1 hand)

Period 3: 534552615633642660714723

74183191210,1111,01

Period 4: 5524 5551 6055 6235 6415 6451 6631 7045 7063 7126 7135 7333 7405 7441 8134 8170 8233 8413 9124 9151 9241 9304 9313 9601

Period 5: 53444 55514 61355 62345 62525 62561 63353 63524 63551 63623 64055 64145 64163 64253 64505 64613 66125 66161 66305 66314 66350 70166 70256 70355 70364 70616 70625 70661 70706 72335 72461 73136 73406 73424 72416 72425 73451 73631 74135 74162 74234 74405 74450 74612 74630 75161 75251 75305 75314 75350 75620 75701 77231 77312 77330 80345 80516 80525 80561 80723 80741 81236 81317 81335 81416 81425 81461 81731 81812 83333 84017 84035 84440 84512 85016 85061 85241 86420 90146 90173 90506 90551 90641 91334 91424 91451 91631 91901 92333 94034 94133 95141 95501 96131 96401 10,1612

Others: 661515 663504 731571 737313 747141 751515 915171 11,17131 6155155 6262525 6461641 6605155 6615163 7123456 7142635 7161616 7362514 7415263 7427242 7471414 71334455 71615156 11,131517191 8441841481441

Multiplex:[43]1[43]23[43]14[53]22 [54]21[65]01[43]522[53]323

[53]521[54]124[54]241[43]5323[43]5521[43]6421[53]3423[54]1424

[54]5123[54]6122[64]1324[64]2323[64]4123[65]3123[74]2421[54]24522

[54]51423[54]51441[74]41323

Synchronous: (4,4) (4x,4x) (6x,2x) (6x,2x)(6,2) (6x,2x)(2,6) (6,4)(2,4) (6,4)(4x,2x) (6,4x)(4x,2) (6,4x)(2x,4) (6x,4)(4,2x) (6x,4)(2,4x) (6x,4x)(4,2)

(6x,4x)(2x,4x) (8x,2x)(2,4) (8,2x)(2x,4) (8x,2x)(4x,2x) (8x,2x)(2x,4x)(2x,6x) (6x,2x)* (6,2x)(6,2x)* (6,4)(4x,2x)* (6,4)(2,4)* (6,4x)(4x,2)* (6,4x)(2x,4)* (6x,2)(6,2x)* (6x,2)(2x,6)* (6x,4)(4,2x)* (6x,4)(2,4x)* (6x,4x)(4,2)* (6x,4x)(2x,4x)* (8,2x)(4,2x)* (8,2x)(2,4x)* (8x,2x)(2x,4x)* (8,2x)(2x,4)(6x,2x)*

Synch- ([4x,4],2)(4,2x) ([4x,4],2)(2,4x) ([4x,4],2x)(4x,2x) ([4x,4],2x)(2,4)

multiplex:([6x,6],0)(2,2x) ([4x,4],2)(6,4)(2,2x) ([4x,4],2)(4x,6x)(2,2x) ([4x,4],2)(4x,2)* ([4x,4],2)(2x,4)* ([4x,4],2x)(4,2)* ([4x,4],2x)(2x,4x)* ([6x,6],0)(2x,2)* ([4x,4],2)(4,6)(2x,2)* ([4x,4],2)(6x,4x)(2x,2)*

5 BALLS

5 balls is perhaps the most satisfying number for siteswapping with. When juggled well, a complex 5 ball SS is a glorious fusion of art and mathematics. Throwing a 744 from a running 5 ball cascade is one of the best ways to get started. For the more advanced jugglers, try throwing balls high out of the pattern, then doing a 3 or 4 ball trick underneath, before going back into a 5 ball cascade as the high-throws land.

Period 2: 64 73 91

Period 3: 645 663 726 744 753 771 825 834 861 915 933 942 12,12

Period 4: 7166 7346 7445 7463 7526 7535 7562 7571 7733 8156 8174 8246 8273 8417 8516 8633 8642 8813 9128 9155 9164 9245 9281 9344 9353 9515 9524 9551 9641 9713 11,171 11,441

Period 5: 66661 72466 73456 73636 74635 74734 75364 75616 75625 75661 75751 77416 77425 77461 77731 81277 81466 81475 81727 81772 81817 83446 83833 84517 84733 84742 85516 85561 85741 86416 86425 86461 86731 88441 90808 91456 91474 91627 91672 91681 92491 92527 92581 92923 94444 94552 94642 95191 95551 95641 96181 96451 96901 97531 99133 10,1617

Others:746625 757173 773355 824466 847182 935373 11,1,11,151 13,19151 7266716 11,63363374467561 77461564 82445566 83571637 85145566 85716814 912345678 10,4448334 13,1517191,11,1 11,4,10,33333 11,444,11,333444 9552952592552

Multiplex:[3,2T] [5,4]1 [4,2]27 [4,3]26 [5,3]25 [5,4][2,2]2 [5,4]24 [6,2]25 [6,4]23 [6,5]22 [7,2]24 [7,5]21 [4,3]526 [5,4]623 [6,3]425 [6,5]324 [6,5]621 [7,4]126 [7,6]421 [6,5]6125 [7,4]4424 [7,6]4125 [7,6]3671424 [9,6]334424 [5,4,3]24[2,2]3 [6,5,4]224[2,2]3 [7,6,4]4124[2,2]3 [7,6,5]8171671424[2,2]3 [9,8,7]313124[2,2]3

Synchronous: (6,4) (6x,4x) (8x,2x) (6x,2x)(6,6) (6x,4)(6,4x) (6x,4x)(4,6) (8,2x)(4x,6) (8,2x)(6x,4) (8,6)(2x,4x) (8,6x)(2x,4) (8x,2)(8,2x) (8x,2)(8,2x) (8x,2x)(2,8) (8x,2x)(6,4) (8x,2x)(4x,6x) (8x,4x)(4,4) (8x,6)(4,2x) (8x,6x)(4x,2x) (10x,2x)(6x,2x) (10x,2x)(6x,2x) (8x,2x)(10x,2x) (10x,2x)(4x,2x) (12x,2x)(8x,2x)(4x,2x)

(6,4x)* (6x,4)* (8,2x)* (6,4x)(6,4)* (6,6)(6,2x)* (6x,4)(4,6)* (6x,4)(6x,4x)* (6x,4x)(6,4x)* (8,2x)(4,6)* (8,2x)(6x,4x)* (8,2)(8,2x)* (8,4x)(4,4)* (8,6)(4,2x)* (8,6x)(4x,2x)* (8x,2)(8,2)* (8x,2x)(2x,8)* (8x,2x)(4,6x)* (8x,2x)(8x,2)* (8x,2x)(6,4x)* (8x,4)(4,4)* (8x,6)(2x,4x)* (8x,6x)(2x,4)*

Synch - multiplex: ([4x,4],6)(2,4x) ([4x,4],6x)(2,4) ([6,4],6)(2,2) ([6,4x],4x)(2,4) ([6,4x],6)(2,2x) ([6x,4],4)(2,4x) ([6x,4],6x)(2,2) ([6x,4x],2x)(2,6x) ([6x,6],4)(2,2x) ([6x,6],4x)(2,2) ([8x,6x],2x)(2,2x) ([6x,6],2x)(6x,2x)(2,6) ([6x,6],4)(6,2x)(2,4) ([8x,6]),4x)(2x,4)(2,4x) ([8x,8],4)(4,2x)(2x,6)(2,4x) ([8x,6x,4x],2x)(2,2x)([2,2],2x) ([4x,4],6)(4,2)* ([4x,4],6x)(4x,2)* ([6,4],4)(4x,2)* ([6,4x]),6)(2,2)* ([6x,4]),4)(4,2)* ([6x,4]),6)(2x,2)* ([6x,6],2)(2,[2,2])* ([6x,6]),4)(2,2)* ([6x,6],4x)(2x,2)* ([8,6]),2x)(2,2)* ([6x,6]),4)(6,2x)(4x,2)* ([6x,6]),4)(6x,2x)(4,2)* ([8,6]),4x)(2x,2)(4x,2)*

6 BALLS

With 6 balls or more, the effort required (just to keep the balls in the air) can quickly lead to muscle tiredness; which in turn leads to loss in throw-accuracy, making the necessarily high SS throws (‘7’s, ‘8’s, ‘9’s etc) very difficult to catch. The easiest ‘real’ 6 ball SS is probably 756, although throwing a 9555 out of a half-shower (75) is also quite feasible. With this many balls, patterns containing ‘3’s are hideously difficult, due to having to make them much lower than most of the other throws, as well as extremely fast and accurate. Also, some jugglers find multiplex patterns easier than ‘uniplex’ ones, as they can involve lower maximum heights.

Period 2: 75 84 93

Period 3: 756 774 837 855 864 882 918 936 945 963 972 990 10,44 11,61

Period 4: 7746 7773 8277 8457 8556 8574 8637 8646 8673 8682 8817 8844 8853 8880 9168 9267 9285 9348 9357 9384 9528 9555 9564 9591 9627 9645 9663 9681 9708 9717 9744 9753 9780 9915 9924 9951 9960 10,455 11,445 11,571

Period 5: 75666 75756 77475 77772 81777 84567 84747 85575 85746 85845 86277 86475 86727 86781 86817 86862 88446 88527 91677 92577 92928 94188 94584 94692 94944 95646 96456 96474 96627 96672 96681 96852 97581 99192 99444 99552 10,5555 10,8642 11,4555

Others: 884466 975375 959445 11,55555 11,97531 96256677 96617586 96827925

Multiplex: [5,4]27 [6,4]26 [6,5]25 [7,2]27 [7,5]24 [7,6]23 [4,3]827 [5,4]627 [6,4]626 [6,5]625 [6,5]724 [7,4]427 [7,4]526 [7,5]525 [7,6]425 [7,6]722 [8,7]423[8,7]522[5,4]6627[6,5]6625[7,5]5625[7,6]4625[8,7]4425[7,4]56626 [7,6]46724 [5,4,3]625[2,2]7 [5,4,3]724[2,2]7 [6,5,4]625[2,2]4 [7,6,4]425[2,2]4 [7,6,5]225[2,2]5 [7,6,5]325[2,2]4

Synchronous: (6,6) (6x,6x) (8,4) (8x,4x) (10x,2x)(8,6)(6x,4x) (8,6x)(2x,8) (8,6x)(4x,6) (8,6x)(6x,4) (8,8)(4,4) (8x,2x)(6,8) (8x,4x)(4,8) (8x,4x)(8,4) (8x,6)(4,6x) (8x,6)(6,4x) (8x,6)(8,2x) (8x,6x)(4x,6x) (8x,6x)(6,4) (8x,6x)(8x,2x) (8x,8x)(4x,4x) (10x,2x)(6,6) (12x,2x)(8x,2x) (12x,2x)(8x,2x)(10x,2x) (8,4)* (8x,4x)* (10x,2x)* (8,4x)(8,4x)* (8,6)(6x,4x)* (8,6x)(4x,6)* (8,6x)(6x,4)* (8,6x)(8,2x)* (8x,2x)(6,8)* (8x,4)(4x,8)* (8x,4)(8,4x)* (8x,4)(8x,4)* (8x,6)(2x,8)* (8x,6)(4,6x)* (8x,6)(6,4x)* (8x,6x)(2x,8x)* (8x,6x)(4x,6x)* (8x,6x)(6,4)*

Synch-multiplex: ([6,4],6)(2,6) ([6x,4],4)(2,8x) ([6x,6],4)(2,6x) ([6x,6],4x)(2,6) ([8,4x],6)(2,4x) ([8,6],4)(2,4) ([8,6x],4)(2,4x) ([8x,6],4x)(2,4) ([8x,8],2)(2,4x) ([8x,8],2x)(2,4) ([6,4],[6,4])(2,2) ([6x,6,4],4)(2,6x)([2,2],4) ([6,4],6)(6,2)* ([6x,4],4)(8x,2)* ([6x,6],4)(6x,2)* ([6x,6],4x)(6,2)* ([8x,4x],6)(4,2)* ([8,6],4x)(4x,2)* ([8,6x],4x)(4,2)* ([8x,8],2)(4x,2)* ([8x,8],2x)(4,2)* ([6x,6,4],4)(6x,2)(4,[2,2])*

7 BALLS

Another problem which becomes particularly prevalent in SSs with this many balls, is having to get the different heights accurate enough so that the throw-rhythm remains sufficiently constant; make a throw slightly too high or too low (in relation to the other values), and you will find yourself with 2 balls landing too close together (in time) in the same hand, making them impossible to deal with. There are no easy 7 ball SSs, but the multiplex pattern [4,3] - juggled as ([6x,6],2)*, is amongst the easiest. If you have any success with this, then the 7 ball version of ‘Gatto’s Multiplex’: [7,6]26 is also worth a try. Whilst on the subject, the SS for Gatto’s ‘high throw’ (out of a 7 ball cascade, as seen on his ‘To be the best’ video), is 11,6666. Having the power in reserve to throw the 11, necessitates either big muscles or light balls, the latter being the easier option.

Period 2: 86 95 10,4 11,3 13,1

Period 3: 867 885 948 966 10,29 10,47 10,56

Period 4: 8677 8857 8884 9388 9568 9667 9685 9748 9757 9784 9793 9928 9955 9964 9991 10,666 10,864 11,449 11,566 11,575

Others:11,6666 10,45689 10,69584 11,57595 12,77772 13,666666

Duplex:[6,5]28 [7,5]27 [7,6]26 [8,6]25 [8,7]24 [9,2]28 [9,8]22 [6,5]728 [7,6]726 [8,7]526 [8,6]626 [9,6]625 [9,8]524 [6,5][7,6]22 [7,6][7,4]22 [8,6][6,4]22 [8,7][5,4]22 [8,6][8,6]322 [9,8]59425

Triplex:[6,5,4][2,2]2 [7,6,4]726[2,2]6 [7,6,5]726[2,2]5 [7,6,5]727[2,2]4 [8,7,6]426[2,2]5 [9,8,7]4426 [2,2]5[5,4] [7,6,5]22[2,2]

Quadruplex:[7,6,5,4]26[2,2]5[2,2,2]4 [7,6,5,4]27[2,2]4[2,2,2]4 [9,8,7,6]3327[2,2]4[2,2,2]4

Synchronous: (8,6) (8x,6x) (10,4) (10x,4x) (12x,2x) (8,8)(8,4) (8x,4x)(8,8) (8x,6)(8,6x) (8x,6x)(6,8) (10,4)(6,8) (10,4x)(6x,8) (10,4x)(8x,6) (10,6)(6,6) (10,8)(6,4) (10,6)(10x,2x) (10x,4x)(6x,8x) (10x,6x)(6,6) (8,6x)* (8x,6)* (10,4x)* (10x,4)* (8,6x)(8,6)* (8,8)(8,4x)* (8x,4)(8,8)* (8,6)(8x,6)* (8x,6)(8x,6x)* (8x,6x)(8,6x)* (10,4)(8x,6)* (10x,6)(6,6)* (10x,8x)(4x,6)* (10x,8x)(6x,4)*

Synch-multiplex:([6x,6],8x)(2,6) ([8,6],6)(2,6) ([8x,6],6)(2,6x) ([8x,8],6)(2,4x) ([8x,8],6x)(2,4)

([10x,8],4)(2,4x) ([8x,8],6)(8x,2x)(2,8x) ([8x,8],6)(4,8x)(2,6) ([8x,8],6x)(8x,2x)(2,8)

([8x,8,6],4)(2,4)([2,2],6x) ([8x,8,6],4x)(2,4)([2,2],6) ([8x,8,6],[4x,4])(2,4)([2,2],2)

([8x,8,6],[6,4])(2,2x)([2,2],2) ([8x,8,6],[6,4x])(2,2)([2,2],2) ([6x,6],2)* ([6x,6],8x)(6x,2)* ([8,6],6)(6x,2)* ([8x,6],6)(6,2)* ([8x,8],6)(4,2)* ([8x,8],6x)(4x,2)* ([10x,8],4x)(4x,2)* ([8x,8],6)(8,2x)(8x,2)* ([8x,8],6)(4,8x)(6x,2)* ([8x,8],6x)(8,2x)(8,2)* ([8x,8,6],4x)(4x,2)(6,[2,2])* ([8x,8,6],[4x,4])(4x,2)(2,[2,2])* ([8x,8,6],[6,4])(2,2)(2,[2,2])* ([8x,8,6],[6,4x])(2x,2)(2,[2,2])*

BOUNCE PATTERNS

(M)

If you can find a hard flat surface (such as in an airport), bouncing balls can be lots of fun to juggle with. Many SSs work well as bounce patterns, and are quite a bit easier than when juggled in the air, as SS values do not have to be thrown as high. But how high should throws be? Well, there are general rules-of-thumb which can help you to estimate: if you let the ball bounce once, then a SS value V can be thrown to the same height as if it were a V/2 in an air-pattern. So for example, 6b 33 feels like: 3sb 3 3 (‘b’ or ‘b1’ means ‘bounces once’). If you are going to let the ball bounce twice, then throw it to about the same height as a standard V/3 (eg in 12b2,12b2, 3333333, the ‘12’s can be thrown to ‘4’ height).

So how do you choose which throws to bounce? Well it seems reasonable to bounce the higher values rather than the lower ones. Bouncing a ‘3’ in a pattern where a higher value is not bounced, will mean having to throw the higher value stupidly high. More generally, for any value you choose to bounce, all higher values should also be bounced, unless you want to make life very difficult. In what follows, patterns which flout this rule will be ignored.

Bounced SSs can be split into 2 sets: those which feel vaguely similar to their air-equivalent, and those which do not. For example, 6b 33 is in the first category, as the highest valued throw (the ‘6’) is still thrown at least as high as the ‘3’s, even though it is allowed to bounce. Compare this with 6b 15: this feels like (has SS(As) values) 3sb 1 5, so the ‘6’ is no longer thrown as high as the ‘5’. The pattern is difficult because you almost have to look up (to follow the ‘5’) and down (to follow the ‘6b’) at the same time, but it also feels very strange throwing a ‘6’ lower than a ‘5’! In the table below, bounce patterns with this height-order changing property are classed as ‘strange’.

The easiest way to bounce juggle 615, is to bounce the ‘5’s as well - ie juggle 6b 1 5b, which will feel like 3sb,1,2½xb. Because the highest throw is now only like a ‘3s’, it can be juggled very slowly.

Below is a table of suggestions for bounce-siteswapping:

BallsPatternSS(As)Strange
33b1½xbNo
34b 4b 12b 2b 1 No
35b 3 12½xb 3 1Yes
38b 0 14b 0 1 No
45b 5b 22½xb 2½xb 2 No
45b 3 42½xb 3 4Yes
45b 3 4b2½xb 3 2bYes
46b 3 33sb 3 3 No
46b 4 23sb 4 2Yes
46b 4b 23sb 2b2 No
46b 1 53sb 1 5Yes
46b 1 5b3sb 1 2½xb No
47b 1 43½xb 1 4 Yes
47b 1 4b3½xb 1 2b No
56b 4 5b3sb 4 2½xb Yes
56b 6b 33sb 3sb 3 No
57b 4 43½xb 4 4 Yes
57b 7b 13½xb 3½xb 1 No
58b 4 4 44b 4 4 4 No
58b 8b 3 3 34b 4b 3 3 3 No
510b 10b 3 3 3 3 35sb 5sb 3 3 3 3 3 No
510b2 10b2 3 3 3 3 3 3 2 sb2 3 2 sb2 3 3 3 3 3 No
610b 5 5 5 55sb 5 5 5 5 No

See Charlie Dancey’s EBJ for more bounce-ideas (eg Dyer’s Straights, Orbit Bounce, Robot Bounce).

PASSING PATTERNS

(J)

Here are some more ideas for passing patterns. Most of these can be found in Charlie D’s EBJ on the pages indicated (where they are described in words rather than numbers).

2 Person Patterns (Jugglers face each other, passes are tramlines unless otherwise indicated)

6 Balls:

4 count: Basic pattern: J1: { 3p 3 3 3 }

(p79)J2: { 3p 3 3 3 }

Tricks:(For the sake of concision, J1 will be the one throwing the trick, although it could equally be J2 in practice.)

(end of p79)J1: { 4xp 3 3 3 }

J2: {3p 2 3 3 }

(bottom-left p80)J1: { 3p 3 5p 2 2 3 3 3 } (J2 as normal)

(top-middle p80)J1: { 3p 3 4 2 } (J2 as normal)

(centre p80)J1: { 3p 3 3 4xp 2 3 3 3 } (J2 as normal)

(bottom-middle p80)J1: { 3p4 2 3 } (J2 as normal)

(top-right p80)J1: { 3p 33 5p2 3 3 3 }

J2: { 3p 3 3 3 3p 2 3 3 }

3 Count: Basic pattern: J1: { 3p 3 3 }

(p170)J2: { 3p 3 3 }

Tricks: (right p170, 1st trick): J1: { 3p 3 4xp 2 3 3 } (J2 as normal)

(right p170, 2nd trick): J1: { 3p 4 2 } (J2 as normal)

(right p170, 3rd trick): J1: { 3p 5p 2 2 3 3 } (J2 as normal)

(p171, 1st trick): J1: { 4xp 3 3 }

J2: { 3p 2 3 }

(p171, 2nd trick): J1: { 3p 3 5p 2 3 3 }

J2: { 3p 3 3 3p 2 3 }

(p171, 3rd trick): J1: { 3p 4 5 1 3p 3 }

J2: { 3p 3 3 3p 2 3 }

2 Count: Basic pattern: J1: { 3p 3 }

(p178)J2: { 3p 3 }

Tricks: (p178, 1st trick): J1: { 4xp 3 }

J2: { 3p 2 }

(p178, 2nd trick): J1: { 3p 4p 2 3 } (J2 as normal)

(p178, 3rd trick): J1: { 3p 4p 5p 1 2 3 } (J2 as normal)

Other Counts:/p>

Three-Three-Ten (p173):J1 & J2: { 3 3 3 3 3 3p } x 3, { 3 3 3 3p } x 3, { 3 3p } x 10

Four-Four-Eight (p81):J1 & J2: { 3 3 3 3 3p } x 4, { 3 3 3p } x 4, { 3p } x 8.

Right-left-self-left-right-self (p126):J1 & J2: { 3p 3p 3 }

7 Balls (See also pages 50-51 of this book)

4 count: Basic pattern: J1: { 5p 3 3 3 }

(middle of p132)J2: { 3 3 5p 3 }

2 Count: Basic pattern:J1(R,L): { 4p 3 }

(p131)J2(L,R): { 3 4p }

Tricks:

(bottom-left p132): J1: { 5xp 3 4p 3 }


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