Looney Labs Something Mailing list Archive

Re: [Something] Re: Please help me find a glass ball for Christmas!

  • From"JK Grence" <jkgrence@xxxxxxxxx>
  • DateMon, 4 Dec 2006 14:54:13 -0700
There's an interesting bit of counterintuitiveness going on with selecting ball size.  Bigger balls are for the most part easier to use (since they move slower), and look more spectacular to everyone but other contact jugglers.  They do have a couple of downsides.  One is that the big 4 inch balls are considerably heavier than 3 inch balls, and therefore a lot harder to play with them for a long time.  Another is that if you want to do multi-ball palm spinning (one of the things everyone thinks of when contact juggling is mentioned) is almost impossible with 4 inchers unless you have lumberjack hands.  My vote is with the 3 inch acrylic ones.

As I keep reading, through the discussion, there's a few things that pop to mind.  First is with passing the ball from the front to the back of your hand.  There are three basic ways to do this; the windshield wiper that a couple of people have mentioned, and also over the index finger, and finally over the pinky.  Switching between these and just rolling the ball from one hand to the other results in a highly kinetic display that dazzles very easily.

One of my favorite ways to practice hand and arm stalls is to walk around wherever you go carrying the ball in the stall position, such ans on the back of your hand.  You'll get quite a few people who will be very interested in how you keep the ball stuck to the back of your hand or on your elbow like that.

While the acrylic balls are very hard to break, they can scratch or chip if you aren't careful with them.  Avoid hard surfaces when you're just starting out, and avoid rough surfaces (such as areas paved with pebbles) at all costs.  You will get scratches pretty easily.  The easy way to remove minor scratches is with iPod polish.

On 12/4/06, Brian Campbell <lambda@xxxxxxx> wrote:
I'm following up on the Something list. If you're not subscribed
already, you probably should, since it's where threads like this that
get a bit off topic end up going.

On Dec 4, 2006, at 3:28 PM, miyu wrote:

> I would like to see if anyone could let me know some good sources
> for trying to learn contact juggling.  I have the book which is
> awesome but I find it difficult to learn from books.  I have gotten
> a basic windshield wiper motion down but I'm not having any success
> passing from hand to hand which keeps me from getting any sort of
> butterfly going. Some other sources for information would be nice.
> It would be even nicer if there was anyone near me who was a CJer.

I personally learned from the book, plus whatever videos I could find
online. The websites I found most useful were contactjuggling.com and
contactjuggling.org. I've heard good things about Greg Maldonado's
Contact Juggling videos, so if you want something more concrete than
the book, you might want to try those.

The real key, I've found, to doing a lot of the tricks is to learn
stalls on different parts of your body. For instance, the basic
windshield wiper is just moving from a front of the hand stall to a
back of the hand stall. In order to learn stalls, practice jut
putting the ball on that part of your body and holding it there,
while moving your body around and trying not to drop the ball. Once
you can hold it there, without it rolling away, try maybe tossing the
ball up and down in the air a bit.

Then, once you can do that, try rolling the ball from one stall
position to another. This is hard, and can take a lot of practice.
The best way to look at it is as moving your hand & arm under the
ball, rather than rolling the ball over your hand or arm. You can
also get some practice with the rolls by just rolling it past the
stall point onto your other hand, for instance rolling it from the
back of your right hand, down the back of your arm, and off your
elbow, where your left hand is waiting to catch it.
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