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Topic: Memory technique?
Message: Posted by: MagicKim (Dec 2, 2007 11:15AM)
Which memory technique would you recommend the most? If I basically want to be able to know what card is in the 45th position and what position the 3 of hearts has, just as 2 examples. Thank you.

Kim

ps. trying a pegsystem, I don't like it.
Message: Posted by: Scott Cram (Dec 2, 2007 01:23PM)
First, be aware of what constitutes true [url=http://www.loomismagic.com/memdeck/mm14.html]memorized deck mastery[/url]. I mention this first, so as to start with a goal in mind.

Where else can we go, if the peg system didn't appeal to you?

There is an alternative system, similar to the peg approach, but different enough you might want to consider it. Dominic O'Brien uses a system in which he takes a journey through a familiar place, such as his house, or his work, and he sees various celebrities performing various unusual actions at various stages of the journey. The celebrities as well as their particular actions, each represent particular cards. The particular stages of the journey represent the location of those cards. [url=http://www.happychild.org.uk/acc/tpr/mem/0599card.htm]Here's the full detail of Dominic's playing card approach[/url], if you're interested.

Dominic O'Brien, who has won the world memory championship 8 times, used this approach to memorize as many as 50 decks without mistakes! Understand that I'm not talking about the order of 50 separate shuffled decks, but rather 50 decks shuffled together, where you might have to deal with things like 5 or more of the same playing card in a row!

Rote memorization might be the way to go. It may take longer (or it may be quicker for you), but you do have the advantage that the only thing that comes to mind when you see a card is it's position! You could use flashcards to help you here. The old fashioned way is good, and there are also numerous online and offline flash cards programs you could use. I talk about them in posts on my blog [url=http://headinside.blogspot.com/2007/01/quizlet.html]here[/url], [url=http://headinside.blogspot.com/2007/02/10-online-memory-toolsfor-free.html]here[/url], [url=http://headinside.blogspot.com/2007/02/review-ebbinghaus-15-mac-os-x.html]here[/url], [url=http://headinside.blogspot.com/2007/03/create-free-flashcards-and-quizzes.html]here[/url] and [url=http://headinside.blogspot.com/2007/03/free-flashcards-galore.html]here[/url]. If you're using Windows, [url=http://www.stackview.com/]StackView[/url] has a great quiz section that would be helpful here.

Finally, for a great and detailed comparison of the various approaches to remembering a stack, check out [url=http://www.deceptionary.com/aboutstacks.html]Doug Dyment's [i]An Introduction to Full-Deck Stacks[/i][/url]. Another good resource for your question is section 3, [i]How Do I Memorize the Stack?[/i] of [url=http://www.simonaronson.com/memorizedhome.htm]Simon Aronson's [i]Memories Are Made of This[/i][/url].
Message: Posted by: S2000magician (Dec 2, 2007 01:55PM)
[quote]On 2007-12-02 12:15, MagicKim wrote:
Which memory technique would you recommend the most? If I basically want to be able to know what card is in the 45th position and what position the 3 of hearts has, just as 2 examples. Thank you.[/quote]
Four of clubs and 7, respectively.

;)
Message: Posted by: Vlad_77 (Dec 2, 2007 06:54PM)
Just a note: Dominic O'Brien's approach is reminiscent - pardon the pun - of the method used by Aristotle. I used this method for the Aronson Stack and got it down in two days.

Best,
Vlad
Message: Posted by: MagicKim (Dec 2, 2007 07:23PM)
Thnx for the replies. now, which stack would you recommend and why?

Take care,

Kim
Message: Posted by: Scott Cram (Dec 2, 2007 09:16PM)
As a matter of fact, that discussion is going on just a few threads over:

http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=235758&forum=205&14
Message: Posted by: ghostpianist (Dec 3, 2007 01:59AM)
Rote.
Message: Posted by: Nathan Alexander (Dec 3, 2007 04:00PM)
You know I'm never afraid to post, but wow. The work that Scott puts in his post (he'd probably say it's not much) is a great example of good people on the Café helping out with links and all that.

Thanks for a great post Scott!
Message: Posted by: edh (Dec 3, 2007 06:32PM)
Yes I noticied that in Scott's posts.

My thanks and appreciation, Scott.
Message: Posted by: MagicKim (Dec 4, 2007 12:32AM)
Thanks a lot scott!

Kim
Message: Posted by: Scott Cram (Dec 4, 2007 01:40AM)
Thanks for the compliments!

I'm here to help when I can. (OK, I occasionally sneak in my own questions, too)
Message: Posted by: kosmoshiva (Dec 4, 2007 08:58AM)
In Mnemonica, Tamariz suggests a combination of techniques – audio, musical, visual, muscle memory - even having a crib sheet handy for psychological back-up (rather like a concert pianist I heard of who sits on the sheet music). His method of learning is a lot of fun. The more methods you have for memorization, along with having more ways of testing yourself - the better you end up knowing your stack. :)
Message: Posted by: ghostpianist (Dec 4, 2007 09:09AM)
[quote]
On 2007-12-04 09:58, kosmoshiva wrote:
In Mnemonica, Tamariz suggests a combination of techniques – audio, musical, visual, muscle memory - even having a crib sheet handy for psychological back-up (rather like a concert pianist I heard of who sits on the sheet music). His method of learning is a lot of fun. The more methods you have for memorization, along with having more ways of testing yourself - the better you end up knowing your stack. :)
[/quote]

That did not work for me at all. Audio, visual, muscle...none were useful for me. I had to learn by rote for some reason. Hope you guys don't' have to learn it the hard way.
Message: Posted by: Krumb (Dec 6, 2007 05:35PM)
Magickim, do you mind if I ask why you don't like the peg system? I used it for the Tamariz's stack and I had near instantaneous recall when using it.
Message: Posted by: boinko (Dec 6, 2007 05:48PM)
Remember, too, Bob Farmer's system.

http://www.ludism.org/mentat/PlayingCardSystems

(Scroll down the page to see Farmer's 'Queen of Halloween' system.)

With Farmer's system and Dominic's journey method, I was able to memorize both Tamariz and Aronson in two weeks or so.

Plus, I can memorize an entire shuffled deck in about 8 minutes. (Working on getting it down to less than three, but I find the deck memorization to be absolutely exhausting.)
Message: Posted by: Dennis Loomis (Dec 7, 2007 12:30PM)
At the start of the thread, a peg system is mentioned. That means using mnemonics. When I learned the Aronson Stack, I used the mnemonics I had learned from Harry Lorayne's system. Simon used mnemonics, and so did Mike Close as well. However, today when Simon, Mike, and I perform, we do NOT use the mnemonic associations. I don't even remember the particular peg words I used to first learn it. This is important. If you still have to use the peg words while you are performing, I would suggest that you may not be ready yet to use a memdeck for an audience. It depends on what you're doing with it. There are some effects where the delays caused by having to think through the original mnemonic codes do not matter.

When I practice today, I'm really practicing just the rote associations. The mnemonics were merely a tool to INITIALLY remember the cards and their stack numbers. What matters is to get to this point by any means that works for you. I enjoy mnemonics and use them for many things. I think they are fun. But you may prefer a different method. Don't put down rote memory. That how all of us learned most of the things we know. Just learning to talk was one long exercise in rote learning. It works. Repetition will get the job done. And while I enthusiastically do recomend mnemonics, you need to find what works best for you.

Good luck.

Dennis Loomis
Message: Posted by: jennings (Dec 7, 2007 05:34PM)
Hi Dennis,

I learnt AS by rote. I just kept banging away until it went it. If you pardon the expression ! I found mnemonics, word association and the like made learning it even harder. Took me about a month to learn and about 6 months to get performance ready.



Andy
Message: Posted by: Dennis Loomis (Dec 8, 2007 12:11PM)
To Andy,
When I learned the Aronson Stack, I had already been working with mnemonics for many years. (I probably would not have earned my college degree without mnemonics to help me learn so many things.) I had peg words for the numbers from 1 to 100, so I didn't have to learn pegs for that. I had also worked with Harry Loraynes pegs for playing cards. I had to brush up on those. But I was a little ahead. If you are new to mnemonics, it's true there is some initial work to do. However, the benefit is that once you have mnemonic pegs and understand how to make links, you have a tool you can use for so many other things. Not just in magic, but for all kinds of things.

But yes, use what works for you. Absolutely.

Dennis Loomis
Message: Posted by: Scott Cram (Dec 8, 2007 03:34PM)
[quote]
On 2007-12-06 18:48, boinko wrote:
Remember, too, Bob Farmer's system.

http://www.ludism.org/mentat/PlayingCardSystems

(Scroll down the page to see Farmer's 'Queen of Halloween' system.)

With Farmer's system and Dominic's journey method, I was able to memorize both Tamariz and Aronson in two weeks or so.

Plus, I can memorize an entire shuffled deck in about 8 minutes. (Working on getting it down to less than three, but I find the deck memorization to be absolutely exhausting.)
[/quote]

You can also learn [url=http://members.cox.net/beagenius/cardmemory.html]Bob Farmer's mnemonics here[/url], with the added bonus that you can [url=http://members.cox.net/beagenius/cardquiz.html]quiz yourself on them[/url] until you're sure you've got them memorized!
Message: Posted by: Harry Lorayne (Dec 8, 2007 04:20PM)
What silliness! Pick up any one of my books for goodness sake and learn the right way to memorize cards or anything else. HARRY LORAYNE.
Message: Posted by: ghostpianist (Dec 10, 2007 08:18PM)
[quote]
On 2007-12-08 17:20, Harry Lorayne wrote:
What silliness! Pick up any one of my books for goodness sake and learn the right way to memorize cards or anything else. HARRY LORAYNE.
[/quote]

Nothing puts people more off than this. Every single post!!
Message: Posted by: kosmoshiva (Dec 16, 2007 12:24PM)
Ouch
Message: Posted by: The Amazing Noobini (Jan 17, 2008 02:07PM)
I spent maybe 2 months making new Norwegian mnemonic words for a certain popular memory system, since the English words would not work well for me. I wrote them down and drew them and redrew them and rewrote them again and again, drilling every day. I felt that the words I came up with were quite good. Strong images which worked well in combination with others. Not only that but a lot of them have a natural progression, such as one word being "cocoa" and the next being "cup", etc.

After all that work I had hoped that I would actually remember these words as well, but no. Not even which basic consonant goes with which letter do I remember. Not without stopping and thinking and thinking and digging into my poor brain.

When I first told a friend of mine of this system, his immediate response was "sounds like the kind of do it yourself system that is easy if you already have that ability to remember well". I said "naaah, everyone can learn this in no time". But he was right. I have a bad memory for this kind of thing. I have always have problems associating things. Like that game where someone says a word and you are supposed to respond quickly with the first thing on your mind. It doesn't work with me. If you say "yellow", I see yellow. Not a phonebook or a taxi or anything else.

Anyway, I learned the Aronson stack instead, using no special recipe besides memorizing it. It took a long time but it worked a lot better for me than the memory systems. As for phone numbers and such, I find that I can remember them. Just as long as I don't do the mistake of trying to put them into a memory system.
Message: Posted by: Cain (Jan 18, 2008 12:40AM)
None of the memory aides ever appealed to me. I just took a deck and marked it up so it functioned like flash cards. I used to be an instructor for a test prep company, teaching students how to do well on standardized exams like the GRE and SAT. My personal advice when it came to memorizing vocabulary words -- especially on the GRE, where they figured strongly in verbal score -- was to take flashcards and go through them ten at a time. Start with the more difficult words in your ten card pile, and continually cycle, but in a particular way. Specifically, you pick up card 1, say the definition. Then pick up card number two, say the definition, and if you get it correct, say the definition for card number one. Pick up card number three, state its definition, then two's definition, and so on. If you mess up, then you start all over again. Shuffle the cards to change up the order when you work half-way to three-quarters of the way through your pile. Once you cycle through ten cards perfectly, do the next ten. Then combine those piles and cycle through the twenty cards. Eventually you will make one big superpile, and cycle through all of them, and standard rules apply. If you mess up, then you start over. This is exactly what I did when it came to memorizing a stack, though I went 1-10, 11-20, and so on. It did not take very long at all. The structure is such that you get "punished" for messing up. Finally, I would recite the stack before I fell asleep, something I still do occasionally, practicing various exercises (e.g., multiples of five, positions of values, etc.). There are going to be trade-offs between doing something quickly (and having it fade quickly), versus doing it well, but taking a little longer. My other piece of advice was that a larger vocabulary will enrich your reading, and promote life-learning.
Message: Posted by: iambest (Jan 18, 2008 04:11AM)
I seriosly recommend The Dominic system. Memorized a deck with it in 40min. The trick is to imagine a 52 stage journey and place 52 different personalities at each stage. It's all in his book. The only hard part is to figure out 52 distinctive characters. his mem system goes like 1=a 2=b 3=c etc. for example if I wanted to memorize ace of spades, it would be 1=a of Spades = A.S= Arnold Swarzenegger, the just place him at the first stage of your journey, you can memorize as many decks as you want, just have to invent new journeys.

-The Bear
Message: Posted by: The Amazing Noobini (Jan 18, 2008 09:22AM)
[quote]
On 2008-01-18 05:11, iambest wrote:
I seriosly recommend The Dominic system. Memorized a deck with it in 40min. The trick is to imagine a 52 stage journey and place 52 different personalities at each stage.
[/quote]

What I mean is that this will work if you already have a good enough memory to memorize a 52 stage journey. And if you throw in 52 people as well, that to me sounds like exactly the same amount of memorization effort as needed to memorize two readymade 52 card stack systems, such as Mnemonica and Aronson.

My point is that if you can do this easily, you already have a great memory. If you simply don't then no self help books is going to magically change that fact overnight.
Message: Posted by: iambest (Jan 18, 2008 04:02PM)
I disagree, a 52 stage journey can be made around your house and front yard. Everybody remebers as much, you don't wake up and start searching for your bathroom, right? Or where you parked your car, cause you have a mental picture. Picture is the key word, our minds can remember pictures more easily than anything else, especially familiar ones.
Getting to the point, you can imagine Arnold Swarzenegger in your bedroom lifting your bed, right? Then just imagine walking around your house, office, frontyard, whatever, and in every room there's a new famous personality, it's really easy!
I also use a journey around the shopping mall that I visit almost every day.

-The Bear
Message: Posted by: The Amazing Noobini (Jan 18, 2008 05:29PM)
I can remember my surroundings, yes. I have however tried momorizing a journey like that and eventually given up because I cannot remember where all the locations are to be and which person represents what. I tell you... it doesn't work that easily unless you are naturally gifted at remembering such things.
Message: Posted by: iambest (Jan 18, 2008 05:53PM)
I'm sorry if the technique isn't working for you, I've been thinking my whole life that it's superhuman to memorize a deck, but with Dominic system I did it in 40mins. I was shocked. I can't really help you with the journey, but about persons, first letters of their name represent a card, easy. A.S= Ace Spades, B.C= 2 Clubs. You can't miss =) . There's another similar system in Derren Browns "Tricks of the mind", have you tried that one? Hope I've been of atleast some help.
Message: Posted by: edh (Jan 18, 2008 06:08PM)
Since everybody is chiming in with their methods for memorizing the AS I thought I might as well add mine.

What I found worked for me was to start with the 4 aces(only four cards easy to memorize) then go onto the 4 dueces adding the previously memorized 4 aces and so on. Shuffling the cards as you go so nothing is in order. I found this extremely easy to do.
Message: Posted by: Cohiba (Jan 20, 2008 06:02PM)
I have a feeling a lot of the people discussing the mnemonics system here don't have a good understanding of it. It worked great for me. I agree that people have different learning styles, but the mnemonic / association method was created for people that have a hard time memorizing. I don't think it could get any easier than this. Rote is harder, because you aren't using any tool for assistance. It's going to be harder to memorize 1 = JS than the few simple rules in the mnemonic system that will pull you through all 52.
As far as the association goes, if you're doing it correctly, you can almost immediately link a story together of 30+ objects without ever having practiced. I would seriously recommend getting a little more detailed information (such as from the source) before going rote.
Message: Posted by: Andy the cardician (Jan 21, 2008 02:43AM)
Mnemonica is the resource for this
Message: Posted by: Dennis Loomis (Jan 21, 2008 12:31PM)
Sorry, Andy, but Juan Tamariz presents several ways to memorize his stack, but they are NOT based on Mnemonics.

I would recommend two books if you're starting in mnemonics. First, Harry Lorayne's How to Develop a Super Power Memory. This is a paperback and quite inexpensive. You can get it through Amazon.

The other book is Simon Aronson's "Bound to Please." Simon gives his full mnemonic system for learning his stack. However, if you want to learn a different stack, the same methods can easily be used. Bound to Please contains a lot more, of course, with card magic for memorized decks and tricks not based on stacks. If you are going to memorize the Aronson Stack, this is the best starting point, because all of the effects that Simon built into the stack are explained.

Dennis Loomis
Message: Posted by: EdgarWilde (Jan 26, 2008 06:20AM)
I personally had most use of the Visual Method as detailed in Juan Tamariz' Mnemonica
Message: Posted by: Dr_Ficino (Jan 26, 2008 06:10PM)
Difiicult one, personally I remember piano pieces by progressive cords -and cards the same. I find PEG systems clumsy and tend to skip over them, amalgamate all cards into blocks and remember them that way - a technique which those use who spend their time memorising decks and so forth.
Message: Posted by: bitterman (Jan 28, 2008 01:31PM)
I've got a 30 second memorized deck system on e-book that might be just what you need.
Message: Posted by: Dennis Loomis (Jan 28, 2008 05:17PM)
Before you will be ready to perform with a memdeck, the techniques used to learn it must be long gone. You cannot go throught any calculations or mnemonic intermediate steps. These are only tools for learning the stack initially. Ultimately they fall away and you just "know" your stack. For that reason, do not pick a stack based on how hard or easy it is to learn. The easier ones do not have many effects built in, if any. Learning the stack is far less difficult that you think. Whatever technique you use to learn it, I urge you to choose either Aronson or Mnemonica (you'll get lots of value from either) and just get started. Once you begin, I think you'll agree that it's not as hard as you think. For help, visit the article on memdeck mastery on my web site. It's free and will show you exactly how to get to a point where you are ready to use a memdeck in front of audiences. Best to all that jump in and try. When you're there... you'll have a very powerful tool to use in your card magic.
Dennis Loomis
Message: Posted by: pnielan (May 4, 2008 10:08PM)
I memorzed Aronson's stack using a combination of ideas in Tamariz's book and Aronson's mnemonics. I did it this way even though I've known Lorayne's mnemonic systems for 20 years. But to be honest, the NUMBER to MNEMONIC FOR NUMBER to MNEMONIC FOR CARD to CARD technique seemed too cumbersome to use for all the cards. And not personal enough. So here's what I did.

I got out the tape recorder and sang the Tamariz song. And listened to it as I continued work.

I learned the 1st (JS) and last cards (9D) by rote.

I learned the positions of the 4 aces (6,10,18,22). Then the cards at the 13, 26, 39th positions. All by rote.

After the 1st hour these were locked in.

Next, there are many numbers that have special meanings to me. Everyone will have their own set. To get mine, I sat down with a deck of cards in Aronson order. As I got to each number in the stack, I asked myself if there was a special meaning that came IMMEDIATELY to mind. If not, I didn't force it. For many there were and I noted them (wrote them with a Sharpie) on the face of the card. My list is: 7-my birthday, 13-unlucky, 12-Jim Kelly and Joe Namath, 14-Frank Ryan (a 60's quarterback with a Ph.D), 15-1st girlfriend's birthday, 16-Joe Montana, 18-age of consent, 21-drinking age, 23-Michael Jordan, 24-Willie Mays, 25-Christmas, 27-daughter's birthday, 29-great depression, 31-number of days in a month, 32-OJ Simpson (unfortunately), 35-Roulette Wheel, 36 (the start of 36-24-36), 37-1st two numbers of my childhood phone number, 38-my current pant size (unfortunately), 39--World War II, 41-Pearl Harbor, 42-Summer of 42 (a book and movie), 44-Reggie Jackson, 45-a phonograph record, 46-first two numbers of my childhood address, 49--The SF Forty-Niners. My thought here is that these were better than mnemonics and they've proved to be.

For the cards at these numbers, I used the Tamariz technique. I got colored sharpies and drew pictures on the faces of these cards. For example, 35 is the 10C and the pips form a circle in the center and I sketched a roulette wheel. For example 24 is the 3D---too easy; Willie Mays hitting triples on the diamond. For 31-the number of days in a month, I drew a monthly calender with the four corners at each of the pips. The 25th card was the 7H---Christmas and the seven days of Hanukkah--enough to make me remember. With this done, I now knew about half the cards with very little pain.

That was enough for the 1st day.

Now I looked for patterns in the Aronson stack---the fours, Jacks and tens were in the middle set up for the 10-card poker deal. So I learned the rest of the fours, jacks and tens. The benefit of this method is that I started to form a mental picture of the entire deck in my mind, rather than just random card-number pairs. To learn these, I drew pictures of the numbers themselves on the faces of the cards---again as suggested by Tamariz.

That was enough for the 2nd day.

Now I added the rest of the court cards, the Kings and Queens. Noticed that red queens and kings were in the top 30 cards of the stack.Most of the black queens and kings near the bottom.

At this point, I have a set of flash cards with stack numbers on the back and drawings on the faces of many of the cards. I know about 30-35 of the cards and I start using the flash cards (Tamariz-inspired) to lock them in. There are about 20 cards I don't know.

Enough for the 3rd day.

Now it gets harder. I started adding four-of-a-kinds using the Aronson mnemonics if necessary. The remaining twos (I already knew 2D-13 and 2S-41 from above). The remaining threes. I added about 7-8 cards a day and then reviewed the whole stack with the flash cards.

After three more days, I knew the whole stack and no longer needed flash cards to practice. I could do it just in my mind or with a regular deck of cards. But there were about 5-6 cards that often stumped me. I thought I knew them and then the next day---mind went blank. For these I pulled out an old deck of Jumbo Cards and drew large pictures of the numbers on these cards and left them on my desk and played with them for a few more days. They soon turned into special favorites.

---x---

Now every few days I review the stack as follows: 1--recite it 1-52 in my mind, 2--name the stack numbers for four-of-a-kinds in my mind, and 3--most important (for me), shuffle a deck and arrange it in order in my hands without using a table. I can do this in about 1-2 minutes depending upon how sharp I am that day and I've really thought about the fastest ways of doing that. It takes about 5 minutes every few days to review and I've gone weeks without doing it and then can get all the way back in one day.

Best,

Paul
Message: Posted by: boxjumper (Jun 3, 2008 07:18PM)
I used similar ideas as Paul did. Those baseball and sports stats and player jersey numbers as well as personal numbers (home address, phone etc) are naturals which make the initial mem work easier.

BJ
Message: Posted by: leosx1 (Mar 9, 2010 03:29AM)
For me singing various songs and asssigning a card to every tune has greatly helped me in memorizing the cards.