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Topic: Can anyone be a juggler?
Message: Posted by: asgar (Jul 27, 2010 06:48PM)
I am a closeup magician.I always wanted to learn juggling.Even though I'm quite good at sleight of hands,I never make myself learn juggling.I have some instructional videos but at the end there is always a mind block that prevents me to do so.Can I be a juggler?Do you guys have any tips for me?p.s I'm still quite young and strong .hahahah.
Message: Posted by: Al Angello (Jul 27, 2010 07:39PM)
The easiest way to learn how to juggle is to attend a juggling meeting. Where do you live? At http://www.jugglingdb.com/ they have a list of a lot of clubs. Find a local club, go there and you will have no trouble catching on. If that doesn't work get back to us here.
Message: Posted by: asgar (Jul 27, 2010 08:09PM)
I live in siutheast asia.There are no juggling clubs here.Only jugglers I saw were in the circus.Usually they are doing it for generations.Thanks for the link.I think it's quite useful.
Message: Posted by: MagicJuggler (Jul 28, 2010 08:27AM)
I think anyone who is coordinated enough to catch and throw a ball can learn to juggle. As far as learning it is a matter of breaking down patterns into individual moves and working up to the full pattern. One of the books that I started with was "The Complete Juggler" by Dave Finnigan. It covers most of the major types of juggling with the exception of contact juggling. It also breaks down most of the basic patterns into easier steps which help you work up to the move.
With juggling it mainly takes a bit of dedication and willingness to fail until you succeed. As many have said before, the first move you learn is the drop.
There's also a differece between the small movements of the hands in slight of hand and the much broader motions in juggling.
Of course you may also want to look at what types of juggling you're interested in, and seek out instruction specific to that area.
Message: Posted by: imgic (Jul 28, 2010 02:55PM)
I learned by seeing a friend juggle, and wondered if I could do that. Went out in yard one Saturday and aobut 8 hours later was able to do 3 ball cascade. If you knew how "graceful" I am, and the fact I can juggle...you can do it to.

I would recommend a book, or there's plenty of youtube videos now...though I can't vouch for any. I spent way too much time figuring stuff out that I could have read or seen and fixed in a few minutes.

Two tips I would pass on:
1. When starting, use bean bags or, if you only have balls, practice in a grassy area so they don't roll away (first part of my Saturday learning was chasing balls as I started on the paved driveway...wasn't until after lunch did I realize if I practiced on grass, the tennis balls wouldn't roll away)
2. Realize that if you can do it once...you can to it again: it's just a matter of practice. Was so frustrated trying to learn reverse cascade...but when I did it once...I realized I could do it again and again... If trying something new, give yourself a little celebration when you nail it the first time.

One last thing...I'm nowhere near a professional...but it's really quite amazing how great juggling is. I have a set of 3 bean bags in my office...when stuck on a project or stress out...I take a few minutes and juggle...really calming and good to get blood flowing. It's really a lot of fun, and, even if you never use it in a show, it's a cool little something to learn how to do.
Message: Posted by: asgar (Jul 28, 2010 07:48PM)
Thanks for the posts.Now I know what you guys mean by chasing.I'm more calm now and hopefully gonna do better.out here we don't have your bean bags .We just buy beasn and then put them in a bag.I'm practicing on the bed with my rubber multiplying billiard balls .
Message: Posted by: Al Angello (Jul 28, 2010 08:28PM)
Try filling tennis balls with your beans then glueing the tennis ball back together.
Message: Posted by: One Man (Jul 29, 2010 08:06PM)
Another good place to practice is over a bed or couch. you don't have to bend down to pick up and it can also help with the issue many have of "walking" forward while juggling.

While on the subject of having to walk forward to maintain your pattern, which is an issue many beginners face, try cocking your wrists and concentrating on where your throw goes (not forward). I met a russian circus trained juggler who told me when he learned 5 balls, his teacher attached sharpened pencils to the tops of his forearms to prevent his wrist from drooping.

One more tip...practice.

Message: Posted by: imgic (Jul 29, 2010 09:51PM)
Somebody taught me clubs, and I had bad habit of them walking forward. They had me stand in front of a brick wall and practice. You're stuff doesn't walk forward then! Only wish I would have known about that tip when I first start.

Great tip about practicing over couch...little things like that really help when starting out.
Message: Posted by: SilvaAce (Jul 30, 2010 12:07PM)
I started in January of this year and right now I can do most of the 3ball tricks and a couple of 4ball tricks.Like the guys above said, it takes a lot of dedication and paying attention to the order in which you are learning.

Once you get going with the basics, it starts getting really fun to learn harder tricks. I am sometimes amazed at how my hands react to bad throws and still make the catches. It all comes from hours of practice.

Here is a link that might help you out. It has lots of tricks, and it teaches step by step. Have fun and don't give up.


Message: Posted by: David Waldorf (Jul 30, 2010 02:41PM)
Don't practice for too long at one time. Pause and stretch out your neck and shoulders so you don't get stiff.
Message: Posted by: asgar (Aug 8, 2010 07:12AM)
On 2010-07-29 21:06, One Man wrote:
Another good place to practice is over a bed or couch. you don't have to bend down to pick up and it can also help with the issue many have of "walking" forward while juggling.

While on the subject of having to walk forward to maintain your pattern, which is an issue many beginners face, try cocking your wrists and concentrating on where your throw goes (not forward). I met a russian circus trained juggler who told me when he learned 5 balls, his teacher attached sharpened pencils to the tops of his forearms to prevent his wrist from drooping.

One more tip...practice.


I'm so happy to say that I'm doing double exchanges from the last week.I'm quite nervous to try e triple-exchange followed by the quadruple, quintuple......Any suggestions.Yours advices helped me to accomplish this far and I'm very proud with myself.I've been practicing besides the bed.Can you please explain again about that russian juggler thing .
Message: Posted by: Pete Biro (Sep 1, 2010 10:50PM)
One you're muscles are in shape... if you want to be real good, you gotta practice hours and hours daily.
Message: Posted by: Harm1 (Sep 11, 2010 12:25PM)
Asgar: I hope you're still making progress. About the russian juggler with the pencils, this has to do with technique. There are a number of different juggling techniques used by jugglers. The juggler that One Man mentioned used a technique where you lock your wrists. What technique is best depends on props, style and opinion on aesthetics (for example, a speed juggler with clubs will have to use his wrists a lot). Generally speaking, if you are going for a basic 3 ball cascade it helps to pay attention to the following points.

Weight: Keep your weight evenly distributed over your feet, don't lean forward, backward or to the side and keep your feet shoulderwidth apart, facing forward or slightly turned out.

Wrists: Don't use your wrists. Your lower arms are way more efficient at the motion needed to throw balls from one hand to the other. Don't keep them cramped in an effort to lock them, just keep them in line with your lower arms and don't use them.

Upper arms: Many people use their upper arms to juggle. 99% of the time this results in balls flying either forward or backward and you having to run after them.

Lower arms: Start with your arms bent at the elbow at a 90 degree angle. Move the lower arm that is about to throw down and inward and release the ball when your hand is in front of your belly button. If you did well you made a perfect throw, which means the ball lands in your other hand without you having to move your arm to be able to catch the ball. If you didn't, repeat the exercise. The more accurate your throws become, the less time you have to waste moving your arms to catch balls, the more time you have to focus on other things and the easier juggling becomes. Train both hands.

If you think you are able to make perfect throws, try having somebody hold your hand/wrist still whilst you throw the ball with your other hand. It takes years and years to be able to make perfect throws and is the most important exercise for any juggler.

SilvaAce: Great that you like juggling. However, saying you mastered almost all 3 ball tricks is like saying you mastered all card tricks. There is an infinite amount of them and many of them take years of practice.
Message: Posted by: Harm1 (Sep 11, 2010 12:29PM)
Oh and to the original question: Almost everybody can learn how to juggle, depending on their eye-hand coordination, dedication and teacher. I think it's safe to say that anyone who can get good at close-up magic (the kind where you manipulate objects with your hands) will be able to learn a 3 ball cascade.
Message: Posted by: Al Angello (Sep 11, 2010 04:52PM)
Yes Harm1 is right if you join a jugglers club you will see several hundred three ball tricks that you have not thought of. One of the purposes of a jugglers club is to expose you to the centurys of accumulated knowledge and invention that is only available there.
Message: Posted by: tomterm8 (Sep 14, 2010 12:01PM)
Three ball tricks are great fun. I still find it amazing how many variations you can make of basic siteswaps, which all look different.
Message: Posted by: danmarimba123 (Sep 15, 2010 04:14PM)
3 balls is easy, easy, easy - you could learn in a few hours
Message: Posted by: MagicJuggler (Sep 27, 2010 03:29AM)
I 100% agree Al Angelo, as a contact juggler learning in isolation from most jugglers and too far away to go to any convention, after a couple years I thought I had learned or created most of the possible tricks in contact juggling. Turns out in reality I had simply hit a plateu in my own creativity that I was unable to rise above until I went online and found that others were coming up with unique moves that I hadn't thought of. Once I saw the directions others were going, I was able to start learning more and creating more unique moves of my own. Now I see that the only limitations are your own creativity, knowlege and the laws of physics (can't seem to get around those yet)
Definitely if you think you know all the moves, get out and meet other jugglers and you will experiance a whole world of possibilities.
Message: Posted by: Al Angello (Sep 30, 2010 03:12PM)
A self taught juggler is not only limited by his own imagination, but self taught jugglers ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS have bad form, because when you teach yourself to juggle you develop bad habits, and as you get better you learn to maginify those bad habbits. It is so profound that you can spot a self taught juggler from a 100 yards away.
Message: Posted by: Roslyn (Oct 14, 2010 06:11AM)
If you've got two hands and can throw and catch one ball you can learn to do it with three. The cascade isn't all that difficult once you get your head around the fact that you are throwing with both hands, one after the other.

If you don't have access to a juggling shop where you are I'd recommend making some cloth beanbags to work with. Here's an example of some homemade juggling balls: http://www.butterfingers.co.uk/Ko-Bespoke/stockdetails.asp?product=BALLS/SKWOSHBALLS/1/BALL0101002

The advantage is you can make them as big or as small as you like and fill them as much as you want too. Some jugglers prefer a much firming juggling ball, where as others like them to be a little more squashy.

If you decide to make your own balls the average size is about 62mm - 67mm diameter and around 130g in weight. As you'll see most juggling balls are also made of four panels of fabric.

You don't need a sewing machine to make these either, just a needle and thread.

Its better to work with good juggling balls. You'll learn quicker.
Message: Posted by: Roslyn (Oct 14, 2010 06:12AM)

You may like to look here: http://www.jugglingdb.com/compendium/skills/equipment/making/balls/barnesybags.html

It gives advice on how to construct your own juggling beanbags. I've used these type of bags before, made by Dave Barnes, and they are gorgeous!!

Good luck ;)
Message: Posted by: fingerflinger (Oct 26, 2015 08:32PM)
I think just about anyone can learn some very basic juggling. However, some will learn more quickly then others. To take juggling to more advanced levels is a huge commitment, but for those who decide to make this choice, it is a very worthwhile one. Nothing quite like the satisfaction of finally mastering a new pattern, after weeks, months, or even years of trying...
Message: Posted by: TonyB2009 (Nov 13, 2015 07:10PM)
I took about two months to keep three balls up. My ex learned that much in twenty minutes. I love juggling and envy the guys that can do it well, but unfortunately I have learned my limits!