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Topic: Mill's Mess - need help
Message: Posted by: panlives (Mar 15, 2011 03:44PM)

I have a fair bit of juggling experience but cannot seem to wrap my head around the Mill's Mess pattern.

Has anyone run into similar mental blocks? How did you finally master the pattern? Any tips out there?

with thanks in advance,
Message: Posted by: Al Angello (Mar 15, 2011 06:34PM)
The Mills mess has 6 different throws, and six different catches. The way I learned it was to break them down into three throws, and catches on the right side, and three throws, and catches on the left side. After I mastered both sides I then practiced putting them all together. I learned this brain twister of a trick at several consecutive juggling club meetings with a teacher which accelorated my learning curve tremendously, but I knew a lot of three ball tricks before I started to learn this one.

IMHO you must master all of the moves before you could begin to put them together.

Perhaps this will help


Message: Posted by: SeasideShowman (Mar 20, 2011 08:59AM)
Great youtube link, thanks Al.

Cap'n Mike

Message: Posted by: panlives (Mar 21, 2011 09:53AM)
Thank you, Al.

How long did it take until you felt comfortable with it?
Message: Posted by: Al Angello (Mar 21, 2011 10:17AM)
With me it came very fast after about two weeks of putting all the pieces together in my head.
Message: Posted by: Al Angello (Mar 22, 2011 10:14PM)
What I meant to say was, once I figured out the mechanics of the trick the speed part came quickly.
Message: Posted by: mika (Mar 27, 2011 12:00PM)
I learnt the so called "walker" from each side for the mills mess. Alltogether it takes 1-2 months if you work hard to get I really solid. I also do the 4 ball mills mess- and I thought it's like practicing 7 balls or so. It really takes a long long time to get it just solid as a rock to perform it.
Message: Posted by: Al Angello (Mar 27, 2011 12:25PM)
The four ball mess is a trick that is way beyond my capability at my age. You must be awsome.
Message: Posted by: Al Angello (Mar 27, 2011 01:44PM)
For those of you that don't understand what Mika and I are talking about here is a demo.

I want everyone to take particular notice of the age of these juggling wizards. They are all under 20 year of age gifted boys, and girls that have lightning fast reflexes. I am over 60, and can only do the three ball version of the Mills mess.

Message: Posted by: mika (Mar 30, 2011 12:39PM)
I like the video. I think I started the Mills mess with four when I was 19 years old it took me around 6 years to get solid ( I got a bachelor's and a masters' degree)-
I use the 4 ball mills mess to open the 4 ball set in my ball routine...

I actually got the 4 ball mills mess on video from a show: scroll to 0:46 seconds http://www.youtube.com/diabolomika#p/f/2/PYV1YbuK4Xs
...I label certain tricks like the 4 ball/5 Ball Mills Mess, 7 Ball Kaskade, 3 diabolos low shuffle, excalibur genocide with one diabolo "*** tricks"

PS: Spent your time practicing wisely...
Message: Posted by: SilvaAce (Mar 31, 2011 12:54PM)
Learning it mentally first really helps. Watch video after video until you can visualize what your hands are supposed to be doing. Then imagine invisible balls (don't drop these, they are very hard to find LOL)and the juggling pattern, practice this when you don't have your real balls on you. It will speed up the learning process!
Message: Posted by: SilvaAce (Mar 31, 2011 12:55PM)
Here is website that really helped me learn most of my tricks. Enjoy!

Message: Posted by: panlives (Apr 1, 2011 09:24AM)
On 2011-03-22 23:14, Al Angello wrote:
What I meant to say was, once I figured out the mechanics of the trick the speed part came quickly.

Thank you, Al.
I will not go near the 4-ball version...not for a long while!
I am still not sure how long it took for you to "master" the Mill's Mess…
Message: Posted by: Al Angello (Apr 1, 2011 11:00AM)
"Master" HMMMMMM
I attended the Philadelphia jugglers club for about a year learning a couple of new tricks per week. After that my friend Glenn Ceponis started to teach me how to do the Mess. I learned the sequence of the trick in about two weeks of practicing, and I was able to go from the three ball cascade into the mess smoothly in a couple more weeks, but at that time I was practicing about two hours a day. The art of juggling is much like playing a musical instrument it's practice, practice, and more practice. I know for sure that if it was not for my local jugglers club I would have never been able to raised my game above a HACK juggler. Today when I do walkaround juggling I often meet people who learned how to juggle at Summer camp, or college, but I have NEVER accidently met anyone 1/2 as good as I am. There are thousands of kids that are better jugglers than I am, but those kids ALL attend juggling club meetings.

Message: Posted by: MagicJuggler (Jun 1, 2011 01:00PM)
The way I was taught years ago broke the pattern down to three moves. The juggler's tennis (single ball thrown above the pattern using reverse cascade throws) A carry of one ball under the pattern (as an inverted juggler's tennis) and the middle ball is carried back and forth in the middle of the pattern. The middle ball is constantly being pushed infront of the arc of the ball doing the juggler's tennis, then thrown back toward the other hand right before catching the upper ball of the pattern. The pattern is then adjusted so that the arms are crossing and uncrossing properly with the forearms crossing over each other midway between the wrist and elbow.
This approach is very difficult to explain without visuals, and frankly I don't know of any currently posted video using this teaching method. It worked for me, and once I grasped the proper positioning of the forearms as they cross and uncross the pattern kind of gelled for me. I hope that this helps more than it hinders.
Message: Posted by: Al Angello (Jun 1, 2011 02:36PM)
Throw number 3, and 6 are the hardest ones to sink into your head.
Message: Posted by: itshim (Jun 1, 2011 03:39PM)
One easy way to get a quick idea about what you are doing with mill's mess is to learn windmill each way and then switch between the two. When the switch between the two is at it's fewest throws you've reached mill's mess. This isn't how I learnt, or how I teach (two different methods again) but it a way of practicing that helps.


Also there are several different ways to learn 4 ball mills mess, at least one of these is a way that Al could learn even at the advanced age of 60+. Try thinking of 2 balls in one hand inward circle (two throws) and then outward circle ( two throws). Practice individually with each hand and then try to combine. When I was trying I got to about 24 throws fairly quickly but then I found something else to waste my time doing and got worse fairly quickly as well.
Message: Posted by: panlives (Jun 6, 2011 08:31AM)
On 2011-06-01 15:36, Al Angello wrote:
Throw number 3, and 6 are the hardest ones to sink into your head.

Indeed...those are giving me a ripe head-ache!
Message: Posted by: jugglestruck (Aug 4, 2011 09:03AM)
And just when you have mastered the 4 balls Mills mess, Sean Gandini will demonstrate to you a very nice 5 ball version.
Twenty years ago I took my daughter on holiday and she went to bed at 7.00pm every night. Ten days later with two hours practice a night, I came home with a very impressive 4 balls mills mess....
Message: Posted by: charliecheckers (Aug 10, 2011 10:11AM)

I would highly recommend searching "Mills Mess tutorial" on YouTube. There are dozens of tutorials people have made specifically on Mills Mess that make the learning process much easier. It is definitely easiest to learn when you see somebody else doing it with visual instructions. I had the opportunity to see Steve Mills himself perform Mills Mess in one of his routines, he truly has mastered juggling. Best of luck!
Message: Posted by: mika (Dec 11, 2011 01:25PM)
I am continuing this mills mess topic but I will make it a topic on it's own for rings flat...
Message: Posted by: 8a22a (Mar 29, 2012 05:36PM)
Mills Mess with clubs is quite tricky. ;)