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Topic: New to cups and balls
Message: Posted by: s.freeman (Feb 23, 2012 12:45AM)
Ok all you wiser and more experienced magicians! Help me complete my new years resolution!

"I resolve to learn the cups and balls by the end of the year"

Shouldn't be that hard right?

So about 5 years ago I bought a cups and balls set and the salesman says "get these! one of the cups is a chop cup, it's a great deal!" So I go for it. It turns out this is a harder trick than I was prepared to take on. handling the chop cup was harder than I thought, can't make the ball drop without it looking obvious PLUS about 20% of the time the ball would bounce up and engage again. My other problem is I feel like the balls are too big for the cups. can barely fit two in teh bottom and have them stay loose and all three would be a nightmare. They all came as a set but I'm suspicious I got taken. Finally, I don't have like a close up mat. Any recommendations on substitutes or should I just invest in a mat?
Message: Posted by: Dynamike (Feb 23, 2012 12:51AM)
Start off with Michael Ammar's Cups and Balls DVD.
Message: Posted by: Sir Richard (Feb 23, 2012 06:21AM)
On 2012-02-23 01:51, Dynamike wrote:
Start off with Michael Ammar's Cups and Balls DVD.
[/quote]Both volumes. Mats are a nessesity, buy a good quality one as soon as possible. Do one of the following: 1.) find a substitute for the balls, like pom-poms; 2.) Buy smaller balls; 3.) Buy a decent set of cups; stay away from the "cheapos! I, too, used to have a "combo" set, but never used the combo cup. I've since bought a great set from Tom Franks, but there's also RNT II that have decent sets that won't cost you an arm or a leg!

Sir Richard.
Message: Posted by: tm613 (Feb 23, 2012 07:55AM)
Just becuase you have a combo set doesn't mean you need to use it as one...replace the chopped ball with a normal one....probably need to get a whole new set of 4 smaller balls as stated by Sir Richard
Message: Posted by: Mark Ross (Feb 23, 2012 08:28AM)
I would recommend NOT using the chop cup feature until you have a "chop-less" routine in hand. I also recommend the Ammar videos (and the book if you can find it)as they will guide you from a "beginner" routine, through many moves, etc, all the way to Ammar's & Vernon's routines. Enjoy the journey, as I did.

Message: Posted by: s.freeman (Feb 23, 2012 09:51AM)
How much smaller should the balls be? I was wondering if there was some sort of rule of thumb on the sizes.
Message: Posted by: Dave V (Feb 23, 2012 10:48AM)
Not knowing the size of the balls or the type of cups you have, that's an impossible question to answer.

Personally, I don't nest any balls between cups, so that problem doesn't apply to me. I go with the biggest I can comfortably finger palm which is about 1 to 1 1/4 inches.
Message: Posted by: Donnie Buckley (Feb 23, 2012 12:01PM)
There is no reason that you should have to pound a cup to release a ball anymore. The pounding is what is causing the ball to bounce up higher than it should and re-adhere. The problem is with the ball - not the cup.
I make "adjustable" chopped balls in a wide variety of sizes that solve this problem.

There are plenty of good DVD and book resources for learning routines, with or without the chop cup. Ammar's DVDs will teach you the fundamentals and bring it all together into a routine for a straight set of balls.
The Vernon Mendoza Combo Cups Routine for Combo Cups is considered a classic which utilizes the chop cup.
Message: Posted by: rudy-ray (Feb 23, 2012 05:30PM)
I made balls out of aluminum foil, made different sizes found the right size for me. Until I could get a table built, I used a thick dish towel for a pad. I started with the routine in Mark Wilson's book.
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Feb 23, 2012 10:43PM)
Before we unbag too many felines in an open forum, I suggest that s.freeman get 50 posts ASAP so he or she can access the secret sessions. There are a couple of threads there that address all of the problems that are being discussed here. Same thing is true for rudy-ray. If you don't have the required 50 posts, you can't even see that the secret sessions exist. And we can't reveal all the info either of you need in order to help you solve the problem, because they are, by their very nature, secrets that the gilpins don't need to know.
Message: Posted by: s.freeman (Feb 24, 2012 12:07AM)
I'm working on my post count as we speak
Message: Posted by: s.freeman (Feb 24, 2012 12:08AM)
I mean it! :)
Message: Posted by: tm613 (Feb 24, 2012 07:07AM)
On 2012-02-24 01:08, s.freeman wrote:
I mean it! :)

Me too
Message: Posted by: s.freeman (Feb 24, 2012 12:01PM)
Thanks everyone for all your help, my wife is picking me up some supplies and I'm gonna try making my own monkey fist balls to see what I like
Message: Posted by: Dave V (Feb 24, 2012 01:35PM)
That's what I eventually did. I found about three marble sizes at a local craft store to use as cores. Impossible to "chop" but at least I now know what fits me best, plus the making of the monkey fists themselves was a fun side project.
Message: Posted by: Pete Biro (Feb 24, 2012 01:51PM)
Once you get the ball size you like... start slow... don't try to make a routine. Learn to do a false transfer and finger palm. Dai Vernon always preached, "Learn to handle small objects in a natural way."
Message: Posted by: Dave V (Feb 24, 2012 05:17PM)
Bigger balls mean you don't have to "clench" so much, making your hand position more natural. It's a delicate balancing act to get the largest ball possible that still fits under the cups you have. Or, you can consider that you will be changing cups at some point in the future.
Message: Posted by: s.freeman (Feb 25, 2012 01:06AM)
Any recommendations for what kind of cord to use for monkey fists?
Message: Posted by: Dave V (Feb 25, 2012 01:58AM)
Leather lace works for me. Nice texture. Pull test a piece if you're buying it on a spool. Some of it is cut badly and will break with the slightest tug.

Others like nylon parachute cord. Lots of nice colors, but I think it's too slippery. At least the stuff I tried was. It's a good place to start though and easy to work.
Message: Posted by: s.freeman (Feb 25, 2012 07:44PM)
Thanks for all your help! I think I'll post some pictures when I get them done, I was thinking about building my own table too...
Message: Posted by: JESmagic (Feb 26, 2012 08:47AM)
I agree that you don't have to use the "chopped" cup in the routine. Virtually anything that you do with the chop cup can be done with other sleights. Personally, if you are a beginner, I would work on a routine that is solid with a few sleights that you can master well. Then, once you do that routine well, expand out to more complex moves. Remember that the lay audience will pretty much only remember the final load sequence anyway...so make sure that is well orchestrated.
Message: Posted by: s.freeman (Feb 27, 2012 01:03AM)
Anyone ever make monkey fist balls? what do you do with the ends?
Message: Posted by: tm613 (Feb 27, 2012 07:38AM)
On 2012-02-27 02:03, s.freeman wrote:
Anyone ever make monkey fist balls? what do you do with the ends?

cut it close and stuff it under another strand
Message: Posted by: yin_howe (Feb 28, 2012 08:19AM)
Pull it back under the other overlapping strand
Message: Posted by: conjurormatt (Feb 29, 2012 01:46PM)
If tucking seems impossible, you can cut it close to the ball and add a dot of superglue to hold it down. Be careful, though, or you'll have two fingers temporally disabled (i.e. glued together).

Matt M.