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Topic: Drills for intermediate-advanced mem deck training?
Message: Posted by: Silversleights04 (Apr 8, 2020 11:17AM)
Greetings all!

I've spent a couple of months learning and memorizing the Redford stack from Temporarily Out of Order using the Trustman's loci method. I'm able to recall the position of any card or the card at a given position within about 12-18 seconds, but that's a bit slower than I'd like. Honestly, I also still struggle with some of the mental calculations for cuts, pair dealing, and ACAAN as well.

Now that I've at least got a basic foundation of memory built, I was wondering what were some of y'alls favorite/best drills to help with your mem deck proficiency? I already use numbers from the surrounding environment as a basic drill, but I'm afraid my speed isn't improving. How did you drill the order in to make your mem deck second nature? Were there any tips or tricks that especially helped you with mental calculations? ACAAN in particular? Was there any resource that gave you some great advice or helped you go from beginner to intermediate-advanced mem deck work. As I mentioned, I do struggle a bit with math, but not with my memory thankfully, so any advice is appreciated.

PS: I'm sure there are some posts or replies about it within the topics here, but my searches yielded limited results. I apologize if this seems like a simple or repeat question :(
Message: Posted by: Watchmaker (Apr 8, 2020 01:43PM)
You need to mix it up as much as possible to get it into your long term memory. I see you mention the position of any card, and what card is at a position. It's important to know both, even though they seem to be the same.

Also, avoid just going through the order as the only means of learning. So for example, you might say, what are the positions of all the aces? Give the position numbers from lowest to highest. Highest to lowest. Spades, Hearts, Clubs, Diamonds. Do that for all the cards.

How many cards are between two random cards? Pick a card and immediately name the card 26 cards away. Stuff like that. Mix it up so much that you don't have time to say to yourself, "what card is at that number?" That number should be a card in your mind. There is nothing to figure out.

Good luck.

Phil
Message: Posted by: Silversleights04 (Apr 8, 2020 01:56PM)
[quote]On Apr 8, 2020, Watchmaker wrote:
You need to mix it up as much as possible to get it into your long term memory. I see you mention the position of any card, and what card is at a position. It's important to know both, even though they seem to be the same.

Also, avoid just going through the order as the only means of learning. So for example, you might say, what are the positions of all the aces? Give the position numbers from lowest to highest. Highest to lowest. Spades, Hearts, Clubs, Diamonds. Do that for all the cards.

How many cards are between two random cards? Pick a card and immediately name the card 26 cards away. Stuff like that. Mix it up so much that you don't have time to say to yourself, "what card is at that number?" That number should be a card in your mind. There is nothing to figure out.

Good luck.

Phil [/quote]

Solid advice Phil, thanks! That's exactly the type of drilling I'm interested in. I've just made up some flashcards with some drill questions as well to throw into the pile, so we'll see if that helps with the immediacy of recall. Any tips on practicing ACAAN calculations?

-Marco-
Message: Posted by: mlippo (Apr 8, 2020 03:01PM)
[quote]On Apr 8, 2020, Silversleights04 wrote:
Greetings all!

[...] I'm able to recall the position of any card or the card at a given position within about 12-18 seconds [...]
[/quote]

In my opinion before trying any advanced drill, which is a good thing but not indispensable to do some good memdeck work (I know because I do not apply many advanced skills to my work), you need to be able to recall position/number in ONE second, not longer than that!

There are apps for smartphones (even free ones) but what I used to memorise Mnemonica was having a pack of old red-backed cards, both at home and at work, with each card bearing its position number written with a thick Sharpie on the backs and went over and over that for three months!

Mind you I didn't use any memory system. Just rote memorisation.

Just my advice.

Mark
Message: Posted by: Chris K (Apr 8, 2020 08:33PM)
Generally agreed with mlippo.

1-2 seconds should be the absolute most time.
Message: Posted by: Watchmaker (Apr 10, 2020 01:36AM)
I totally agree with Mark and Chris. There comes a point when it just clicks and you don't think about converting a position to a card or visa-versa. In your brain it's the same thing. Someone mentions a card, you think a number. When you get there then you really aren't converting anymore. There is no time lapse, it's instant.

In 12 to 18 seconds you should be able to clock a deck! In that case there is stress involved because you are doing math in your head very quickly and need to be correct on one quick run through. Memorizing a deck is stress free because it will always be the same, today and in ten years.
Message: Posted by: Silversleights04 (Apr 10, 2020 11:30AM)
Yes, I think you're all making a valid point on the speed of recall and I totally agree, it was my main focus and concern. I kept practicing, but I found that my speed of recall was plateauing. So, I've made some good flashcards and spent the past 2 days drilling them like I'm working for Exxon and managed to only whittle it down to 8-ish seconds for recall.

But now I'm afraid that my original method of memorization may be what's hindered me here. The Trustman's Loci method was great for the initial foundation for memorization, but what it offers in ease of learning, it lacks in the speed of recall. I'm still always either doing simple math and THEN recalling an image and the position of something in that image, or I'm recalling an image and an object's place in it and THEN doing the simple math. Too many steps.

After the feedback from y'all, I think I need to re-learn the stack with just good old rote learning and not rely on the loci method. Start from scratch and try to brute force it, so to speak. I also discovered the Mnemonicosis app on android, that has a ton of features for practice on the go. Thanks for all the help fellas!
Message: Posted by: Harry Lorayne (Apr 10, 2020 11:56AM)
Why in the world bother with THE PAGE-A-MINUTE MEMORY BOOK, HOW TO DEVELOP A SUPER-POWER MEMORY, THE MEMORY BOOK, AGELESS MEMORY, and so on? Might as well listen to advice about just using rote memory. (That gave me the laugh of the day - talk about "worst" advice.) Yeah, can my books be of any help? The about 50 million people who have purchased them over the decades just wasted their money/time. They're in 11 languages (that I know of). Two of those mentioned about were on best-seller lists, including the NY Times (THE MEMORY BOOK for about 52 weeks).

C,mon, start reading the good stuff!!!!
Message: Posted by: Silversleights04 (Apr 10, 2020 12:16PM)
Hey Harry! I had a feeling in my gut that if we said "memorization" enough times on this forum that we'd summon you like Beetlejuice, ha!

Of course, we could never forget about you, oh Maestro of Memory!

I've had my eye on your memory books for a couple of months, to be honest, but I'm currently not able to spend on my passion projects at the moment. Though admittedly $10 for The Memory Book is a steal as far as I'm concerned, I'll see if I can rub a few coins together and make a miser's dream come true.

I hear your peg system is one of the best ways to do it for mnemonic/visual learners like myself. Patrick offers the briefest of overviews of his version of the peg system for his stack in Temporarily Out of Order, he also recommended your book in the same section for more clarity.

I promise that it's at the top of my book buying list as soon as the world takes its foot off my wallet! I won't forget to remember it, and I'll try to remember not to forget it! :P
Message: Posted by: Harry Lorayne (Apr 10, 2020 12:41PM)
You sure as heck won't get any of my books from me for $10.00. Be careful, when the world takes its foot off your oh-so-thin wallet, not to deal with rip-offs or let rip-offs deal with you.
Message: Posted by: Silversleights04 (Apr 10, 2020 12:52PM)
Sound advice my friend and my mistake, it's about $13 from the oppressors Here:
https://www.amazon.com/Memory-Book-Classic-Improving-School-ebook/dp/B006Q1SQCQ/ref=sr_1_9?dchild=1&keywords=memory+book&qid=1586541264&sr=8-9

BUT I absolutely refuse to give them a single red cent of my hard-earned money anymore. I won't add to their coffers.

I'd rather buy it from your store and support you directly, but the full cost makes it a bit difficult at the moment. I'll surely come back to it, Thanks Harry!
Message: Posted by: Silversleights04 (Apr 10, 2020 12:57PM)
Not sure where I got $10 from, maybe at Half-Price Books... I can't REMEMBER, apparently I need this book :P
Message: Posted by: magicfish (Apr 10, 2020 03:23PM)
[quote]On Apr 8, 2020, Silversleights04 wrote:
Greetings all!

I've spent a couple of months learning and memorizing the Redford stack from Temporarily Out of Order using the Trustman's loci method. I'm able to recall the position of any card or the card at a given position within about 12-18 seconds, but that's a bit slower than I'd like. Honestly, I also still struggle with some of the mental calculations for cuts, pair dealing, and ACAAN as well.

Now that I've at least got a basic foundation of memory built, I was wondering what were some of y'alls favorite/best drills to help with your mem deck proficiency? I already use numbers from the surrounding environment as a basic drill, but I'm afraid my speed isn't improving. How did you drill the order in to make your mem deck second nature? Were there any tips or tricks that especially helped you with mental calculations? ACAAN in particular? Was there any resource that gave you some great advice or helped you go from beginner to intermediate-advanced mem deck work. As I mentioned, I do struggle a bit with math, but not with my memory thankfully, so any advice is appreciated.

PS: I'm sure there are some posts or replies about it within the topics here, but my searches yielded limited results. I apologize if this seems like a simple or repeat question :( [/quote]
The Memory Book by Harry Lorayne. That is all.
Message: Posted by: Bobby Forbes (Apr 15, 2020 06:47AM)
[quote]On Apr 10, 2020, Silversleights04 wrote:
Not sure where I got $10 from, maybe at Half-Price Books... I can't REMEMBER, apparently I need this book :P [/quote]


Here it is for $3.99 used. Go grab it up man. It's a great book and a fun read https://www.thriftbooks.com/w/the-memory-book-the-classic-guide-to-improving-your-memory-at-work-at-school-and-at-play_harry-lorayne_jerry-lucas/247113/?mkwid=s|dc&pcrid=383338728197&pkw=&pmt=b&slid=&plc=&pgrid=77362856079&ptaid=dsa-545194978047&gclid=Cj0KCQjw4dr0BRCxARIsAKUNjWRUDIQ4juc8GARPEVxgNIgEWXMNuQu4hvSXwRsoRjUR50QilClwSLcaAhUgEALw_wcB#isbn=0880293225&idiq=1288731
Message: Posted by: Fredzik (Apr 15, 2020 03:20PM)
If you want to develop mastering intuitively your stack, I strongly recommend the Stack Master App (available both
for Android and Iphone). As I already wrote in anoter thread,it is by far the best app you can think about:
- to learn your favourite stack
- to go beyond standard rank/card association in a very recreational way.
The app is really eye-candy, have many many different games to master your stack instinctively:
memory games, maths games, find 4 of kind, mates, Green Angle Separation etc etc ...
It also integrates full routines training like ACAAN (Asi Wind) , Mnemonicosis (Tamariz) ,
The core (Pit Hartling), Past Present Future (Aronson), Pi (Vincent Hedan book test).
There are many predefined "standard" stacks (Tamariz, Aronson, Redford, Aragon ... among others).
Message: Posted by: Jocko (May 8, 2020 11:35AM)
I'm using the peg system to memorize Mneumonica. Do any of you have a list of the way that you associate the card word with the number word?
Message: Posted by: Silversleights04 (May 8, 2020 12:50PM)
So, the method that worked best for me, in the end, was actually a combination of things. The Trustman's loci method added extra steps to the mental process, especially when recalling neighboring cards. So, I created a simple mnemonic narrative with a photographic deck as a reference tool to help with the mental imagery. I ultimately found this method the most helpful for quickly recalling a sequence of cards (which was a big point of weakness for me in terms of speed of recall). I also used Sal Piacente's teaching of the Major System from his Penguin Lecture to help with the position association by adding linking images to my mental narrative. I know everyone says H.L., but I didn't want to endorse him anymore after seeing and experiencing his abrasively aggressive sales pitches on here. I also still play with the apps regularly for fun and do drills based on deposit amounts at work.

It's been a fantastic experience and I legitimately feel like I've gained a powerful tool because of it. The current recall time is 3 seconds or less, which I consider to be a drastic improvement. And the best part is, I can finally perform Temporarily Out of Order and Asi Wind's ACAAN, and I didn't even need a Might Morphing Magic Ranger stack watch :P. Thanks to everyone for their assistance and guidance! Special thanks to Patrick Redford and Sal Piacente!
Message: Posted by: RobertApodaca (Jun 16, 2020 10:19PM)
There's a Stackview tool you can use in the browser for Aronson stack.

Years ago, someone on this site shared a link to a small piece of software that had the most popular mem stacks available to choose and you could quick yourself in variety of manners.

Does anyone remember this program? This was about 10 years ago. It was called "Stack " something.
Message: Posted by: Chris K (Jun 18, 2020 04:30PM)
This is my favorite, by far. Not as user friendly to start but so much power: http://www.wynapse.com/random/randomcards.html
Message: Posted by: Francois Lagrange (Jun 19, 2020 02:14PM)
There's this excellent free standalone android app. that you can download from here -> [url=https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.solutionsbuilder.memdeckpro]MemDeckPro[/url]

It has numerous settings, it's fast, contains a lot of stacks and you can create your own.
Message: Posted by: MC Mirak (Jun 20, 2020 11:26AM)
[quote]On Jun 16, 2020, RobertApodaca wrote:
There's a Stackview tool you can use in the browser for Aronson stack.

Years ago, someone on this site shared a link to a small piece of software that had the most popular mem stacks available to choose and you could quick yourself in variety of manners.

Does anyone remember this program? This was about 10 years ago. It was called "Stack " something. [/quote]

Stack Master? or this? https://web.archive.org/web/20130429044059/http://huruey.webs.com/
Message: Posted by: TerrorInt (Jun 27, 2020 05:14PM)
I have Memdeck Pro on my phone, and have mentioned it a few times here in the forums. I use it for testing myself, and also used it for memorizing Mnemonica. I use Derren Brown's card memory technique, btw.

My go-to exercise with a deck in hand is this: I randomly cut/finish the deck, practice a peek or glance of the bottom, and then rapidly as I can, determine what the top card is. This exercises my ability to rapidly translate card->number and number->card, with a mental number increment in between. Each of those motions and the mental gymnastics are used in so many memdeck tricks that I decided to narrow in and use it as a practice manouvre. And I do this fairly often even though I'm proficient at it - because I want to stay that way. It's more fun than a fidget spinner. And if someone asks me what I'm doing, I don't even have to segway in order to blow their mind.
Message: Posted by: Bobby Forbes (Jun 28, 2020 09:32AM)
I like holding the cards face up and dealing them into two Pile's as fast as I can. First pile are cards 1-26 and the second pile 27-52. When you can deal the cards without hesitation and without making mistakes, your going in the right direction. Then you can practice culling the first 26 cards while fanning through them in your hands.

Dealing the cards into 4 piles is a little more difficult. First 13 of the stack, followed by next 13, etc.

Also Pit Hartling explores the idea of knowing how many cards are in between each quad set of cards. Very cool idea and he uses it to great effect. I first saw the idea used by Denis Behr.
Message: Posted by: ltrblst (Jun 29, 2020 09:04AM)
I'm using Memdeck Pro on my Android phone, in which I saved and exported a few decks (like Si Stebbins SHoCkeD 4 apart and Shadow Sequeira Stack).

On my PC I use StackView especially for the ability to shuffle, cut, faro, etc...

On the go I use

- https://web.archive.org/web/20130429044059/http://huruey.webs.com/
You can save an offline webpage while it's still available.

- https://natedog.com/cards/faro.html
great for shuffling, cutting, faro, etc...
Message: Posted by: Madman13 (Oct 14, 2020 05:53PM)
I like to mix a deck and arrange it in order.After that I deal the cards face down in four piles separating the suits after which I mix them up again and arrange them in reverse with face down cards placed over each other in stack.
Message: Posted by: Nikodemus (Oct 17, 2020 08:18AM)
I just googled the Trustman Loci system -
https://artofmemory.com/wiki/Method_of_Loci

It says you go on a "mental journey" and associate objects you want to remember, with locations along your route. EG you would visualise corn (first item on your shopping list) with your bedroom (first location on your journey).
I can see how this might be useful for some purposes - but lousy for linking cards to numbers. Presumably you would need to link a card AND number to each room. But how? What makes each number (or card) special and distinct from all the others?
Or maybe you have to remember that the basement closet is the 37th location - but how???

No wonder the OP was taking 20 seconds per card after several months learning (!) You need to choose the right tool for the job. Harry Lorayne has done great work on this. (And I think he has a right to blow his own trumpet).
Personally I learnt Martin Joyal's 6 Hour Memorised Deck.
Whatever method you choose, do your research first!
Message: Posted by: Nikodemus (Oct 17, 2020 08:26AM)
After a few months, you just know which card is at which number & vice versa (assuming you start with a decent system).

Here are a few things I do now -

Watching ANY card trick, whenever a card is selected I mentally say to myself its position in my stack.

Shuffling the cards then re-arranging into stack order (or reverse stack order).
Usually I sort into several piles first: 0-9, teens, twenties, thirties, forties, fifties

Shuffling then sorting into odd/even stack numbers.

Shuffling then sorting into high/low

Taking a stacked deck face DOWN, and dealing the cards into 4 piles of each of the suits.
Haven't tried this yet - but you could then arrange each of the 4 piles into A-K order.
Message: Posted by: Michael L (Oct 17, 2020 11:26AM)
I work it into everything else I do besides just doing stack work, but some of the drills mentioned above are fantastic ideas I will be using :)
For example, If I'm working on shuffles or cuts or routines, I'll peek a card. Then I name the position of the card in Mnemonica, the cards before and after, and do the same for Aronson. It doesn't even have to be card work, so long as you have a deck on you (in the car, while cooking...)
Message: Posted by: marc_carrion (Oct 30, 2020 06:40AM)
[quote]On Oct 17, 2020, Nikodemus wrote:
I just googled the Trustman Loci system -
https://artofmemory.com/wiki/Method_of_Loci

It says you go on a "mental journey" and associate objects you want to remember, with locations along your route. EG you would visualise corn (first item on your shopping list) with your bedroom (first location on your journey).
I can see how this might be useful for some purposes - but lousy for linking cards to numbers. Presumably you would need to link a card AND number to each room. But how? What makes each number (or card) special and distinct from all the others?
Or maybe you have to remember that the basement closet is the 37th location - but how???

No wonder the OP was taking 20 seconds per card after several months learning (!) You need to choose the right tool for the job. Harry Lorayne has done great work on this. (And I think he has a right to blow his own trumpet).
Personally I learnt Martin Joyal's 6 Hour Memorised Deck.
Whatever method you choose, do your research first! [/quote]

I learned using Juan's technique in Mnemonica and it took me a while, but worth the time. I wish I had known Sarah's Trustman method earlier, it works. It's easier than what you explain above, the path is drawn for you, for instance 19 is a desert island, it all makes sense when you learn the path. And each location is divided in sections, that added to a peg system, when you see a shrew (I prefer shoe) on the top right corner of the desert island you know it is the 2 of diamonds on the 19th position. Once you learn the method and practice the method, it's easy to memorize a stack.

Actually, Sarah Trustman is doing a Master Class on the Amamzing Memory Test in less than two weeks if you are interested: https://www.trustmancreations.com/product/the-aestmt-master-class/

The class is limited to 10 people. I registered for it already :) I've been teaching her techniques to my 11 year old, and he is having fun with it. We have a game we play to challenge each other and see who fails first, building up to a list of 50 random items.
Message: Posted by: MC Mirak (Oct 30, 2020 05:31PM)
While I really liked the Trustman book (especially the memorization of 2 stacks at the same time), I think the easiest path to memorizing Mnemonica specifically is Rick Lax's Mnemonica Trainer.

In terms of drills, I have really been enjoying The Ultimate Mnemonica Trainer on my iPhone ( https://apps.apple.com/app/learn-mnemonica-ultimate-mnemonica/id977361589?ign-mpt=uo%3D4 ). It's replaced my deck of cards with numbers on the back (shuffled face up and face down, how fast can I go?).

Michael Close's idea of using a metronome to normalize the timing is pretty slick too. The way I do it is if I fail, the card goes to the bottom, if I pass, it goes to the side. I use the deck mentioned earlier (numbers on the back, mixed face-up and face-down) so that I have to do it in both directions.
Message: Posted by: Nikodemus (Oct 30, 2020 06:20PM)
I just came up with another exercise -

Have a deck in stacked order. Then remove one card without looking at it. OR insert an extra card from a different deck. OR just move a card to the wrong location in the stack.
There is a slight problem because you will have a rough idea of where the card is/was. To avoid this, first cut the deck multiple times so the cards remain in stack order but not starting from 1. (You need to deliberately lose your sense of how much the stack is displaced). Then cut a few times after adding/removing/moving a card,

Then you just spread through the cards looking for the one that is out of position. At first you will tend to mentally recite the stack number of each card.
But now I am deliberately trying NOT to do that, which means I have to go through them faster. Just tried this a few times - and the out-of-place card just JUMPED out at me! Likewise when a card is removed, so there is a gap in the sequence. This is great - it means your brain works faster than you expect - if you are wiling to trust it.
Message: Posted by: iFeatherly (Nov 3, 2020 09:36AM)
Pit Hartling has an effect in “In Order to Amaze” (I think it’s “Sherlock”) where the spectators can riffle shuffle a couple times and cut the cards. The process to reveal the selected card involves running backwards through the MD in a couple phases. I found this effect helped me polish up my reaction times. There’s also an app that I believe was already mentioned (“Stack Master” on iPhone ) that is great for training quick calculations for effects like ACAAN.
Message: Posted by: Jim C. (Dec 15, 2020 10:40PM)
Check out the Joyal book, the Six-Hour Memorized Deck. It talks about writing the number on the back of each card representing that card's position in your stack. Shuffle the cards half face up and half face down. Then mix them thoroughly. Go through them. Try to name the card when the back appears with the number showing. And try to name the number when the card is showing. Do this as much as possible every day, just as if you were trying to master a sleight of hand move. Eventually, the numbers and cards associated therewith will move into your long term memory. Also, you won't have to think about the numbers any more. You'll just learn the cards in sequence the same as you know the alphabet. A little arithmetic will allow you to know the position of any card by seeing the bottom card, etc. when performing an effect.
Message: Posted by: Cesar Munoz (Dec 19, 2020 07:29AM)
I published a free set of flash cards for mneumonica on Brainscape: https://www.brainscape.com/p/BLY8-LH-1OA24
Message: Posted by: Francois Lagrange (Dec 19, 2020 02:22PM)
[quote]On Dec 19, 2020, Cesar Munoz wrote:
I published a free set of flash cards for mneumonica on Brainscape: https://www.brainscape.com/p/BLY8-LH-1OA24 [/quote]

Hey Cesar, can you please refrain from posting the same message on so many different threads? Why don't start a new thread instead? I believe people will pay more attention to what you have to say.