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Ed Oschmann
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Lake Worth FL
947 Posts

Profile of Ed Oschmann
Yes, Simon teaches a mnemonic system in 'Bound to Please'. Anything short of brute force memorization will always add an extra layer of mental anguish in actual performance. For me, brute force memorization was a bit too much anguish for me. Simon's mnemonics helped ebb the pain in the learning process.
I believe, that no matter whether you have learned through mnemonics or brute force (or a system), nervousness will always creep in and attack when presenting the effects for the first ten to twenty times you perform your effect. Repetition eases all mental strain. (Geez, can I be any more verbose or what?) Hope this helps.
Ed Smile
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204 Posts

Profile of MTaylor2002
Hi John!

The Aronson stack is great. To be honest, I haven't really explored all the possibilities, but the potential is obvious if you just read through some of the esssays on memorized deck magic. Aronson actually has a free PDF download on his site,, titled, "Memories are Made of This," in which he actually provides the stack, describes its basic uses, and shares a few routines using it. (To find the download, go to the 'Magician's Only Area', then look under 'Memorized Deck Magic'.)

Regarding the Lorayne memory method, I learned this over 20 years ago from Lorayne's book, "How to Develop a Super Power Memory". Using his method, I was able to memorize the Aronson stack in about 30 minutes; after that it was just a matter of practicing mentally whenever I had a spare moment. (I also made up a set of drill cards with Lorayne's peg word and the stack number on the flip side of the actual card -- it really helped me to practice.) Believe it or not, I learned the stack just so I could perform one effect, Aronson's "Invisible Card" (which is basically an Invisible Deck routine without an invisible deck). To me, it was worth it for just that one effect, but there is so much more you can do. Learning more stacked deck routines is definitely on my short magic "to-do" list!

So, this was a long-winded way of saying:
1. It's a great stack!
2. The Lorayne method was my tool for memorizing the stack
3. There's a ton of applications once you have the stack down pat.

Oh, and yes you may get a little nervous the first few times you use the stack in performance, but it does become second nature after a while.

Good luck!
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Profile of marko
There is no mathematical calculations to make with Aronson's. It's all mnemonics. But it will require brain power to remember consistently where every card is and at which number it resides. For guys like Aronson and Michael Close, there's no trouble. They've 'lived' with the stack long enough to recall it all without hesitation.

I don't own that Lorayne book, but Lorayne's materials on improving memory alway seem highly regarded.
Thought: Why does man kill? He kills for food. And not only food: frequently there must be a beverage.
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Profile of gordo
The Lorayne "Memory Book" help me when comiting to memory the stack in Micheal Skinners' Classic Sampler.
I liked the idea of openning a brand new deck of bicycle cards. Five faros and there's the stack.
Perform a couple effects using the stack and keeping deck in order.... now, faro three times...voila, back to brand new deck order.
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Profile of markjens
Thanks for the tip on Simon's stack. I have been so tempted to purchase his book, but I have such a lousy memory (helped in no small part by pain meds), so it seemed a bit of a risk to me. Now I can at least give it a try before laying out the money. I appreciate the tip.
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Gibsons, BC, Canada
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Profile of ddyment
Don't forget that, in addition to "brute force" and "classical mnemonics", there are also "rule-based" and "algorithmic" approaches to memorized deck work. All of this is discussed in some detail in an on-line essay on full-deck stacks, which also includes a chart of the trade-offs among the various techniques.

... Doug
"Calculated Thoughts" is available at Vanishing Inc. and The Deceptionary :: Elegant, Literate, Contemporary Mentalism ... and More
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Mark Wolfire
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Profile of mwolfire
For oodles of great info on memorized deck work
take a look at Martin Joyal's WEB site

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