(Close Window)
Topic: Advice to learn linking Rings
Message: Posted by: Rssudo (Dec 1, 2017 09:27AM)
So I've had my dads 8-ring set of linking rings for about 5 years and never got round to proper learning them. I can do a couple of links and unlinks however I've never properly learnt a routine.

Can anyone offer any advice as to a good starting point?
I'm aware its possible to get smaller close-up sets (referring to smaller diameter, not referring to # of rings). I'm aware of their merits, however I'd like to learn an 8-ring routine for cabaret/stage.
Thanks
Message: Posted by: Dougini (Dec 1, 2017 11:10AM)
Hi Rssudo! Welcome to the Café!

The Rings...yes. Where to begin. There are SO many routines and performance styles out there...anyone I mention is going to be copied, and I want to avoid that. Although to begin, copying the routine verbatim IS essential! It is the learning of YOUR OWN style and pace that is important. Do you dance? I compare the rings to The Zombie. They are a DANCE with the prop.

The routine I learned and performed for so many years was Ken Brooke's. He had a way of counting the rings in the beginning that I liked. But I made the rest my own. Only after years of doing KEN BROOKE. But I learned from a BOOK, so I did not do the English accent! LOL! The best ring routines I have seen lately are done by females. Galina, And a South Asian girl whose name escapes me at the moment.

But Ken's routine used an assistant from the audience. I believe Pop Haydn uses a similar approach. You count the rings separately and hand them to the vict- err, helper, to "do as I do". A bit of comedy ensues. The rest is "the dance". The flower opening, the rings cascading, all that is done to music (usually). But again, that's just ONE way. YOU have to find YOUR way. Learn a good link/unlink and a convincing count...that's first up.

Doug
Message: Posted by: thomasR (Dec 1, 2017 01:11PM)
It's not an 8-ring routine, but I would highly reccomend purchasing Pop Haydns 4-ring routine. It's available for download very affordable on his website. It's one of the best routines in magic, and will teach you several neat moves and counts you can use later in other routines as you wish. (Pops is so good, you may just do his routine and be quite satisfied!).
Message: Posted by: Rssudo (Dec 1, 2017 04:58PM)
[quote]On Dec 1, 2017, Dougini wrote:
Hi Rssudo! Welcome to the Café!

The Rings...yes. Where to begin. There are SO many routines and performance styles out there...anyone I mention is going to be copied, and I want to avoid that. Although to begin, copying the routine verbatim IS essential! It is the learning of YOUR OWN style and pace that is important. Do you dance? I compare the rings to The Zombie. They are a DANCE with the prop.

The routine I learned and performed for so many years was Ken Brooke's. He had a way of counting the rings in the beginning that I liked. But I made the rest my own. Only after years of doing KEN BROOKE. But I learned from a BOOK, so I did not do the English accent! LOL! The best ring routines I have seen lately are done by females. Galina, And a South Asian girl whose name escapes me at the moment.

But Ken's routine used an assistant from the audience. I believe Pop Haydn uses a similar approach. You count the rings separately and hand them to the vict- err, helper, to "do as I do". A bit of comedy ensues. The rest is "the dance". The flower opening, the rings cascading, all that is done to music (usually). But again, that's just ONE way. YOU have to find YOUR way. Learn a good link/unlink and a convincing count...that's first up.

Doug [/quote]

Thanks Doug! I'll check them all out and see what I come up with!
Message: Posted by: Rssudo (Dec 1, 2017 05:00PM)
[quote]On Dec 1, 2017, thomasR wrote:
It's not an 8-ring routine, but I would highly reccomend purchasing Pop Haydns 4-ring routine. It's available for download very affordable on his website. It's one of the best routines in magic, and will teach you several neat moves and counts you can use later in other routines as you wish. (Pops is so good, you may just do his routine and be quite satisfied!). [/quote]
Thanks I'll give that one a look, what I meant about an 8-ring routine was In the long run I'm looking at working towards a stage routine and thus don't want to buy a brand new set of mini closeup rings. Anything that helps me learn a routine with full sized rings is great!
Message: Posted by: Magnus Eisengrim (Dec 2, 2017 10:45AM)
Pop's routine is excellent, but it requires a great deal of savvy from the performer. If you are not already a polished performer, you MAY find that Pop's routine doesn't work for you.

As mentioned above, there are many excellent routines in print. I began with the ancient Jack Miller booklet, and learned some moves. Once I had that in place, I learned the Dai Vernon symphony of the rings. I felt comfortable enough with that routine to perform it publicly. It was good, but it didn't quite fit me. For the past couple of years, I have been working a routine and patter better suited to myself as a performer. This journey took years.

(FWIW, I'm in the middle of a similar journey with the Miser's Dream. I've got the moves, but the routines fit me like someone else's shoes. But I know that with patience, I'll find out how I need to perform the routine.)
Message: Posted by: 61magic (Dec 2, 2017 03:31PM)
Here are a few items to consider in selecting a routine. First do you perform with patter or silent? Second do you want to do a more fast flashy routine or something more slow and classical?
Do you do straight classic magic or comedy?
For silent routines Dai Vernon's classic 6 ring routine can be performed with patter or silent and is considered a classic.
A comedy routine would be Pop Haydn's routine, you can adapt it to silent but the comedy is list in the routine. The work of Jay Marshal uses a smaller ring for a comedy element.
For the slower classic routines the Ken Brooke 3 ring routine is very good. You can study that routine or the adaption by Aldo Colombini.
The flashy silent routine would be the work of Jeff McBride on the worlds Greatest Magic DVDs by L&L or his Magic on Stave Vol 1 DVD.
One note the McBride routines use some over the head moves that require a larger ring but again you can adapt.
Also for a variety of styles and routines Levent's DVD set on the Linking Rings is worth the price. There is enough material here to keep you busy for years.
Message: Posted by: Rssudo (Dec 2, 2017 04:40PM)
[quote]On Dec 2, 2017, 61magic wrote:
Here are a few items to consider in selecting a routine. First do you perform with patter or silent? Second do you want to do a more fast flashy routine or something more slow and classical?
Do you do straight classic magic or comedy?
For silent routines Dai Vernon's classic 6 ring routine can be performed with patter or silent and is considered a classic.
A comedy routine would be Pop Haydn's routine, you can adapt it to silent but the comedy is list in the routine. The work of Jay Marshal uses a smaller ring for a comedy element.
For the slower classic routines the Ken Brooke 3 ring routine is very good. You can study that routine or the adaption by Aldo Colombini.
The flashy silent routine would be the work of Jeff McBride on the worlds Greatest Magic DVDs by L&L or his Magic on Stave Vol 1 DVD.
One note the McBride routines use some over the head moves that require a larger ring but again you can adapt.
Also for a variety of styles and routines Levent's DVD set on the Linking Rings is worth the price. There is enough material here to keep you busy for years. [/quote]
Thanks! I might get the worlds greatest basic dvd for now.. currently do mainly closeup magic with patter bit never strictly comedy, and been pretty much the same for the past 7 years. I know id be more comfortable learning a close-up routine but I'm trying to force myself to expand to more stage/cabaret things - thinking going to spend my uni xmas vacation learning as much linking rings as I can...
Message: Posted by: Pop Haydn (Dec 3, 2017 12:25AM)
[quote]On Dec 2, 2017, Rssudo wrote:
[quote]On Dec 2, 2017, 61magic wrote:
Here are a few items to consider in selecting a routine. First do you perform with patter or silent? Second do you want to do a more fast flashy routine or something more slow and classical?
Do you do straight classic magic or comedy?
For silent routines Dai Vernon's classic 6 ring routine can be performed with patter or silent and is considered a classic.
A comedy routine would be Pop Haydn's routine, you can adapt it to silent but the comedy is list in the routine. The work of Jay Marshal uses a smaller ring for a comedy element.
For the slower classic routines the Ken Brooke 3 ring routine is very good. You can study that routine or the adaption by Aldo Colombini.
The flashy silent routine would be the work of Jeff McBride on the worlds Greatest Magic DVDs by L&L or his Magic on Stave Vol 1 DVD.
One note the McBride routines use some over the head moves that require a larger ring but again you can adapt.
Also for a variety of styles and routines Levent's DVD set on the Linking Rings is worth the price. There is enough material here to keep you busy for years. [/quote]
Thanks! I might get the worlds greatest basic dvd for now.. currently do mainly closeup magic with patter bit never strictly comedy, and been pretty much the same for the past 7 years. I know id be more comfortable learning a close-up routine but I'm trying to force myself to expand to more stage/cabaret things - thinking going to spend my uni xmas vacation learning as much linking rings as I can... [/quote]

I think you are on a good track. It is always good for a close-up worker to have at least twenty to thirty minutes of standup. A lot of times people want an hour or two of walk-around and a twenty minute show for the group. Being able to do a short standup routine that uses bigger props is a huge help. It is good to use things like the cut and restored rope and the rings, things that pack flat and can be performed surrounded. It is good to stretch, and I believe that performing standup informs your close-up work in a good way, and vice-versa. You learn to play more relaxed and intimate on stage by doing close-up, and you learn from standup how to make your close-up a bit bigger.
Message: Posted by: Dick Oslund (Dec 3, 2017 05:11AM)
Cf. Rssudo's post, above. He mentions Jeff McBride's using "over the head moves....The late Jay Marshall's five ring routine uses an over the head bit. Jay MADE HIS OWN RINGS (9")SO HE COULD DO THE "OVER THE HEAD-CATCHES ON THE NOSE" BIT.
Message: Posted by: Dick Oslund (Dec 3, 2017 05:54AM)
I think that Whit and I had the same mother! (We think so much alike.) When I decided to 'move' from part time pro. to full time pro., over 50 years ago. I developed a show that could be presented, almost anywhere, for almost anybody.

Most of my 45 minute school show meets that criteria! I've had audiences of 2,000 in metropolitan areas, and I remember a few, with less than 50. (One, in a Galata, Montana school had 7 kids in the group.

I remember a very big corporate date, in a very metropolitan city. My agent said, "do 30 minutes. It's the company's centennial celebration. There will be at least 2,000 employees, AND, their FAMILIES."

The "room" was about the size of 1 1/2 football fields! A band was playing, and hundreds were dancing. A huge "Bar B Cue" pit, was serving "picnic style" hamburgers, hot dogs, ETC. A very long bar was serving steins of liquid refreshment. IIRC, there was a "bounce house" for the tiny kids! It was like an indoor "county fair"! (The only things missing were a Merry Go Round, Pony Rides, and a Ferris Wheel!) There was no way (or place) to do a stand up show. (The seating was "picnic style--scattered all over the huge room.)

It was a big fee date. I took a few appropriate props, (rope and ring, a few silks, a few golf balls, etc., "filled" my pockets, and, did a "walk around". I cut the patter (polka band) did highly visual stuff. and did almost an hour. The client was happy, the people were happy, I was HAPPY (big fee)!

In this business, we must be FLEXIBLE!
Message: Posted by: Pete Biro (Dec 5, 2017 11:01PM)
[b]Buy my book, THE REAL SECRET OF THE CHINESE LINKING RINGS. Stevens Magic sells it. Almost every known routine included.[/b]
Message: Posted by: trickbooks (Jan 20, 2018 06:01PM)
Since no one else mentioned it, I’ll just add Chris Capehart’s routine. I learned it on paper — I think it was a Stars of Magic print — but there’s since been a DVD. It’s a full-sized three ring routine that is simply astonishing and logical. He’s fooled thousands with it under tough conditions.
Message: Posted by: Pete Biro (Jan 20, 2018 10:23PM)
One of my favorite's is Al Koran's three-ring routinwe.
Message: Posted by: Dick Oslund (Jan 21, 2018 01:19AM)
About 1975, my friend, and fellow member of the SECRET SIX, the late Karrell Fox, gave me his 3 ring routine. I had developed a 5 ring routine which I had used for several years, but, Karrell's uses 2 less rings, and, had a finish that I liked better than mine. I've used it, now, for about 40 years, and, I'm very pleased with it. The audience likes it, too!

If I hadn't known Karrell, I would most likely have learned Pop Haydn's! (The late Hersy Basham, gave me Pop's HAND WRITTEN ROUTINE, which Pop had developed in Hersy's living room.)
Message: Posted by: John Long (Jan 23, 2018 08:33PM)
Vanishing Inc has a special on Capehart's(sp) ring routine. I doesn't look like it is encyclopedic wrt moves, but it looks like a good routine to consider.

https://www.vanishingincmagic.com/magic/great-magic-for-big-crowds/the-rings/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=SpotlightSALE&tcbl=34197&te=1081&tmd=a79feba341&utm_content=link&autoplay=1
Message: Posted by: Rook (Jan 23, 2018 10:32PM)
[quote]On Jan 23, 2018, John Long wrote:
Vanishing Inc has a special on Capehart's(sp) ring routine. I doesn't look like it is encyclopedic wrt moves, but it looks like a good routine to consider.

https://www.vanishingincmagic.com/magic/great-magic-for-big-crowds/the-rings/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=SpotlightSALE&tcbl=34197&te=1081&tmd=a79feba341&utm_content=link&autoplay=1 [/quote]

Indeed, you don't need a gazillion moves to put together a very good routine. Chris' routine is very direct, easy to follow, and his teaching provides some very good insights for the beginner. Chris' routine and Pop's routine are my favorites.
Message: Posted by: B.W. McCarron (Jan 26, 2018 08:27PM)
John Booth's classic routine is another to consider. See Chapter Five of "Marvels of Mystery."
Message: Posted by: Pete Biro (Jan 27, 2018 12:34AM)
Juist start playing with them to gain comfort and confidence with handling the rings
Message: Posted by: Frank Simpson (Jan 30, 2018 07:55AM)
Another excellent resource is Levent's [i]Ultimate Guide to The Linking Rings[/i]. It's a 4 DVD set(!) that is extremely comprehensive.

Levent is a great teacher, and he makes things easy to follow which is not an easy task with the rings.

Even though I have been firmly entrenched in Vernon's [i]Symphony of the Rings[/i] for well over thirty years, I loved learning about the many other routines that he covers. I highly recommend this DVD series especially from the standpoint of exploring the possibilites for stage presentation.
Message: Posted by: Dougini (Jan 31, 2018 06:37AM)
[quote]On Dec 6, 2017, Pete Biro wrote:
[b]Buy my book, THE REAL SECRET OF THE CHINESE LINKING RINGS. Stevens Magic sells it. Almost every known routine included.[/b] [/quote]

Please, Pete, allow me:

https://www.stevensmagic.com/shop/real-secrets-of-the-chinese-linking-rings-biro-book/

This IS the book! I gotta tell ya friends, if I had this book when I was performing...I did a bare bones version of Ken Brooke's routine. I like his count. But I never had the charisma I have seen from others. And ya DON'T need thousand dollar rings! Do they HAVE to ring like a bell? No. It's really the PERFORMER that rings the AUDIENCE'S bells! Watch Galina do the rings. Pure poetry! I try that? I'll end up in the hospital in traction!

Pete really spills the beans in this book. Workers note: This is an investment!

Doug
Message: Posted by: gismo (Oct 15, 2018 09:47AM)
How about Lord of the Rings by Jim Cellini?
Message: Posted by: Alan Munro (Oct 18, 2018 05:05PM)
All I can say is to find a routine that you'd love to perform and learn that. After performing it for real people, address those things about the routine that need fine tuning or changes. It helps to have some extra moves learned, so that you are more able to make changes.
Message: Posted by: Rainboguy (Oct 27, 2018 08:15AM)
Oh....by the way.....have I mentioned here lately that you should buy Pete's Linking Ring Book?

"Cause you SHOULD. His Book is THAT GOOD! And required reading, I think, for all Linking Ring enthusiasts.....

Pete.......send me the check later.....
Message: Posted by: Pop Haydn (Jan 9, 2019 02:32PM)
I often hear people recommend that a beginner watch a lot of routines, and take the best things from each and put together his own routine. This is terrible advice. It is like saying to someone who has never cooked, take all your favorite ingredients and make something to eat.

If you have never studied a routine and understood how it works, why one thing follows another, the build, the argument and all of that, how do you expect to create a routine?

I could never have constructed my ring routine had I not first learned and performed regularly both the Symphony of the Rings by Vernon, and Jack Miller's Five-Ring Routine. It is not just the moves. One needs to understand how each move fits into the argument of the trick and how to build the interest level of each section of the routine.

I always recommend the student study and learn routines that have been created by knowledgeable magicians. Until you have learned to entertain with the rings, how can you create your own routine? What are the criteria you would use to evaluate one routine over another? What is a good routine? What makes a weak routine?

It is important to study real routines and compare them so you can understand what makes one routine work differently from another.

I find that amateur magicians are always the first to want to take bits and pieces and put them together without understanding. Being original before you learn the craft is a mistake, in my opinion. Organized magic has done a lot to encourage "originality" over good performance. I believe magic is best learned from copying.
Message: Posted by: 61magic (Jan 9, 2019 10:45PM)
As always Pop's advice is spot on.
Too many "routines" are just a bunch of moves with no logical sequence.
The worst example of this thinking is the card guy who tries to put every move he has into a "routine" to impress his magic buds. No entertainment except for himself.
Don't be a "move or sleight collector" be a performer.
Message: Posted by: Dougini (Jan 10, 2019 09:53AM)
[quote]On Jan 9, 2019, Pop Haydn wrote:

...Being original before you learn the craft is a mistake, in my opinion. Organized magic has done a lot to encourage "originality" over good performance. [i][b]I believe magic is best learned from copying.[/i][/b] [/quote]

I would add, that you do not PERFORM that copied magic. It is for LEARNING. I mean, yes, try it out on a few people, but your polished act should be YOU! Your performance is honed and fine tuned. You don't have to THINK about the props. Very little chance for mistake or error. Pop Haydn has a unique insight into this craft, which I find refreshing...

Doug
Message: Posted by: thomasR (Jan 10, 2019 11:47AM)
Doug, are you saying that it has to be original in order to perform it? Copperfield performs floating rose pretty much exactly as Kevin James.. other than the music I don't think he added much to that routine. And that's ok because it's a great routine and it fits what he does.

Now Darren Romeo performs the Floating Rose VERY differently from Copperfield and James. He makes it work for his style.

For me, I feel like I can, if I choose to, perform Pop Haydn's linking rings for the rest of my life. It works with my style and it is an excellent routine. (although one day I may want to learn another routine, like the Symphony, or Jack Miller, etc.) I don't think there is a need to develop my own routine to be a good performer. (Obviously this only applies to routines that you can purchase, I would never perform a routine that was not available.)
Message: Posted by: Dougini (Jan 10, 2019 12:05PM)
Good point Thomas! :)
Message: Posted by: murf (Jan 10, 2019 12:45PM)
While teaching magic to youngsters, I found that the Jay Marshall routine on the World's Greatest Magic Linking Rings video is a great place to start. The first few moves are very easy to learn, yet very deceptive and entertaining, so the student gets a feeling of accomplisment and, hopefully, an incentive to work on some of the more involved moves.

Murf
Message: Posted by: Pop Haydn (Jan 10, 2019 12:51PM)
I definitely believe that using published routines "as is" is okay. You don't change the words to suit your vision of Hamlet.

I think that many magicians have no idea how hard it is to make magic routines and patter. Most bad magic is "original" material put together by people who don't know what they are doing. No one would tell a beginning musician to "just make up your own songs" before the student has learned to play any other performers' songs. It is terrible, awful advice to tell someone to be original unless they have become comfortable performing decent routines by others.

There are exceptional magic "geniuses" that don't need advice or instruction, but I have nothing useful to tell them. For most of us, we must put in our time performing and learning the basics before we are ready to create something new.
Message: Posted by: carbone1853 (Jan 11, 2019 07:47AM)
Pop Haydn is exactly correct. Let me summarize.

Learning the Linking Rings
1) Pick a routine you like. Pop Haydn's comedy routine or Dai Vernon's Symphony of the Rings are both great and both can be found on video. Do not change anything!
2) Learn the moves in the routine
3) Learn the routine
4) Practice the routine in your living room as if you are performing it to a audience. If you will use music have it playing. If there are jokes tell them.
5) One a week or so, video your performance and check your progress. This doesn't have to be fancy, a phone will do.
6) When the trick is ready, perform it for live audiences.
7) After many performances, you will get a deep understanding of the rings and now you are capable of creating your own routine (if you want)
Message: Posted by: Bill Hegbli (Jan 16, 2019 05:36AM)
Here is a routine by David Ginn.


[youtube]AxJLxP850gw[/youtube]
Message: Posted by: AllanK (Jan 18, 2019 11:35PM)
Thanks for the memories, Bill! I performed David Ginn's Linking Ring Routine when I first started performing publicly in the late 70s. It was published in booklet form - no videos then! It was a great routine and always went down very well with adult audiences - of course I changed the patter to suit my own style, but I kept the structure and moves that had been proved to work by David Ginn. Around 1987, I discovered Whit Haydn's routine (again, published in booklet form). I practiced it for months and months before I dared replace the Ginn routine. I have never looked back. It is a superbly constructed routine that will play anywhere under any conditions, with the laughs coming in at the right places with pinpoint accuracy. I agree entirely with Pop's view above - learn an existing routine that works first. Vary it only after you have a lot of experience with the original.

Allan
Message: Posted by: Don (Jan 22, 2019 09:55AM)
Pop:
You are right on the money.
Message: Posted by: Tony Noice (Apr 30, 2019 07:20PM)
I must join this love fest. Pop Hayden's advice is always super valuable and eminently practical. I really admire his comment about the performance of HAMLET. From an ethical standpoint, you can certainly do someome's routine word for word as long as you bought it legitimately in print or video. The important question is: Do you have the acting chops to make it real just as Olivier's and Branagh's renditions of the exact Shakespearean text were real. If the actor/magician means what he or she is saying, it will be both faithful to the original and unique. (I teach acting at a university and have a PhD in theatre.) Whit, please keep contributing to this board -- we need you.
Message: Posted by: Dynamike (May 1, 2019 02:48AM)
[quote]On Jan 30, 2018, Frank Simpson wrote:
Another excellent resource is Levent's [i]Ultimate Guide to The Linking Rings[/i]. It's a 4 DVD set(!) that is extremely comprehensive.

Levent is a great teacher, and he makes things easy to follow which is not an easy task with the rings. [/quote]

I agree with Levent's Linking Rings DVDs. There are a lot of routines he teaches. Watch them all and pick your favorite: http://www.leventmagic.com

I remember when I was a teenager back in the seventies. I had the 8 linking rings and instructions. I would try learning for a little while and give up. Months later I would try reading the instructions again and give up. I was not able to do the routine until my shows were increasing in my mid twenties. It took a lot of practice. Since I know all the moves I purchased other books and DVDs to learn more routines. But I like the first routine I learned with the 8 rings the best: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FS78iI6cwh0 The only move I leave out from the instruction book is the "Falling Ring."