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twistedace
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Ok all,
How long until you got to be pretty proficient with the stack. I can name them all but am still using the peg system. Some I know cold but many I have to still figure out using the peg system. So about how long did you work with it until the cards became second nature?
spycrapper
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Well, it doesn't really matter IMO, because it's just worth the effort!
As for myself, I use a brute force method, and I can name the card or the stack number in about maybe a month (?). I follow the suggestions of many magicians to repeat it whenever I can, like when on the train, when taking a bath, when I see a number convert it to the card name, etc..
The other important thing is to use it regularly, or at least repeat it all once in a while.. Except if it's already became a second nature as you said..
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Nick Pudar
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It took me about six weeks before the Aronson stack values were burned in to my mind. And of course, the peg/mnemonic system is totally lost (except for the 7C, which is just disturbing). When you get there, each card's stack value will be as obvious as its suit or color. Keep at it!
Nick
Let me explain. No, there is too much. Let me sum up.
www.stackview.com Version 5.0 is available!
The Amazing Noobini
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Took me about 4 months to learn it. But of course I didn't exactly drill it every day for hours. To begin with I studied it a lot but when I realized that I couldn't learn it as quickly as most others claimed they had, I started taking my time.

After that I thought I had mastered it, but there still followed a period where I could sometimes have to stop and think for a long time to remember a certain card.

After 18 months I still cannot do all kinds of things rapid-fire. I cannot clearly see in my mind the relationships between the different cards. I cannot sit and mentally work out how I can utilize the placement of the Aces in conjunction to the Kings, or something like that. So I can do the published effects but I cannot be creative with it and make up my own stuff. I don't have that overview.

However, I'm probably just a lot slower than most people so it shouldn't discourage you. So if we are using the term second nature, I think I will answer that it took me at least a year.
"Talk about melodrama... and being born in the wrong part of the world." (Raf Robert)
"You, my friend, have a lot to learn." (S. Youell)
"Nonsensical Raving of a lunatic mind..." (Larry)
twistedace
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I use a bathtub full of socks if that helps for the 7C, but then again I'm sure most people do as well.
The Amazing Noobini
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Quote:
On 2008-09-23 07:49, twistedace wrote:
I use a bathtub full of socks if that helps for the 7C, but then again I'm sure most people do as well.


Haha, I'll never understand how people get mnemonics to work that well. I can't see how this image for instance could help someone remember the 7C. But I'm sure it does.

Once I was trying to impress my mother with how I could use the peg system to remember a phone number and she commented that "why don't you just remember the number instead?". And this I have found to be just as easy really. I can remember phone numbers of friends I haven't talked to in many years, but the basic phonetic sounds that correspond to the numbers 0-9 never stuck properly.

Of course, for us non English native speakers, mnemonic words from books make no sense at all. And it may take a lot longer to construct strong peg words in our own languages than to just remember what needs to be remembered.

Well, I digress. I think the difference in learning time from person to person has more to do with how hard they work at it than which system they use. And also of when they think of their stack as being learned. When they can go through it without error and when they can use it under fire while talking. I basically took my time with it so as not to lose interest, although I admit to having pretty bad memory.

Anyway, as spycrapper points out, it doesn't really matter how long it takes you because it is worth it! And it is not beyond anyone to learn it.
"Talk about melodrama... and being born in the wrong part of the world." (Raf Robert)
"You, my friend, have a lot to learn." (S. Youell)
"Nonsensical Raving of a lunatic mind..." (Larry)
Dennis Loomis
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I had to unlearn the Nikola Stack when I tackled the Aronson. But I believe it was about six weeks before I was fairly comfortable with it.

The first few days I did put an hour or two into it, but after that it was just a few minutes a day. It's my belief that very long sessions are not necessary, but that DAILY practice is important. Even if it's just five minutes. Even today, after 12 years of working with the Aronson Stack, I very seldom let a day go by without a little review or drill. When I do my daily walk, I first just name the cards in order, which only takes a couple of minutes. If I feel slow, I may do that one or two more times. Next, I go through the deck in order and recall the stack numbers. (I used CHaSeD: AC to KC, then AH to KH, then AS to KS, and finally AD to KD.) Then, while I walk I pick numbers from the environment. (Car Liscense Plates, House Numbers, Numbers on Signs, etc. For variety, I'll take words from signs and using the phonetic alphabet translate them into numbers.)

I will often do these reviews while driving. It's hands free and doesn't take away too much attention from driving. If I get stuck in a waiting room or a line at the bank, I will often run through these drills.

I also use Nick Pudar's Stack View program when I'm at home for a good, intensive drill session.

The reason I keep at this after all of these years is that I want to avoid any chance of drawing a blank in performance, and I want my recall to be as fast and easy as possible. When I'm in front of an audience, I don't want my thinking to show.

How you initially learn the system is unimportant. Choose whatever method you like. Brute Force, sing-song or rhyming phrases, mnemonics... whatever you wish. There has been endless discussion on the Café about which of these is best. Who Cares? Don't worry about that. Just pick one and jump in. If you seem to have real problems, then switch to a different method. Whatever method you choose, plan on a few weeks to initially get on top of it. Many sleights take longer to really master. But, remember that you are developing a tool to catapult your card magic to a new level and open up the possibility of some really amazing effects.

For a few more thoughts on this, visit my site ( http://www.loomismagic.com ) and read my article on mem-deck mastery. It's free.

Dennis Loomis
Itinerant Montebank
<BR>http://www.loomismagic.com
twistedace
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Wow! I thought I was crazy because I've been doing the same exact thing while driving and when I'm out anywhere. I've been taking all numbers I've seen and just naming the cards associated with them from license plates, signs, billboards, speed limits, etc. I've already become MUCH faster. I run through the cards in my head while waiting in lines as well.
Dennis Loomis
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To twistedace,

You're certainly not crazy... you are effectively using some wasted time to develop your mastery of the mem-deck. If you are not familiar with the phonetic alphabet, this should be your next step. With it, you can translate words you see on signs, posters, etc. into numbers. Road becomes 41 and that is the 2 of Spades. Farm becomes 843. So, you recall card 43, card 34, card 38. Then take 84 and subtract 53 mentally to get 31 and recall that card.

Another purely mental drill you can do with a mem-deck:

You will run through the numbers and for each number name the card at that stack position.

But you use this order of numbers:
10, 20, 30, 40, 50
1, 11, 21, 31, 41, 51
2, 12, 22, 32, 42, 52
3, 13, 23, 33, 43
4, 14, 24, 34, 44
5, 15, 25, 35, 45
6, 16, 26, 36, 46
7, 17, 27, 37, 47
8, 18, 28, 38, 48
9, 19, 29, 39, 49

Best Wishes,

Dennis Loomis
Itinerant Montebank
<BR>http://www.loomismagic.com
twistedace
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I'v been doing EXACTLY that Dennis! I began using that order of numbers two days ago by accident and have been doing it since. I did it just to see if I could name all of the cards that were multiples of 10. I then decided to try multiples of 11, and then finally decided to just name cards that ended in 1, 2, 3, etc. I love practicing the mem deck!
Dennis Loomis
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To Twistedace,
It's wonderful that you love practicing the mem-deck. I hope you love practicing other things as well.

Remember Vernon said that if you want to become a good magician you have to enjoy practicing. Same as a musician. (And many other things, I presume.) If you don't enjoy practicing, you are always going to be finding ways to avoid practice and you won't improve.

Best wishes on your continued study.

Dennis Loomis
Itinerant Montebank
<BR>http://www.loomismagic.com
twistedace
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I've been working close up professionally for the past 4 years. I love practicing and learning as much as I can. Mem deck was something new that most magicians, including myself up until a month ago, find intimidating.
Dennis Loomis
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A lot of people seem to find memorizing intimidating. That's too bad. To graduate from High School or College, you certainly have to memorize a lot of stuff. (Yes, you also have to learn how to THINK clearly and logically.)

I often curse the term "mnemonics" because the word is hard to pronounce and spell because of that silent "m." And that's too bad, because it fosters the false belief that mnemonics is something hard. In fact, from an academic standpoint, it's an easy discipline with simple concepts and not at all difficult to put into practice. Years ago I coined the phrase "Memory Magic" when I started the Memory Magic Institute. It's my belief that many schools prove that they are really not interested in helping students learn because they really don't show students how to commit to memory factual information like dates in History, Chemical Formulas and Valences, Famous names in History, Science, literature, etc. They merely expose the students to the material and then require them to somehow cram it into their mind so that they can regurgitate it for exams. Perhaps the academic community considers the "silly" images to be unworthy of their time. But the fact is that these silly, exaggerated, and vivid images are a HUGE help in the memory process.

Dennis Loomis

P.S. If anyone reading this has the Flash Card Mem-Deck, and is interested in how I reworked it, just PM me.
Itinerant Montebank
<BR>http://www.loomismagic.com
The Amazing Noobini
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Great post. Dennis. And I didn't know the m in mnemonics was silent. I suppose that is a symptom of my struggles with it.
"Talk about melodrama... and being born in the wrong part of the world." (Raf Robert)
"You, my friend, have a lot to learn." (S. Youell)
"Nonsensical Raving of a lunatic mind..." (Larry)
thepspdope
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You mean it's pronounced Mne-onics? Smile

I always thought that was a rather unfortunate spelling to describe such a valuable and easy to learn tool.
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