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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Shuffled not Stirred » » Clarification on a few things please. (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Herr Brian Tabor
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I'm interested in memorized stacks, and because I've seen the recurring pattern in this section of people asking about each stack and never deciding, I made my decision and went with Aronson. My system for learning them so far has been a flash card style, numbering the backs and learning them in groups. I have considered learning Harry Lorayne's memory system to aid, and I perhaps still will, but for now, my synesthesia seems to be a good replacement. HERE is the link to the thread where I discuss my synesthesia. In short, it causes me to identify things such as numbers with personalities and colors and genders, as well as letters, and playing cards, for example. It is, in essence, a built in memory association device as well.

I am learning them both in order and out of order, and recalling the aces, then the 2's, and so on, as well as backwards, so I don't fall into the traps of having trouble recalling a card.

I've looked in this section for a bit, and have a few questions I couldn't seem to find.

1st, If one is learning a mem deck using Harry Lorayne's system, is the ultimate goal still to be able to recall the card instantly, without the need for the system? I do understand that memory system will still serve in case of forgetting.

Second, after studying a mem deck, and after a year or so of use, how often (if at all) do you need to refresh your memory if you don't regularly use your mem deck?

Third, I'm aware of the Heinstein Shuffle and the overhand, but are there other false shuffles and/or deck switches that are practical for stand up work? I never use a table, and I'd like to find some practical shuffles that are in the hands. I am also working on a deck switch of my own (though I'm sure there's a good probability I'll simply re-invent an existing one). I rarely wear a jacket unless It's winter and I'm outside, so this has posed some obvious obstacles.

I know plenty of false cuts but prefer a few shuffles to throw in occasionally.

Also, a little tip, if you have a kindle or smartphone or such there are free flashcard apps that you can use to aid your memory practice as well.

Thanks for your time,
Q
Herr Brian Tabor
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Also, I've seen a lot of concern over wanting to use a mem deck that others don't use, but it seems to me it would be fun to run into a magician who knew this as well, you could really have some fun frying people.


One last thing, while I understand the different types of stacks, as far as algorithmic, cycling, etc, am I correct in my deductions that the main difference in mem deck stacks such as berglas, Tamariz or aronson is simply the order and the built in effects?
pnielan
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1. In my experience, the mnemonic system drops away after enough practice and getting to that state of mastery is necessary for performing many memdeck effects without "looking like you are thinking". The mnemonics get you to the point where you can practice in your head without a written stack list. In place of mnemonic alphabet based systems, I've had great success with connecting numbers to personal meanings: family birthdays, jersey numbers (23 is Michael Jordan, he won six championships, the 6H is the 23rd card in the stack), holidays (25th), historical dates, phone numbers, addresses, voting and drinking ages (18 and 21). In actuality, I use both, relying on conventional Lorayne card mnemonics for those cards and stack numbers that don't have strong meaning to me.

2. When busy at work for a month and not performing or even practicing, I try to spend 1/2 hour reviewing the stack every week to keep it almost ready to perform. But that's not quite enough. By the way, it's after a layoff that the mnemonic associations again become useful.

3. Tamariz, Aronson, Green, and Mead describe techniques that are neither shuffles or cuts, but look very casual and disordered. Also, don't discount the approach of doing a non-memdeck trick that preserves order. That can be very disarming.
Herr Brian Tabor
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Thanks for the info, pnielan.
ddyment
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Herr Brian Tabor wrote:
Quote:
... am I correct in my deductions that the main difference in mem deck stacks such as berglas, Tamariz or aronson is simply the order and the built in effects?

There's a bit more to it than that. There is the question of how easy the stack is to learn (as different people have different learning styles: what works best for one is not necessarily best for another). There's also a trade-off between built-in (specific) effects and the general organization of the stack for other effects. And there are separate considerations for those who use the stack infrequently.

I discuss all of these and more, in considerable detail, in my on-line essay on full-deck stacks.
Doug Dyment's Deceptionary :: Elegant, Literate, Contemporary Mentalism ... and More
JanForster
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I have written it so often, but here again Smile: Keep in mind that you do NOT learn an order. Whatever stack or method for learning you decide to go for you have to prepare your mindset for the real goal before you begin. And that is learning a second and secret identity for each card which is by accident a number. End of story.

Of course you can use their secret identities to put them in the order from 1 to 52 or whatever you like. But in your work you have to make the instant correlation between card and stack number and vice versa - without any hesitation, calculations or memory aids. Your initial memo aids will drop out completely. If you do not reach this stadium you will never do the true and extremely strong stuff you could do with a MD. And once you know your secret identities (your stack) cold you will never need more then 6 to 8 minutes per week (!) to keep it fresh and fast. For this you do not even need a deck of cards. It's pure mental gymnastics. Mentally run the stack up and down, forward, backward, all the suits in order in both directions. You can do that three times the week while brushing your teeth...

I do it since twenty years, so I know about what I'm talking. If you read e. g. Simon Aronson and Michael Close you will see that we are all in very good company Smile- and that it does work. To learn a stack you never need more than 4 weeks, one hour per day. Don't drop a day and you will succeed... A decent pianist has to practice a lot more daily - and not only for 4 weeks. What a lazy magic world Smile

And BTW: There are so many magicians who have invented useless substitutes for the MD just because they were too lazy to learn a deck in the first place. And the time they spent to invent their system took longer than actually memorizing a deck...

I recommend very much Simon Aronson's method for learning.

Jan
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landmark
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What he said, and I like the optical false shuffle. It's nice when you look into the mirror or camera and you're still fooling yourself.
Martino
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For more info on memorised deck work you should study the following:-

Anything by Simon Aronson
The Workers series and Closely Guarded Secrets by Michael Close (CGS has some excellent information on false shuffles including the fantastic Mead/Kennedy shuffle)
Mnemonica by Tamariz
Tangled Web by Eric Mead
Hand Crafted Card Magic 1&2 by Denis Behr.
Darwin Ortiz has some excellent memdeck tricks in his books.

For deck switches then the new book by Roberto Giobbi is excellent.

I'm sure there must be many othere excellent refences out there but these are the ones that came immediately to mind.
"There's a difference between not knowing how something is done and knowing it can't be done!" - Simon Aronson
Herr Brian Tabor
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Thanks for the info everyone! I'm really enjoying the memory practice, it keeps my mind busy and stimulated. I've found at this point I'm mostly practicing in my head. I've also worked out a neat little system to access any card at random very fast, using some corner shorts and scalloped and a breather. The mnemonics are very interesting, I've been applying them with great results, though I do my best to always know instantly, they are great for those few times my memory wants to go blank, so I like it for a back up, though of course not using it as a crutch.

I'm also staying away from only learning them in order. I mix the cards well and then go through each one, naming either the face or number, as well as practicing naming the card after the one I'm looking at, or before, and so on. I also like putting them in order by suit or number and going through them, and so on. I read somewhere in here the idea of playing solitare with them, but using the stack order instead, and at the time I thought they were crazy but I find I can do this too! (It takes a lot of thought, but I really enjoy the mental exercise.)

I know most magicians don't bother because of the work involved, but I can't imagine why they don't. You practice sleights all day, why not practice this mental sleight?

JanForster: Thanks for the advise, and I assure you, I'm learning them by their identities, I only utilize the mnemonics when I have trouble recalling the card, as a back-up method. I have synesthesia, which technically is classified as a disease, but it really does aid memory, and I rarely need the mnemonics, they just come in handy from time to time.

Landmark, thanks! I forgot completely about the optical shuffle!
tomboston
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In addtion to knowing the secret identities, I've also found it useful to be able to quickly rattle off the order. This is helpful when doing a card-calling routine, a "memory" demo, or an effect that stacks the deck in front of the spectators.
JanForster
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Quote:
On 2013-07-25 17:48, JanForster wrote:
... It's pure mental gymnastics. Mentally run the stack up and down, forward, backward, all the suits in order in both directions. You can do that three times the week while brushing your teeth...


:)
Jan Forster
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Herr Brian Tabor
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Heh, I'm now at the point where I know all the cards, and rarely have to even think at all before I name them, either by name or position. I go through them both forwards and backwards, by number or position. I also will just go through by suit or value. It's a nice little mental excersice when I'm in the car, trying to sleep, waiting in line, etc.
Nicolino
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Quote:
On 2013-07-25 17:48, JanForster wrote:
You can do that three times the week while brushing your teeth...

My dentist - although not into mem deck work at all - even recommends to do so at least 14 times a week!

Quote:
On 2013-07-30 15:46, Herr Brian Tabor wrote:
...when I'm in the car, trying to sleep...

Although not into magic at all (the astute reader may expect what's to come Smile), my driving instructor recommends rather not to combine these two actions as they might cause you to forget the stack at all!

:righton:
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Herr Brian Tabor
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Quote:
On 2013-07-30 16:46, Nicolino wrote:
Quote:
On 2013-07-25 17:48, JanForster wrote:
You can do that three times the week while brushing your teeth...

My dentist - although not into mem deck work at all - even recommends to do so at least 14 times a week!

Quote:
On 2013-07-30 15:46, Herr Brian Tabor wrote:
...when I'm in the car, trying to sleep...

Although not into magic at all (the astute reader may expect what's to come Smile), my driving instructor recommends rather not to combine these two actions as they might cause you to forget the stack at all!

:righton:



Lol I should clarify, my wife usually drives when we're together. She enjoys it more than I. So I do this when in the passenger seat. Smile
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