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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Shuffled not Stirred » » Finally learned Mnemonica (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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James F
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This isn't really adding anything of importance to the discussion but I just had to tell someone about this. I had tried at least 4 times in the past to memorize a stack (Aronson at the time). The furthest I had ever gotten was 30 before giving up. Well, over break between semesters at college I decided to try again. It took about 8 solid days of working on it constantly but I finally have the entire stack down cold. I just used brute force and memorized the cards with no special tricks. I would hold the next card in my hand and do pirouettes and card twirls with it while repeating the card over and over. On average, I could memorize 13 cards a day, and then another day to solidify them to the point of complete association. I didn't believe others when they said that the stack number would just appear in your head as I was learning this...but it really does. The second my eyes hit a card, the stack number just jumps into my consciousness. What a cool feeling. I made 4 A's this semester but I am so much happier about having memorized Mnemonica. I also downloaded an app to help me. It groups the cards by 13 and has you identify the card when given a stack number, the stack number when given the card, asks you what card comes before and after other cards and stack numbers, and everything mixed together. It then splits them by the first 26 and then all 52. The app helped considerably; I think it was the reason I stuck with it this time. Being able to practise whenever and wherever really makes a difference. The deck I used is so worn and disgusting from dealing and shuffling it for hours on end. Ive been working on this so much, anytime I see a number I think of cards. Its actually kind of out of control lol. Anyway, I don't really know why I brought this up other than just wanting to have someone to tell. I cant wait to start performing effects utilizing all the hard work I put into memorizing a stack.
dgiancaspro
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Great work James ! Smile

I made a few goals for Magic this year ... Mnemonica was one of them. I did almost the exact same thing you did James. Brute force and an app. I'm still working on being able to associate the position and the card with 100% accuracy. So I understand your feeing of accomplishment. Yesterday I did a trick for my daughter using the stack, nothing complicated. Pick a card ... cut at the location ... glimpse and divine the card. I dressed it up with a nice presentation and she was pretty amazed. Your going do some amazing stuff with it.
"Mommy when I grow up I want to be a magician"
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Steve Burton
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The way I see it the problem with brute force is that doesn't have much staying power unless you're constantly on top of it i.e. referencing it every day or every other day.
I've heard many times about people who cannot seem to remember the stack after a few months of disuse. How many things did we commit to rote memory in grade school that are still with us?
The link and peg system as pioneered in the 1920's for memorized work will be retained much longer as the images created are easier to keep in memory. It's up to the individual but I think the pictures really help in retention.
sgtgrey
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Mnemonics and other systems (including crib sheets, like the one provided for Mnemoncia in Phoenix decks) are all great to initially learn the stack and also to fall back on, but imo brute force is the way to go if you really want to get the most out of the stack. Why? Because speed in performance matters, and the fastest way to go from number to card or vice versa is by instant recall. This is similar logic to why we memorize the times tables in first grade. Sure, you can always fall back on calculation, association, etc. but the most effective in performance is instant recall. It also allows you to focus on other aspects of the performance if you aren't trying to recall the card or position, etc. Now, some people end up getting it into rote memory through years and years of use. I got it in me through use of an iPhone app that essentially worked like flash cards. I recommend the latter. It's not hard to keep this in memory as even if you are a hobbyist you can "practice" the stack in your head. You could run through all 52 cards in the time it takes to brush your teeth or wash your hands (you probably can do it twice if you know it sufficiently well). So TL;DR - mnemonics, music, picture association, etc. all help with long-term retention and as a backup, but brute force is useful if you want to be in "performance shape" with a stack (and a backup crib on hand as a security blanket can be especially useful in the beginning).

Anyway, welcome to the world of memorized deck magic! You'll be so glad you did! I remember having fits and starts learning stacks before I finally committed after a push from a friend, and I've never looked back. It has been one of the best investments I've made in magic. Welcome to the club! Smile
James F
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Dglancaspro,

Awesome! I'm sure you'll have it down 100% soon enough!the trick I've been doing to practise is the first effect David Blaine performed on jimmy fallon. Super easy! Check it out if you haven't seen it.

Steve Burton,

That's an interesting perspective. I think you might be right. I could see myself losing cards if I don't keep going over it. I wonder if learning the peg system would be even easier since I already know the cards. Maybe this would be a good way to further solidify the stack in my head. I'm gonna check it out, thanks for the advice.

Sgtgrey,

I agree. I never thought instant recall would happen but it does. Sometimes I just press the right card on the app without truly even thinking about it. I just subconsciously know the right card. It's really awesome. I actually decided to learn the stack after seeing the David Blaine trick on Fallon that I mentioned earlier. It's so simple but it really impressed me. So glad a whole new genre of card magic is open to me now. Thanks for the well wishes everyone.
goochelen
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Quote:
On May 23, 2017, James F wrote:
Dglancaspro,

Awesome! I'm sure you'll have it down 100% soon enough!the trick I've been doing to practise is the first effect David Blaine performed on jimmy fallon. Super easy! Check it out if you haven't seen it.


Hi James F,
I get the part of tiick where David Blane can identify the 5 cards that are selected and taken out.
But he then asks Jimmy Fallon to freely select one of those 5 cards.
How does he "know" which card of these 5 is selected?
I'd appreciate if you can give me a clue.
Thanks
sgtgrey
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If you search there is plenty more info I and others have given on this on other threads already, but long story short is the principle is written in Asi Wind's a chapter One, and this trick is from Asi. What makes it though is the reading, not the revelation, and that I can't share.
goochelen
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Quote:
On May 24, 2017, sgtgrey wrote:
If you search there is plenty more info I and others have given on this on other threads already, but long story short is the principle is written in Asi Wind's a chapter One, and this trick is from Asi. What makes it though is the reading, not the revelation, and that I can't share.


Hi sgtgrey,
That'll give me the pointer I was looking for Smile
Thanks again.
Steve Burton
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James,

What happens is the link/peg/picture system eventually turns into rote (for the most part). But you always have the system to fall back on should you have a moment of hesitancy.
This happens to me when I'm tired or doing a long gig. After a while the cards and numbers begin to blend in my mind but, with the system, I can always call up the card even if it doesn't present itself immediately.

Best of luck!
James F
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Quote:
On May 24, 2017, sgtgrey wrote:
If you search there is plenty more info I and others have given on this on other threads already, but long story short is the principle is written in Asi Wind's a chapter One, and this trick is from Asi. What makes it though is the reading, not the revelation, and that I can't share.


I always thought it was just a camera cut. I figured he asked him to upjog or point to the card or something similar and then mix them and that was taken out of the performance. Am I mistaken?
sgtgrey
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I don't really want to talk method here, but it's much more subtle than that.
James F
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Absolutely, I understand. I guess my question is: is there a camera cut at all or is what we see in the video what we would see if we were in the audience? I plan on picking up Asi's book so thank you for the reference.
sgtgrey
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There is no camera cut that is hiding the method, if that's what you're referring to. But just to be clear, Asi's book explains the basic concept - the same exact thing you see here is not exactly explained, but once you understand the concept, you should understand the Blaine performance.
James F
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Thanks for the info sgtgrey, I appreciate it. I'll pick it up soon. Exciting stuff!
Ahlichs
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Quote:
On May 24, 2017, Steve Burton wrote:
James,

What happens is the link/peg/picture system eventually turns into rote (for the most part). But you always have the system to fall back on should you have a moment of hesitancy.
This happens to me when I'm tired or doing a long gig. After a while the cards and numbers begin to blend in my mind but, with the system, I can always call up the card even if it doesn't present itself immediately.

Best of luck!


this was exactly my experience. now I just have a card <--> number association memorized, and occasionally fall back to a mnemonic if I have a brain fart.
dgiancaspro
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James F:
Yes I know that trick. I haven't tried it yet on humans. I am working on ACAAN right now. I look around me and find 2 numbers the first number is the stack number the second is the position number and I cut the card at the stack to the position. Then I find the three mates that card and cut them to the position. Lather rinse repeat ... I will have to check out the book sgtgrey mentioned.
"Mommy when I grow up I want to be a magician"
"Oh sweety you can't do both."
James F
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Quote:
On May 27, 2017, dgiancaspro wrote:
James F:
Yes I know that trick. I haven't tried it yet on humans. I am working on ACAAN right now. I look around me and find 2 numbers the first number is the stack number the second is the position number and I cut the card at the stack to the position. Then I find the three mates that card and cut them to the position. Lather rinse repeat ... I will have to check out the book sgtgrey mentioned.


I really wanna work on Asi Winds ACAAN but I find the math required to be too difficult while talking Smile
sgtgrey
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The only way to learn to do it is practice. For a long while I just did AACAAN to myself using an iPhone app called RNG that allowed me to choose a random card and a random number between 1-52. So I would video myself doing this and performing to the camera until I felt comfortable with it. Then I went out and tried it on real people (wife first, then friends, then others). It took a LONG time to feel comfortable with this for me - simple in concept, difficult in execution. There's a lot to think about. The biggest key though is to not feel rushed.
James F
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Quote:
On May 27, 2017, sgtgrey wrote:
The only way to learn to do it is practice. For a long while I just did AACAAN to myself using an iPhone app called RNG that allowed me to choose a random card and a random number between 1-52. So I would video myself doing this and performing to the camera until I felt comfortable with it. Then I went out and tried it on real people (wife first, then friends, then others). It took a LONG time to feel comfortable with this for me - simple in concept, difficult in execution. There's a lot to think about. The biggest key though is to not feel rushed.


Awesome idea! How did you get the random card though? I see an app called RNG with a 4.6 but I don't think it does cards. It has something called "List" where you can enter in things so I suppose that will work.
Tim Cavendish
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Quote:
On May 27, 2017, James F wrote:
Quote:
On May 27, 2017, sgtgrey wrote:
The only way to learn to do it is practice. For a long while I just did AACAAN to myself using an iPhone app called RNG that allowed me to choose a random card and a random number between 1-52.


Awesome idea! How did you get the random card though? I see an app called RNG with a 4.6 but I don't think it does cards. It has something called "List" where you can enter in things so I suppose that will work.


Draw 2 cards from another shuffled deck. Card #1 gives you a random card. The stack number of Card #2 gives you a random number from 1-52.

No electronics needed...
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