Advice on what to practice. Practice journal of a beginner

Ok so above is my Yoyo stuff:
First 2 yoyos (fast 201 and hubstack). Strings. And what came in the mail today:

An unresponsive metal Yoyo (Magic Yoyo N8 for $7). I am incredibly impressed by how much longer this thing sleeps compared to the other two but of course it doesn’t come back up.
Until now I have learned to do the tricks from the fast challenge. Today I started practicing binding the N8 (it worked a few times).

Now here is my question. What do you think I should do next, continue practicing with the 2 responsive yoyos till I get better at string tricks which should help with binding. Or practice my binds and then tricks with the N8.
Also what is the easiest way to wind an unresponsive Yoyo, the tricks I use to wind my 201 or hubstack don’t seem to work so I am back to manually winding the N8.

I would personally start practicing binding and then tricks with the N8… You should check out ‘snap start’, it helps start a dead unresponsive yoyo to spin enough for you to bind it back up. To manually bind an unresponsive yoyo, you need to put a finger like shown in the picture and loop around it to wind it (hopefully that makes sense).

Work on binds, both front and side style. 90% of your throwing is going to be side style so be sure to get these down.

Snap starting isn’t only “cooler” and quicker than hand-winding a yoyo but it will help maintain string tension. Each time you wind a yoyo you are actually also twisting the string tighter. and making it want to twist up. This is especially critical when you start getting into slack, and a badly twisted string will snag up on you.

Personally, from my own experience, I feel that you should learn as much as you possibly can on your responsive yoyos. This will make you concentrate more on making it flow smoothly, throw properly, and put power behind your throws.

I’ll look at the snap start. For now after playing with it a few hours I mostly wind it with a trapeze mount and finish manually. When the tension is too much I manually wind in the reverse direction. I also can now bind on the front throw half the time and with a lot of effort. I think I’ll work both the responsive and unresponsive yoyos in turn

@WHOTH3MAN. I kind of expected that. So I’ll work with both since the unresponsive one is so much nicer to look out and throw that it is hard to keep my hands off it.

Learn to be comfortable throwing in front of people
Learn to let go of any dings
Learn to be competitive

This post has give no help at all…

Best of luck though, and never give up of anything you learn on.

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People are suggesting you learn the snap start. This is a wonderful skill to have but realize that it is really difficult. So try not to get discouraged.

I have 2 bits of advice. First, when I was at exactly the place you are at now (just over a year ago) I tried to start every practice session with a forward throw and a bind 10 times. Then 10 breakaway throws to a trapeze, and then a bind. Every single time I picked up the yoyo I’d do these 20 throws. Within a few days I was binding consistently. As I started learning the basic mounts I’d do 10 of those at the start of every session. So my warm up would be something like :

10 forward throws (make sure they’re straight and non-vibey) and bind.
10 split bottom mounts. Dismount and bind.
10 breakaway throws to a trapeze. Dismount and bind.
10 1 1/2 mounts. Dismount and bind.
10 double or nothing. Dismount and bind.

Forcing myself to practice the fundamentals every time I started to practice really helped. It only took a couple of weeks for it all to start coming together.

Then I just started at the beginning of the “Learn” section of this website and started going through all the tricks. If one of them it too difficult don’t beat yourself up. Just move on for now and come back to it. For example, I can do the Master level tricks “And Whut” and “White Buddha” but I can’t do the advanced trick “Leg Wrap Trap”. No biggie. I’ll get it eventually.

Isn’t that Magic yoyo cool? I don’t have an N8 in my collection. I love my N12 Shark though.

EDIT: Hey, one more thought on the bind. I’ll use the forward throw as an example.
Throw your forward throw.

Do the reverse mount bottom, the one you need to do to bind the yoyo.

The string is now looped over your non throw hand. Bring that hand towards your body so there’s now a V between the string from your throw hand and the loop in your non-throw hand. Your NTH should be nearer your body than the TH string.

Pinch that loop with your NTH.

2 things are going to happen at once.
1: Gently lift your throw hand
2: While maintaining that pinch lower the NTH while guiding the loop into the yoyo.

That thing will bind. It really will. Pretty soon all those steps will become one fluid movement and you won’t even notice it.

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^^ maintaining the pinch (a gentle one) is super important!! If you just try dropping the loop when you think the time is right, you’re going to slip many binds. Assuming you develop a strong enough throw, the bind will pull that loop right out of your NTH fingers and you won’t have to even think about letting go of the pinch. It’ll just be a non-factor.

As for practice, my advice is always: practice what is motivating to you. If you want to get good and consistent quickly, a routine of fundamentals is a great idea, and ideally you’ll actually be motivated and find it fun to do those. But if it’s genuinely not fun to spend that 10 minutes of fundamentals, you can still skip them. It’ll just take you longer to get the basics down, but they’ll come.

I personally found it very DE-motivating to try tricks that I wasn’t ready for. Practicing fundamentals is still playing with a toy, though, so I enjoyed working through them. To each their own.


Thanks for the advice. I had started to realize that the snap start was harder than most videos make it look. Currently most of the time after I snap the Yoyo is really wobbly and nothing can be done with it. Once in a while the Yoyo turns nice smooth and straight but never fast enough for a bind.
I am doing something akin to what you suggested I usually practice the forward throw and bind (with the reverse mount now). I can normally land the mount every over try if the Yoyo slows down too much I do the easy bind (not sure how it’s called but I don’t land the yoyo in a mount, I lift the string with my finger and bring the other hand above so I place the Yoyo in the appropriate mount instead of throwing it.
I also practice the trapeze and I am having a hard time landing it more than once every three times and specially cleanly dismounting.

In short I see slow progress but still very far to go.
In term of tricks I can do several picture ones then bind as well as a brain twister with up to 3 loopings.

Unfortunately shortly after the previous post I practiced before lunch and I singed my Yoyo. I am glad magic Yoyo are cheap.

Welcome to the club, learn to embrace the dings. Now file that puppy flat and try again.

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Music and being relaxed helps :grin:

Andre makes this look so easy.

I have watched his snap-starts over and over. I cannot for the life of me see what he is doing. All I can think of is that his DM is semi-responsive and he gets a bind much easier with lower RPM’s. Otherwise it seems like he just crosses his fingers and voila the yo-yo just eats-up string for a perfect bind! When I do it like him, it never seems to catch, or make it all the way up.

Freaking magic, or something…

Dark Magic…

beat me to it…

I can bind a “dead” yoyo. Spinning slowly and wobbly still helps get’r to the top.

When the yoyo is slow, instead of trying to flip the yoyo up into the bind position, just pass your TH towards the front of the yoyo, in a way that makes the loop almost the entire remaining amount of string. There should be just enough string left to pass your TH under the yoyo (from the front) to be in bind position.

Then HOLD ONTO THE LOOP as you slowly pull back/up with your TH. You will feel the yoyo catch (‘bind’), but because the spin is so low and slow, you have to give a tug to impart more momentum to get it back to your hand. At the same time, also lower your TH towards the yoyo so that you’re not fighting gravity, too.

All that to say:

Fast, smooth snaps are great. They DO make things easier. But it’s also about bind technique. If you understand the mechanics of a bind, you can “bind” a dead yoyo. I can’t remember who taught it to me (but it was someone on the forums!) but I didn’t believe them at first. After a few days/weeks of practice, I was finally like, “OK, it really WAS just about practice.” :wink:

Like a completely dead yoyo? I can get it maybe a bit further than halfway, but not all the way up.

Just in time after the ding on the N8 my N9 arrived.
Very pretty but it didn’t soon as well as the N8 until I removed the z-stacks. As I thought they take a lot of the Yoyo momentum to themselves.
I still kept the extra beatings in place I figured they are light and centered and it shouldn’t matter too much.
I used it for practice this morning and I could do ten consecutive front throw and bind and at most 2 consecutive trapeze and bind.
I think this Yoyo shape makes it a bit easier to land on a string than the N8 and it feels a bit heavier. It is also easier to make it spin straight when snapping but on the other hand it will then spin slower. I’ll keep practicing with both and hopefully will improve.

I figured my problem with the Trapeze was probably my break away throw. So I went back to practice with my fast 201 yoyo which makes it much easier to throw many many breakaways since the winding is so much faster and since I don’t have two wind as often.
I then went back to practice with the in N8 and the N9.
At the end of this practice session I was able to throw and bind 10 consecutive Trapeze.