Beginner's Guide and Your Experiences

Post #2! Hey, I’m a little over my first month of yo-yoing. I’ve went through a lot of tutorials here and elsewhere. Those tutorials are really great, but I think there are a few blanks that need to be filled in. I was wondering if it would be helpful to others just starting out if there was a general guide, or a collection of learning steps that different people have used. For instance, these are the steps I’ve taken so far:

  1. Sleeper, Trapeze, Breakaway, etc
  2. Forward Bind
  3. Reverse Backspin Bind
  4. Switch to large bearing with thick lube
  5. Repeat steps 2, 3
  6. Brain Twister, Atomic bomb, Mach 5, etc
  7. Switch to thin lube

I had to give up on a lot of the intermediate tricks because my spin times were horrible with the smaller bearing, which made me rush through the trick. While rushing through it, I couldn’t focus on the mechanics, and I’d get really frustrated. So, after some reading I knew I had to go to the larger bearing to get longer spin times, which really helped me slow things down so I could see/understand where my hands and the string were supposed to be. If I got stuck in the middle of an Atomic Bomb, I could do a Forward Bind. Likewise, if I got stuck in the middle of a Trapeze and his Bro, I could do a Reverse Backspin Bind.

Do you think this could help other beginners? If so, maybe you could share the steps you took in your first couple months?


Looks good.

Except that I wouldn’t recommend beginners to mess around with lubing the bearings.

Thanks Salvador, i was just jotting down some ideas. I think a more definitive guide would have some more detail.

Things that help me improve:

  1. Never rushing anything new
  • If I rush a new trick I may hit it a few times today, but come tomorrow it will feel like I made no progress at all.
  1. Looking at multiple (3+) tutorials on the same trick
  • Different people have different ways to explain the same trick.
  • You can pick up different ways to get into and out of the same trick and add more variety to your style.
  1. Learn every single trick incrementally - don’t skip tricks you don’t like.
  • While it might be tempting to skip to ladder escape when you become frustrated and impatient with the mountain of intermediate/advanced tricks on this site, just about every one of them is useful at a later point.
  • If you learn every single intermediate/advanced trick, those expert/master level tricks will take very little time to pickup, because usually all that is new is some new way to hop the yoyo or transition to another already learned mount.

i disagree with 3.

learn what you want, make yoyoing fun for yourself. I am only a month in as well, and have learned almost every intermediate and most of the “advanced section 1” tricks on this site, but i’ve learned other master tricks as well just for the challenge.

i highly recommend working on multiple tricks of various difficulty at the same time. when one clicks, they all seem to click. for example, learning to sky bind helped me with double or nothing (not sure how, but it did…) and etc.

now i’m doing wrist mount and yuuki slack and for some reason i can do magic drop now flawlessly.

it’s random for every player, but as long as you have fun that’s all that counts. don’t limit yourself and definitely do what you want to do.

good luck :slight_smile:

I equate yoyo learning to learning math. To me, the key to success and long term enjoyment is mastering the fundamentals - which is not always the most fun.

The most enjoyable part of yoyoing is when you become good enough to get creative, but to get there you have to master all the fundamentals.

However, one of the most frustrating part of yoyoing is when you mess up a low level transition/trick in the middle of a high difficulty combo. If you skip tricks, this starts to happen often, and your incentive to learn drops. This is a major factor to why many people “plateau” in their progression and unfortunately some people even quit due to this.

It’s like trying to do calculus without mastering factoring and re-arranging equations. It won’t be fun even if you can integrate 5 steps in your head like a boss.

While I agree it’s all about fun, yoyoing is also a skill-based hobby, so fundamentals are necessary if you want to have fun in the long run with minimal frustration/plateauing.

A lot of the time why you don’t see more detailed information for beginners is because everyone has a different approach to the same trick. That said it’s very hard to tell someone whats going to make a trick make sense to them.

I would say the best thing you can do is get a friend into Yoyo and you can learn and feed off each other. A person in the room is going to be able to tell you what is making you miss a trick with your particular style.

Join a yoyo club if you can that will help even more.

Patience and persistence. Just keep on throwing and practicing.

Definitely the opposite of lafalot’s #3. :wink: Do tricks that are fun and make you happy!

ALL tricks help build fundamentals. And if you’re trying a trick that’s biting off more than you can chew, you will either spit it out (and pick a different one) or chew it in smaller pieces (circle back around and pick up those fundamentals you may have missed).

Every single “ladder” (including the rated tricks here on YYE) are a loose attempt to suggest (not impose) a path of progress. Nobody’s trying to learn The Matrix before they’ve learned a Double-or-Nothing, for example; but Eli Hops (“Advanced”) are one of the first things I learned, well ahead of a fundamental like 1.5 mount.

I eventually got the 1.5 mount (when I wanted to learn Buddha’s Revenge)… so who cares if I learned Eli Hops first?

I personally think specifics are great. Odds are that someone out there is going to enjoy and excel with the same steps you took. In my opinion, that is way more helpful than the general statement to just practice. I am practicing quite a lot, but I want that ‘powerboost’ to launch my learning into orbit. I want to hurry up and learn those ultra-cool combos like in the videos I drool over all the time.

If no one likes my specific advice on how to get past the intermediate level, then so be it. But, at least they’ll have some frame of reference. Maybe they’ll read GregP’s or Kulazndoode’s advice and like it way more than mine. This is of course, in my humblest opinion…

The bold text shows the wrong kind of mentality for learning. If you have that little patience, then maybe yoyoing isn’t for you. You’re one month in, and you want some specific way to speed it up so you can do those same combos as professionals who have been yoyoing for years? Did you think they had some ace up their sleeve?

If all you want is to copy a combo, then download the video of your choice and look at it in slow motion, copy all the movements. With enough time you will get it.

If you really want to learn, as in create your own combos, start by figuring out the basic mounts. The simplest way to make combos is:

  1. get to a mount
  2. do a trick
  3. land in another or same mount
  4. do another trick
  5. land in another or same mount
  6. repeat as necessary, then bind

Here’s a few specific examples:

  1. Trapeze
  • One of the easiest mounts to start from and get into
    Ex: Laceration -> Trapeze -> kwijibo -> end in double or nothing -> dismount to trapeze or continue.
  1. One and a half mount
  • Another easy one
    Ex: Double or nothing -> Do cold fusion (first 2 steps) until you land in one and a half -> buddha’s revenge(as many times as you want) -> one and a half -> revolutions -> one and a half -> dismount or cross hands and pop (via 2nd step of kwijibo) into double or nothing
  1. Double or nothing
  • Yet another versatile one
    Ex: Pinwheel -> double or nothing -> matrix -> double or nothing -> cold fusion -> trapeze -> skin the gerbil -> trapeze -> swing yoyo up and towards throw hand (like matrix) -> wrist mount (standard method) -> spirit bomb or dismount -> trapeze -> suicide -> trapeze -> jade whip into drop the bucket.

These combos are nothing special, they won’t look amazing like the ones on videos you see, but they will get you started on the concept of chaining your tricks. As you can see its just mount - trick - mount - repeat. #3 was my beginner combo i practiced on for a while, it looks fairly decent when done fast.

db post sry

Whoa the bus. :wink: Just because I don’t think you need to rigidly follow someone’s steps doesn’t mean you just go all wacky and forget fundamentals. The world isn’t black and white like that. I’m saying that there are many paths, and we all have the freedom to discover our own. If 1.5 is bumming me out, but I see another trick that doesn’t need it (Matrix), I can skip tricks that use 1.5, have fun with the Matrix, and then when I’m feeling like putting in the “hard work” I can practice the 1.5 a bit. Then once I get the 1.5 a few times, I can say “Alright, time to give Buddha’s Revenge a try.”

You can be systematic and have a good approach to learning without slavishly following somebody else’s prescription. :wink: And finding your own path doesn’t imply that you’re just goofing off and have no learning strategy.

Dang, Internet Explorer just crashed and wiped out my previous post, but this discussion is what I thought would be a good idea.

Anyways, I thought others may have run into the same problems as I have, and may benefit from my experiences. And maybe more experienced yo-yo-ers could share their early frustrations, and how they overcame them.

Lafalot: I think I know what I need to do from here. I’m not talking about plagiarizing someone’s combo, but how to get past that crucial first hump that might discourage others. This was intended for a discussion on how to help beginners get to that next level. Thanks though, I’ll probably try out some of your suggestions…

I’m good though, if you all don’t think it’s a good idea, I’m ok with that.

On the one hand, I agree that you shouldn’t skip tricks entirely. On the other, I don’t think you should get hung up trying that trick over, and over, AND OVER, and get so frustrated that you just want to give up entirely. Case in point, and I know I’m not alone in this, boingy-boing. Now, I can kind of do boingy-boing; at least, I’ve pulled it off a few times. I practice it every time I throw, but that doesn’t mean it’s the ONLY thing I practice when I throw. I’ve moved up the ladder to work on/perfect some tricks higher up, but that doesn’t mean I’m not constantly dropping down to work on boingy-boing, or practice tricks I have down pretty well like mach 5, rewind, buddha’s revenge, etc. So in conclusion: you’re both right. Congratulations!

Thanks for your input Behemoth. Although I never intended to start a debate on who has the better idea. It’s more of a sharing of ideas. I simply think beginners should have the best tools and info available to them so they can become future eXperts.

I think I’m past the ‘intermediate’ (Brain Twister, Atomic Bomb, etc) stage, and I’m not going to argue on how to help other people. As far as I’m concerned, some beginner will see this thread, and hopefully get something out of it – mission accomplished!

Thanks, and see you all around! :slight_smile:

unfortunately you can only get so far in this sport with copying others you’ll eventually hit a brick wall because of complex motions your hands don’t do on a regular basis. For most people that is Kiwijibo from my experience.
The trick list on this site is setup pretty well to give you the fundamentals to proceed so you don’t hit a bigger brick wall with the more complicated tricks.

It’s frustrating when all you find for help is advice to keep practicing but the reason for that isn’t based on your ability to understand a trick. At some point everyone is slowed down by their bodies ability to retain the muscle memory to complete a trick. You’ll find your body will learn a trick much quicker when it’s done in a way your body understands rather then trying to exactly mimic what someone else does.

so in part when people say keep practicing they are trying to help in the best way they can because they know their way of doing things might slow you down.

One last contribution from me to this thread:

As a continuation to what stumbl1 wrote, I think its important to point out two kinds of practicing.

Difference between “just practicing” and “smart practicing”

Just practicing is mass trial and error of a set of motions over and over again until you hit it right enough times that your muscle memory takes over for you. While this works and is sometimes unavoidable, the problems are:

  • too time consuming
  • if you fail consistently for a long time, and instead move onto something else, your muscle memory might get bound to the mistake as opposed to the correct motions, and then you need spend even more time to correct it later.

Smart practicing is a changing balance between time spent on trial and error and reading tips/watching videos. At the start of a new trick, you should spend more time watching the trick than trying to trial and error with your yoyo. It’s best to fully understand what you’re doing before you pick up the yoyo in hopes you’ll hit it accidentally if you try enough times and then try to deceive yourself that you actually “learned it”.
As you get better, the balance shifts to more time spent trial and error than watching videos until you don’t need to watch the video anymore.