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The following has been hastily adapted from the original text lessons sent by email. If you can help with any aspect of improving this explanation then please Let Us Know.

Lesson 15 for MM STD

So, the time has come to review what we have seen, and to re-think some of our ideas. In particular, it's time to have a look at what the notation can't do.


Let's look for a moment at four ball Mills Mess. There is a common mistake made in this pattern. When throwing the underarm throw, the ball should follow the previous throw, arcing up from the side and following more-or-less the same path through the air. However, quite a lot of people throw that underarm throw from a somewhat narrower position, and as a result it appears "inside" the previous ball. As we said above, this is a common mistake, and it's one that the notation as described does not help us with.

Similarly, as mentioned in MM_STD_13 with regards TheWeave, the notation doesn't tell us that the held ball should weave between the others. It could equally well be waved about entirely above the other balls.

Other options

For a more complete description of a pattern, one can turn to the extension of Site Swap used in Juggle Krazy. In this Juggling Notation the spatial positions of each throw and catch can be specified, as well as any shifts in the timing. Because of this, the notation can easily be used to differentiate between the two versions of 4-ball Mills Mess, or the two versions of TheWeave described above. For more details on this notation please feel free either to ask us directly, or to download the free, interactive demonstration version of Juggle Krazy, which comes with full on-line help on the notation (and just about everything else!)

Still, the notation we've been working on here, despite its short-comings, is a very powerful tool, both for describing patterns, and for working out new ones.

Call for ideas

However, there are are few minor quibbles that some people have, and which are now worth asking you all about.

Any and all suggestions welcome. Also, if anyone has any comments on the lessons themselves we'd be very grateful. Grammar, punctuation, detail, overview, motivation, all are fit subjects for comment.



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