7 o?clock pop!
Credits: Kaskade 67
This third article in my series on 7-club passing is about one of my favourite
branches of patterns: 'Popcorns', and I must confess that most of these patterns
are not my inventions. It is mainly thanks to Sean Gandini that I can present
this section. I have, however, taken some of the patterns a bit further to funk
up some already very funky patterns. Before we get into the patterns just a
few words on what popcorns are.
As I will mainly be dealing with 7 club popcorns, I won't need to get into Gandini's technical definitions here. In this section it is sufficient to say that a 7-club popcorn is one where one juggler juggles 4 clubs for a few beats while the other does 3 at the same speed (or maybe at a different speed?). Normally the 4 clubs are juggled as triple-single, but they might as well be in the 4-club fountain style. Some people prefer the term Twin Towers for this variation, but I don't know about that
The classic popcorn is a 6-count (which makes it one-sided), and both jugglers
do normal selfs from the left while the right hand does: crossing triple self,
straight double pass, single self. I normally start with the triple, and the
other juggler waits three beats and then starts with her triple. The timing
in the start is the same as in normal boring right-handed 7-club shower (that
is, wait until the double is half way and then start - but with a self triple!).
This is a great pattern and it has heaps of variations. Try for instance to throw the triples as backcrosses or do one round of the Twin Towers, in stead of the triple-single (that is 44 instead of 53). As each juggler throws three single selfs in a row after the pass, starting with the left hand. Try to substitute this for one round of left-handed 441 or 531 (each of which has its own body variations). 531 is particularly spectacular as the 5 is thrown at the same time as the other juggler's normal self triple. Another variation that I just thought of now is to throw the double pass as a straight self double, followed by a left crossing single pass (which then arrives on time). The possibilities are infinite once you start using a pattern like this as a base pattern for tricks and syncopations.
As this popcorn is a 6-count it is incredibly easy to pick up when you drop - once you know how to (picking up that is, we all know how to drop). To practice this, put 1 club at each juggler's feet and do very slow asynchronous shower on doubles with the remaining 5 clubs while 'holding through the gap' (that is, never pass when you are just holding two clubs). In causal diagram it looks like this:
Whenever you want, pick up your extra club just after your pass and then start
with your self triple as your partner's pass is half way. Once you can pick
up in this pattern you can keep it going almost forever.
The only drawback about this pattern is that it is one-sided But fear not here comes a both-sided version. Presenting the 7-count Popcorn:
To juggle this pattern all you have to do is:
add an extra self,
make your passes a bit more floaty,
convince your partner that this won't work unless she crosses her passes.
This pattern is a real beauty and can actually be even more relaxed than the 6-count as you don't have to concentrate on keeping your passes lowish.
Try the same variations as in the 6-count version. Now you can chose where to put the 441 or the 531 as you have 4 selfs to play with. Or you can do 3-club site swaps with a sequence of 4, like the ultra funky 5340. If done continually you can actually add an extra club and do a floaty single pass instead of the 0 (See pat. 26 below).
Making the double pass a straight self (a normal 4), followed by a floaty single pass (crossing if you were doing straights and vice versa), makes a fantastic pattern (10666867 in fourhanded siteswap - each juggler does 10687666 - see footnote 1). If you can both juggle 534 solo you have a bigger chance of success, as you throw a right-handed 534 followed by a floaty single pass and three selfs and then the same but left-handed.
For bigger chance of success in this pattern let J1 start like in the normal 7-count popcorn, as it can be quite hard otherwise to get the timing right for J2. As you probably normally tend to time your triples after the incoming double passes it will probably take a few attempts to get used to receiving single passes (not to mention throwing them while looking up at your triple!) - but if you take the time to learn it you will be rewarded by extra thrill, and you will be able to go on to the next pattern If, however, you give up here then move on to pattern 21, which is quite a lot easier.
OK, you are still here! For extra funk you can put all the variations of the 6-count popcorn into it, as there are still three selfs left to play with. Here it is shown with J1 doing a popcorn with a 531 (106871062) while J2 does the Twin Towers version with a 441 (8887882).
Obviously this is quite difficult, and I recommend using pat. 19 as base pattern, and then putting in the siteswaps (and body moves) once you have it running smoothly.
A both-handed popcorn can also be done on a 5-count where each juggler does
crossing self triple, self, floaty single pass, self, self (J1 straight, J2
crossing). This pattern is not actually that difficult, though still lovely.
The siteswap, for those who need that kind of information: 106667 (each juggler does 106766). As a self triple is thrown every 5 beats it will be the same club that does all the triples = very easy to remember.
For syncopations there are not that many possibilities, as there are only two selfs, there not so many obvious site swap variations. However 42 is nice, especially if you throw the 2 as a low self single - or whatever you can come up with. (51 unfortunately doesn't work - 'clash'). Try also throwing an extra self triple on the beat right before the normal triple, this means that you get a zip instead of self after the second triple (got that? Well basically you just throw 551 before the pass instead of 353.
Reversing the logic of before (where we changed the 7-count so that we passed a single one beat later) we can likewise throw what would be an early double followed by a hold - which again opens new possibilities, as you now have a hold and your two selfs (that is a 233) to play with. Try, for instance, to throw a 530, a 440 or a 413 there, or even a 512 (with or without actually throwing the 2). Here you can see these four variations with J1 doing 413 and 512 and J2 doing 440 and 530.
Now we have had 5-, 6- and 7-count popcorns, but also 4-count and 3-count are
To do a 4-count (one-sided) popcorn, reverse the throwing rhythm of the well known 7 club 4-count passing pattern 'triple-self', so that the triples are selfs and the right hand singles are passes (the left hand still only throws single selfs). This mightn't be so interesting in itself, but it can be thrown towards a 'triple-self' or as a trick in it. I haven't bothered working out tricks and syncopations for this as it's a right-handed pattern, and I prefer to use both halves of my brain!
More interesting (for me) is the 3-count versions of popcorn. Following the
logic of the previous patterns the basic 3-count version of popcorn would be
throwing a self triple followed by a single self and then a very quick pass
(a low flat):
This pattern is almost impossible to do nicely (or even not nicely) - it might even be dangerous to attempt this with clubs, as the pass is a 5, (or what would be a 2,5 in solo juggling). However I've been told that it is possible (though still stupidly difficult) to do it with rings. To make it juggleable with clubs it is, however, possible to throw every pass one beat earlier and as a single or to throw every pass on the same beat as normal but as a single (the passes are in both cases straight if you were crossing and vice versa). Both emerging patterns will have a hold (or a funky little 2-throw, if you want) the siteswaps are 1047 and 1074. (For 8 clubs try 'triple self, pass, pass': 1077).
Let's have a pattern that has been around for a few years, a pattern that may
or may not be a popcorn, namely the French 3-count, or the 867 - a real beauty
once you crack it.
J1 starts with a self double and then a floaty straight single pass followed by a self single. J2 starts one and a half beats later with a left self double, then a right floaty single crossing pass and a left self.
8 Clubs wild popcorn
And for the ones who still haven't had enough I present a last minute wild
8-club popcornish thing that I invented with Dani in Barcelona a few days ago
- it is a 7-count, and it rocks, what more can I say. We have almost done a
whole round of it, but it feels very right. J1 passes straight singles and crossing
doubles, J2 vice versa. To start let J2 start with a left hand self triple immediately
followed by a self triple by J1. as I'm running out of article space I'll let
this siteswap (101066897 - each juggler does 106910687) and the casual diagram
speak for itself.
Pop 'til you drop!
1 For a brief explanation of this see Kaskade 65. If you don't have that then just remember that odd numbers are passes and even are selfs and if you want the "normal" siteswap numbers just divide by 2.