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I rambled this out while waiting on a train. It started asking questions about wrap combos, but then ended up questioning overall glowstringing style I think.


"What are you trying to achieve with your wrap combos? What is your goal?


Are you trying to make a combo that is as technically difficult as possible? One that is visually pleasing? One that is perplexing? One that just feels good to pull off? One that is technically simple yet elegant enough to gain appreciation from all?


Do you like high speed? Slow? Consistent speed? Matching moves with the beat of the music? Every wrap, trace, and swing? Or only select moves? Or do you just match the song whenever you can without going out of your way? Do you string to the beat or only match the music during special parts of the song? Do you string more with music, or without?


Who is your intended audience? The public? other glowstringers? Poi spinners? Artists of some sort? Just yourself? No one?


When do you think out your combos or routines in advance? For performances? Videos? All the time? Or do you just make up your combos on the spot? Are you just free styling completely? Or are you stitching a lot of mini-combos you've created in the past? Did you create them on accident? Or was it thought out?"

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I would actually really like to hear your thoughts on style / combo creation Melv!

As far as what “style†I am trying to achieve, ideally I want to be on the lower end of the spectrum which I think I am close to now I “hit†on every second bar at around 150 bpm, I think id ideally like to drop that down to 140 but that is more dependant on the music than anything else (ps I clearly don’t have any musical training). While this is my overall speed I do try at least once per song to vary my speed (usually faster) and I do tend to drop my speed a little when I go into more complex combos. However I really try to avoid being predictable with my style so I try to use a few quick combos that at least seem complex to mix things up.

Overall I value a style that has variety I try to blend complex moves with moves that “flow†(which I define as moves that feel cool when you do them) in equal parts. This is the style that I find the most impressive because first and foremost I string for myself, I try to string in a style that I would enjoy watching. Secondly I string for other stringers / poists / flow artists because I do value the feed back from people who know what they are talking about.

I make my combos before hand but when I string I just go with the flow, similar to a dj set, I have all the moves but I combine them on the fly. So as far as combo creation goes, in short it depends sometimes im just fucking around and then I make a cool mistake that then gets refined into a combo, other times I will actively try to create a combo either to showcase a new move I learned, to use as a transition or to balance out my style.

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I would actually really like to hear your thoughts on style / combo creation Melv!


I think writing this was partially a way for me to point out areas I would like to improve in. I don't consistently string well to the music, I don't always have pre thought performances, I don't always understand what my goal is with each of my combos. 

Concerning pre-thought combos:
I have been very deliberate with string manipulations in videos I have made in the past, but I can't say the same for my other combos. For example, when wrapping I have typically pre thought out short 2-3 second combos, then just sorted them together in real time. Some call this "free styling," or just stringing short combos together. What I want, however, is to have long form deliberate combos. This is something I would like to see more from myself and others in all forms of glowstringing.
 I have made very short segment wrap/trace combos that I often fall back to, as I think naturally happens with all glowstringers, but I have not made any long-form combos that run anywhere near as long as my manipulations.
I think I can attribute a part of this to laziness, or the fact that most manipulations I do are within my peripheral. The more "broad" moves, such as wrap combos, require me to either have a mirror/camera, or a sixth sense that gives me a third person perspective of my stringing. This straight up takes a lot more effort for me to put something together I am proud of. Because I can see manipulations, I am more willing to put the work into something I can see as I am building it. This is why I think a lot stringers attribute their combos to being based on "feel". It's sorta that sixth sense I was describing earlier.
A second part I can attribute this to is the fact that in my mind a lot of string manipulation "moves" are so different from one another that it becomes very easy to "sort" the moves for a combo sequence. For example a whip is mechanically so different from a finger wrap, which is very different from a thumb split, a bowtie, a string wrap, and all the rest. To me, it's easier to pick from a pool of colors very different from one another than it is to pick a bunch of different hues of the color blue.
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  • 2 weeks later...

" To me, it's easier to pick from a pool of colors very different from one another than it is to pick a bunch of different hues of the color blue."

Shiver me timberrs



Edited by Dgloww
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  • 2 years later...

I spin handles and I would say that my style is improvisational or freestyle. I have a lot of small combos that I thread together. I would say that I utilize a lot of body movement in my flows to music, not that I would call myself a dancer or that I am particularly good at dancing. I think these are good questions. In the last few years I have been trying to use my wrap combos as transitions between flowers and less like the objective or main staple of a flow. It works really well to change up the rhythm of the performance and it make the transition from rap to flower or wrap to pendulum really dynamic. 

Also because I use handles, I have been working on a concept I call calligraphy for a long time that applies to both wraps and flowers. Calligraphy is varying the string length and speed of the poi to give the path of the poi different "line weights" . This works particularly well with handles because when you are doing mini-wraps you can come out the other side and have a whole new set of mini-wraps with a new color. 

Also as far performance, who do I perform for. I practice for myself, but I perform for a crowd. I don't pop ultras or burn by myself. I definitely find the act of spinning meditative, but when its performance time I have to pull out some tricks and live in that moment. 


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  • 11 months later...
On 12/19/2015 at 8:41 PM, melvenorc12 said:

"What are you trying to achieve with your wrap combos? What is your goal?


As long and as weird as possible.  


Over the years that I've been stringing and taking breaks and coming back etc...  I always come back to wrap combos and how fun they are.  They just FEEL good.  I'd say the "goal" is to keep it going and add in other concepts I learn into them.  Like, I'll say "cheating" a combo would be one stick spinning a beat behind me while one is still wrapping and then continuing the combo.  So, using what I just said for my goal, I'll use that beat to antispin into a different square (9square Theory) and then continue the combo in that different location of my overall space.


Apply that to any other concepts I learn along the way.  


Manipulations, I'm finding, are more and more like mini wrap combos where I need to keep track of the tangles for an exit, should it present itself.


I'll admit, though, that with how popular light shows are nowadays and how lazer-focused people are on ranking others and themselves that the ego definitely bleeds into and at times takes over the original passion that I had.  I lose focus on my relationship with my sticks and strings and I start to enjoy it so much less.  The crazy/sad part is that I don't notice it until I'm already there and either get a shock out of it or I find some other reminder.  It's tough these days to have a personal connection with your flow when so many people are in it for the, in my opinion, the wrong reasons... 

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