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 FreeStyle 101 - By Spinworkx

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PostSubject: FreeStyle 101 - By Spinworkx   Sat Mar 13, 2010 11:17 pm

Freestyle 101

You’ve been yoyoing for quite some time now, and have become pretty good with your yo-yo skills. For the past few months, you’ve been toying with idea of creating your own freestyle…YES, it’s time to take it up with the big boys!!!

So how does one create an awesome freestyle??? Freestyles aren’t just a combination of good music and a bunch of yo-yo tricks…a good freestyle takes time and planning, and of course, LOTS of practice.

Generally there are two types of freestyles: Performance & Competition

I can go on all day about how a Performance and Competition freestyle can be worlds apart from each other, as well as how they can be the exact same thing, but it’s just too complicated a topic to discuss.

Instead, today we shall take a look at the basic building blocks of a Competition freestyle, and hopefully from there, you will be able to get started with planning and creating your perfect freestyle, just in time for WCC and maybe even AP!!!!!!
Music
One important aspect of most freestyles is selecting the right music

One important aspect of most freestyles is selecting the right music

Normally when we start creating our very own freestyle, we first look into the choice of music we’d pick.

When choosing the right song, it is important to pick one that you are comfortable with, NOT what’s the “hit of the week” on your playlist.

Often at times, we make the mistake of choosing a song we really like over a song which is “practical”. As a new-comer, some times playing along to a song’s rhythm can be rather challenging, especially if you pick a really fast tune and cannot keep up with it.

Note that picking a really fast and catchy song can become quite annoying when you start making mistakes and try to keep up with the music by picking up where you left off.

That said, it is very important to pick a track which you are comfortable with. If a song with too much lyrics distracts you, get an instrumental version, if a fast song is too hard for you to keep up with, pick something slower etc.

Once you get the right song, ensure that you know where it cuts off at the 3 minute mark, from which you can begin planning your freestyle!!!

Getting Technical


The next step in your freestyle planning is pretty straight forward -
planning your tricks!!!
Generally, the harder your tricks, the more points you should get.
So…..hard tricks = more points.
The harder the trick, the more points you get,
simple??? NOT REALLY!!! =)

Simple??? Not exactly. Stitching tricks one after another takes lots
of planning. In a time frame of 10 seconds, a properly sequenced set of
tricks can earn as much as double that of a poorly sequenced set.
Remember that “Time yo-yo spends NOT landing on string” are points
wasted. Ensuring that your trick takes the fastest possible “route” to
the next trick will allow you to earn more points, which is exactly what
you want in a freestyle.
Also, understand that just because the latest and hardest tricks
gives you more points, it doesn’t mean you should ignore the simpler of
tricks. Tricks like “White Buddha” and “Skin the Gerbil” may not be as
technical as they use to be, but their fast and easy to pull off, so
much so that its easy to score points in a matter of seconds when
pulling these tricks off.
To better understand how the pros do it, check out contest videos,
and watch the 1st, 2nd, 3rd place freestyles, then compare them to the
bottom few and see the difference between a regular freestyle and a
contest-winning one.
Adding That Personal Touch


Of course, it is important to remember that performance also plays a
part in every competition freestyle.
This is where it gets tricky.
Performance is something that isn’t easy to teach, rather, it comes
with experience, trial and error, observation etc.
Get your whole routine down, add that extra
unique flair that will make you stand out from the rest!

Adding that extra “flair” to a simple trick can earn you both
technical and performance points at the same time. Having a good
showmanship is important, and players often miss this part out in their
freestyle.
Understand that sometimes placing the right tricks at the right part
of a freestyle song also adds to performance scores. The climatic
portion of a song could easily be ruined with a set of boring tricks.
You’d still earn technical points if you pull the tricks off really
well, but don’t expect judges to give you much performance scores.
A good example of a good performance inside a freestyle would be
Yuuki Spencer’s 2007 World Yo-Yo Contest freestyle, go check it out on
Youtube if you must to get a better understanding of how performance
could greatly enhance one’s freestyle.
Note though, that ultimately, you are planning for a competition freestyle, and
although putting on a good show is important, it shouldn’t overshadow
technical tricks.
Practice Makes Perfect


Once you get everything planned out, it’s time for the thing we dread
the most - PRACTICE!
There are many ways you can do this, one common way is to break the
freestyle down into parts, six sections of 30-second parts or three
sections of 1-minute parts. Take your time with each section, running
through the parts over and over until you know it at the back of your
head.
Put on your sweat pants,
head gear, knee pads etc and get on with some hardcore practice routines
if you want to do well!

Only once you are pretty confident with the first section of your
freestyle do you then continue to work on the second section. When
you’re comfortable with the first 2-3 sections of your freestyle, try
doing them together in one longer sequence. You may choose to do so with
or without music, it’s more of an individual preference.
Once you’re done with all the sections of the freestyle, start
practicing it as a whole until you are comfortable. Try performing it in
front of friends to get a second opinion. If you’ve got a camera lying
around, record your freestyle so you can look back at it after each
practice run.
Once you’ve completed all these and pretty much know the freestyle
like the back of your hand, you now have two options:

  1. Stick to it and keep practicing till competition day
  2. If there’s time, improve on it!

With regards to the second option, be sure that you really do have
the time to make changes, adding parts you think could score you more
points, or removing parts which you are uncomfortable with and replacing
them with something else.
GAME ON


Now that you’re well prepared for your first ever on-stage freestyle,
remember to keep calm at all times, remind yourself that you’re
probably not the only first timer up on stage, you’ve got absolutely
nothing to lose, so why panic?
Once you're done with
practicing, it's time to show off!!!

Last of all, remember to ENJOY yourself on stage, if you’re not
having a good time, you really shouldn’t be competing in the first
place.
With this in mind, get started with your freestyle planning and
hopefully, we’ll see you up on stage real soon!!!
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FreeStyle 101 - By Spinworkx
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