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(the person actually known as Chris Bailey) Location: Austin, TX, USA
Total posts: 544
Posted:Well it's been ages since I've posted on HoP and during said ages I've become quite a fan of the meteor. After some recent breakthroughs with weave variations in regards to meteor I decided to write this article to solidify my thoughts and hopefully help others along on their path to meteoric mastery. Now I know some of the terminology might be a bit odd as I have borrowed heavily from my knowledge of Poi so I hope some of you with a better knowledge of meteor terms won't mind too much. Any comments, questions, or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Here's the article.
Ever since I started playing with a meteor I was confounded by the fact that I could do a fwd thumb led 2 beat weave (figure of 8) just fine but whenever I went to do a rev thumb led 2 beat it never felt right. In fact it felt more like a 2 beat off set weave with Poi. So in error I figured that that was just the way meteor worked instead of exploring further. The other day while practicing my fwd 3 beat weave, I decided to start messing around with doing all of the weaves known to me pinky led in both fwd and reverse to find new variations. After a bit of playing I started doing a pinky led 2 beat in reverse and "Voila!" a breakthrough was made. The equivalent in rev of the fwd thumb led 2 beat is a pinky led 2 beat. I never made the leap that when you switch direction you also need to change from either thumb to pinky led or vice versa. This new information/revelation was the key to allow me to map out all of the variations of weaves that are possible with a single meteor. It turned out that for either direction be it forward or reverse there is only one weave of equal degrees of twist for a given beat count (i.e. a 3 beat weave). Then on top of these basic equally twisted weaves, there are loads of offset weave variations to be explored as well. Here's a run through of these weave combinations starting with the equal weaves and moving on to offsets.
*Note: When I am counting the beats of these weaves I begin counting from the top of the circles for one end of the meteor on both sides. I then add the two beat counts from either side together.
Equally Twisted Weaves
The Most Basic of Weaves
Fwd 2 beat Thumb led Rev 2 beat Pinky led
I determined that these two weaves are the simplest weave pattern possible with a meteor. If you do a fwd pinky led two beat or a rev thumb led two beat they end up being offset and therefore lack the symmetry of the two weaves written above. In fact each direction has two basic 2 beat offset weaves which become an equally twisted 4 beat weave when combined, but let's not get ahead of ourselves. Since these offset 2 beats are not equal in degrees of twist from one side to the other the only true 2 beat weaves with a meteor are the pair mentioned above.
The 3 beat Weave
Fwd 3 beat pinky thumb switch Rev 3 beat thumb pinky switch
For either direction the side of the hand listed first determines which hand is crossing over to the opposite side of the body. So by the name "fwd 3 beat pinky thumb switch" I am saying that while spinning fwd with your right hand your pinky side will be crossing over to the left side (opposite) side of the body and then you will switch so the thumb led side will lead back over to the right side. By adding this switch between thumb side and pinky side you add an extra beat making this a 3 beat weave.
The 4 beat Weave
Fwd 4 beat pinky led Rev 4 beat thumb led
There is only one equal 4 beat weave for a given direction. This is also where my old confusion came from as I thought that the rev 4 beat thumb led was the simplest equally twisted version of a rev weave. As mentioned earlier combining the two basic 2 beat offset weaves for a given direction makes a 4 beat.
The 5 Beat Weave
Fwd 5 beat thumb pinky switch (starts with a 3 beat pinky thumb switch) Rev 5 beat pinky thumb switch (starts with a 3 beat thumb pinky switch)
Now it is possible to do 5 beat weaves with a meteor by adding a wrist twist or wrist wrap onto either side of your 3 beat weave. To do a fwd 5 beat start with a fwd 3 beat pinky thumb switched weave and add an extra twist of the wrist or a wrist wrap forcing the thumb to now lead over to the opposite side of the body and the pinky to lead back. By adding a twist on either side you now have a 5 beat weave.
6 , 7, and beyond Beat Weaves
Fwd 6 beat thumb led Rev 6 beat pinky led
The 6 beat and the other higher beat weaves start getting into iffy territory for me. To do an equally twisted 6 beat you must do a wrist wrap on both sides of your body which makes me feel that maybe you are not truly weaving anymore. I know there is a semi wrist wrap in the 5 beat but it becomes much more pronounced in the 6 beat as one end of the meteor is wrapped fully around your wrist. Still this can come in handy and is easily broken down into multiple different offset weaves. The seven beat weave is made by adding a thumb pinky switch onto a 6 beat offset weave. You can also make higher beat weaves by adding more and more wrists wraps to a given side but remember the more you wrap up the more uneven the ends of the meteor become.
Now unlike the equal weaves all of the offset weaves have an unequal amount of twist when comparing one side of the body to the other. Pretty much if you take any of the equal weaves above and split them into smaller pieces you'll have an offset weave.
2 beat offsets
The offset 2 beats are quite numerous. As mentioned in the beginning the four basic 2 beat offsets are:
fwd 2 beat pinky led same side fwd 2 beat pinky led opp side rev 2 beat thumb led same side rev 2 beat thumb led opp side
These are derived from the 2 equal 4 beat weaves. So by same side and opp side in the above descriptions I am referring to which segment of the corresponding 4 beat the 2 beat is derived from. For example the fwd 2 beat pinky led same side refers to the 2 beat that is made from the crossover from the same side of your body to the opposite side during a 4 beat. Also, if you break apart a fwd 3 beat weave you'll get a thumb led 2 beat and an offset same side pinky led 2 beat. To derive the other offset two beat from a 3 beat you need to do an offset three beat.
There are other 2 beat offsets but instead of mentioning them all try breaking the equal weaves apart at various points to create your own offset two beats. (There are some really fun 2 beat offsets that can be made from the 5 beat weave.)
3 beat Offsets
One way to derive the 3 beat offset weaves is to break apart the 5 beat weave while another is to add either a thumb pinky or a pinky thumb switch (depending on the direction and side of the body) to an offset 2 beat derived from a 5 beat.
Say you have a fwd 5 beat weave being spun in your right hand. When you add a wrist twist onto the opposite (left) side of the body and cross back to the same side (right) immediately do a thumb switch instead of unwinding and cross back over to the left untwist and re-twist then cross back over. If you count the beats on either side of this you will have a 3 beat weave except it will be offset because there is more twist on the opposite side of the body. You can make another off set by doing the same thing except working with the twist starting on the same side of the body though this offset 3 beat is much harder.
Other Offset Weaves and Why you should discover them
There are many other offset weaves besides the ones I've mentioned. Even though you can have the same amount of beats by doing the easier equal weaves you still want to learn all the offset weaves as well. There are some interesting properties that arise when turning the offsets and mixing and matching pieces of offset and normal weaves which will help build your overall control of the meteor. Now I also feel that as isolations, flowers, hybrids, cateyes and other plays on driving styles are investigated deeper with meteor these transitions between offsets and regular weaves will lead to interesting possibilities for manipulation and in some cases will be the only way to execute certain combinations. Even by just turning different kinds of weaves you get some cool effects.
In-swings, Polyrhythm, one beats and more
As a side note it is possible to do polyrhythmic weaves with a meteor as well as incorporating in-swings (I know opp led ones work) into your flow. I have not played with these all too much but here's what I have worked with. To do polyrhythm in a weave try doing two swings of the thumb led side of the meteor on the opposite side of your body when doing a fwd 2 beat thumb led 2 beat. In the time it takes the pinky side to swing around you can have completed two rotations and then lead back to the same side of your body with the thumb side. This can be done in all sorts of weave configurations so please experiment and report back. With in-swings you'll either need to us a shorter meteor or you can do a meteor shortening combo to make your longer meteor more manageable. As of a few moments ago I found a few different in-swing combos and some very interesting possibilities. I didn't discuss one beats earlier on in this paper because you do not weave them but I feel that they are very important (though hard to master) to add to your flow. I am not sure at the moment but I think that throwing in a one beat can be similar to doing a same led in-swing and at the least can add some interesting variety to your weaves.
In conclusion, I hope that this article will be useful to all the meteor people out there and will cause some new questions to be asked, boundaries to be pushed and open up new territory to be explored. Meteor play is such a fun skill to learn and though it takes some getting used to and is not as easily picked up as say Poi or staff I do hope more people will begin to discover the joys of working with this wonderful prop.
Here's the companion video to this article:
EDITED_BY: Chris Bailey (1248588759) EDIT_REASON: added video
Posted:Hey, thanks for this! I'm no meteorer but I've played with extra beats in 1 handed Poi (same idea) though its only in horizontal plane cos I like to do 1 handed spiral wraps over my head... it feels nice.
I haven't had time to read this, but I'm sure it'll help me understand what it is I'm actually doing a little better when I go back and play again after reading. ^_^
(the person actually known as Chris Bailey) Location: Austin, TX, USA
Total posts: 544
Posted:No worries dude! If you could though please let me know if this post makes sense as it is a mix of Poi and meteor jargon kind of thrown together. For any other interested parties, I also have another article in the works about shortening a meteor while spinning so hopefully that will be up in a few days.
Oh and I do concur, one-handed spiral wraps do feel very nice!
Posted:Hmm, I read through it and everything made sense, but I had some working knowledge on each one to build on except the polyrhythm... but then, I've still got some working knowledge of polyrhythms.
So it makes sense, but I couldn't tell you how much of my understanding is assumed from prior knowledge and how much is explicitly from the text.
This is all literally staff stuff, is it not? With the addition of polyrhythms and extra beats through wraps rather than wrist twisting, anyway.
Posted:Its staff related in the sense that you are dealing with two ends while you grip from the middle. The real trick Ive found is learning how to switch between thumb led and pinky led weaving. That's where it feels completely different.
But still, my background in Poi really helped with learning meteors so far. I'd say you should give it a go and help fill in some of the gaps.
"to a man whose only tool is a hammer, the whole world looks like a nail." Abraham Maslow