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 Post subject: Speedcubing Tutorial
PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2008 3:12 pm 
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In an attempt to end the constant stream of the same questions regarding speedcubing, I am writing this guide about how to start off and improve your ability to speedcube, stemming into the foundations of Fridrich. Hopefully this guide will get stickied, and experienced cubers in other method would write a similar thing talking about starting off in their method.

I will warn you now, it is WORDY, ignoring this sentence it is 1327 words long.

Coming here, I will presume you know how to solve the cube, almost certainly using a layer-by-layer method (this shall be abbreviated to “LBL” for ease.)

So let’s start:

Before I go into any detail, I must emphasise that this guide will not make you fast, only you can do that. I am just laying down some advice and tips, you need to put in the practise, and by practise I mean a lot of time (obviously more if you want to get really fast).

We have established that speedcubing will require a lot of time; it will also require a LOT of patience. Do NOT expect instant results, this will just lead to frustration, and ultimately regression and the possibility of quitting.

Cube:
You can’t speedcube without a cube, and you can’t go fast without a good cube (not to mention the risk of injury). You most likely have a store bought cube, while then can turn out to be very good speedcubes, it is a matter of chance, and requires a lot of effort put into preparing it. I, along with many other speedcubers, recommend the Chinese DIYs that sprung up last year. They only cost $8 and are amazing from the second you get hold of one.

You can find a selection at http://www.cube4you.com that don’t come assembled, or you can buy ready assembled ones at http://stores.ebay.com/PuzzleProz which cost a little more. I have only had experience with the type A cubes, which are the ones recommended for speedcubing, but I have heard good review about the B types, C types are a no go.

Now you have a cube, you will want to have it lubricated. If you live in the states, Walmart sells “CRC Heavy Duty Silicone” for about $2, which is not only cheap but really good quality stuff. Other places in the world; just go to your local hardware store and try and find some pure silicone lubricant, suitable for use on plastics.
(There is a lot of debate whether you need to get pure silicone spray or just any other lubricant. Many people claim that petroleum based lubricants “eats” up your cube, but I have heard claims that this is not the case. Personally, I feel that as silicone is a tried and tested lubricant, you can’t fault in using it, plus it’s easily accessible.)

There are many methods to applying the silicone spray; I will explain the method I prefer:
Pop the Up-Front edge
Hold can in the newly opened gap, and spray lightly for a VERY short amount of time
Replace UF edge
Flip cube over
Repeat the steps again
Now scramble your cube, solve it, and leave it to dry for an hour or so.

Getting faster:
So now you have a nice cube, you should also notice that you are solving a little faster, great!

You are probably itching to learn a new method right now, some of you may be ready, but I will guess a lot of you will not be.
Many people say that you should not starting learning a higher-level speedcubing method until you hit 40s with the beginner ones, I didn’t and I have hit sub 14 second averages, never did me harm. The important thing is that you understand the workings of the cube, how turns affect pieces and what not. Chances are, you will have hit under 1 minute by this point anyway, but it is not a requirement, however, I would not recommend any method changes until you are at least under 80 seconds…

Hopefully, you are practising regularly and are improving, probably quite rapidly! Up until the 80 second mark my only recommendation to improving is practise, cube whenever and wherever, it really helps! As you approach 80 seconds, your improvement levels will start to lower, you may even stop improving. It’s natural to think you can’t get any faster, or that your method cannot get any faster (I know I did) but in reality, you are nowhere near the limits of yourself, or your method. Using the “beginner method”, I can now clock times of 20-30 seconds, with only slight modifications; sub 20 second averages are possible! You should be asking yourself how? The answer is technique.

The key to ANY method is being able to look ahead. This is, whilst solving one piece, look around for the next piece to be solved. I am guessing you can probably whittle off the algorithms you use without thinking, you can probably look away while doing them too, good, time to know some serious time off your solves.

Looking Ahead:
The first thing you are going to have to do is get your head around not thinking about what you are doing, but thinking about what you are going to do, this will mean SLOWING down. By slowing down, you can see the pieces move around a lot easier, which will help you anticipate what to do next. You should now be watching your algorithms closely, and now is a good time to start learning about how turns affect pieces properly.

Start off slowly, as mentioned. Forget about looking ahead at your cross if you are using LBL, that is a completely different method that I will explain in more detail in the Fridrich section. Your first step is solving the corners. But first off, you need to be sure you have a good cube orientation. When I first attempted the cube, I had the First Layer on the bottom, this is a good way to improve your times if you are not already doing it this way. I am aware that many of the guides now teach with the First Layer at the top, which I, along with every other Fridrich user out there, strongly advise against. You are limited to how many pieces you can see, {D,F,R} is a VERY awkward subgroup to execute quickly and you need a big cube rotation to get to the last layer. Cross on left/right is another good choice, I use cross on left as I rely heavily on fast RU turns. People say that you are limited with cross on left but I have yet to suffer from it. Just try out what is best for you.
Now you have a decent view, you want to start looking around as you solve each corner. It is very possible to solve all 4 corners without stopping to look for your pieces. As you solve the last corner, look for your first Second Layer edge piece. Constantly look for your next piece, and keep it slow but steady. I can’t much more advice for this step than go slow at first and eliminate ALL pauses and slowly work your way faster. I also recommend you do a fair amount of your solves without a timer at this stage, the lack of pressure to go quick will relax you and help you look ahead.

I don’t feel the need to go into much detail about the Last Layer, it is just pattern spotting and fast execution speed. All I can suggest is to solve lots and lots of cubes, your recognition of patterns will soon increase, and you may even start to predict what will happen as you do the step before it.

I think I have covered the basics of getting faster here, my next intention is to start going into depth about Fridrich, showing you tips and tricks that can make you faster, and possibly convince people it isn’t just lots of mindless algorithms.

_________________
List of Speedcubing methods
Speedcubing tutorial

@.=split(//,"J huhesartc kPaeenrro,lt");do{print$.[$_];$_=($_+3)%25;}while($_!=0);


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 Post subject: Re: Speedcubing Tutorial
PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2008 4:15 pm 
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Excellent guide Pembo, I think this will cover a lot of questions!


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 Post subject: Re: Speedcubing Tutorial
PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2008 4:28 pm 
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Joined: Fri Feb 15, 2008 4:03 pm
thanks Ive been wanting to ask or start a new thread on exactly this how ever I thought people would get annoyed therefore I held off

Thanks alot

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 Post subject: Re: Speedcubing Tutorial
PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2008 5:01 pm 
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This should be stickied


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 Post subject: Re: Speedcubing Tutorial
PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2008 11:30 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jul 22, 2007 6:33 pm
Can you give some benefits for starting your cross on the left or right?


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 Post subject: Re: Speedcubing Tutorial
PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2008 11:51 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 13, 2007 11:24 pm
Location: MN
Fast UR moves for inserting the cross and corner edge pairs.

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 Post subject: Re: Speedcubing Tutorial
PostPosted: Wed Jul 16, 2008 10:51 am 
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Joined: Sat Nov 24, 2007 3:34 pm
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Great guide.

If I had started later, I would have found the guide helpful!

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 Post subject: Re: Speedcubing Tutorial
PostPosted: Wed Jul 16, 2008 2:18 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jun 23, 2008 6:40 pm
Location: Tennessee
Thanks, this really helped, one question, where is the silicone in walmart(what area) because walmart is closer than ace :D

Andrew :solved:

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Put this in your signature if you are the 8% who would be laughing.

Personal Bests -single(avg of 12)
3x3-22.21(27.09)
4x4-1:28.18(1:53.49)
5x5-3:23.99(3:55.61)


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 Post subject: Re: Speedcubing Tutorial
PostPosted: Wed Jul 16, 2008 2:55 pm 
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Joined: Sun Feb 26, 2006 12:40 pm
Location: Marske-By-The-Sea, UK
We found it in the car section....

_________________
List of Speedcubing methods
Speedcubing tutorial

@.=split(//,"J huhesartc kPaeenrro,lt");do{print$.[$_];$_=($_+3)%25;}while($_!=0);


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 Post subject: Re: Speedcubing Tutorial
PostPosted: Wed Jul 16, 2008 3:12 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jun 23, 2008 6:40 pm
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Pembo wrote:
We found it in the car section....



Thanks, I will look the next time I go

Andrew :solved:

_________________
92% of teens would be dead if Abercrombie & Fitch said it wasn't cool to breathe.
Put this in your signature if you are the 8% who would be laughing.

Personal Bests -single(avg of 12)
3x3-22.21(27.09)
4x4-1:28.18(1:53.49)
5x5-3:23.99(3:55.61)


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 Post subject: Re: Speedcubing Tutorial
PostPosted: Wed Jul 16, 2008 3:20 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jul 01, 2007 4:02 pm
Location: San Diego, CA
Also if there is another store that you don't know where something is but you know they have it, you can always ask an employee. They are normally very helpful.

Great tutorial. I will definitely be interested when you go into Fridrich, because that is what I use. Right now I average at about 30 seconds. I practice for about half an hour each day. I try to practice looking ahead and executing my LL algorithms faster. Do plan on going into finger tricks?

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Jesse Isaac Werner


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 Post subject: Re: Speedcubing Tutorial
PostPosted: Wed Jul 16, 2008 4:01 pm 
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Joined: Sun Feb 26, 2006 12:40 pm
Location: Marske-By-The-Sea, UK
I doubt it, I don't believe fingertricks are something you can read and learn about.

I wouldn't hold your breath on the Fridrich one by the way, this was posted in February, and I haven't even thought about the next one yet. It doesn't help that I hate writing them too...

_________________
List of Speedcubing methods
Speedcubing tutorial

@.=split(//,"J huhesartc kPaeenrro,lt");do{print$.[$_];$_=($_+3)%25;}while($_!=0);


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 Post subject: Re: Speedcubing Tutorial
PostPosted: Sat Jul 26, 2008 4:14 am 
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Joined: Tue Jun 10, 2008 12:10 am
Location: Norway
Really nice of you to do this work Pembo:) A great guide for alot of people (inc.me) Thanks!

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