over the years of playing, i’ve come to believe that each well-made cue has a unique sound, provided that the cue is in working order, e.g., no loose ferrule or joint. (don’t try this with walmart specials.) to generate that sound, you have to be able to “hit” the cueball. not pushing the cueball, but hitting it. when you do, that sound is released from the cue, and you know you’ve struck the ball correctly. when you don’t hear that sound, that probably means you’re not hitting the ball, but muscling it by pushing. it’s okay to muscle the cueball, if you’re doing it purposely to generate a specific action. but if not, you may want to check your mechanics & see if they need correction. (unless you don’t believe you have to hit the ball. that’s fine too, if you can generate proper shape w/ push.)
to be able to repeatedly generate that sound, well, you’re on cloud nine, baby. it’s quite an ecstatic feeling.
of course, if you put this kind of stock into the way your cue sounds and plays, you should choose your cue very carefully. there’s no single “right cue” for everyone, of course. you just have to make sure the hit is for you. my very wise friend told me that everyone should have at least one pair of good jeans, regardless of cost. don’t buy 15 pairs of cheap jeans b/c they’re on sale, but save that money and buy 1 REALLY good pair w/ a CLASSIC design. it’ll last you 10+ years and never go out of style. same with cues. and don’t think a really nice cue = $$$$. it can be a sneaky pete custom made for you by a solid cuemaker. those cues last years.
buying the right cue is kind of like getting a car, i suppose. a player may be trying to find the right cue, but the cue is trying to find the right owner too. you can’t, and shan’t, force that purchase just because the cue is pretty, or that the cue is a bargain. you have to test-hit and test-hit until you find a hit you like, or a hit that fits your style of playing. first and foremost, finding a cue with the right hit for you is paramount.
the ultimate goal, of course, is to be able to pick up a house cue and play your full game. of course, not everyone can do this; until you can, a good cue can enhance your game, as well as revealing areas for improvement. for me, a good cue enhances my pool experience, so i use a good cue to play pool. you don’t have to, but it can help.
PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS ONLY APPLIES TO PLAYERS THAT HOLD THEIR CUES LOOSELY. if you have a tight/death grip on your cue, ignore everything i just said. for some reason, holding the cue tightly mutes that sound. i’ve no idea why, but in my experience that seems the case. btw, i define loose grip as a grip that leaves a space between your palm and your cue, or your palm BARELY touching the cue. your fingers serve only as a cradle for your stick, and your arm generates the necessary force by swing, not by your muscles. an exaggerated example would be bustamante’s grip. django has an EXTREMELY loose grip. (but please, PLEASE don’t go copying django’s, or efren’s, grip or stroke. django’s/efren’s techniques are very complicated and almost impossible to reproduce correctly. i’ve seen more people get f~* up trying to copy django/efren than anything else, particularly among the filipino players. i may end up doing a short post on this topic, but don’t hold your breath.)
when i practice i pay a lot of attention to this sound. if i can make the sound consistently, i know whatever problems i have is not my mechanics, but other areas such as aim, or incorrect compensation for spin. i also notice that when i’m tired, i can’t generate that sound as consistently. that makes sense to me; when i’m tired i can’t hold my stance or bridge as well.
i once tried to explain the aural concept to someone i was practicing with. oops. i think i confused him more than helped him. i guess this is too esoteric for those that need concrete ideas & step-by-step explanations to specific techniques. esotericism should be reserved only for the abstract minds.
note to self: keep it simple, dumba**. (KISD?!) always tell people answers in ways they can understand. but sometimes i can’t help myself b/c i get too excited about the subject. i hope they’ll forgive me for being stupid.
word to the wise: if you believe what i’ve just described, keep in mind you’re buying into ONE particular theory about pool, which can lead to a biased view about how to play. the best thing is to consider different theories of pool and conclude what works best for YOU. unfortunately, no shortcut can help you decide. you have to grind this out the hard way. best of luck. don’t give up until you find it. and remember always that what works for you is craps to another; when sharing your knowledge, be mindful to “FIRST DO NO HARM”. it’s easy to share knowledge; it takes tremendous wisdom to share the right knowledge at the proper time.
on a side note, i’ve officially given up on AZB’s rss feed. i just can’t put the feed in without it showing “an error has occurred”. if you wanna read their stories, go directly to their website by using the provided links.
you’ll also notice that i’m switching to a different look. i’m going to experiment to see if this works. (dang it. i hate being a n00b.) if not i’ll switch it back. love it/hate it let me know.