Jitter Ring Basic Moves and Tricks (AKA Chatter Ring)

The Jitter Ring prop is also known as a Chatter Ring among several other names!

Hold the metal ring and strike the smaller, colored discs. As you rotate the ring, the discs begin spinning faster and faster, like mini-gyroscopes! At first, the challenge is to keep all the discs spinning, then there are lots of tricks and stunts to master!

How Does it work? (here comes the science bit!) The Jitter ring is really just 5 little tops of slightly unusual design which are strung onto a metal ring so that they can freely spin. Have you ever noticed that when you spin a coin on a surface, it appears to spin much faster just before it comes to a halt? It’s the same with these little tops! You have to keep each of these little tops in perpetual wobbliness! This rotation of the spin axis is called ‘precession’ and causes the ring to press on one side of the hole in the spinning top. The contact point between the ring and the top can be thought of as a gear that changes the motion of the upward moving ring into the top’s spinning motion.

How to Get Started

  1. Hold the large metal ring with one hand.
  2. Use your other hand to spin-up washers. One method that works particularly well is if you rest the beads on your index finger halfway up the ring, and then flick the beads to the side with your thumb.
  3. Once the beads have begun to vibrate, you need to rotate the ring towards yourself. What you are doing here is actually pulling the large ring through the small beads! The friction from this action is what keeps the beads vibrating/spinning fast.

If you are having problems with this basic move, don’t worry, you are not alone! The most helpful tips I can give would be as follows:

  • Try to hit all the beads evenly when starting the ring up. Remember that the aim is to vibrate the beads, not to wallop them with as much force as you can manage! Use a light but firm touch.
  • Try to move the ring smoothly, without wobbling it from side to side. You will notice that the faster you move the ring, the higher the beads rise towards your hands.
  • Practice, Practice, Practice! You need to master this trick before you can move on to doing all of the tricks described below!

Some more tricks

Throw and Catch: It should be possible for you to throw and catch the Jitter Ring once the beads have started wobbling. It takes a bit of practice for the beads not to have stopped, and for you to make a firm solid catch (and not catch the ring at the part where the beads are!) As soon as you catch, begin feeding the large ring through the beads once again to keep the speed up. How high can you throw and catch while successfully keep the beads spinning?

Backward Turn: Grasp the ring with one hand and begin turning it. You need to keep the large ring moving through the beads during all of this time or else the beads will come to a halt. Once the ring has completely turned, you will need to remember that the ring will now be needing to go in the opposite direction through the beads! It’s not as easy as you might think! You have a choice of turning the ring the full 360 degrees, or reaching the point where you are feeding the ring backwards, then returning the ring back the way you turned it. Turning clockwise is easiest with the left hand and vice versa for right hand.

One Handed: Once you get the beads going, you can then just use one hand to keep feeding the large ring through the beads. It is quite tricky, but you can keep going for a long time once you get the hang of it! Basically you need to get the beads started (using both hands), then pull the ring toward you and down, then grab further from you and pull the ring down again (and keep going!)

360 Flip Start: By getting the ring going really fast and just throw it high so you can catch it but in mid air have it spin a completer circle done with a good flick you can catch and continue.

Foot Start: Hold the ring down and kick it with the outside edge of your foot just lightly but firmly hitting the beads to get a spin.

Bus Driver: To perform this you have to hold the jitter ring like you are driving a bus, then rotate it around. Be careful you don’t hit your hand though!

Flip: Toss it in a flip, catch it and keep going.

Sideways Hold: Turn the Jitter-ring on its side and change the angle you are holding it at.

Turn Around Your Hand: Turn the Jitter-ring round your hand and continue.

Throw Over Shoulder: Throw the Jitter-ring over your shoulder, and continue.

Rollercoaster: The trick is quite simple, but requires a good grip. get the rings rolling and turn the whole ring 180 degrees, how it would be laying if it were on the floor. you can then pass it back and forth from hand to hand to keep the rings rolling around the main ring and keep your hands out of the way. this is where the grip comes in. there’s going to be a second or two of time where you will be holding the main ring upright from one edge without letting the other side drop. hard to explain, but if you have a set in your hands, it’s easy to see what I’m getting at.