4-handed siteswaps work like 2-handed siteswaps: As long as you stay inside the vanilla restriction, all hands throw one after another, hands never throw simultaneously.
In 4-handed siteswaps, you just add the 2 hands of a second juggler (Juggler 2).
The 4 handed 'global' siteswap sequence gives you the throws for all 4 hands.
To translate from asynchronous global to local siteswap, hand order is always:
J1 right hand, J2 right hand, J1 left hand, J2 left hand.
This general rule has several effects:
- Juggler 2 starts throwing 1 beat after Juggler 1
- Jugglers never throw at the same time!
- Juggler 1 does their zaps (5) crossing, single passes (7) straight, double passes (9) crossing.
- Juggler 2 does their zaps (5) straight, single passes (7) crossing, double passes (9) straight.
4-handed sitswaps of odd period will change from right to left hand (symmetric patterns) same as odd period 2 handed siteswaps.
Video and slides explanation by Brook
It's in English, only, but there are schemes and videos!
How to get started?
The easiest way to start is with patterns that are already known and videotaped. There are several in Brook's explanation video and also many here, on passing.zone.
To discover new patterns, Tilman's Siteswap Generator App is amazing, especially as the app recommends good ways to start the pattern. It's for Android, only and can be downloaded from Google Play Store.
AndroidApp: Siteswap Generator
2 = zip (very fast self without spin)
4 = hold or flip
5 = zap (fast, half-spun pass)
6 = single self
7 = single pass
8 = heff (double spun column self)
9 = double pass
a = 10 = triple self
Why should I want to learn this?
4-handed siteswaps are incredible to discover new passing patterns as they combine different selves with different passes. So, if you're ready to leave 4-count and 2-count behind, go for it. The most widely known pattern that was discovered as a 4-handed siteswap is probably WhyNot (86277). Many jugglers love this pattern but don't realize there are many more nice, not-too-hard patterns out there.
Different 4 handed siteswaps are compatible with each other, meaning that Juggler 1 can do a different pattern than Juggler 2. That's especially great for juggling groups of mixed skills - more advanced jugglers can pass a difficult pattern against an easier one.
Christian Kästner compiled an online, searchable list of compatible 4 handed siteswaps.