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Topic: How long/often
Message: Posted by: Nemic386 (Mar 31, 2005 01:20PM)
Since I'm new at this how long should I practice a basic sleight/ card control move-I practice and when I think I got it it ends up flopping like poop outta a horse when someone watches me! Any suggestions?
Message: Posted by: Stanyon (Mar 31, 2005 02:02PM)
When you can do the "move" without thinking about it, then will you have reached enlightenment and harmony Grasshopper!

Cheers! ;)
Message: Posted by: Lee Darrow (Mar 31, 2005 11:29PM)
Ah! Sifu (teacher) Stanyon is testing you, young Grasshopper! I am sure he meant for you to understand the following...

When you can do the move AND the presentation without thinking about it, THEN you have achieved enlightenment and harmony, Grasshopper!


Lee "Master of Pun-Fu" Darrow, C.H.
Message: Posted by: Stanyon (Apr 1, 2005 03:04PM)
AM NOT!!! :nana:

Cheers! ;)
Message: Posted by: David Eichler (Apr 3, 2005 11:02PM)
I practice many times over until the patter, presentation, and sleights are very natural. Then I will present them to two family members who have the 'job' of trying to catch how I do the effect. If neither of them can figure out what I have done, then I consider myself ready to try it on some friends, which I will do multiple times before I show it to others.
Message: Posted by: Bob Sanders (Apr 4, 2005 12:10AM)
Experience has taught me that I have always stopped practicing too soon. (I'm in my fifth decade!)

But Stanyon is much, much older! (He invented the stick before the wand!)

Magic By Sander
Message: Posted by: Nemic386 (Apr 5, 2005 08:26AM)
Yeah but how do I know I'm at the point to show it to family members? I mean they all have this annoying mentality of "oh here comes another trick". It gets very discouraging it's like they are there to just humour me; it sucks big time. I've been using a video camera and recording myself practicing but I can seem to advance in it any. I dunno I guess I'm just discouraged.
Message: Posted by: David Eichler (Apr 5, 2005 10:29PM)
Is it possible for you to join up with any magicians in your area? A local IBM ring, perhaps? They could provide the critical eye you may be searching for, if you do not have any willing family members.

Just a thought.
Message: Posted by: Stanyon (Apr 5, 2005 10:33PM)
On 2005-04-04 01:10, Bob Sanders wrote:

But Stanyon is much, much older! (He invented the stick before the wand!)

Magic By Sander


After todays round of Golf I feel older than dirt!

Cheers! ;)
Message: Posted by: nornb (Apr 7, 2005 05:15PM)
I was recently advised;
10 minutes Shuffles and double undercut,
10 minutes Double Lift,
10 minutes Top Change,
Twice a day - for say 6 months. At which time I should see some improvement.
On Sundays you can practice palms, returns and card folds.
He didn't say anything about coins... or balls... or cups...or rope.

All the best,
Message: Posted by: Nemic386 (Apr 15, 2005 11:21AM)
Hey that's great- the rest is irrelevant to me because I am only doing cards right now
Message: Posted by: MagicMarker (Apr 15, 2005 01:50PM)
The problem with sleights is you tend to feel you've mastered them long before you have, and they tend to get boring around about then. It takes a lot of discipline to practice a sleight you feel you know even if you know you don't (if you know what I mean).

I do a particular count pretty well, and I could practice it for an hour and not mess up once, but I still manage to mess it up about 1 in 5 of the times I try it for people. Luckily only magicians and family so far so I can afford mess ups.

It's frustrating, but I expect the problem is more to do with the difference of practicing a move over and over and doing it once when the heat is on. It may even be psychological.

Just keep doing it, try practicing it really really slowly gradually building up the speed. If you are doing it even slightly wrong and you keep doing it over and over you'll end up programming the wrong way into your hands.

Don't get discouraged. If necessary leave a sleight that's annoying you and do something else then come back a few weeks later. It's hard to explain but I've had things work weeks after I gave up on them with very little effort. Who knows how these things work.

Message: Posted by: magiciandex (Apr 17, 2005 04:56PM)
One should be able to look at the person you are doing magic to in the eyes and keep talking. I also beleive the rhythm of our speak plays a big role in a trick if you start tttoo dddddrrrrraggggg yyyyooouuurrrr words out to by time. The crowd will start to look around and maybe see what is happening to the cards when you don't want them to see it.
Message: Posted by: nornb (Apr 18, 2005 07:04PM)
The guys answering here know their stuff.
Have a look at the Jamy Ian Swiss website. There are some interesting essays there.

{look for Learning then Lessons and Learning}

If you want to spend money, his Booklet "Thoughts III" has his sleight study system in it which makes the point about looking natural and analysing the sleights you do. Why have 16 different double-lifts you can perform, but not a palm.
The system gives recommendations for particular books to study for each sleight. Getting hold of the books he recommends is another matter!

You don't need a huge array of sleights to create great magic. But the ones you do should be brilliant (mine are not) and blend with the presentation - to rock their world (I believe that is the modern vernacular)

All the best,
Message: Posted by: Nemic386 (Apr 21, 2005 07:54AM)
Thanks guys, it's about time I get a bite on this post. I'll look into the site and stuff and hey Norn, I'm pretty sure the whole rock your world thing went out with The Fresh Prince and Jazzy Jeff :)
Message: Posted by: nornb (Apr 21, 2005 02:23PM)
The Fresh Who & Jazzy Whom???
Are they members of a Pensacola Swing Combo? ;)

I made a mistake the Jamy Ian Swiss booklet I meant was "Theories III" not "Thoughts III".

All the best,
Message: Posted by: Nemic386 (May 4, 2005 08:23AM)
Fresh Prince aka Will Smith or vice versa- anyhow it's a rap duo that flashed in the pan in the early 90's.
Message: Posted by: The Magician (May 5, 2005 12:29PM)
I practice for 4 - 5 hours a day.
Message: Posted by: Fredrick (Oct 13, 2005 03:05PM)
The best advice I have ever received on this topic was from Eugene Burger. He advises that 10 minutes a day of consistance practice is better than 4 hours once a week.

I have to admit that I would love to have the space in my calendar to practice 4 - 5 hours a day.

Also, lets remember that along with practice, there needs to be time for rehearsal with all of the props - running the show as if it was real...

All the best ~ Fredrick
Message: Posted by: BlackShadow (Oct 28, 2005 07:16PM)
I think it depends on the sleight. Something like the pass is quite a comple series of movements and then you have to work at various bits so it appears there is no movements!

I don't think it's so bad to do parts of the move "wrong" to begin with. You may have to do it like that just to get the thing off the ground with a difficult sleight. Once the main actions are programmed, you can work on a particular aspect such as minimising thumb movement. I liken it to the golf swing. Get the thing fluid and basically right to start with and then chip away improving little bits of it till it is as perfect as you can make it.
Message: Posted by: HusssKarson (Jan 8, 2009 12:08AM)
True BlackShadow. Pass takes forever!
Message: Posted by: yutszfung (Jan 12, 2009 12:53AM)
I pratice 4 hrs a day too. this is magicians' life
Message: Posted by: funsway (Jun 3, 2009 11:55AM)
Consider a different "view". My wife is too visually impaired to see what I am actually doing in an effect, but is invaluable in detecting the naturalness of my movements and misdirection. Often she can tell when I am "doing something" because I am subliminally telegraphing my knowledge that I am doing something sneaky. Only when I can do a sleight without the 'ball' or with it, and pass the "Emmie" test have I practiced enough. She also sits in the audience during a small (and rare) performance and gives me an assessment of each spectator's reaction that doesn't match what they say or do.

I'm not suggesting you get a blind spouse, but can certainly get a friend to watch the audience instead of you.
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Jun 13, 2009 01:33PM)
First, learn to do each sleight slowly. Don't try to speed your sleights up until you can do them perfectly at a slow speed.

Once you can do a given sleight slowly, without messing it up, then try to speed it up very gradually.

Then, begin to practice it in context. In other words, let's say that you need to use a diagonal palm shift to perform a card in wallet routine. Practice doing the DPS from an insertion, then load it into your wallet. Do it slowly.

Then, as you practice, the speed will take care of itself.

Practice each move until it becomes boring. Then practice it until it becomes beautiful.

Once you can use the move in context, then rehearse your routine.

BTW, anyone who feels that you need to practice shuffling and double undercuts for 10 minutes on a daily basis is not taking into account that at some point, you can do three or four of each and you will be up to snuff.

Once you have the top change or bottom change down perfectly, you need to use it on live people.
Message: Posted by: John Iacono (Aug 23, 2009 11:10PM)
On 2005-03-31 14:20, Nemic386 wrote:
Since I'm new at this how long should I practice a basic sleight/ card control move-I practice and when I think I got it it ends up flopping like poop outta a horse when someone watches me! Any suggestions?

Unless you get to the point to were you can do the trick without thinking about it, it is not ready for prime time. Unless all the moves are automatic you will appear to be very stiff and unsure on yourself. This will effect the quality of your presentation.
I have a card trick that I have been working on for about eight years. I am almost to the point to were I can do the trick without thinking about it. I may try it out on a show I have booked for New Years eve.

THe strange this is that I fall asleep watching card tricks. I am not a big fan of card magic, but I have spent 100s of hours on this one trick.
Message: Posted by: Darth_Prime (Aug 31, 2009 02:11PM)
Sometimes you can over practice the same thing, and then it goes into muscle memory with bad habits.

practice something for 10-20 minutes, then move onto something else Etc...

and then let your mind rest a bit, and then start over
Message: Posted by: George Ledo (Aug 31, 2009 07:00PM)
On 2005-03-31 14:20, Nemic386 wrote:
Since I'm new at this how long should I practice a basic sleight/ card control move-I practice and when I think I got it it ends up flopping like poop outta a horse when someone watches me! Any suggestions?
Okay, just reading your post as written, I get the impression that you want to show sleights and control moves to your viewers. If this is correct, why are you showing sleights or control moves? You should be showing magic effects. Sleights are not magic effects -- they're just the "trade secrets" that make the magic effect work.

In any case, you got some good advice here. I love Bill's comment: "Practice each move until it becomes boring. Then practice it until it becomes beautiful."
Message: Posted by: Mary Mowder (Nov 7, 2009 11:12PM)
I practice till it isn't fun, then I stop. Consequently I practice more because it's always fun.

MagicMarker is right. Setting something aside for a while can help.

You might always be nervous when you show someone an effect for the first time. If you really believe you've done your due diligence in practice you may need to just do it for someone.

Even if there is no Magic Club near you it's possible to post on craigslist or a local newspaper to get a few people with a similar interest to meet once a week or so. In fact if you have a very small group (not more than 5 ) of like minded magicians you can make much better progress than in a larger group. The focus is better and you can kindly but honestly critique each other. Try to stay on the same subject long enough to really progress.

-Mary Mowder
Message: Posted by: Father Photius (Nov 7, 2009 11:22PM)
This was originally asked in March of 2005, think they have the answer by now. LOL.