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Topic: Left handed beginner - advice please
Message: Posted by: jim_h (May 2, 2007 02:23PM)

This is my first post after lurking for a week or two, please be gentle with me :)

I suppose like most people, I've been fascinated and awed by card tricks and anyone capable of performing them for as long as I can remember. After learning a few simple, self-working tricks, I have bought Roberto Giobbi's books in order to learn.

Now, being a left hander is making things a bit more tricky and I'm not sure how to proceed. Should I try to learn everything by following diagrams and descriptions using the opposite hands to the books? Or, should I begin by trying to do it all right handed?

The reason I ask is because I'm a bit worried about spending many hours learning techniques left handed, only to find there are certain things I'd have found easier at a later date by learning right handed.

Any help or advice would be very much appreciated.

Thanks for a great forum, I've learned a lot just browsing for a while.

Message: Posted by: mrunge (May 2, 2007 02:53PM)
Hi Jim,

Welcome to the café! You've come to the right place for help.

Being right handed myself, that's a great question. I'd think if you can learn the "method" behind an effect, then you'd do just fine performing it in whatever way works best for you. I don't think one way is better than another.

After all, that is what is so great about the art of magic. You can take something and make it your own.

Enjoy your journey! Mark.
Message: Posted by: tupawk (May 2, 2007 03:00PM)
Interestingly enough I am left handed but handle cards, do magic right handed. Not sure why but it has always felt more natural for me to hold the deck in my left hand while dealing.

Whatever way you chose just stick with it and it will start to feel more natural and become easier the more you practice!
Message: Posted by: wulfiesmith (May 2, 2007 04:03PM)
I too, am left-handed, and have been a "mechanic" for a good 25+ years.
I hold the deck in my right hand, and deal with the left. I have never come across any problems.
Learn your sleights as it feels "natural" to you, the rest will take of itself.

Incidentally, if you are just starting out, and like self-working routines, then you MUST check out "Premonition" by Eddie Joseph. I have posted about it on this site before. It ranks as my favourite card effect.

Basically ... call out any card you wish ... here is the deck, take that card out ... it is not there? ... of course not ... it is in my pocket. No forces, free choice, no sleights, nothing taken away, nothing added, and it is easy-peasy.

Welcome to the art of deception - regards, wulfiesmith
Message: Posted by: Jaz (May 2, 2007 04:16PM)
An (Advanced) Café search for the phrase "left handed" in the 'Topic Title Only' may help.
Message: Posted by: Shufton (May 2, 2007 04:24PM)
One advantage to being a lefty, is that you can mirror video instruction, instead of trying to figure out everything in reverse, like us righties have to do!

Message: Posted by: Led Heflin (May 2, 2007 04:29PM)
As a fellow left-hander, I'd say your best bet is to try every move at least a good few times with both hands--personally, I've been surprised at how many things I end up doing right-handed, and there's no rhyme or reason. I think it adds interest and extra cover to sleights to be switching back and forth now and then (constantly, now that might be another matter!). Go with whatever feels natural in each separate case.

When I read method instruction, I've just gotten to the point I see phrases like "take ___ in your right hand and place it to your left" as "take ___ in one hand and place it in the other." It gives me a headache sometimes, all that left and right confusion, but once the moves are learned, that headache never comes back.
Message: Posted by: jim_h (May 2, 2007 04:41PM)
Thank you very much for the welcome and the advice.

I sat for several hours trying to figure out which was going to be the best way to go before posting here and I'm glad I did as I was getting nowhere fast :)

Having always held the deck in my right hand for dealing and shuffles, I think based on your suggestions, I will stick with being a lefty for the purposes of learning. Although I'd have made the effort to use my right if it was going to be advantageous later, I was hoping I'd get away with it.

wulfiesmith - The premonition trick looks too good to miss, especially after reading the Trickshop description. <sigh> More justifying myself to the boss woman. I'll be spending the next ten years trying to earn brownie points as it is ;-)

Jaz - I didn't think of using the advanced search. Doh! Thanks for the pointer.

Message: Posted by: munkywrench (May 2, 2007 05:37PM)
Randy Wakeman is a great card worker who was cursed, erh um I mean blessed to be left handed. Lord bless the starving pigmies in New Guienea I know that wasn't RIGHT. LOL.
Message: Posted by: jimhlou (May 3, 2007 01:46PM)
Wow, I can't believe how many of us are left handed! Is there some connection between being left handed and being interested in magic?

Like Seamus, I switch "left" and "right" in all the instructions. Interestingly enough, I learned to do a one handed cut with my right hand, and practiced it for about a year, before I discovered I could do it much easier with my left hand.

I always use my left hand when sawing people's necks.

Message: Posted by: WhiteAngel (May 3, 2007 01:54PM)
Figure out which hand feels more natural and stay with that. In Magic, being natural is important, so when something is described right handed, learn left if that is more comfortable. I'm a lefty, so I understand, lol. Do what ever comes more natural, the right handed describe how they do it in the right hand, but that doesn't mean you can't do it in the left. Good Luck!
Message: Posted by: Led Heflin (May 3, 2007 07:05PM)
I always use my left hand when sawing people's necks.


That's a good idea, Jim-- more leverage.
Message: Posted by: EricClark (May 4, 2007 09:25PM)
You can learn from Bill Malone DVDs, he is left handed.
Message: Posted by: Josh Riel (May 5, 2007 01:31AM)
Have any of you considered trying to not be left handed?
Message: Posted by: gaddy (May 5, 2007 02:12AM)
Sleight of hand is an "unnatural motion" to make with your hands lefty or righty. given enough practice and no conscious attachment to either hand you will be able to work the sleights either lefty or righty.

your other alternative is to learn to read backwards and reversed and look in the mirror and follow the illustrations from there......

give righty a chance...

a fellow lefty,

Message: Posted by: MagiClyde (May 5, 2007 09:28AM)
I don't know about the left hand vs. right hand argument, but there is a magician (can't remember his name) who learned to do his sleights with his left hand only because he had lost the use of his right hand early in life. So he had no choice.

Another great source of inspiration is Richard Turner, known as the [i]The Cheat[/i], who not only learns to do most of his work with both hands, but is also legally blind!
Message: Posted by: magician8 (Jul 30, 2007 12:25PM)
On 2007-05-05 10:28, clynim wrote:
I don't know about the left hand vs. right hand argument, but there is a magician (can't remember his name) who learned to do his sleights with his left hand only because he had lost the use of his right hand early in life. So he had no choice.

Another great source of inspiration is Richard Turner, known as the [i]The Cheat[/i], who not only learns to do most of his work with both hands, but is also legally blind!

Are you mtalking about René Lavand?
Message: Posted by: Mr. Ree (Jul 30, 2007 06:41PM)
I don’t know the real answer but I have found a couple
of things that seem to help. (Yes I'm left handed.)

I watch DVDs in a mirror. (Now they’re made for Lefties)
This really helped for some rope moves. (But works for cards and others.)

(Next problem is audio is now backward from video.)
So, either turn audio down after you’ve watched the video a couple of times
without the mirror. Or, whenever you hear left think right and visa versa.

There are a couple of gaffed decks that I can’t fan correctly
because I am left handed. (So I haven’t worked it all out yet.)

Here's a link I started as I did not find "Left handed beginner - advice please"
prior to starting this new thread:

In the above thread "Jaz" shows some other links that may be of interest.

Here's another:

Message: Posted by: One Man (Jul 31, 2007 08:06PM)
Another left chimes in....I also does most sleights left handed. But over the course of 20+ years I have come across a few sleights that can not be done left handed. Most of these sleights are turnovers or displays that require the pip to show. If memory serves me Paul Harris had a card printing routine that had to be done right handed.

As everyone else has said learning sleights left handed is like transposing music you will eventually do it as second nature.

Rene Lavand is (was?) an amzing artist who only worked with one hand. Then there was the teenage juggling who was trying to learn to juggle knives...I think his name was Lefty <<--humble bow to Michael Davis.

Message: Posted by: THEGUY26 (Will Swanson) (Jul 31, 2007 09:01PM)
I'm left handed to, but I learned to hold the deck and do everything with my left hand. I originall learned the Snap Change with my left hand, then I hand to learn it iwth my right hand, so I could hold the deck and still do it. No I can do it with both hands. I am completely left handed for coin magic, though.
Message: Posted by: Nedim (Aug 1, 2007 03:25AM)

First welcome to the Café.

Alexander De Cova is also left handed. He has close up videos. Also cards for close up. May be you must look that series. This is the only thing that came to my mind.

magicially yours,

Nedim Guzel
Message: Posted by: THEGUY26 (Will Swanson) (Aug 1, 2007 05:53AM)
Tomas Medina is also left handed.
Message: Posted by: andre combrinck (Aug 1, 2007 12:17PM)
I'm so used to inverting text(ie. use your left little--actually right), that I wonder if a left handed person had to write a book, how I would cope.

Message: Posted by: One Man (Aug 1, 2007 09:24PM)
A few years ago Magic put out a left handed issue. The binding was reversed and it read back to front. And on the cover........anyone?

Message: Posted by: Ted Danger (Aug 1, 2007 10:09PM)
I'm a lefty and loved the thrill of taking those totally confusing instructions from all the early paste-board books and making them (and me) a little more dazzling by switching each "left hand" and "right hand" instruction to the opposite. It's like doing gardner puzzles while necking.....

Good Luck, go for it.......