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Topic: Card manipulation
Message: Posted by: Neil (Aug 22, 2003 05:50AM)
I'm trying to learn some card manipulation. I'm limiting myself to a back palm production, back-to-front showing hand empty (the "pivot" move I believe) and multiple production of about 4 cards at present as they fit in with what I want to do. I've not got much specific study material on manipulation and am going mostly on the manipulation section in Buckley's Card Control - which isn't the most detailed work as some of you will know.

The front to back palm is going well but when I bring it back to the front I'm finding the card is too far away from the base of the hand so that when I straighten the inner fingers (2nd & 3rd) and then the outer (1st & 4th) the card is poking out the end of my fingers a fair old way. This method is described in Buckley as being "without use of the thumb" so I'm wondering if the standard method DOES use the thumb to pull the card back - can anyone give me a pointer? For instance, the obvious move of grabbing the end of the card with the crook of my thumb has occured to me - is that a wise move?

I get the impression Buckley was almost superhuman in his abilities and can't really be bothered to explain details to mere mortals!


Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (Aug 22, 2003 06:53AM)
This is just a preference thing, but I do indeed use my thumb to momemtarily hold the card before I straighten the fingers out. This helps hold the car in place for a split second and prevents the card from getting out of alignment. If performed in a nice fluid movement, the audience never sees the thumb go out of view and it never becomes a visual problem. I would give it a try and see what works best for you. I would also recommend the McBride series on card manipulation. He goes over this in detail. Hope this information is of help to you.
Message: Posted by: augur (Aug 22, 2003 06:54AM)

You are correct, the move is called the Pivot.
I prefer not to use the thumb at all. I've seen people use the thumb and I think that if done right, the move looks better without the thumb.
I believe the best way to learn this move is from the Art Of Card Manipulation by Jeff McBride volume 1. But if you are really into card manipulation my advice is get the set (3 DVDs) as most magic dealers offer a discount if you buy the set and it'll save you a few bucks, and there's some wonderfull material in those DVDs.
That being said, the move does take time and practice and a lot more practice to make it smooth and fluid, but keep at it and it'll come to you. :)
Message: Posted by: -The Scot- (Aug 22, 2003 09:51AM)
You'll find using the thumb helps keep the cards aligned if you are pivoting with more than one card. It also prevents the middle and ring finger from [i]sliding[/i] the back card out when performing the pivot (those who have experienced the problem will know what I am on about - if not grab a few cards and try and visualise it ;))

Message: Posted by: djvirtualreality (Aug 22, 2003 10:16AM)
uggh, I need the 2nd volume of AoCM....A friend gave me the third...and it pretty much relies on the second....
Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (Aug 22, 2003 03:43PM)
Yes indeed. I hear you brother. I remember spending many hours wondering why my cards went flying across the floor when I was doing the pivot. I now use my thumb during this move but the key for me is to still make it smooth and flowing of a movement. if you do, the thumb goes out of view for a mili-second if that.
Message: Posted by: -The Scot- (Aug 22, 2003 04:06PM)
Why make it hard for yourself if the pivot looks just as good with the aid of the thumb.

Manipulation is hard enough as it is, never mind ranting about using the thumb to grip some cards.

Keep up the good work,

Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (Aug 23, 2003 08:20AM)
In my own mind, it is all about the quality of entertainment you are giving to your audience during any performance. I do not think using your thumb in a pivot move attracts that much attention from the audience. I think they honestly never even see it. With this in mind, why indeed make it harder on yourself then it needs to be. The more important thing is to do it in a fluid style and have the movement be smooth. Of course do not flash the card as well.
Message: Posted by: -The Scot- (Aug 31, 2003 12:21PM)
Too true!

If it is done fluently, the audience has no reason to suspect a stock of cards behind your hand anyway—the thumb only makes life easier.

Happy pivoting ;)

Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (Aug 31, 2003 06:02PM)
It is also nice to point out that the pivot is a great way to get the cards back into alignment if they should start getting into disaray.

I simply do a pivot move with the stock, and the cards are once again aligned well in the back palm position. Give it a try and I think you will see what I mean.
Message: Posted by: -The Scot- (Sep 1, 2003 01:55AM)
I couldn't understand what you meant at first, but I just tried it there and I see what you mean.

Good tip, Kyle!

Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (Sep 1, 2003 08:52AM)

I am glad it worked for you. It works well because as you perform the pivot, the cards are all brought in contact with the fleshy part of the thumb. Because it is hitting this area, it allows the cards to be pushed in line with the thumb muscle. This in turn straightens the cards up and brings them into alignment. It works quite well. Glad it worked for you.
Message: Posted by: -The Scot- (Sep 1, 2003 10:31AM)
Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (Sep 1, 2003 11:02AM)
What other methods do you all have for straightening out cards that are in a back palm position? I am curious to see any other techniques. The pivot works well for me.
Message: Posted by: -The Scot- (Sep 1, 2003 04:27PM)
Maybe you should start a new topic on this, Kyle.

I have found producing the whole stock (maybe 13 max) as one card gives you an excellent opportunity to square up the cards. You can then peel one off the face and re backpalm the rest of the stock.


Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (Sep 1, 2003 05:12PM)

Good advice. I will make this into a new post.
Message: Posted by: Robert P. (Sep 7, 2003 08:33PM)
Threads like this is why I love this place. Good advice throughout.
Message: Posted by: maylor (Sep 9, 2003 02:32PM)
I straighten them back out by doing a production where the cards are brought from the back palm and produced between the thumb and middle finger as one stock. The top card can then be peeled off with the perfect production and the rest back palmed again. If you know what I mean.

It's on the McBride series if you don't! ;)
Message: Posted by: Eddy (Sep 30, 2003 10:11AM)
When the cards are getting a little messy you can always transfer them to front palm of the oposite hand and then go into the single production, this mixes it up a little too. Also whilst on the subject of the pivot, does anyone,like me, have trouble pivoting more than on ecard to front palm? I usually do the pivot once, on the last card to be produced, because that's all I can manage. My problem lies in the fact that when I have to straighten my second an middle fingers out to hold the cards in front palm, they slide along the cards and push them out, spreading them as they go. Hop you understand what I mean, and help would be appreciated. :pepper: :cucumber: :banana:
Message: Posted by: AlexWong (Jun 23, 2004 09:01PM)
Hi, I finally decided to start on the pivot move too, I'm wondering if I can get some help...

Learning from McBrides DVD, When I try to bring it from back palm to front, the card sticks too far out for my 2nd and 3rd finger to push back.

Is it the positioning of the cards in my hands? I tried to move the ends of the cards closer to the tips of my fingers, which makes it somewhat better, but then the cards appear much more obvious.
Message: Posted by: Jim Wilder (Jun 23, 2004 09:54PM)
On 2004-06-23 22:01, AlexWong wrote:
Hi, I finally decided to start on the pivot move too, I'm wondering if I Can get some help...

Learning from McBrides DVD, When I try to bring it from back palm to front, the card sticks too far out for my 2nd and 3rd finger to push back.

Is it the positioning of the cards in my hands? I tried to move the ends of the cards closer to the tips of my fingers, which makes it somewhat better, but then the cards appear much more obvious.


What kind of cards are you using?
Message: Posted by: AlexWong (Jun 23, 2004 10:45PM)
Poker sized bics for practicing.
Message: Posted by: Jim Wilder (Jun 23, 2004 11:05PM)
When I started card manipulation, I used the same- Bicycle Poker size. I actually used those for a few years... not broken in... I did not invest in card manipulation videos (I wish I would have).

An older guy in my local Ring told me about manipulation cards. I bought and received a set and found out that they were bridge size. At first I was completely disappointed with every aspect of the manipulation cards, from size to color to indexes.

However, since I'd invested about 4 times the price of a normal deck of cards, I decided to use them. After a day, I was hooked. Intially the smaller size was extremely awkward due to my working with poker sized cards (daily for 3 years). By the end of the day, many of the moves- pivot, split fans, and steals became easier to do than with the poker sized.

Long story short... too late :) you might consider either using manipulation cards or at least bridge size cards as that may more immediately help your issue of the cards sticking out too much.

Also, video yourself if you can and send out the video. There are some excellent card manipulators here at the Café, one of which (he may not want to be identified) has given me specific advice after watching me on video and it has helped in my practicing.

Message: Posted by: AlexWong (Jun 24, 2004 12:20AM)
Thanks Jim, I'll get my hands on one of those decks of Manipulation cards. I thought though that I should be practicing with poker cards and might be just lazy if I switched to bridged size cards. Card Magicians' mentality perhaps?

Oh, and the background was informative and interesting. :) It provided a good reading.

I'll try to get more work on it and see how it goes before I put out a video for help. I suppose its only proper that I spend at least a substantial amount of time experimenting first.

Thanks again.
Message: Posted by: Michael Lee (Jun 24, 2004 01:44PM)
Hello All

In regards to the B& F Palm...NO the thumb should NOT BE USED !! as it ' Telegraphs" that you are holding/ hiding something,

" Proper technique" is to ONLY USE the fingers ......Yes it Makes a 'World of difference" !!!

As to what are the right cards to use, Hmm... TRY em all !!! To learn more...
I have covered this subject in my past posts.

Lots of Luck

Michael Lee
Message: Posted by: Jim Wilder (Jun 24, 2004 04:13PM)
I can get from front palm to back palm without the thumb, but I can not get back without my thumb... or maybe more simply stated, I can not run a continuous pivot without my thumb (actually, why would I do a continuous pivot anyway?).
When pushing into back palm, I can use the base of my hand to place the card into normal position, without using the thumb. But to get the card into front palm from back palm, I can not get it to refrain from protruding out from my fingertips. :(

How can I manage this without the thumb?
Or should I just produce the card?

Message: Posted by: Michael Lee (Jun 24, 2004 11:02PM)
Hello All

Good Question Jim, First I would say to get yourself in front if the mirror at least for awhile , Go slow at first.
If you have a Video camera also use it as a camera does not Blink.
here jim is the Answere to your problem when your in FP (inside) Pivot the hand making a fist & keep your stock pointing to the rear... Then Point the fingers down at the floor all the while keeping that thumb "out of there", Now straighten the hand & you will again be in BP position.

Jim this will take some work as its hard to break bad habits which were all guility of..ha ha

Should you have any questions please feel free to email me.

Michael Lee
Message: Posted by: AlexWong (Jun 25, 2004 03:25AM)

I'm also having problems bringing it to the front palm. But occasionally if I do it real slow, and really stretch my fingers it seems to turn out alright.

So right now I'm working on stretching my fingers, and seeing out it works out.... but might just be some muscle thing that requires me to Stretch and stretch until it becomes comfortable. Machael, was it stretchy for you when you learnt it (No doubt an extremely long time ago).
Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (Jun 25, 2004 09:26AM)
Mirrors are good but please try not to use them too much. I say this because one will find that the mirror image is NOT what the audience is really thinking. The other problem with this is that the performer gets so used to seeing their image in the mirror, that when performance time comes, and they do not have that mirror, they are stiff and frustrated and it shows in the performance of the routine.

Video is a MUCH better way to practice and record your rehearsal times. It shows what the audience will see and you can also set cameras up to check out your various angles as well.

Michael lee gives a good explantaion of the move so I would study that sequence a bit more. keep in mind that the cards should point straight back as Michael points out.

Message: Posted by: yanyak5 (Jun 27, 2004 11:07AM)
Don't forget that the "pivot" move is usually (most of the time) done under cover of something else....or at least it's supposed to be ;) shhh.. don't tell anyone...

Usually your using a silk or a card, or just something else to sort of block and hide this move....Even a big swing of the body to the left or right is good misdirection to perform the move...personally, I don't think it should matter if you use the thumb.