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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Nothing up my sleeve... » » Suggestions for ways to learn (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

RCP
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Two Minnie's in The Hell's Half Acre, The Republic of Texas
2158 Posts

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Thanks to all here for the wealth of information. I have some good books and some good DVD's and have started to practice. Slowly a little progress can be seen, here is my question? Do you just practice one slight till it's perfect or do you work on few sleights at a time? Should I pick someones routine I like and practices the numerous sleights by doing the routine?
Any other tips, tricks or pearls greatly appreciated.
truesoldier
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Hi

I would recommend that you find a simple routine that you like that uses no more then 2 or 3 max slieghts that you feel you can pick up reasonably quickly. This will help you perfect your slieghts while working towards perfecting an effect. This in turn will stop you becoming bored from repeating a slieght with no clear objective. Also the slieghts you learn will come in usefull for many more routines.

Once perfected I would suggest that you move on to another routine that uses a new sleight for you to learn. One other thing I would suggest that you think about the six to eight sleights that you feel would be of most use to you. After this concentrate on building up a routine of a number of effects that use these slieghts, don't get carried away with learning hundreds of slieghts as you would be better off putting the time into presentation, misdirection, showmanship & the phycology of magic. This will help to make you truly magical. After you have developed your overall skill then continue to learn some additional sleights.

Best Regards
Jonathan Townsend
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Eternal Order
Ossining, NY
27157 Posts

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Do you have children?

If so, perhaps you could tell them the story of what you want to do and have them act it out. Filter out the stereotypical mannerisms they use if they've already been contaminated by that stuff but just watch HOW they do what they do.

Then... you have an idea how to separate the mundane actions from the effective magical actions.

:)
...to all the coins I've dropped here
aiki
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Middletown NY
181 Posts

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What I do is practice a few sleights that I will use in various routines over and over constanly. Then I pratice the routine that use these sleights. As you add routines you will be adding in new sleights. By praticing routines they will help you to get a smoother handling and your sleights will improve because you will see where your flow in the routine is off and it forces you to improve.
Ray K.

Till we meet again!
Rob Elliott
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Reston VA
487 Posts

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You should definitely practice your sleights by themselves as well as in the context of the routines you want to perform. Sometimes, when I'm working on a routine, there will be one sleight that I can't do particularly smoothly and it throws off the timing and flow of the overall routine; so I'll work on that sleight over and over again, say, while I'm watching TV or reading (which helps to alleviate the boredom factor truesoldier mentioned). After I've got the sleight to the point where I can do it smoothly, I go back to working on the routine as a whole.
Jim Mullen
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Lake Tahoe, California
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I have a different view than most of those given here. As a new performer, I think you should pick out three tricks that you like and that work together fairly well. I would select tricks that either have no sleights at all or fairly simple sleights that you feel you can master in a reasonably short period of time.

Your opening trick should be of short duration, about two minutes, and should be something that seems impromptu. Your second trick can be the weakest of the three, and your final trick should be your best and should build to your final climax.

Practice all three tricks in succession and make adjustments so that they flow together pretty well. The idea of practicing tricks in groups of three came from the late Mike Skinner, a great magician from whom I took lessons many years ago. Mike pointed out that when you do this, you create a mini show rather than a trick.

Write out the patter for each of the tricks. I do this with Microsoft Word using the table feature that gives two columns, one for the actions of the trick and the other for the patter. Then practice the tricks while reciting the patter.

I mentioned doing tricks that have no sleights. This is so you can get in front of an audience sooner and begin really enjoying the fun of being a magician and fooling people. This is much more important for an upstart magician than learning difficult sleights. As I have been a magician for many years, I now do dozens of fairly difficult sleights, and you will learn to do these over time, but meanwhile it is much better to get up there in front of an audience than to struggle with hard-to-do sleights. And there are plenty of great tricks that require little or no sleight of hand. Some easy card tricks for example are You Do as I Do (Royal Road to Card Magic), Whispering Queen (Uncanny Scot), Out of this World, Streching Card, Insurance Policy Trick, Invisible Deck. Also some sleights are much easier than others. Easy ones are the glide, the classic force, overhand shuffle control, riffle shuffle control, and a lot of great tricks can be done with these. Harder sleights are double lift, palms, diagonal palm shift, Elmsley count, Zarro shuffle, and others. Really hard ones are second deals, bottom deals, the pass, and others. As a beginner, stay away from this last group.

Regardless of which sleights you decide to do, do not select the sleight for its own sake. Select the trick you want to do. Then, if you need a sleight to do that trick, then learn that sleight. Sleights are of no use by themselves. They only serve to enable tricks. The tricks are what are important.

Remember that your goal is to fool people not to learn sleights to show the guys at the magic meeting. And as you fool people, you will want to entertain them with a well-rehersed, smoothly flowing magic show that starts off quickly and rises to a startling climax. When you can do that, you are a magician. And you can be a fine magician without knowing any difficult sleights.

Good luck.
Jim Mullen

Lake Tahoe
Mb217
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I think you're on the right track doing what you're doing RCP, as a lot of this stuff is about getting the feel of things. Once you do, you'll see, you'll be flying. Smile You mentioned having some dvds, here's a good suggestion as I know you must have the Bobo book. Smile

I have to speak up for Bobo here, as he's one of the great contributors to coin magic. His work is still prolific out there and now it's been kicked-up on pushed ever onward yet another glorious notch...With that, I'd suggest the very latest and new "Modern Coin Magic" dvd. It's a 4-dvd set visualizing the greatness of the most popular book on coin magic, "Bobo's New Modern Coin Magic."

Finally some one has a made a complimentary dvd to this wonderful book, and what's great is that the dvd set is a complete course in itself that can stand on its own in the professional instruction of coin magic. Definitely a most comprehensive bargain...It's essential for beginners (just like the book) and a treasure chest for all coin magicians, old and new. Make sure you get it, it's really good and very well done. Enjoy! Smile -MB
*Check out my latest: Gifts From The Old Country: A Mini-Magic Book, MBs Mini-Lecture on Coin Magic, The MB Tanspo PLUS, MB's Morgan, Copper Silver INC, Double Trouble, FlySki, Crimp Change - REDUX!, and other fine magic at gumroad.com/mb217magic Smile


"Believe in YOU, and you will see the greatest magic that ever was." -Mb Smile
Jaz
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NJ, U.S.
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Rob Elliott apparently does what I do.

However, when I began coin magic I went thru Bobo's and practiced most of the sleights first.
When I got to the routine section I had to put it all together and things were different. It was back to practicing some sleights alone, then back to the routine and getting the timing and everthing else down pat.
Rob Pond
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Scott, OH
156 Posts

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Quote:
some sleights are much easier than others. Easy ones are the glide, the classic force, overhand shuffle control, riffle shuffle control, and a lot of great tricks can be done with these. Harder sleights are double lift, palms, diagonal palm shift, Elmsley count, Zarro shuffle, and others. Really hard ones are second deals, bottom deals, the pass, and others. As a beginner, stay away from this last group.




I wouldn't consider the classic force an easy sleight. It takes a lot of work to perfect and to learn the thinking behind it. I feel that more advaced magicians forget how hard the Classic force is when you are just learning it because when it is perfected, you can do it just as easily as spreading the cards. Besides that I agree with what you have to say.
Rob Pond
Jim Mullen
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Lake Tahoe, California
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Pond Wizard,

I think your point is well taken. Although the mechanics of the sleight are quite easy, the finesse needed to execute it effectively requires considerable private practice and public presentation. I retract my suggestion that this is easy.

Jim
Jim Mullen

Lake Tahoe
Rob Elliott
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Reston VA
487 Posts

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Nice to know I'm in good company, Jaz!
Mb217
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Hey Rob, you're definitely in good company, if that company includes my man Jaz. Smile And that goes for you too Jaz, whenever that company includes my man Rob. Smile Great advice here from both of you, as usual. Smile -MB
*Check out my latest: Gifts From The Old Country: A Mini-Magic Book, MBs Mini-Lecture on Coin Magic, The MB Tanspo PLUS, MB's Morgan, Copper Silver INC, Double Trouble, FlySki, Crimp Change - REDUX!, and other fine magic at gumroad.com/mb217magic Smile


"Believe in YOU, and you will see the greatest magic that ever was." -Mb Smile
boxjumper
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It gets a bit overwhelming trying to learn all those sleights without knowing what you are going to use them for in a specfic routine. I really like the format in 21st Century Coin Mechanics. In the first section of the book the sleights are taught. In the second section the routines are taught but before each routine is a list of sleights (mechanics) and next to each sleight it tells which chapter it's taught in. You could skim the routines and see what you like and then learn the sleights as you need them.

BJ
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