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gtwosaints
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OK, so a few days ago, I picked up a set of Bicycle standard cards. Only one red deck for spring break and I soon came upon magic. After reading a few guides, I have a few tricks under my belt and some of the basics such as-shuffling, dealing, forcing, breaks, double lifts/turnovers(working on it),and a few flourishes. Now, I'm in a rut. I have a few things I'm having trouble with.

After countless tutorials and vids, I cannot complete the thumb fan. Every time I try, the cards come out uneven, or in clumps. I just cannot understand it. I know the grip, but when it comes to the fanning, it just doesn't work. Can anyone give me tips or explain more in depth?

Next, after watching a few videos, the Elmsley count gets to me. After looking at a few tutorials, the concept cannot be grasped. I just can't understand it. Does anyone have an explanation or a vid on how to do it in depth?

My double-turnover and lifts are still a bit rough and need work to look flawless as well as my shuffles, but I'm working on them. I'm just really getting frustrated with the above basics. I enjoy magic and capturing attention, and I hopefully always will.
Father Photius
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You need to learn to hold the cards more gently in your hand and to use more gentle pressure for the thumb fan, the symptoms you are describing are those of over gripping the deck and too much pressure from the thumb. It is really a rather delicate manuever.

You don't learn those moves over night, some things take months to get down, don't try to learn it all at once, and go slowly, do one thing at a time.
"Now here's the man with the 25 cent hands, that two bit magician..."
Loual4
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Gtwosaints, I notice that this is your first post, so first let me say welcome to the Café!

Second, I also notice that you mention picking up a deck of cards a couple of days ago... I don't know how long you have been into magic, but I can tell you that it take time and a LOT of practice to get the moves you are talking about so that they are smooth, and done with ease. This is easy to say, but don't get frustrated! Use this energy to practice more, whatch those instructionnal videos again, and practice some more! Like Photius said, some things take months to get down... and I will add that once you do have it down, some of us spend years trying to perfect these things.

Have a nice day, and don't despair!

Louis Jutras
spatlind
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Gtwosaints, welcome to the Caf?
In relation to the thumb fan, keep in mind that a just opened deck will fan easier than one you've been using non stop for even a few days. The older the cards get the harder it is to do a thumb fan. Also use a light touch as photius said.
The others gave sound advice on practice. Unfortunately there is no get there quick method, but I can assure you the effort is worth it. Many sleights will come to you reasonably quickly through dedicated practice. Others will leave you scratching your head until you have a lightbulb moment. Those moments are priceless! When it comes together..
Anyhows, good luck on your journey
Scott
Actions lie louder than words - Carolyn Wells

I believe in God, only I spell it Nature - Frank Lloyd Wright.
mmreed
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Card manipulation is tough - your hands move in ways they are not used to.

I struggle with nice looking fans all the time... mainly because I don't do them as much as I should.
Mark Reed
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erlandish
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Your post says you've been looking at "vids and tutorials"? Are these online tutorials you're talking about?

If that's the case, save yourself the hassle and learn from a proper resource.
The Jester Extraordinaire : bderland.com
Ye Olde Magick Blogge : erlandish.blogspot.com
gtwosaints
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Quote:
On 2008-04-24 12:36, erlandish wrote:
Your post says you've been looking at "vids and tutorials"? Are these online tutorials you're talking about?

If that's the case, save yourself the hassle and learn from a proper resource.

Yes, these are online tutorials. Currently I'm having my spring break. I plan to, when I return to school, to pick up a book on magic at the library. It's just that it I'm anxious and want to learn more.
gtwosaints
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Thanks for the answers guys. I kind of forgot that I only picked up that deck of cards a few days ago. It seems that in such a short time, I learned a lot.
erlandish
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Quote:
On 2008-04-24 12:41, gtwosaints wrote:
Quote:
On 2008-04-24 12:36, erlandish wrote:
Your post says you've been looking at "vids and tutorials"? Are these online tutorials you're talking about?

If that's the case, save yourself the hassle and learn from a proper resource.

Yes, these are online tutorials. Currently I'm having my spring break. I plan to, when I return to school, to pick up a book on magic at the library. It's just that it I'm anxious and want to learn more.


Well, if you can force a card, you can already perform a miracle. Try your hand at building a routine around it.
The Jester Extraordinaire : bderland.com
Ye Olde Magick Blogge : erlandish.blogspot.com
JHNelson
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Lots and lots and lots of practice. It took me about six months of practice before I could get a decent thumb fan, and about a year of steady practice to do a pressure fan. And in regards to the pressure fan, it just clicked one day and I could do it. Good card magic takes time. It can get frusterating but in the long run its worth the effort.
clarissa35f
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Quote:
On 2008-04-24 12:41, gtwosaints wrote:
Quote:
On 2008-04-24 12:36, erlandish wrote:
Your post says you've been looking at "vids and tutorials"? Are these online tutorials you're talking about?

If that's the case, save yourself the hassle and learn from a proper resource.

Yes, these are online tutorials. Currently I'm having my spring break. I plan to, when I return to school, to pick up a book on magic at the library. It's just that it I'm anxious and want to learn more.


First off, I recommend you avoid youtube and online tutorials like the plague. More often than not, these people exposing magic secrets cannot perform. If they could they would not be trying to expose. Their exposure is not teaching.

What you want is a DVD or a Book, by a real professional that knows his stuff. As far as Books go I make 2 recommendations without question.

The Royal Road to Card Magic by Jean Hugard and Frederick Braue' After that you can move on to Expert Card Technique by the same authors, I own both and they are awesome material.

I also Recommend Card College Vol 1. By Roberto Giobbi if you are serious about Card magic. You eventually want all 5 volumes, but if you are a beginner I do not recommend buying them until you master the material in order, they are structured as a course in Card sleights.

As to DVD's Michael Ammar has put out 9 volumes of "Easy to master Card Miracles" which is what I started with. At the time they were on VHS format. Get the first 3, and I am sure you will find enough material to your liking for a short routine.

What I enjoyed about Card Miracles is, that he starts off assuming you know nothing about Card magic, and teaches you a little bit with each volume, building on what he taught before. So I recommend you learn all the effects to learn the sleights needed, even if you do not see yourself using the effects yourself.

Hope this was helpful Smile
“Amateurs practice until they get it right.
Professionals practice until they can’t get it wrong.” <Anonymous>
"There is no such thing as magic, there is no other way that could have been done" <Whit Haydn>
MickeyPainless
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Gtwosaints,

Welcome to the Café and the wunnerful (and frustrating) world of magic! Just to put things in perspective for you on practice, I may have as much as 100 hours in on one move before I ever add it to a routine! Even my non dedicated practice consists of several hundred "get readies" or a pinkie count over and over again until I can tell the difference between 1,2 or 3 cards in a split second. I do this while watching a movie with my wife. I've kept coins in different palms while doing other activities for the better part of the day. I spend countless hours a day driving with my work and I keep cards or coins in my hands constantly and I'm just a hobbyist! LOL I'll bet I do the Elmsley count 100 times a day just in unconscious practice!
The vast majority of the free tutorial/explanation/revelations on the net (YouTube) are done by people that have minimal time invested in study and are usually doing it wrong or poorly at best! AVOID the "LearnMagicdotcom" type sites if you are truly serious about your pursuit!

Mick
clarissa35f
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Darwin once said if you add up all the occasions in a day when you are waiting around doing nothing, they may add up to 45 minutes maybe an hour or more every day. Take a few coins or a deck of cards everywhere... practice.. in his words.."it beats watching a fly crawl up a drape."

I tend to just do Elmsley, Jordan, Elmsley, Jordan, Elmsley, Jordan while waiting for the bus, Once in the bus when I tire of that I'll pull out a Poker Chip, do french Drops, classic passes, and retention vanishes... then Erdnase Color Changes.

That is without counting my regular practice in front of the TV with my DVD's. And I al also a Hobbyist.

Stay here, listen to the pros. The youtube crowd don't have a clue.
“Amateurs practice until they get it right.
Professionals practice until they can’t get it wrong.” <Anonymous>
"There is no such thing as magic, there is no other way that could have been done" <Whit Haydn>
abc
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If you think you are frustrated now, wait until you get really good at it and want to design an effect around an idea you have and you just can't get it right. That is frustrating. Just keep working on it.
clarissa35f
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I Know. It's funny, when you first start learning magic, you are amazed by what you know. As time passes and you become better, you also start realizing how much there is to know that you do not know yet. And that time can be frustrating. Magic is a giant field, and I doubt anyone can master everything. Doesn't stop many from trying though. But daily practice is key. Aim for fun practice sessions, where your goal is an incremental improvement over time. Each time you perfom a sleight do it really slow, aim for doing it exactly the same way every time... try to do it perfectly... until it's not fun, then move onto something else.

I think the moment something starts to feel like a chore, the mind rebels.
“Amateurs practice until they get it right.
Professionals practice until they can’t get it wrong.” <Anonymous>
"There is no such thing as magic, there is no other way that could have been done" <Whit Haydn>
loyaleagle
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As someone who was recently in your position (I also just re-discovered magic over my spring break this year) I can tell you that you should focus on stuff that doesn't require any of your new skills (like double lifts, breaks, or falses) and build up a stock of self-workers. You just WON'T be able to do a decent trick that uses slights for a good while. Keep working on those skills and try to find a fellow student who also has a love for magic, as you will be able to have someone watch you. Otherwise, just practice alone.

Use the self-workers (aka, no slights) to get used to performing and improve your presentation. Slowly work in slights and such until you are ready to do a good routine. Personally I'm 2 months out from when I restarted and I'm still not ready for "the big time" when it comes to slights.

Good luck!

P.S. - Also, I suggest making a daily work-out list for yourself.
Visit my blog: ScienceIsMagic.com
clarissa35f
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Quote:
On 2008-04-25 19:49, loyaleagle wrote:
As someone who was recently in your position (I also just re-discovered magic over my spring break this year) I can tell you that you should focus on stuff that doesn't require any of your new skills (like double lifts, breaks, or falses) and build up a stock of self-workers. You just WON'T be able to do a decent trick that uses slights for a good while. Keep working on those skills and try to find a fellow student who also has a love for magic, as you will be able to have someone watch you. Otherwise, just practice alone.

Use the self-workers (aka, no slights) to get used to performing and improve your presentation. Slowly work in slights and such until you are ready to do a good routine. Personally I'm 2 months out from when I restarted and I'm still not ready for "the big time" when it comes to slights.

Good luck!

P.S. - Also, I suggest making a daily work-out list for yourself.


This is awesome advice. I know we all want to work those sleights, but waiting to perform until you can do sleight-of-hand may leave you frustrated.

The other benefit of self working card effects is, since there is no sleight
1. No reason to worry about messing up the sleight.
2. You can focus all your attention once you know how to perform the effect on performance.
3. You can spend time figuring out your personality, and how to use that in your performance.

What type of person are you? Introverted? Extroverted? Are you witty? or more serious? Try to see who you are. Then you can tailor routines with that in mind.

Remember you are a magician. It is WHO YOU ARE, not what you do. So the closer you can tailor your style to your personality the more natural it will be, and the more fun you will have. It's tempting to use the patter, and performance style of others because you see that it works...but it works for THEM. Daryl's routine works for daryl, It would not work for Ammar, or Mac King. Even if they all did the same routine, they would do it differently... So take this time to learn self workers, work on presentation and performance, and " Remember who you are!" < Mufasa>
“Amateurs practice until they get it right.
Professionals practice until they can’t get it wrong.” <Anonymous>
"There is no such thing as magic, there is no other way that could have been done" <Whit Haydn>
dpe666
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I might get crucified for this, but the ability to learn and perform magic is not a talent that everyone has or can develope. It isn't just about secrets and tricks, and it is not something that you can do over night. It takes dedication and a lot of work. Don't buy into that "dealer's line" of, "Magic is easy once you know the secret." That is a crock. I am not trying to discourage you. Rather, I am trying to make a point that a lot of people miss or do not want to admit to. Smile
clarissa35f
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Quote:
On 2008-04-25 20:39, dpe666 wrote:
I might get crucified for this, but the ability to learn and perform magic is not a talent that everyone has or can develope. It isn't just about secrets and tricks, and it is not something that you can do over night. It takes dedication and a lot of work. Don't buy into that "dealer's line" of, "Magic is easy once you know the secret." That is a crock. I am not trying to discourage you. Rather, I am trying to make a point that a lot of people miss or do not want to admit to. Smile


The secret to magic is in the presentation. Knowing the method does not make anyone a magician, all it does is make you knowledgeable of method. Sort of like knowing HOW to play the Piano, but now how to perform.

You are right. Takes talent, knowledge, practice, perseverance, multi-tasking ability, etc. While I agree that there may be some people that just do not have the talent for magic, I do not think it is a HUGE percentage of the population. I believe if the spirit is there, and if the desire is there, the mind can find a way most stumbling blocks.

Whatever the mind of man can conceive, and believe, it can achieve.
“Amateurs practice until they get it right.
Professionals practice until they can’t get it wrong.” <Anonymous>
"There is no such thing as magic, there is no other way that could have been done" <Whit Haydn>
dpe666
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The spirit is there, and the desire is there, but I cannot sing. No amount of practice will give me the talent of song. It is not there. Smile
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