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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Ever so sleightly » » New to Cups and Balls..Where truly to start? (4 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Daniel Clemente
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Hello All...I've always been interested in learning a cups and ball routine, or doing it myself...I am currently only into coins and cards...I have a Gazzo DVD that includes his routine and all the finesse of it, but where would be a good beginning step to start, before going to Gazzo...I would search, but searching these forums could be tough sometimes with the search function...thank you in advance!

-Troop
cupsandballsmagic
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Troop,
If you ignore the first 5 listings in this link (adverts) there's a lot of links to Café threads. http://tinyurl.com/dxeb3bc
Chris G.
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You will find this in other threads as well: The DVDs by Michael Ammar are a good place to start. The Gazzo DVD is great as well, if you already have it, why not start from there?
francisngkl
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As a beginner, I find Michael Ammar's DVDs the best.

Francis
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Octopus Sun
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I'm not impressed with Ammar's DVD's. They are ok at best. There's allot of info packed into a small package.
Only problem is Ammar does not go into how to do the sleights in detail. That's the first thing a n00b needs to learn ie transfers etc. and Ammar does not show them in detail. Yes, he does go over the moves needed, but he does not teach them properly imho.
I've watched Ammar's dvd's about 100+ times over the last year.
What he does teach in great detail is the wand spins.
Ammar's not what I would call a DVD set to learn from.
burn me now...mho
Dave V
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I love the Ammar vids, but you're right. It's more a "dictionary" of C&B moves. To me, Gazzo's routine is the easiest serious routine to start with. The focus is on the performer not the moves and sleights are kept to a minimum. He explains everything in intricate detail, all the way down to wand placement.

Don't do his lines, just the moves. The rest is up to you.
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Dale J. O'Neill
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I would recommend "The Dai Vernon Book of Magic" by Lewis Ganson, it has plenty of detail.

You might also try "The Michael Ammar Book of Magic"
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Dave V
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I think we've ruled out Ammar as covering too much without actually "teaching" a routine. Vernon's is great, and is the basis for Gazzo's. Trouble is, it's so detailed as to put off the first time user. That's why I suggested sticking with Gazzo. You can see the routine and the moves on video, and a lot of the hard stuff has been eliminated.
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Bill Palmer
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I would disagree with Duaut's assessment of the Ammar DVD's. The explanations of the sleights are extremely clear. The main thing is not to try to learn more than one sleight at a time. Watch the sleight, then the explanation. Then stop the DVD and learn the sleight. The pair of DVD's is well-organized and clearly explained. It builds upon itself. It's like a course in how to do the cups and balls. The only reason that there is so much detail about the wand spin is that it is not easy to explain.

The Ganson book is actually over-explained, to the point that it becomes confusing. Vernon, himself, wasn't all that pleased with it. If you don't have the Dai Vernon Book of Magic and you want that particular explanation of the cups and balls, get the booklet Dai Vernon Cups & Balls Routine which is extracted from the Vernon book. Ganson was a top-notch photographer, but sometimes his explanations were much more complicated than they needed to be.

Also, if you can find Michael Ammar's book The Complete Cups and Balls, that's almost mandatory. It's been out of print for a couple of years, but still shows up on eBay from time to time.

Fun, Inc. puts out a booklet called Cups Balls - A Treatise on the World's Oldest Deception, which was edited by Gabe Fajuri. There is a video from Hampton Ridge that basically goes along with it that won't hurt you to have.

Rafael Benatar has a DVD called Elegant Cups and Balls that I found to be very helpful.

And, of course, the Gazzo material which you already have is also excellent.

You might find some material on the Bob White DVD helpful.
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Chris G.
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Ammar is a classic, studying his book or DVDs might also helpful for a beginner just to see, what all there is about the C&B. For detailed slights (FT) check out the book from Al Schneider for instance. You will find this in other places as well.

An other important point is to decide, in which performance settings one wants to perform a routine: Close up or stand up? Seated or standing? Final loads from the pockets or from a pouch or from some place else?
If you know, in which setting you want to perform the cups and balls, you can search specific for routines that are similar to your needs. Pick one one start learning from there.
Alan Munro
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I had seen many C&B routines over the years. It was just recently that I saw a routine that fit how I work, that was different enough from the rest of the routines. One way to start is to see a routine that you really like and use that as a starting point. If I hadn't already found a routine, I'd just try to see as many routines as possible.
Mephisticator
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Alan, sounds like great advice. Do you have any particular magicians/ routines someone might start with?

Cheers,

Kirk
Alan Munro
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It's really a matter of personal taste and how you work. I perform either stand-up or strolling, and rarely any other way. So I had to find a routine that was great for table hopping, that could be adapted to stand-up work. I found a routine by Milt Kort that fit the bill. I met him shortly before he passed away and was impressed by him and his magic.

There are so many routines that could be a good fit. Just get on YouTube and have at it. If we all had the same influences, things wouldn't be much different than they are right now - a lot of routines that look alike.
Pop Haydn
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I think starting with Gazzo's video is great. Study his presentation, learn it, copy it. Then go looking for more info on how to improve your moves. The routine is everything--smoothness and deceptiveness increases as you improve your technique. But the important thing is to understand how a good routine "feels," and to get the timing of it, and understand why it fools people.

There is no point in studying moves without understanding what makes a routine great. It is my opinion that most magicians never learn how to present the cups and balls because they have no idea what makes a good routine work. If you have never done a masterful routine, and don't know what it feels like, and how it works, how would you ever create one? People usually listen to, and learn to sing someone else's songs before they write their own.

I created my linking ring routine in the 60's, but I first learned and performed for some time at least two other routines--Jack Miller, and Dai Vernon.

The Vernon cups and balls routine, on which Gazzo's and Cellini's routines were based, is a great place to start.

Build your house first by framing it, then cover the frame and decorate it.

Originality is not for beginners, in my opinion. Geniuses excepted. Geniuses don't ask questions on forums. Creative geniuses always know where to start. I am not one of them, and wouldn't be arrogant enough to offer suggestions to them. But in my mind, even most genuises spend time learning and absorbing the craft before they try something that hasn't been done before.
Kevin Gardner
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- The Ammar DVD's and book are truly excellent.
- The Gazzo DVD (Penguin) is also excellent with a lot of detail.
- The Eddy Ray DVD's (Magic Makers) are pretty good also, similar to the Ammar DVD's with a few different moves. Eddy Ray is left handed so this may be an issue.
- Vernon's routine is perfection on so many levels.
- The little Roy Former book should not be overlooked (it contains Mohammed Bey's routine)

But first I would suggest learning the timing of a good vanish. David Roth's DVD, "Expert Coin Magic Made Easy vol. 1" contains essential coin vanishes taught in exacting detail. It's not a cups and balls DVD, but the timing of naturalness of a good coin vanish is extremely valuable.
Quote:
On 2011-11-12 14:23, Bill Palmer wrote:

You might find some material on the Bob White DVD helpful.

Yes indeed! The Bob White DVD is excellent!
francisngkl
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Quote

"Build your house first by framing it, then cover the frame and decorate it..."

I like this very much, and this applies to all learning, thank you.

Francis
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Pop Haydn
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Quote:
On 2011-11-13 00:37, francisngkl wrote:
Quote

"Build your house first by framing it, then cover the frame and decorate it..."

I like this very much, and this applies to all learning, thank you.

Francis

Thanks, but I probably should have started from the foundation... Smile

I think the point was clear, even if I was a little quick on the draw on the metaphor...
Bill Palmer
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Sometimes the wordiest, most detailed explanation of a sleight is not necessarily the best.

In my opinion, the clearest explanation of a false transfer is the one in Hocus Pocus Junior. In about 2 dosen words, without using any expressions that nobody understands without a medical dictionary, the author describes the elements of a good false transfer, including the timing.

His advice on palming is also excellent.

So, where can you find this? It's free! Go to the cups and balls museum. On the "gateway" page, there is a link to a page that shows you where the free downloads are. Download the page, save it to your hard drive and enjoy the material.
"The Swatter"

Founder of CODBAMMC

My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

www.cupsandballsmuseum.com
55Hudson
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Troop,

The Ammar C&B DVDs (1&2) were primarily responsible from transforming me from a 20-year hack to a pretty good amateur (okay, I made the decision to focus and devoted the time over the past 3 years).

Ammar is a great teacher; not only does he teach C&B well, he provides guidance on performing principles that transcend C&B. After studying his DVDs I started looking into classic magic texts and totally changed my approach. I cannot recommend his work enough.

Hudson
Andrew Zuber
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I too would strongly recommend Ammar's material. I went from knowing almost nothing about the cups and balls to feeling quite proficient in just a matter of days - not necessarily from a performance perspective, as that takes some serious time, but from a knowledge perspective. I know the different moves now, their names, how they are accomplished, and I carry with me an arsenal of good quality material to choose from when creating a routine.

Personally, I'm not a fan of the Vernon routine - mainly because it has been SO overdone by SO many people. I saw the same moves and the same patter for months...when I finally saw Vernon do it, I no longer cared. The whole thing had become stale.

Dare to be different. Find an easy, beginners routine that speaks to you. We can recommend sources for learning, but I wouldn't do a routine just because everyone tells me it's the one you're supposed to start with. If you see it and you love it, go for it! If you're like me and you found it to be lacking something, keep searching. There are a ton to choose from. Best of luck!
"I'm sorry - if you were right, I would agree with you." -Robin Williams, Awakenings
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