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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » New to magic? » » Learning challenges with cards (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Rob P
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Guilderland, NY
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Being new to card magic every new sleight, move, and flourish is initially challenging for me to learn. I have read multiple posts and sources which always say that it takes practice, practice, practice. I wholeheartedly agree. With practice some get easier, while others continue to challenge me.

Of what I am trying to learn currently, the one handed fan flourish has been particularly challenging for me personally. I know there are multiple factors involved (quality of the cards, hand size, technique, etc...) and I am still trying different combinations and techniques to find one that works for me. None have yet, but I am stubborn and will keep trying until I get it. Sometimes I wonder though, perhaps there are just some things that a person just never really gets the hang of...

So my question to all of you with more experience: Have you ever come across certain sleights, moves, flourishes and such that you just never could get to work for you personally? Are there some you found considerably more difficult than others to learn?
Harry Lorayne
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You won't find effects/routines using second deals, culls, top changes, diagonal palm shifts, panoramic palms, bottom or center deals, and so on, in any of my books - because I can't do them! In the Foreword of my book, THE MAGIC BOOK, I say that I want to save the reader the forty years I spent learning/practicing card sleights I NEVER used.
[email]harrylorayne@earthlink.net[/email]

http://www.harrylorayne.com
http://www.harryloraynemagic.com
Rob P
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Guilderland, NY
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I have your book Mr. Lorayne, and it is fantastic. I am honored that you replied. Thank you!
Doug Trouten
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Rob, in a different post on the forum BeachCat passed along some advice he received from Doc Eason, which was to learn a good false shuffle, a DL, and a few more sleights to get going. The idea was that with just a handful of sleights that are within the reach of most folks with a bit of practice, you can seemingly work miracles.
It's still magic even if you know how it's done.
Terry Pratchett
Kabbalah
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Quote:
On Aug 20, 2015, djtrouten wrote:

Rob, in a different post on the forum BeachCat passed along some advice he received from Doc Eason, which was to learn a good false shuffle, a DL, and a few more sleights to get going. The idea was that with just a handful of sleights that are within the reach of most folks with a bit of practice, you can seemingly work miracles.


I do believe that he is a she.
"Long may magicians fascinate and continue to be fascinated by the mystery potential in a pack of cards."
~Cliff Green

"The greatest tricks ever performed are not done at all. The audience simply think they see them."
~ John Northern Hilliard
Harry Lorayne
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I believe Doc Eason learned that from me in the first place. I've written it often enough in a few of my earlier books. I usually phrased it --- learn a good control (a force can be considered a control), a good double lift and a good palm - and you can do miracles with a borrowed deck of cards. (Of course, I added a few concepts as the years/decades flew by.)
[email]harrylorayne@earthlink.net[/email]

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ULockJustice
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Columbus, OH
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Your question is a good one, have I ever come across a sleight that I just couldn't get?

Yes. For a moment.

Not all sleights come as easily as others. I will work on a move for weeks and then give it up as a lost cause. A few months later I'll go back to it and it gets a bit easier. After a while it just clicks and I have it. I know the MacMillan Switch was like that for me. So was the one handed top palm. When you are more experienced and your core group of sleights that you do can be executed without a second thought a lot of stuff will become easier, and learning stuff will go a little more quickly.

I think there are very few people who can pick up a new sleight and start doing it perfectly every time. You may be moderately frustrated right now because your muscles aren't used to working in such strange and unusual ways. Remember learning to type? In the beginning the thought of being able to key letters perfectly every time without looking at the keyboard was the most daunting of tasks. Now you do it without a second thought. Sleight of hand is a lot like that. The more time you spend with it the easier things become.

All that being said you will hear some sleights referred to as "knacky." There are some moves that you just have to play with until you hit it. The more you play the more often you will get it right. They are ultra hard to explain and the only way to learn is to do it over and over again.

You are young in the ways of sleight of hand. Keep at it. It's ok to set stuff aside and work on it again later. Sometimes that is necessary. Working until your fingers bleed is fun, but not always productive.
This is the profile of Comedian + Magician Erik Tait. A self-promoting sleight of hand artist who thinks he is the cat's meow.

PM for beard tips.
Doug Trouten
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Thanks for the comparison between sleights and typing, ULockJustice. That had never occurred to me, but it's perfect. I remember how awkward it felt to reach the left middle finger down for the "c," and yet now I do it without a second thought. (In fact, I now type 80-90 mistakes per minute!) Great analogy!
It's still magic even if you know how it's done.
Terry Pratchett
Doug Trouten
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Harry, given what a prolific writer you've been in the field of magic, I have no doubt that everybody learned everything from you in the first place!
It's still magic even if you know how it's done.
Terry Pratchett
BalloonThief
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California
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I have the same problems when I'm learning a new sleight or flourish. Usually I just need to give myself time until my hands start to get used to the motions of the maneuver. A few sleights I've really struggled with I've stopped working on for years and moved on to other sleights and routines. When I come back to them, they are always easier than I remember them being at first. In between my first and second attempt my dexterity had improved because I had practiced other sleights in the meantime. Keep at it. You'll get it sooner than you think.
Alejandro Pacheco
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There are some sleights that you don't use all the time but that doesn't mean it is not worth to learn, for example the bottom deal might not be angle-proof but you can use it as a alternative to one of your sleights if you cannot do the other.
ULockJustice
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Columbus, OH
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Bottom deal might be a bit much for a burgeoning sleight of hand artist. Not that one shouldn't learn it, but that is a very difficult move with lots of different schools of thought. It is an excellent one to work towards though. I often set my sights on a particular move that I would eventually like to learn and baby step up to it. This is another useful strategy for learning increasingly difficult moves

Also, keep in mind that because a move is difficult doesn't mean it is necessarily useful. Case in point I am a proficient riffle stacker. Yet that almost never comes into play when I am doing the ambitious card or a sandwich effect. You might want to do a small study of the effects you like and pay attention to which sleights get used the most often. Then focus on learning those.
This is the profile of Comedian + Magician Erik Tait. A self-promoting sleight of hand artist who thinks he is the cat's meow.

PM for beard tips.
ULockJustice
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Columbus, OH
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Bottom deal might be a bit much for a burgeoning sleight of hand artist. Not that one shouldn't learn it, but that is a very difficult move with lots of different schools of thought. It is an excellent one to work towards though. I often set my sights on a particular move that I would eventually like to learn and baby step up to it. This is another useful strategy for learning increasingly difficult moves

Also, keep in mind that because a move is difficult doesn't mean it is necessarily useful. Case in point I am a proficient riffle stacker. Yet that almost never comes into play when I am doing the ambitious card or a sandwich effect. You might want to do a small study of the effects you like and pay attention to which sleights get used the most often. Then focus on learning those.
This is the profile of Comedian + Magician Erik Tait. A self-promoting sleight of hand artist who thinks he is the cat's meow.

PM for beard tips.
Harry Lorayne
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Right, djtrouten - everything!!! (Except uncalled-for posts; no?)
[email]harrylorayne@earthlink.net[/email]

http://www.harrylorayne.com
http://www.harryloraynemagic.com
ULockJustice
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Columbus, OH
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Yikes! Sorry bout the double post.
This is the profile of Comedian + Magician Erik Tait. A self-promoting sleight of hand artist who thinks he is the cat's meow.

PM for beard tips.
Doug Trouten
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Minnesota
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You're right Harry -- uncalled for posts people figure out on their own. But there was no hidden barb in my post, just open admiration for your tremendous output, mixed with thankfulness for the generosity of spirit that has compelled you to share so much with others in the craft. (Now, back to reading my bound collection of Apocalypse.)
It's still magic even if you know how it's done.
Terry Pratchett
Harry Lorayne
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Appreciate it, dj. Hope you're enjoying APOCALYPSE. Coincidentally, I'm just in the throes of going over some of my own stuff within those twenty years which, hopefully, I'll have the energy and etc. to re-write, update, etc., for the book I want to do after the current one comes out this fall. Best - H.
[email]harrylorayne@earthlink.net[/email]

http://www.harrylorayne.com
http://www.harryloraynemagic.com
Rob P
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Guilderland, NY
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Great responses, thank you all. I am going to set aside my one handed fan flourish for now and try some other things for a while, then come back to it. That was great advice, and I am taking it. Maybe when I come back to it I will be able to pick it up a little easier.
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