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The Magic Cafe Forum Index Ľ Ľ New to magic? Ľ Ľ Don't start with Bobo's Modern Coin Magic (5 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Rick Holcombe
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Where should you begin when learning coin magic?
Is Bobo's really "the Bible" of coin magic?

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Wilktone
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Thank you, I fully agree. Back when I was a teenager I tried to learn coin magic for the first time from Bobo's. I found it frustrating and gave up pretty quickly. In my opinion it's a horrible book for a beginner.

Someone more versed in the history will have to correct me, but it seems that Bobo's book gets all the attention mostly because back in its time it was essentially the only book of its kind. It was what beginners wen to in order to learn coin magic because it was pretty much the only game in town. These days there are not only many more resources available, but many are specifically geared towards the beginner.

Dave
Topper2
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Quote:
On Feb 21, 2020, Wilktone wrote:
...it seems that Bobo's book gets all the attention mostly because back in its time it was essentially the only book of its kind. It was what beginners wen to in order to learn coin magic because it was pretty much the only game in town...

Possibly true to an extent, although Nelson Downs's Modern Coin Manipulation predates Bobo by half a century and there was a lot of good coin material in other books, for example Gaultier's Magic without apparatus etc., indeed Robert-Houdin's Secrets of Conjuring and Magic also deals with the subject at an even earlier date.

But really it should be self evident that a specialist book on a subject is not the best way for a beginner to start, it doesn't matter whether it's coins or cards or whatever, you shouldn't just attempt to start off in cards by going through, say, Expert Card Technique because it will be overwhelming and probably leave the beginner feeling inadequate because he can't follow or perform everything described.

The best place to start is a good general book on magic, for example there's about 45 pages on coin sleights in Hugard's Modern Magic Manual and the same applies to other similar books. Later on, when you proceed further in magic, you'll find many excellent routines in a variety of books on the magic of specific authors, so it may be that you can get all you want from these books and will never need specialist coin books at all, and that's fine of course because there's a lot of fun magic that can be done without attempting to be 'expert' in any particular branch.

Actually Bobo is so inexpensive, being available as a Dover book, that there's no harm in buying it so long as you don't treat it as a 'bible'. Incidently, the above video cautions you not to get the older edition, which is the one published by Dover, but instead get the expanded edition which is only available as a more expensive hardback and is called "New Modern Coin Magic". I think that advise is frankly hogwash for most readers as the newer version just contains a couple of additional chapters but that fact in no way invalidates the usefulness of the earlier version of the book. If you really like Bobo you can always buy the hardback edition at a later date if you think it worth it (and it may not be!).
Rick Holcombe
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You can actually get the big book for just $35, which is a reasonable price for such a thick book and magic books in general.

And it's not just a couple of chapters more, it's 4 more chapters and 100 additional tricks, hardly hogwash advice.
Topper2
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I'm just wondering what use a beginner would have for the additional material when he'd have his work cut out with the more fundamental material that is contained in the Dover book?

Many years ago I upgraded to New Bobo partly to get the extra material and partly because I much prefer working from a hardback book, that's fair enough because it was my decision and I knew what I was getting, but I do think it is wrong simply to tell beginners they should get the expanded edition and not the original edition without giving any reasons as that makes it sound as though anyone who bought the Dover book has made a bad choice when that may not be the case.
Rick Holcombe
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I'm telling beginners to start with video instruction. It's a much better and easier way to learn proper technique.

After that stage, I recommend getting the book and while you're at it get the bigger one.

I am not actually recommending either the small or larger book for the beginning student.

Did you watch the video?
Aus
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It appears that Curtis Kam seems to have mediocre sentiments towards the book too.






Magically

Aus
Topper2
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On Feb 22, 2020, Rick Holcombe wrote:
Did you watch the video?

I certainly did, and this is what you said:-

"When you're just starting out in coin magic the book that everyone is going to recommend to you is Bobo's Modern Coin Magic. Now first of all you want to make sure you're getting the New Modern Coin Magic and not the older version....."

Which sounds to me like you are instructing beginners to buy the new edition even though they don't need it!
Rick Holcombe
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Ok, that's the very first sentence in the video. If you watch all the way through, you'll see my recommendation for the beginning student.

I also preface my advice by explaining,"this is what I would I would do if I could go back in time."

It's not a big deal my friend.
Wilktone
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Quote:
On Feb 21, 2020, Topper2 wrote:
Quote:
On Feb 21, 2020, Wilktone wrote:
...it seems that Bobo's book gets all the attention mostly because back in its time it was essentially the only book of its kind. It was what beginners wen to in order to learn coin magic because it was pretty much the only game in town...

Possibly true to an extent, although Nelson Downs's Modern Coin Manipulation predates Bobo by half a century and there was a lot of good coin material in other books, for example Gaultier's Magic without apparatus etc., indeed Robert-Houdin's Secrets of Conjuring and Magic also deals with the subject at an even earlier date.


Noted, but Downs's book is for the stage manipulator, rather than closeup coin magic. I know that Downs and Houdin had routines that were published in Bobo's book. In Curtis Kam's review of Bobo's Modern Coin Magic (on Reel Magic) he does mention some of the techniques that seem to have evolved from coin manipulation acts and make for unnatural moves and displays in closeup work. I wonder if part of the appeal for MCM at the time was because it catered to closeup magic, rather than stage manipulation.

Quote:
But really it should be self evident that a specialist book on a subject is not the best way for a beginner to start, it doesn't matter whether it's coins or cards or whatever, you shouldn't just attempt to start off in cards by going through, say, Expert Card Technique because it will be overwhelming and probably leave the beginner feeling inadequate because he can't follow or perform everything described.


Yes, I would agree that beginners to magic should experiment with and learn about many different genres and styles to see what they take to. However, there are many books devoted to card magic for the beginner, for example. The one I grew up with was Royal Road to Card Magic, from 1949 (Bobo's was published 1952). RRtCM is organized more progressively, teaches the mechanics of a sleight and then teaches some tricks that use it before moving on to the next technique. I found it much easier to work my way through RRtCM compared with MCM.

Yet if you look at the sticky in this beginners section "Recommended books for beginners," Bobo's is frequently suggested, usually without caveat. For some reason MCM still is the "go to" recommendation for beginners interested in learning coin magic, even though there are better resources for beginners.

Dave
Harry Lorayne
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Over the decades I've received hundreds (thousands?) of calls, messages, etc., from beginners telling me that the two sections in THE MAGIC BOOK (BASIC COIN SLEIGHTS and the ten impromptu routines in the COIN MAGIC chapter) gave them a much, much, better jump into impromptu close-up coin magic than anything they'd read previously. (Same for card magic/number magic, and more).
[email]harrylorayne@earthlink.net[/email]

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Dougini
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Ya know, Harry,

I wonder why that is not so well known...when was that published?

Doug
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I've been working on coins.

I've learned the most from Reel Magic Magazine, which has material from Kainoa Harbottle. As Aus said, Curtis Kam is doing a weekly run-down of Bobo. He confirmed for me that the book wasn't all that useful for beginners.

Harry's book has some good coin stuff. Unlike Bobo, Harry explains things very well.

The explanations that most appealed to me on REEL Magic were those of David Roth.
MagicVin
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Iím curious as to what the hive mi d would say the best place to start is? I know the video says ... videos and thatís makes me really happy because I learn sooo much better from videos but whatís the consensus on what videos to start with.
Smile Smile Smile Magic is all around us we just have to be willing to see it.
todsky
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Curtis Kamís The Pocketbook is an excellent intro into coin magic. It is small, but it packs a compact and concise punch.
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Kozmo
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Quote:
On Mar 1, 2020, Ravenspur wrote:
I've been working on coins.

I've learned the most from Reel Magic Magazine, which has material from Kainoa Harbottle. As Aus said, Curtis Kam is doing a weekly run-down of Bobo. He confirmed for me that the book wasn't all that useful for beginners.

Harry's book has some good coin stuff. Unlike Bobo, Harry explains things very well.

The explanations that most appealed to me on REEL Magic were those of David Roth.


There is also sone Chris Korn on the site and in the early issues of Reel Magic David Roth was a columnist
Kozmo
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On Mar 1, 2020, MagicVin wrote:
Iím curious as to what the hive mi d would say the best place to start is? I know the video says ... videos and thatís makes me really happy because I learn sooo much better from videos but whatís the consensus on what videos to start with.


If you want to learn coins the. Kainoa Coin Course in Reel Magic will get you from zero to hero if youre willing to put some time in
MagicVin
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Thanks Kozmo! Itís a video course? Do you have a link?
Smile Smile Smile Magic is all around us we just have to be willing to see it.
Wilktone
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On Feb 27, 2020, Dougini wrote:
Ya know, Harry,

I wonder why that is not so well known...when was that published?


1977, that's 25 years after Bobo's Modern Coin Magic. I question that Lorayne's book "is not so well known." If you look at the "Recommended books for beginners" sticky here it's suggested at least once or twice on every page for at least the first few pages. I'd say it's a pretty well-known book already.

The Magic Book is an excellent resource for beginners, I think. It's a general closeup magic book with cards, coins, mentalism, and other assorted props. The coin chapters cover finger palm and some different false transfers utilizing finger palm, and 9-10 routines using coins. It's a solid introduction to coin magic, although not as extensive as other resources devoted completely to coin magic.

Quote:
On Mar 1, 2020, MagicVin wrote:
Iím curious as to what the hive mi d would say the best place to start is? I know the video says ... videos and thatís makes me really happy because I learn sooo much better from videos but whatís the consensus on what videos to start with.


Rick's video recommends David Roth's Expert Coin Magic Made Easy video series. That's what I happened to also start with when I got more serious about learning coin magic.

Quote:
On Mar 1, 2020, todsky wrote:
Curtis Kamís The Pocketbook is an excellent intro into coin magic. It is small, but it packs a compact and concise punch.


I wouldn't recommend The Pocketbook for a beginner. There really isn't instruction on sleights or any routine's taught in it. It's a neat book of theory and commentary on coin magic and books with coin magic in them, but it's not your typical magic book that teaches the reader how to perform.

Quote:
On Mar 1, 2020, Kozmo wrote:
If you want to learn coins the. Kainoa Coin Course in Reel Magic will get you from zero to hero if youre willing to put some time in


I've really enjoyed Harbottle's "Coins 101" in Reel Magic. He's got great coin chops and teaching chops. This series breaks down things progressively so that you learn basic techniques and routines that use them before moving on to other techniques. Contrast with Bobo's MCM, which front loads the reader with a bunch of techniques (some of questionable use and some taught poorly) before you ever get to learning routines.

Quote:
On Mar 2, 2020, MagicVin wrote:
Thanks Kozmo! Itís a video course? Do you have a link?


http://reelmagicmagazine.com

Dave
MagicVin
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Wow thanks for the extensive response Dave! coins should arrive today sounds like I should get downloading.
Smile Smile Smile Magic is all around us we just have to be willing to see it.
The Magic Cafe Forum Index Ľ Ľ New to magic? Ľ Ľ Don't start with Bobo's Modern Coin Magic (5 Likes)
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