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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » New to magic? » » Tarbell (4 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

DT5780
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Is it worth purchasing such a set?

Also is a used Set with 1971 printing the same exact book, typeset font, etc as a new set? Or did they change things in the newer ones?
funsway
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Inner circle
old things in new ways - new things in old ways
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Having and embracing a Tarbell set is possibly essential to understanding how magic works as a performing art.
It is not a good resource if your objective is to learn a new trick to perform tomorrow.

So, the value of the set is relative to your expectations of reading it. "Worth purchasing" puts monetary price on this investment. No way to answer that.

Your second questions are somewhat confusing. The original set is from the 20's - 30's with later additions. Later publications have mostly been true to the original text.
As to font and readability I cannot say. For me, all books printed today are gray rather than black due to changes in printing methods, So, I would prefer a pre-1950's set.

The material offered in the book has not been changes to accommodate cultural or vocabulary shifts or preferences. That is some of the value of the set.
Many effects will seem "dated" in props, setting or story line. You must use you imagination to translate the essentials of the effect into something astonishing for today's audience.
But, the reading can take you into the "why" of an effect in addition to the "what."

I suggest you get an e-version of Tarbell for $10 and read it from beginning to end. Later you can decide on the value to you of a printed set.
Yes, there is something special in holding a physical book in hand to be laid in the lap while musing on the power of the described effect.
Maybe your library has a copy or a friend to borrow for that part of the experience.

Either way, in the reading you will find a couple of effects that will become staples of your repertoire. Most will just influence your appreciation of magic.
"the more one pretends at magic, the more awe and wonder will be found in real life." Arnold Furst



ShareBooks at www.eversway.com * questions at funsway@eversway.com
DT5780
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Thanks for the reply. Do you know where I can find an ebook? Everywhere I’ve seen is only selling physical copies.
Dave Scribner
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Is it worth purchasing? I think it depends on what you are looking for. When I was growing up, I was told "if it's been done, it's in Tarbell" If you're looking for a specific effect, then I would say to pass on the Tarbell set but if you're building a library or want to add to your existing library, you can't go wrong with the set. It's a great reference. Even the newest tricks on the market can be traced back to something in Tarbell.
Where the magic begins
funsway
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old things in new ways - new things in old ways
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Quote:
On Sep 6, 2020, DT5780 wrote:
Thanks for the reply. Do you know where I can find an ebook? Everywhere I’ve seen is only selling physical copies.


try
https://www.lybrary.com/tarbell-course-p-34.html
"the more one pretends at magic, the more awe and wonder will be found in real life." Arnold Furst



ShareBooks at www.eversway.com * questions at funsway@eversway.com
Max Milagro
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Quote:
On Sep 6, 2020, Dave Scribner wrote:
Even the newest tricks on the market can be traced back to something in Tarbell.

That is sooo true! I think Tarbell is often overlooked because a lot of the material looks out of date. Be it the patter, the looks, the structure, even the typing. But when plunging into Tarbell you have to look for the fundamentals and the principles. I'm sure a lot of the contemporary magic creators are keeping the basics of some Tarbell trick while adding a modern twist.
It would beyond a doubt be my set taking to the proverbial deserted island because it first and foremost sparks my imagination. And it is my favourite book(s) while having 5 minutes of spare time. Even toilet time ...
TeddyBoy
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New York, NY
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If you are into general magic, rather than specifically into cards, Tarbell seems to be a valuable resource. If you are only into cards, such as myself, I found it to be of minimal utility in view of the many other fine books and DVDs on card work. However, I must say that Tarbell's discussion of the classic pass is, IMHO, the most unique and effective one I have found. Perhaps there are other hidden gems relating to all areas of magic in there. However, for coins and other types of magic I cannot comment based on experience.
So many sleights...so little time.
Cheers,

Ted
mikenewyork
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There are a lot of tricks in Tarbell that are extremely outdated and hard to follow when reading it. That being said I think it’s a great source for learning principles and to get a grasp on a lot of the history of magic. I would recommend reading it but I think it’s ok to skip over a lot of the outdated tricks and ones that are very hard to follow through reading. I personally have always preferred DVDs because I found it easier to learn my watching than by reading
Bob Sanders
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Grammar Supervisor
Magic Valley Ranch, Clanton, Alabama
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As a new guy to magic with only 60 years experience as a paid performer, I do recommend Tarbell.

Yes there are some routines there that are not timely. Smart people no longer smoke. That does put a limit on cigarette tricks. Due to losses of personal rights and privacy in public doorways, men seldom carry pocket knives. Some audiences could never do math magic without a calculator. Audiences have changed.

However, at the tender age of 75, I certainly believe that I have seen current performers using loads of great applications of techniques I learned in Tarbell. Frankly, I can't name a currently marketed trick that I honestly consider NEW. The patter, props, and presentations are unique and worthy of credit. (Remember that there are still only 88 keys on a piano.)

My Tarbells are still out and used more than the hundreds of DVDs and other books I have acquired over the years. Those have their uses but they hardly replace Tarbell for me. (Remember even a brand new car comes with a jack and a spare tire. It is fundamental to delivering the product.)

Yes, I recommend Tarbell as an investment in being a real magician.

OK, I'm old. My doves are real and have never been replaced by a drone. Audiences have never asked to see my drones.
Bob Sanders

Magic By Sander / The Amazed Wiz

AmazedWiz@Yahoo.com
PhantomStranger
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Tri-State Area
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I was lucky that someone passed his set to me and I’ve found them excellent in terms of gaining a strong foundation across all types of magic, as well as a great resource in my library. I do agree with those saying if you’re only interested in a specific type of magic or effect you may just want to get a book on that specifically.
Paul Budd
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It's a shame he's only made
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Some smart discussion here! I am currently reading (and I mean, REALLY reading) Tarbell Volume 1.
His face isn't really this long in-person!
___________________________________________
Once Upon A Magician blog
Haruspex
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When you are just starting in magic Tarbell can be a tough read, because many starters have difficulties looking past the older presentation or seeing how something can be applied to their magic.

Most will probably find it much more useful when they have some basic experience in magic
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