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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » New to magic? » » Practice, practice, practice....but how? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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docelk
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St. Pete, FL
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Anybody have a list or schedule of which sleights they consider important to practice every day, and how they go about it?--ie: do you intersperse tricks with the practice that relate to that skill or do you do all the cuts together, then the lifts, etc. also how many hours a day is a reasonable amount of time if you want to become proficient, ---any help would be appreciated--so many questions.... so little time
Life is a test. It is only a test. If this had been a real life, you would have been given further instructions on where to go, and what to do.
BerkleyJL
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Chicago, IL
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I am by no means an expert, but here is how I practice:

1. 20-30 minutes practicing moves I know are weak
2. 3 PERFORMANCES of effects featuring those moves, before a video camera.
3. Watch the performances twice. First, as a spectator (this part is TOUGH). Enjoy the show. See if you are properly misdirected. Second, watch as a magician and really critique the moves.
4. OPTIONAL: Get a fellow magician to watch the video or an encore performance of the effect. He or she will give a fresh outlook.

That's what I do, but step 4 is hard to arrange. Many of my magical friends are busy.
I need a stage name.

Joe Berkley
Apprentice
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The topic is a little bit difficult to answer maybe because I'm not sure what aspect you're referring to.

Assuming you're a beginner.

Assuming you're not a hardcore Flourish, Sleight of Hand guy (which has much higher practice times) and want to perform Routines to show people.

Assuming we're talking about basic sleights here.


THEN....

At least to get yourself started off with some performable routines. I would suggest you pick out several routines that really amazed you and that you'd like to perform and blow others with.

Find out what simple slieghts are required for the routines.

And just go through your routines. You'll find that you'll get stuck half way through a routine because you're not smooth or your angles are wrong, or you flat out can't do that sleight.

That's when you'll know you need to put in a little more time into practicing those sleights, either right away or later on, seperately.

**Practice in front of a mirror to get an idea of you angles and what you're revealing to the spectator.

When you're proficient at the sleights needed for your routines, do the whole routine again and see if you can get through perfectly and smoothly without problems.

Finally go out and practice on REAL PEOPLE. If you screw up or if they see or figure out something ask them how, or what they saw, or what part was unatural and giving them a reason to believe that you were doing something "funny" - which in their eyes means there's no magic involved, you just know some special super fast slieght of hand which they didn't really catch visually, but they know you used it.

Go home and practice some more if needed!

If we're talking about easier routines that are performed smoothly with patter and misdirection, for a beginner....

Simple routines might be done within 3 hours (practice 1/2 hour a day on one routine for several days - depending on your own ability and talent).

A good test as to how solid you are with a sleight or an additional method of practicing, even for harder sleights is to pick up a deck "cold" and see if you can do it 100%. Then put it down and come back to it later or another day and do the sleight "cold" right away. If you can do that, you've probably put in a fair amount of time to practicing and mastering the sleight. You're ready to show some people.

Sitting their 8 hours straight and doing 1 sleight over and over and over has it's own merits. But when performing you don't always get to warm up, you need to "hit it" on the spot when someone asks for it. You need to go from 1 routine to another to another with different slieghts involved withour error.
kregg
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Inner circle
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It's great to learn and be knowledgeable of moves. But, spend quality time on the moves that you do best, know that work for your audience.
Gene Anderson had the best advice on the subject. Once you know how to do the move. Put the object in a place that you pass by, like a night stand or an entry table. Every time you pass the object pick it up, do the move and put it down.
Once you feel progress (could be a day, month or more) add it to your act or sequence.
Practice with a smile.
POOF!
superhiro
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I guess the important sleights that you should practise each day are the ones you want to be able to do but can't do smoothly at the moment. Once I come across a sleight I want to learn I will do it everyday until I can do it smoothly. Then it is a matter of practising the sleight evey now and again just to make sure you can do it 100% of the time.

There really is no right or wrong way to practise. Ok there might be a wrong way to practise. The best way is the way you decide to do it. If you are the type of person who can continuously practise the similar sleights over and over again, then do it that way. Some people might want to change and do a completely different sleight every 10 minutes or so.

Once you are quite good at the sleights then practise the routine which uses these sleights until you are satisfied. When you reach the level of being satisfied then practise a bit more because there is always something you can improve on.

Hiro
rikbrooks
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Olive Branch, Mississippi
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My signature is the cups and balls and the chop cup. I have combined every move that I know in both into one flowing routine. It takes about 30 minutes without the patter for the cups and balls and about 4 for the chop cup. I do them both every day once.

Then I practice cards for an hour, I'm not nearly so good with those and am working through RRTCM page by page.

Then, I pick out one or two things to do just for fun. Maybe play with D'lites, etc.

I have every effect that I do laid out. Every day I pick at least one and take it with me. I pick at least one stranger to perform for. That's every day. Today I did the invisible deck, mental photography, and triumph for 5 different people. That's about typical for me. Performing for strangers helps me get the performance part right.
Tom James
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Cincinnati, Ohio
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This is a hard thing to answer. This is what I do. I spend an hour or two just on cards. control, cuts, and slights( palming, pass). I then go to coins for about an hour. I then start working on gimmicked tricks, first going over the moves a few times, then reading through the pattter a few times and then putting it all togeather. That takes about two to three hours, and I end with playing with some of my big props or just brainstorming. All in all I practice about eight to ten hours aday. That is not including all the time I play with cards or coins just watching TV or in the car while I am at a red lignt.
dynamiteassasin
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Naval Air Facility, Atsugi, Japan
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I'd co for
-DL's
-Passes
-Palms either top to bottom
-Shuffle Controls
-Cuts (false)
and false dealings.

If you are a flourish worker,practice your one hand cuts and card shots.
gene plampin
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I recently asked a question that was slightly different than yours but may have something helpful.

This is the thread: http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewt......3&27

I just got Gerald's book The Ostrich Factor and I think it's going to be not only informative but insightful as well.

Gene
dynamiteassasin
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Naval Air Facility, Atsugi, Japan
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Oh, and practice your sybils if you do flourishes. Smile
Mirokai
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Quote:
Assuming you're not a hardcore Flourish, Sleight of Hand guy (which has much higher practice times) and want to perform Routines to show people.


Sorry if I go out of the subject of this forum...but I was wondering what do you call a sleight of hands guy? I'm a coin worker...well a wannabe coin worker and most of the coin magic is Sleight of hands so this turns me in a Sleight of Hand guy?
"Tout ce qui nous arrive de bien et de mal ici-bas était écrit là-haut" Diderot
blindbo
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Bucks County, PA
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Do finger exercises. Keep them limber and gain independent control of them, like a pianist, guitarist, etc.,.

You will find that with control of your hands, the practising and mastering of sleights with any object comes easier and more quickly.

*sigh* if only I would follow my own advice...
prettylady1990
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Hello,
I am also a begginer magician wondering the same question and think these tips are wonderful and I'll be using them

HAVE A MAGICAL DAY!
zan314
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Vegas, Baby!
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I know which sleights I can do well and spend less time with those than I do with the sleights I don't really understand yet. In general at this time, I'm still having trouble with the spider vanish, and since I'm a beginner in every sense of the word, I know that practice will help me smooth out all of the sleights I'm doing currently.
JJP161
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Columbus, Ohio
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Quote:
On 2004-08-28 16:47, blindbo wrote:
Do finger exercises. Keep them limber and gain independent control of them, like a pianist, guitarist, etc.,.

You will find that with control of your hands, the practising and mastering of sleights with any object comes easier and more quickly.

*sigh* if only I would follow my own advice...


Hi blindbo,

I have heard this before and agree this would be a big help but unfortunately I have found very little information on what type of finger exercises I should or even any information on what or how to procede in this regard. Any help or advice you could offer would be greatly appreciated. Thank-you,

Joe
blindbo
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Bucks County, PA
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Sure, Joe, I should have anticipated the question.
When I took piano lessons, there were elementary finger exercises I was instructed to do. For instance, lay all four fingers flat, then lift them up or down in different patterns- start with just 1 2 3 4, but then go to 1 3 2 4, eventually do stuff like 3412 etc.,.
Check this out.
Then there is the mechanical approach. I know magicians who swear by this.
Hope that helps.
superhiro
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I think coin sleights are good ways to exercise your fingers. Simple stuff like the coin roll or moving the coin from different concealments for me are good finger exercises and I feel my fingers move around better and smoother.

Hiro
JJP161
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Columbus, Ohio
509 Posts

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Quote:
On 2004-08-29 19:54, blindbo wrote:
Sure, Joe, I should have anticipated the question.
When I took piano lessons, there were elementary finger exercises I was instructed to do. For instance, lay all four fingers flat, then lift them up or down in different patterns- start with just 1 2 3 4, but then go to 1 3 2 4, eventually do stuff like 3412 etc.,.
Check this out.
Then there is the mechanical approach. I know magicians who swear by this.
Hope that helps.


blindbo,
Thank-you very much I will definitely give all of that a try. I should be able to come up with one of those finger exerciser's fairly easy as my girlfriend has her own country music band. I'll see if her new guitar player has one. I remember years ago seeing a lecture by Meir Yedid and he recommended finger exercises but I don't remember anymore information than that and that he could do so amazing stuff with his hands. Thanks again I will definitely give it a try.

Joe
blindbo
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Bucks County, PA
790 Posts

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Quote:
On 2004-08-30 14:10, JJP161 wrote:
I remember years ago seeing a lecture by Meir Yedid and he recommended finger exercises...

Joe, good grief, don't follow in Meir's fingersteps! Haven't you seen what his digits and limbs have become? Smile
Clifford the Red
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LA, California
1934 Posts

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I recommend getting a hold of Eugene Burger's Growing in the Art of Magic. He really explains what it means to practice and how to effectively go about it.
"The universe is full of magical things, waiting for our wits to grow sharper." Eden Philpotts
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