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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » New to magic? » » Recommended books for beginners (67 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Swoop
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Holland
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This is actually my first post ever when it comes to magic, so I hope I can be a helpfull one.
I have been playing around with cards for some time now, but never really took the time to learn and practise good magic, untill I got myself a copy of The Royal Road to Card Magic.
When I used to do cardtricks for friends or family they were never really impressed...But things changed, even the most simple tricks in the book are, in my experience, yawdroppers. The reactions I get are great, genuine amazement. And with each succes I get more and more comfortable in performing and entertaining even to complete strangers.
I also recommend getting the Paul Wilson's DVD-set, it helped me out a lot in actually seeing the tricks performed.

Next to this, I think The Magic Book by Harry Lorayne and Mark Wilson's Complete Course in Magic should also be on the bookshelf of every beginner. I haven't finished them both yet, but every new page in these books have taken my skill and performance up a level.

But the most important thing these books have taught me personally is patience.

I am thinking of getting Henry Hay's book next, but I don't know which edition I should get? Is there a big difference between the 4th edition and the previous ones, so if anybody can help me with this one.
Also I am looking for books that are more about patter,performance and misdirections. any ideas?
cosmopop1
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For me, being a beginner, it would have to be:

Mark Wilson's complete course in magic
RRTCM by Jean Huggard
New Modern Coin magic by Bobo

Probably more but I can't think of them right now
Trekdad
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Telford, PA
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After recently catching the "bug" with my son and daughter, and investing (too much money:))in some great books and dvds, I got Volume 1 of Tarbell's Course in Magic at Denny and Lee's. I cracked open the plastic wrap, read Tarbell's goal on creating his course:

" . . . I had one idea in mind -- the making of magicians."

With Tarbell in one hand, and Ortiz's "Strong Magic" in the other, I feel like I've discovered some great and wonderful treasures.
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CasualSoul
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Edmonton, Canada
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Quote:
On 2007-02-18 12:43, Trekdad wrote:
With Tarbell in one hand, and Ortiz's "Strong Magic" in the other, I feel like I've discovered some great and wonderful treasures.


I think Strong Magic isn't recommended enough to beginners. It's an amazing work that every magician should have to read before developing close-up routines for live performance. It's the most important book I own. Some may argue that it's for more advanced students of magic, but I think that it's the best source for teaching the most critical presentation skills that all beginners need. We all want to be good magicians, but mastering the moves plays only a small part in amazing our audiences; Strong Magic teaches almost everything else.
"Open their mind by performing the impossible"
state
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I learned a great deal from Tarbell vol. 1 and 2 as kid. Now at the age of 30, I own the complete set and still crack all of them open every once in awhile for inspiration.
KOTAH
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Fitzkee's The Trick Brain shares magic principles, gives examples; and explains how to develop your creativity. Andersons news paper magic, and abbotts Rope Magic are valuable as well.

KOTAH
state
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Another great book for any magician is "GET ANYONE TO DO ANYTHING" by David J. Lieberman, Ph.D. This book does not teach sleights or tricks, but gives you a psychological advantage when dealing with people.
scmagicman
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Columbia, SC
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You simply can't go wrong with Mark Wilson. I got this as my first introduction to magic and still look back over it for new ideas.
jolly12
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PEI, Canada
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I'm a big fan of coin tricks and after all of your suggestions and praise, went with BOBO's...what a choice!! haha like the gift that keeps on giving! thanks so much
Nedim
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istanbul/turkey
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Hi everyone,

I think the best book to start magic with is Tarbell Courses. You can find 8 books in Tarbell. If you start with Tarbell 1 and continue to read on it means that you are on the wright road. You can learn magic tricks,advices and some details of magic. Its a big encyclopedia of magic for every level of people.

And also if you choose your magic style there are great Dvds on the market.


regards,


Nedim Guzel
CDKconjurations
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Books I wish had been recommended to me & I would now recommend to BEGINNERS (of course some of these titles weren't available when I was a beginner, oh well):

General Magic - The Magic Book (Harry Lorayne)
Card Magic - The Royal Road to Card Magic (Jean Hugard & Frederick Braue)
Coin Magic - The New Modern Coin Magic (J. B. Bobo)
Rope Magic - The Encyclopedia of Rope Tricks (Stewart James)
Performance/Theory - Strong Magic (Darwin Ortiz)
Biographical - The Glorious Deception (Jim Steinmeyer)

For the ambitious students of magic who have devoured the titles above and thirst for something more - something more challenging, something worthy of the devotion of time, something to PRACTICE & STUDY - I would recommend...

The Dai Vernon Book of Magic (Lewis Ganson)

As stated at the start, these are titles I wish had been recommended or had been available when I first started. Of course, in between the first part of the list and the Vernon book is where the Fitzkee trilogy, Tarbell, Mark Wilson's, and Card College could be recommended. As far as my recommendation of the Vernon book? Hey, if Vernon could study "Expert at the Card Table" at the age of 12...
Bande
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I am Bande, a beginner in magic and here is my confession (which hopefully will help at least one person) Smile

I have always liked magic, and my interest got re-invigorated with the Street Magic craze (David Blaine, Criss Angel etc.). I am a product of our modern times I guess, so wanted to be able to everything they did right away with little or no time investment. So I went and bought a bunch of tricks. Some were great (STS, Prohibition), some were OK (Brainwave, Invisible Deck), some were a waste of money (at least for me).

I started reading all the reviews on the forum, and was like a kid in the candy shop. I wanted all of these tricks that seem to come out weekly. Reviews helped narrow them down some, but still more tricks than I could afford.

As I kept reading, I saw lots of advice to beginners to stop buying tricks and get a book. Why would I do that I thought? Seems like a lot of boring work, hard to understand what to do, when I could just buy some instant miracles. Still it is hard to ignore page after page of people who have done this for a living telling you to get certain books.

Wednesday, I have some time ot kill and happen to be near the local library. I go in, and start browsing the stacks. I find a small magic section, and recognize one title "Mark Wilson's Complete Course in Magic." I check it out and bring it home.

I open it up and at first it meets my worst fears. First I get definition ... ooh joy. Then I look at he the first trick, and it takes me multiple tries to figure out how to take his 2D descriptions and illustrations and turn them into 3D. But I have nothing better to do, so I presevere. Whoa! The trick actually works. Smile I practice it a bunch, and get it down smoothly. Show up at work, and show it some people -- I get a great reaction.

I go home the next night and look at the next trick. It's even cooler -- and now the directions are starting to make more sense. I start thumbing through the various sections and start to realize that a lot of the tricks I have been considering buying are in here (albeit in more rudimentary form most of the time). As I learn how the basics are done, I become a much more intelligent reader now on tricks that are sold. Don't get me wrong, I am still likely to go and buy a Wallet to do some slick CTW trick, but now that I know how it is done and could make my own, I know in advance if it is the type of trick I will like to perform.

So, from one beginner to another, really do go get some of these books. Yes, there are some pedantic people on this site that who go overboard about what needs to be learned, but don't use that as your excuse to miss the really valuable advice most people here are giving. I highly reccommend Mr. Wilson's book as a great starting point as it covers a bit of everything. From there, if you are into cards or coins etc. I think it would make sense to follow the other suggestions for the best books in those areas.

/rant off Smile
Hollyfeld
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Great thread everyone! Bande, you are not alone. I, too, have been a victim of the wanting-it-all-now, but have been steered in positive directions by folks here in the Café.

I do have one specific question about Royal Road if someone could answer it. Does it go over all of the really basic basics.....such as shuffles and how they're done, how to hold a deck, the glide, basic forces, etc. I am just beginning and would really like to build a good foundation.
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spoofy
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Wow there's so many good books and vidoes I don't kno where to start!
Jay Austin
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Quote:
I do have one specific question about Royal Road if someone could answer it. Does it go over all of the really basic basics.....such as shuffles and how they're done, how to hold a deck, the glide, basic forces, etc. I am just beginning and would really like to build a good foundation.


YES!!!! It starts off like you have never even held a deck of cards in your hand and walks you through learning each step. It does a great job of explaining each move. Even many of those that have been working with cards for a while will go back to Royal Road and use it as a refresher. You might look at getting the DVD that does along with the book and using both. They complement each other very well.
Jay Austin

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Jay Austin
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I was searching for a copy of Fitzkee's Magic By Misdirection and ran across this link. http://www.angelfire.com/musicals/fitzkee/

It is the entire Trilogy online. I did search for copyright info before posting this link and the only information that I found showed that they were now in the public domain. If that is not the case, someone please let me know so this link can be removed.
Jay Austin

http://austin-computer-solutions.com/
Hire a tech, not a geek.
Tom Fenton
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Leeds, UK (but I'm Scottish)
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My first post!
Although not a beginners book, I would recommend John Carney's "Book of Secrets". The routines are quite involved but the essays give great insight and inspiration for anyone new to magic.
"But there isn't a door"
Mattillusion
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Get Ken Weber's "Maximum Entertainment" and learn how to do things the RIGHT WAY early! Good magic is good for magic!
rjthomp
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One piece of advice I'd like to pass on to all beginners is not spend too much time with beginner books--once you've put in six months or so with Mark Wilson's course, you are probably ready for more advanced books. I'd highly recommend getting Card College as your next work, for a few reasons. First it is probably the one series of books that will take you all the way from absolute beginner to pro level. Second, even if cards aren't really your thing, its a good area to start out in, as there are a lot of powerful, relatively easy tricks that will allow you to get your feet wet performing. I'd recommend Card College over alternatives like royal road, because you're going to be spending a lot of time mastering this material, and if time is money for you (as it is for most of us), the increased cost of the card college series will be money very well spent.
rjthomp
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Here's the order in which I wish I'd purchased my magic book collection.
1st Mark Wilson's complete course

2nd Card college volume 1 + Hay's amateur magicians handbook (this is out of print but you can still find it if you search)

3rd Card college vol. 2+ Greg Wilson's Double take-ok that's a dvd, but its the best source on the double lift, the one card sleight that you absolutely must have perfect before you can do serious card magic (yes all your sleights should be good, but it seems about half of all great card tricks use a dl, and if you blow it you will have spoiled one spectator from ever experiencing great card magic.That's particularly important for amateurs who typically only have a limited number of people to try out their magic on. Once they know about doubles, they'll suspect everything you do...). You should work through almost everything in Card college 1+2 before continuing (maybe you can hold off on classic force,pass,and top change until you have more experience, and you can pick and choose amongst the flourishes...)

4th Art of Astonishment #1, plus Card college 3 I wouldn't work through every sleight in the rest of card college, just pick and choose the ones you need for particular routines. Now is a good time to look into the Ammar easy to master dvds, plus the bill Malone dvds

5th Now's the time to branch out into different forms of magic. Get the Patrick page sponge ball dvd, as sponge balls may be the next easiest thing to do sleight of hand with after cards. Also get Bobo's coin magic, but don't actually expect to try out the tricks for a little while (the learning curve on coin magic is very steep) Get the Roth dvds on coin magic.

6th Now you are officially an intermediate level magician, ready to try just about anything...
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