Basic Moves

All beginners in magic should address their questions here.

Postby Asad » 01/04/11 11:42 AM

In your opinion which are the basic and essential moves that a performer must learn while starting the journey to Card Magic, Money Magic.

In my Opinion when in card Magic

Erdnase Color Change, Syble Card Flourish, One handed Top Palm, Double Undercut card Control.

In coin Magic

Classic Palm, Sleeving
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Postby GregMcMahan » 01/10/11 07:04 PM

When I'm teaching card magic to kids, I focus on these key techniques:
* controlling a card to the top of the deck
* double lift
* top change
* forcing a card
* false cut

For coin magic:
* finger palm
* coin switch
* coin roll (for showing off)

That's plenty for a 9 year old to learn, and should serve them well for a while if they practice and use them.
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Postby Harry Lorayne » 01/10/11 08:17 PM

Asad: What awful advice! I've written it literally hundreds of times - with a good double lift, control (includes force) and palm, you can do miracles.
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Postby John Wilson » 01/11/11 07:59 AM

I love that sybil is listed as a basic requirement. Are we talking basic when I started or fundamental to what I do now? Basic to a beginner would be simple card controls like a double undercut, a good force, a good double lift, and maybe a false cut or two. If we are talking fundamentals then THE PASS is the most important in my book. I use a ton of other sleights, but the pass comes up pretty often. My guess (from your list) is that you are relatively new to card magic. My advice is to learn as much as you can. There are sleights in my repertoire that I practice for years before I have a use for them. Having many tools to choose from lets you solve more problems.
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Postby Jonathan Townsend » 01/11/11 10:38 AM

Asad wrote:...the basic and essential moves ...in card Magic

Erdnase Color Change, Syble Card Flourish, One handed Top Palm, Double Undercut card Control.


I'd recommend starting with a couple of books, Harry Lorayne's Close Up Card Magic and Hugard/Braue's Royal Road to Card Magic. From there the specifics of your own style of card handling and venue where performing will suggest what you need to make tricks work for your audiences.

After that - you may as well start reading from the serious texts, Hofzinser of you want to amuse and the 'erdnase' (EACT) text if you wish to play the role of card sharp. After you know who invented the "ace assembly", and other plots.. and where to find the card cheat stuff, other more modern works will have a context and you will have a foundation to build upon.
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Postby William Phung » 01/12/11 01:26 AM

What Mr Townsend said. And Sybil does not belong on that list of basic moves if you're talking about magic; flourishing perhaps but not magic per se. Also you'd be hard pressed to find the Hofzinser texts; as far as I know they've been out of print for a while and demand high prices on the secondary market. Hofsinzer works should not be referred to as basic reading for cards and although advanced I wouldn't recommend diving into them right after breezing through Royal Road and Close up card magic. It is a BIG jump. Instead ou will get much more out of his material after you have thoroughly explorated and experimented with your craft as well as developed a certain maturity concerning your artistic sensibilties as well as your character(performing and otherwise). This takes years. The "Poetry of Conjuring"is best appreciated only after such requirements have been fulfilled and an appreciation for the history and depth of the craft has been cultivated. And I'd probably suggest serious study of Erdnase ONLY after checking out Mr Giobbi's Card College series but don't get too wrapped up in Giobbi's works; they are after all best used as reference texts more than anything.

Hope that helps

William Phung

*Also Mr Lorayne knows exactly what he's on about.
Last edited by William Phung on 01/12/11 01:29 AM, edited 0 times in total.
Reason: Addendum
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Postby Jonathan Townsend » 01/12/11 12:37 PM

William Phung wrote:...you'd be hard pressed to find the Hofzinser texts; as far as I know they've been out of print for a while ...


Both the Fischer/Sharpe and Hatch translations of the books on Hofzinser's card magic and general magic are available in ebook format at much lower prices than the Dover paperback on card magic and the hardcover of Hatch's translation.
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Postby GregMcMahan » 01/14/11 12:05 AM

Harry Lorayne wrote:...with a good double lift, control (includes force) and palm, you can do miracles.


I totally agree! I usually teach a bit more because I have more time to fill with a series of classes. I don't teach card palming because I've never learned and therefore never used it in my 36 years of performing. But I do think it's a good skill for a card magician to know.

Learning as many card sleights as possible when beginning is a good idea. That way you can narrow them down to the few that work best for you and your usual performing conditions.
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