Card Magic Beginner

All beginners in magic should address their questions here.

Postby Guest » 08/26/06 10:04 PM

Hello Everyone! I am sure that all of you have been bombarded with "Where do I begin?" questions time and time again. However, here I go...I am competely new to magic and am particularly interested in card magic; and mentalism seems pretty interesting as well. It is a bit daunting when attempting to search for good magic books/
DVDs as one can become overwhelmed. So, I am wondering if anyone could suggest their must haves for beginning card magic and/or mentalism?

So far I have heard about "The Royal Road to Card Magic," and "13 Steps to Mentalism."

Thanks,
Nate
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Postby Guest » 08/26/06 11:05 PM

Definately go with the Card College series. I cant recommend it enough!!!

The Royal Road book with the DVD as a compliment is also a good start.

Better yet, go buy Erdnase and volume 1 of the Card College, you will be glad you did.

Welcome to the art!
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Postby Guest » 08/27/06 08:33 AM

Whenever someone comes on any forum and says that they are interested in card magic, inevitably people recommend Royal Road, the Card College series and Erdnase. I personally think that for the complete neophyte, those books are biting off a bit more than they can chew. I'd recommend getting Scarne on Card Tricks to learn some great self-working/easy effects to get your feet wet and then buy Harry Lorayne's The Magic Book. Lorayne's book is probably the best introduction to beginning sleight of hand out there. In Nate's particular case, it also includes a taste of mentalism as well.
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Postby Guest » 08/27/06 08:58 AM

Originally posted by Frank Yuen:
Whenever someone comes on any forum and says that they are interested in card magic, inevitably people recommend Royal Road, the Card College series and Erdnase. I personally think that for the complete neophyte, those books are biting off a bit more than they can chew. I'd recommend getting Scarne on Card Tricks to learn some great self-working/easy effects to get your feet wet and then buy Harry Lorayne's The Magic Book. Lorayne's book is probably the best introduction to beginning sleight of hand out there. In Nate's particular case, it also includes a taste of mentalism as well.
To some extent I agree with the above. A great deal depends on to what extent you plan on exploring an area of magic. To reccomend five volumes to someone that just wants to see how interested they might be in learning card magic is a mistake. I have been a hobby magician for decades at this point spending most of my time doing coin slights. Cards were something I never really considered until lately. I have several sources to depend on, all the usual suspects. Card College has been a good place to start only because I am in no rush to go out and show my stuff. I do magic for myself and as a magic student. I think Scarne is better for that instant gratification that many people, especially the younger generation need,(I can't believe I am saying that, God I am old), while Card College and Royal Road are things that need serious study over a period of time. All of the books are valid it just depends on what approach you want to take to learn your magic.
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Postby Harry Lorayne » 08/27/06 01:04 PM

What good taste you have, Joemagic1!; ; HARRY LORAYNE.
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Postby Harry Lorayne » 08/27/06 01:06 PM

OOPS, sorry. It's Frank Yuen who has that excellent taste! HARRY LORAYNE.
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 08/27/06 08:38 PM

I'll second the vote for Harry's The Magic Book. The book is so good that there was grumbling at the time about the quality of the magic--real magic--that Harry explained.

It's not a book of "beginner's" tricks. It's a great book of magic that has tricks in it that don't require difficult sleight of hand. And there's a big difference. And the explanations are far better than in the average beginner's book. So, better material + better explanations = better book.
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Postby Guest » 08/27/06 08:57 PM

Frank Yuen: "Whenever someone comes on any forum and says that they are interested in card magic, inevitably people recommend Royal Road, the Card College series and Erdnase."

Of course! They are great texts for card magic, as well as the other texts recommended.
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Postby Guest » 08/27/06 09:27 PM

I don't know if these two books are still in print but when I was much younger I remember learning a lot of card moves from Bill Tarr's "Now you see it, now you don't" and "The second now you see it now you don't". These two books cover more than just cards but still the material is top-notch (and the illustrations are great)... great stuff for someone just starting out. Also have to chime in and recommend Royal Road to Card Magic (and the matching R. Paul Wilson 5 DVD set from L&L Publishing), and the above mentioned Harry Lorayne book and... when you feel you are ready for the next step Harry Lorayne's "Close-Up Card Magic". It's not really a book for beginners but it could not hurt to have it around to "peek ahead" so-to-speak. I'm still mining information out of this great book.
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Postby Guest » 08/28/06 06:04 AM

"Scarne on Card Tricks", and Hugard & Braue's "Encyclopedia of Card Tricks" and Karl Fulves has several books in the self-working category as well as Aldo Columbini who has two books out on impromptu card magic.

Royal Road, still a good buy and a good foundation for card work, is like a sutdy course on cards. Get your feet wet first and see if this is what you really like. Then get the book and the exdcellent DVD's by R. Paul Wilson to follow along in Royal Road. "Expert Card Technique' by Hugard & Braue is also a good follow up to Royal Road and Erdnase's "Expert at the Card Table" still considered the bible for card workers, is fantastic but would not tackle it until you are into cards a bit.
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Postby Guest » 08/28/06 07:31 AM

Originally posted by Nate Green:
...I am completely new to magic and am particularly interested in card magic...
May as well get properly introduced to the craft before diving into the deep end of a specialization.

I suggest you spend some time with The Tarbell Course in Magic and get familiar with the ideas and methods that form the practical basis of our craft.

Magic with cards and mentalism have been with us for hundreds of years. You are not going to miss anything by starting with the basics working from source books which today's writers have studied and in Harry Lorayne's case, even contributed since he wrote the seventh volume of the Tarbell set. :)
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Postby Guest » 08/28/06 07:48 AM

Although often overlooked, I'd also recommend the Rufus Steele books: "50 tricks You Can Do" etc., etc! Budget price, but - great ideas!

Also, Karl Fulves "Self Working" series.

Paul Gordon
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Postby Guest » 08/28/06 01:15 PM

Thanks to everyone who has responded. Lots of suggestions to choose from. I have already purchased Royal Road to Card Magic and will be purchasing The Magic Book by Lorayne as well as On Card Tricks by Scarne.

These should keep me busy for a while!

Thanks Again,
Nate
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Postby Guest » 08/28/06 11:29 PM

Good choices Nate. If you decide that card magic is your road and yet find some of the stuff in Royal Road hard to visualize remember that R. Paul Wilson has a DVD teach in series on the book.

There are a few moves in card magic that really benfit from personal instuction by someone who knows them well and RPW does a fine job of imparting those lessons.
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Postby Guest » 08/31/06 02:51 PM

I am starting to look at Royal Road and while I know it will take quite some time with a deck of cards in my hand to gain proficiency I have a couple more questions.

Is magic like a musical instrument in that one must practice a minimum of an hour or more a day to get better?

Given my being brand new to this how long on average did others spend on each chapter before advancing?

I am just trying to see where I should be at on the general learning curve down the road. Mine might be a larger curve because I am a lefty and I am attmepting to do start the book as a righty.

Take Care,
Nate
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Postby Ryan Matney » 08/31/06 03:31 PM

I used to get beter results from practice when I would take a break from the move or sleight I was working on. Sometimes a few hours, sometimes days. Usually I'd stop just before frustration and then come back to it when I couldn't stand it anymore.

You'll know that you enjoy practicing and are getting better when you have to pick up the deck one last time before going to bed and do the sleight you been working on perfectly...just...one..more...time.

It will take a little while before you progress. But don't give up! Be sure to learn a few self-working effects that don't require sleight of hand. Then, you can enjoy performing them and fooling your audiences while working on your presentation skills. Don't neglect those.


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Postby Guest » 08/31/06 03:50 PM

Hi Nate,
i'm a lefty too, and i must say that left handers have some more difficulties to overcome.

For examples with peeks.
Or when you spread a deck, the indexes are on the wrong side.
When you fan the deck in the normal way, all the indexes are hidden....

A lot of times i wondered if maybe it was better to learn also to perform with the right hand as the dominant hand.
But sincerely i found out that my left hand is much more sensible than my right one.
And i think i will take years before gaining that sensibility, providing that i'll ever gain it.
So maybe you too can try to begin with your natural hand and make a comparison with the same sleights performed with your right hand.
Maybe if you start from the beginning to train the right hand, things will work easier.
But sincerely i don't know if it is the right choice to abandon your dominant left hand for your right one.
Maybe some experienced magician can help me too.
Crim
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Postby Guest » 08/31/06 04:34 PM

Originally posted by Nate Green:
Mine might be a larger curve because I am a lefty and I am attmepting to do start the book as a righty.
Nate,
One of our greatest teachers of pure sleight of hand, John Carney, is right handed but has forced himself to learn many things left handed so that he can use his stronger hand for the secret moves...

If you are left handed doing things right handed might just be a great secret weapon for you.
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Postby Guest » 08/31/06 09:02 PM

Thank you for your replies gentlemen! I will not give up on learning right handed as it seems like a good idea.

To Bill Duncan: I was recently in your neck of the woods. It was the Magic Shop under Pikes Fish Market that caused my love for magic to resurface from childhood. Only this time I am trying to do something about it!

Regards,
Nate
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Postby Guest » 08/31/06 11:48 PM

Cheers Nate. Next time you're going to be in town drop me a note via the envelope icon next to my name in any post here on Genii and we'll see if we can't get a couple of the boyz together for a session.
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Postby Guest » 09/13/06 11:52 AM

Hello Again,

Just wanted to post and say how great I think Harry Lorayne's The Magic Book is! (Nice illustrations by Mr. Kaufman-hey no wonder he pitches this book! :) ) I feel that it is a great resource for me as a beginner. As mentioned before I also have Royal Road to Card Magic which is also very good. As far as the self-working tricks in Scarne on Card Tricksthere is so much material there. Does anyone have any favorites?

Thanks,
Nate

I am working with Bicycles and Bees. Might it benefit me to try a Tally Ho deck or should this beginner keep it simple?
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Postby Guest » 09/14/06 08:02 AM

get a paul gordon book ;)
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Postby Guest » 09/14/06 09:16 PM

What a great thread for the beginner... all great suggestions. I'm very happy that you got Harry Lorayne's book - I'm (at least) one of his greatest fans.

I think I read this entire thread but did not see one suggestion for Mark Wilson's - Complete Course in Magic. As a shop owner, it's one of the first books I suggest to a the "serious" beginner. It covers a lot of card work and will introduce the reader to a lot of other magic. It's available quite inexpensively in soft cover.

Just thought this was a worthy addition to the thread.

Mike
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Postby Guest » 09/15/06 02:18 AM

Nate,

Since your question comes up quite often, I have written a short article on what I think the best beginner books are. Go here , scroll down to the article section and you will find one addressing your question. There are sections for cards, coins, mentalism in it.

I can second most of what has been said here. But read my article for more detail and information.

Chris.... www.lybrary.com
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