Totally new to magic, just getting started

All beginners in magic should address their questions here.

Postby Guest » 04/04/06 05:00 AM

Hi there, my name is matt.

I've been interested in magic for a while and decided I want to go about learning the deeds.

All I can really do at the moment is amaze my 4 year old by hammering a nail into my nose :p

I'm really interested in coins and cards.

Can anyone point me in the direction of some resources for simple tricks

Postby Ian Kendall » 04/04/06 05:23 AM

At the risk of sounding nannyish, I would advise against doing blockhead for children, especially four year olds. The will have no idea of the danger, and could easily try to copy daddy. You might want to stress (again, hopefully) that noone should try this. And hide anything remotely nail shaped...

Apart from that, Wilson's new Royal Road DVD set might be a good place to start. As to the best place to start with coins, there's a debate raging about that, but I'm not exactly impartial.

Take care, Ian
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Postby Guest » 04/04/06 05:26 AM

Well any place to start with coins from anyones point of view would be a start.

Perhaps you're right about the nail thing

Postby Guest » 04/04/06 05:30 AM

Well, Modern Coin Magic by Bobo is a decent place to start for coins.

Mark Wilson's Complete Course in Magic is a very good general text.

The Royal Road DVD's are good but you also need to the book (Royal Road to Card Magic) to reap the full rewards from the DVD's.

All three of the books (DVD's not included) could set you back as much as $40 but it is an excellent investment.

Postby Guest » 04/04/06 05:38 AM

That's alright, that's about 20 for me in the UK

Would be worth it though, I'm a natural entertainer and would love to be able to entertain people in another way.

Postby Guest » 04/04/06 07:37 AM

Michael Ammar has some wonderful DVDs. I dont think they got as much notice from the hardcore crowd because most of those folks probably owned all the original printed sources for the effects he teaches. His intro to coin magic is really nice if you have little knowledge of coins. His Easy to Master series has some classic effects as well with both cards and coins/money. Once you learn from those sources you can trace the effects back to the classic books from which many of them came if you want. As someone new to magic, one thing to remember if learning from video sources is to not get in the habit of performing exactly like the guy on the video. Be yourself and add your own touch.

I agree that Royal Road is a great way to begin for cards. You can buy the book fairly cheap and start with it. The Wilson DVDs are very nicely done and will give you a real look at how the items in the book should look but I dont think the DVDs are a requirement to start out, especially if you dont have much money to devote to your study. This book and a deck or two will serve you well for a while.

For coins, I think you will find the Ammar Intro to Coin Magic DVD helpful to begin and later you can get some of the best (often more advanced) coin sources like Bobos Modern Coin Magic, David Roths Expert Coin Magic, etc.

Postby Guest » 04/04/06 07:57 AM

Originally posted by Ray Banks:
Well, Modern Card Magic by Bobo is a decent place to start for coins.
Apologies for pointing out the obvious typo - I do it not to correct you, but to help Matt.

It's Modern Coin Magic. And if you can, get New Modern Coin Magic instead, by the same author. It has a couple more chapters, and is an excellent book.


Postby Guest » 04/04/06 08:16 AM

Thanks alot for the helpfull sources, going to take a look on amazon/ebay now :D

In the meantime anyone have any directions for a simple coin trick I can use to make my daughter forget the nail up the nose?

Postby Ian Kendall » 04/04/06 08:17 AM

You might also like to have a look at and read the comments there...

Take care, Ian
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Postby Pete Biro » 04/04/06 10:56 AM

I would suggest finding Learn Magic, Henry Hay for the basic stuff... most of what has been recommended is advanced. Also the Bruce Elliot books are priceless. Modern Magic Manual by Jean Hugard is also a great book.

BOOKS please. DVDs will make a parrot out of one.
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 04/04/06 03:41 PM

Buy these two books:
1. Classic Secrets of Magic by Bruce Elliott
2. The Magic Book by Harry Lorayne

You will have enough great magic for many years if you actually learn the material in those books. And both books are inexpensive.
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Postby Guest » 04/04/06 04:56 PM

I actually started with Learn Magic as well. I can't imagine this not being a great starter book even today, I thought it would probably be harder to find but it looks like Amazon may have it, even if used. It covers much more than just card and coin stuff. I also had to write again in defense of DVDs or videos in this case. While books are my favorite way of learning magic I see nothing wrong with learning from both sources. That is why I too stated that you shouldn't copy the person on the DVD. That is important but I don't think you should rule out some of the great beginner DVDs out there, especially when they reference some very good and readily available books for later study. Great suggestion in The Magic Book by the way. Once Michael Close starts some beginner magic series ebooks we will have the best of both worlds (books/DVDs) for newcomers to the art.

Postby Guest » 04/04/06 06:58 PM

I would second recommendations on the following for a total beginner:

Learn Magic by Henry Hay -- 20 lessons in magic that will teach you many magical classics -- in print again from Dover Publications, so you should find it at Amazon

The Magic Book by Harry Lorayne -- wonderful start in coins and cards, and some general other close-p magic as well -- in print again from L&L Publishing

And I would add this small volume, because it teaches you how to create your own presentations for tricks, rather than merely copying the books you read (or, worse yet, the DVDs you watch):

A Book of Magic for Young Magicians (also called Secrets of Alkazar) by Allan Kronzek -- magical classics with alternate presentation suggestions and ideas upon which to build to create your own unique presentations -- in print from Dover Publications

The other suggestions, Royal Road, Bobo New Modern Coin Magic, etc., are all great things to take up after you have studied these three. The important thing is to pick one of these and get started. Most magic students get too many books or DVDs and never learn anything well!

For more advice on getting started, go here:

Post any time you need help or encouragement. That's why these forums are here.

Jon Hand

Postby Guest » 04/04/06 08:29 PM

I've always been a fan of "The Big Book of Magic" by Patrick Page. It has a little of everything from cards, coins, ropes, rings, and then some apparatus and even illusions.

Postby Guest » 04/04/06 08:38 PM


Try this link: ... m=41&31940

At the top are some very good threads for beginners. We may have something like this on this forum, but the search function is temporarily out of order.

Best of luck with your new hobby,

Postby Guest » 05/11/06 11:15 PM

Don't know if you know who I am.
You can check out my magic at

I have produced a few products for people like you.
One in paticular is called Schneider Vanish.
It is a CD dedicated to causing a coin to vanish.
It is the primary vanish I have used for 45 years.
There is a clip of the move on the web site so you can see exactly what it is.
The CD book or .pdf book starts from nowhere and builds to the preentation of the vanish. It begins with basic palming.
While this is aimed at beginers it is not a beginning move but one valued by many.
Al Schneider

Postby Guest » 05/12/06 04:53 AM

For someone who is just getting started, I would recommend The Mark Wilson Complete Course in Magic. It covers a little bit of everything and once you find there's one thing you like better than others (coin instead of rope for example), you can specialize from there.

Postby Guest » 05/15/06 06:21 PM

I am surprised noone has mentioned "Now You See It, Now You Don't" 1 & 2 by Bill Tarr. Classics.

[Aside: I have been pleasantly surprised that "Learn Magic" by Henry Hay has come up so frequently. That happened to be my first book way back in 1976. It taught me the french drop, and the rest is history.]

Postby Guest » 05/16/06 02:25 PM

If you want to start out on the right track, start with Volume 1 of the Card College Series.

Postby Guest » 05/16/06 05:21 PM

I think for cards "Card College" by Giobbi is the best investment you will ever make in your life as magician. Of course you can get started with "Royal Road to Card Magic" which you can get for a few bucks as ebook or for above $10 as Dover reprint. It is a matter of how serious you want to take it. If you just want to have a look-see, buy the Royal Road, if you are serious and dedicated Card College is the best way. For coins I would go with "Modern Coin Magic" by Bobo.

Card College 1
Card College 2
Modern Magic Manual
The Royal Road to Card Magic
Modern Coin Magic

Postby Guest » 05/17/06 08:04 AM

if you're interested in teaching for kids, you may want to look at doing sponge balls. Kids don't really understand cards or coins, their small and hard to tell apart

Postby Guest » 05/21/06 08:01 AM

I have made an article available on my website on 'the best magic books for beginners'. It lists some of the best magic books in the categories of cards, coins, mentalism, theory and general reference.

What are the best magic books for beginners?
Click on the link above, scroll to the bottom and you will find the article as well as others potentially of interest to you.


Postby Guest » 06/29/06 04:10 AM

Another of my 2 cents worth. My first book of card magic (40 years ago) was Scarne on Card Tricks. It's well over 300 pages, all card tricks, most of which don't require sleights.
Yes, it is a raw beginner's book, but when I was 13 it was a great book to get me started.

There are tons of great beginner books out there. This is just a recommendation if you want to start out without learning complex moves but still amaze people. It's availabe on in paperback these days. Price is about 8 bucks.

Postby Guest » 08/26/06 01:15 PM

can any one help me on the blockhead act with hammering a nail through your nose. i forgot how to do it afa year its my favorite act please help thanks in advance if u can help

Postby Guest » 08/26/06 11:29 PM

I'll let you in on a little secret...
Stay away from the hammer & nail bit. When ever I get the urge to do a block head trick, It never seems to fail to get outragous reactions when I run the stem of my sunglasses down through my nose...
The key here, is to be a little different thats what it's all about. Please dont take offence to what I said... Im just giving you an alternative.Do me a favor and try it and let me know how it went. "Dont think you'll be dissapointed"
but remember becareful,the stem must be buffed up real nice and smooth." Think safety"

Postby Guest » 08/26/06 11:38 PM

Oh I almost forgot...
You must be extremely careful when placing anything in your nose,all it takes is a little nick in the wrong area and it can be lethal. So make sure you go slow,and that the object is sterile and free of any burrs.

Postby Guest » 08/27/06 04:39 AM

for cards it has to be card college, pure brilliant. it has a lot of moves that are not in royal road. these five volumes are a must for anybody starting out, it has amazing tricks as well.

for coins, bobos book, and michael ammars dvds and you wont go wrong.

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