A place where beginners can participate, ask questions, and post their views. However, beginners typically ask a lot of questions about sources, tricks, books, and so on. In fact, all magicians are interested (or should be) in the provenance of tricks, ideas, and related matters. This department will service these needs.


Postby Guest » December 5th, 2003, 10:34 am

I'm looking for books or video to help build a strong base for the fundamentals. I mean the very basics of sleight of hand. We're talking, double lifts, retention vanishes, cups and balls, linking rings, zombie. Things like that. Not necissiarily anything advanced I just want to build a strong foundation. I feel that buying the newest Ammar tape (no slight here to Mr. Ammar) and just learning a trick is not as benificial to me as taking the time to build a strong foundation. I've collected a fairly decent library of books but I'm not entirely sure where to start. Perhaps the Royal Road to Card magic series?
Throw out some ideas here folks.


Jim Maloney_dup1
Posts: 1709
Joined: July 23rd, 2001, 12:00 pm
Location: Northern New Jersey

Re: Fundamentals

Postby Jim Maloney_dup1 » December 5th, 2003, 10:59 am

For Cards:
Royal Road to Card Magic
Card College 1-5

For Coins:
Bobo's Modern Coin Magic

For Magic in general:
Tarbell 1-8
The Amateur Magician's Handbook

For Magic Theory:
Showmanship for Magicians
Strong Magic
Our Magic

For Performance/Acting Theory:
Stanisklavski's trilogy
A Practical Handbook for the Actor
Impro For Storytellers



Re: Fundamentals

Postby Guest » December 5th, 2003, 11:14 am

Nice to hear someone thinking along the right lines (strong foundation instead of instant video gratification.)

Here's my suggestions:

Bill Tarr's books are great;

"Now You See It..." contains a superb selection of basic sleight of hand and his "101 Easy Magic Tricks" covers things like Linking Rings, Rice Bowls, Production Tubes, Etc.


"The Mark Wilson Course" is a superb book with lots of info (big and small)

Last but not least: "Magic For Dummies" provides a good resource for info on presentation (etc.)

Go to & for around $50.00 you can get (the above) 4 books that have all the 'basics' you need.


Re: Fundamentals

Postby Guest » December 5th, 2003, 3:07 pm

Mr, (Ms?) Conn,

I have performed professionally before and I did fairly well at it. I worked a resteraunt for 2 years before I burned out. I spent too much time trying to learn the newest fastest flashiest thing and I feel I wasted a lot of time not mastering the basics. To this day I still work the Linking Rings. Just like the Cups and Balls and the Zombie not only are they classic effects they continue to teach me new things every time I pick them up. Hence It's time for me to get back to the basics.

BTW, I grew up in Hammond La. I miss the hell out of New Orleans.

Mr. Maloney,

Thank you for the ideas and the list. I will get to looking at it.


Re: Fundamentals

Postby Guest » December 6th, 2003, 12:58 am

Re: Mr / Ms.


Why do I get the honor of being poster boy for politically correct forum introductions ;) !

Mr. will be fine (thanks for asking.)

Despite living near the French Quarter (New Orleans)... I gave up that transvestite thing years ago.

After losing to Joshua Jay in that bourbon st. bar back in 98, I had to hang it up...
I still feel sorry for that guy who came in third!

Doug 'testing the censors' Conn

PS: The Transvestite thing is a joke...
well... partially...
Which segues to PS #2

PSS: The tale of Josh winning 1st place in a bourbon st bar magic competition (at the age of 16) is true... and yes, a transvestite came in 2nd... (yup, there was a third.) 1998 SAM (who else remembers this bizarre event!?!)

PSSS: This will be the last time I drink and post ;)

PSSSS: Just to make up for the above, I'll get back on topic and end by mentioning a book that changed my views on magic: Harry Lorayne's "The Magic Book." Back in the early 80's I happen across this wonderful tome for a mere 5 bucks. For a kid with "library knowledge" the info within was an eye opening experience. I believe this is another good book that covers 'the basics.' K... I'm going to bed now.

Jon Armstrong
Posts: 15
Joined: February 15th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Los Angeles

Re: Fundamentals

Postby Jon Armstrong » December 8th, 2003, 6:06 am

I'm a fan of the work I have seen of yours in print. Wonderful thinking I would say, if my opinion matters much. The guy in the dress must have been really good.

All of the above choices are must read (with maybe the exception of Magic for Dummies but I digress..). The only thing I might add would be 13 Steps to Mentalism and Vol 1-8 of the Tarbell course. I think that even if you don't do any mental work in your act, the thinking that goes into it can help you in many ways as a close up magician. 13 Steps is a great start to learning some smart ideas. As I'm sure you know by working out in the real world, connecting with your audience is just an important as a good double lift. A lot of that thinking is located in that tome. Tarbell is another great place to start.

My first book was the Amateur Magicians Handbook by Herry Hay.

Hope that helps.

User avatar
Tom Frank
Posts: 72
Joined: March 15th, 2008, 10:17 pm
Favorite Magician: Stewart Judah
Location: Hollywood, CA

Re: Fundamentals

Postby Tom Frank » December 13th, 2003, 8:50 am

Doug, I think you should drink and post more often!! And I know there's a lot more to the contest story than you're letting on. . . . sweetheart.

Love ya Tom ;)

Steve V
Posts: 642
Joined: January 20th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Silver Springs, NV

Re: Fundamentals

Postby Steve V » December 13th, 2003, 10:01 am

The orig. Tabell course is available as an ebook from, correct me if wrong,
Steve V
Steve V

Posts: 678
Joined: January 31st, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: las vegas

Re: Fundamentals

Postby CHRIS » December 13th, 2003, 6:43 pm

Originally posted by Steve V:
The orig. Tabell course is available as an ebook from, correct me if wrong,
Steve V
Thanks Steve for the plug. The correct link is

Chris Wasshuber
preserving magic one book at a time ... ebook

Bill Mullins
Posts: 4553
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Huntsville, AL

Re: Fundamentals

Postby Bill Mullins » December 13th, 2003, 7:28 pm

David Stone's videotapes are pretty good for coin fundamentals.

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