Absolute Essentials.

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Clark, Jul 25, 2013.

  1. Hey Everyone,

    Now that I'm spending a lot more time on magic, I'd like to make sure that I'm being as productive as possible. What I've learnt up to this point feels very disconnected, no doubt because I've rushed through material due to over enthusiasm and other things going on. Alas! I'm determined not to make the same mistake again, so I come to you for help: What are the absolute essentials when it comes to magic, specifically cards? What sleights and techniques are necessary to establish a good base upon which to develop?

    Thank you for any advice you can give, and I'm very sorry if this question has been asked an answered a million times before!
  2. Right off the bat, I'd say if you haven't already, pick up a copy of Royal Road. I would say the essentials are some kind of double lift, double undercut, a force (probably multiple), a pass, overhand shuffle, elmsley count, palm, and maybe a color change (just for good measure). Also, handling cards; like a fan and proper deck positions.
  3. The key to most card tricks is control. You need to be able to control a card to the top (ie. a pass or double undercut), control a card to the bottom (overhand shuffle or double undercut), a TON of tricks use a double lift. A bunch of tricks use a palm or cop, and so on.

    I hope this helps!
  4. A control, a palm, a force, a false shuffle, and a multiple lift and/or turnover. And of course, basic handling of the deck to be comfortable with it.

    I think that basically covers it.
  5. Thanks a lot for the replies! Sounds like I have quite a bit to sink my teeth into. Another question if you don't mind, when learning new material, such as all the things you've listed above, would you practise them simultaneously bit by bit? Or would you not move on to the next sleight until you can execute the previous one well?
  6. I find if you have 3 or 4 slights to practice it helps to avoid getting too frustrated with one if you are having trouble. I wouldn't add any more to it though until you can perform the ones you are working on with ease.
  7. Also on a lot of the material covered in the royal road there are 1 on 1 downloads by Jason England that I would highly recommend. I find it helps to see what I am reading about and I know others that feel the same way. Jason's videos are really inexpensive and very in depth. Hope this helps
  8. Ill be sure to check them out, thanks again! :)
  9. No problem. Everybody here for the most part is great with helping so if you have any other questions feel free to ask. Also incase it hasn't been said, welcome to Theory11 :)
  10. What I did, and still am doing (never stop learning :) ) is practicing a few sleights at a time, but in the same category. For example, I would work on three different color changes, because they are in the same category- color changes. That's my method, but I wonder how others practice?
  11. I seriously work on maybe one sleight for non-stop for a day then give myself a break for a day and try again the day after. I only like practicing one sleight at a time because sometimes it's too many moves to remember. Also some days I will go back to old sleights or effects that I haven't touched in a week and make sure I can do them.
  12. As far as me personally, I normally will get a dvd/download with multiple sleights or moves in it, that way I can swap back and forth without leaving the central theme or hub of that specific dvd/download. And as far as beginner material goes, I would say Royal Road like a couple of people have mentioned, along with either Jason England's Foundations DVD and, if you like to read, a copy of Erdanse :) hope that helped! Oh! And one more thing, if you see a routine or effect that you like but it's really hard, work on it some too, that way you'll have a goal to strive for :) my first effect was actually Splicer by Zach Mueller lol
  13. For a proper all-around grounding the most effective investment early on is Mark Wilson's Complete Course in Magic. Cards, coins, paper money, silks, ropes, betchas, stage illusions... There's a lot of ground to cover in there.

    Royal Road is the constant favorite for card specialists while Modern Coin Magic is the ur-text of coin work. If you don't mind more expensive investments, the Card College series is incredibly comprehensive if a bit intimidating to beginners. The same is true of the Tarbell Course, which is one of the most in-depth series on magic ever written and includes a number of essays on performance theory that would make today's self-proclaimed "honest deceivers" crap their pants.

    I just know some people are going to try and bring up mentalism (you know who you are), so I'm just going to nip that one in the bud while I still can. Mentalism is related to but separate from magic. Not recommended at your level because it requires a strong knowledge of performance theory, theater and experience in showmanship. Mental magic on the other hand is less intensive and can provide a pleasant spice to the act. In which case, Karl Fulves' Self-Working Mental Magic is an excellent choice.
  14. I generally practice a mix of sleights, but dedicating a chunk of time to each one. The mixture keeps the mind active and allow it to process what you've already built while moving on to new things. Drilling the same thing for too long becomes counter productive.
  15. I love the Mark Wilson book. It has some of the best basic sponge moves out there. I also like the single Tarbell book and the Amateur Magician's Hand book. Those three will give you a solid, well rounded base in magic. Let you get a taste for everything.
  16. Wow, I honestly wasn't expecting this much help, so thank you for that.

    Looks like I'll be grabbing a copy of The Royal Road and some of Jason England's videos, but I'll do a bit of shopping around with regards to a more general book or DVD as I understand that Tarbell can be a tad pricey.

    Thank you all so much for your advice, really big help!
  17. You can get the 1300 page tarbell course for $30 US as a PDF from Lybrary

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