Books and Dvds

Discussion in 'Magic Forum' started by mclintock, Sep 24, 2015.

  1. Good picks! Those should certainly keep you busy with cards for a while!
  2. And when you are done with those (well, we may never actually be done) --- Mnemonica!

    If you decide to learn the tabled faro from expert card technique, I greatly recommend you supplement that with the Jason England tabled faro video on this site ($12.95). Somehow I was never able to properly follow the instructions in the book. I ended up turning it into a cool top to bottom shuffle, it's just apparently not the shuffle they were trying to teach!
  3. There is nothing wrong with supplementing book learning with visual learning (even if it's YouTube.) You can also learn much from watching a bad performance of a trick, though not all performances on YouTube are bad. If someone is telling you to ignore YouTube, I recommend you write them off as a dinosaur or some other dead, dying or extinct breed. That said, you absolutely should be consulting books (and as many of them as you can.) Make use of all the available resources, including YouTube. You don't have to walk uphill through the snow both to and from school these days. That makes some magicians sad, but the art of magic will be advanced by those who don't limit themselves on the basis of archaic principles which haven't kept up with the times.
  4. That doesn't warrant the use of YouTube if laymen (with no intent on learning magic) can in your words. "learn much from watching a bad performance of a trick." Bad presentation and instruction aren't helpful to magic enthusiasts (as they may learn concepts incorrectly, and as I understand from your words, poor performance is practically exposure.

    To use David's train of thought (above your post) a paid video supplement can really make a difference. The price tag doesn't necessarily mean that the person or instruction is better outright, just that they are usually more skilled/qualified/experienced to be teaching the material. They can pull this off for a living.

    YouTube is there, and it has content, but it may not be a good place to learn from (or even supplement from).
  5. There is some good and bad everywhere. It's just statistics...

    There are crappy videos on youtube, but some are great ressources.
    There are some great books on magic, but some are not so good.
    And just because we pay for a video does not make it good.

    Use as many ressources as you can, but be always aware about which is good and bad. Here a mentor can help you identify what pieces of information are best, otherwise, experience becomes your mentor and it's a longer road.
  6. I completely agree, as long as you are utilizing the correct resources. The problem here is that you are spending much, much more TRYING to learn (CORRECT methods) from Youtube than if you were to utilize, lets say, book related resources and fostering a 'mentor/student-esque' relationship with experienced magicians. Which isn't a bad thing, in fact, since magic is a rather small, village-like niche hobby in/and of itself anyway; I believe it helps promote the brotherhood/sisterhood aspect of magic and those willing to put the effort into it.

    You CAN learn from watching bad performances. When you're first starting, there's no business in learning 'the bad' and what someone else is doing. You need to focus on what YOU'RE doing and what you can do to improve yourself. Beginners are in a stage to where they should be learning the basics and not what 'Mr. Misguided-Youtube-Magician' next to them is doing'.

    I'm a year in and I am EXTREMELY thankful that the experienced swooped down and led me onto the correct path of books and proper tutorials and AWAY from 'free tutorials'. While it COULD be okay, in theory. When you're starting off, you don't want the risk of someone leading you down the wrong path and burning out early. This is where the 'student/mentor' relationship model comes in. Learn on your own, ask questions when you get stuck, allow the experienced hats to weigh in and calibrate when they can.
    IF you want to get good at anything, you need hard work and practice. Books, practice, mentorship, and proper tutorials do this.

    I may be older, but of the several magic forums I am a part of, THIS forum does NOT have 'stuffy magicians' that want to see people suffer'. You ask the questions, we try our best to recommend the best books and resources that will promote what you're trying to accomplish. No suffering, in fact, quite the opposite. We want the LEAST amount of suffering. And watching 'Youtube magicians' and their tutorials will lead to nothing but suffering.
    If I have learned anything from the experienced hats, its that the real secrets are in books and asking the right questions--not Youtube.
    ChrisWiens, Fox13 and mclintock like this.
  7. Let's not make assumptions. If you want to see some of the assumptions you've made belied, you might take a look at the thread I just started (and just followed up in) titled "Topping the Deck." But perhaps you're using the general "you"? I'm sure some spend too much time trying to learn correct methods from YouTube. This isn't a mark against using YouTube effectively, however.

    As you've said, you can learn from watching bad performances. So why not learn from watching them? If you can learn, then there's no reason not to. You're going to learn from your own mistakes (and I'm sure you will make them). You might just as well learn from other's mistakes. More learning is good, not bad. Now maybe not everyone can learn from watching a bad performance, but again, that's not a mark against learning from bad performances.

    Learning on your own is always a bad idea. And of c0urse, you're not doing that. A much better idea is to make use of all the available resources which will help you learn. And in many cases, these might be (even poor) YouTube videos. Take a relatively simple trick like "Twisting the Aces." You might read the textbook version, then watch a poor YouTube video, and quickly have a much better understanding of what's being described. Then you go back to the description and study it a second time, but this time with much better comprehension. Even poor videos can speed up one's comprehension of a magic trick (and this is especially so if one is a good visual learner.) And let's not forget that if you have brains, you might spot an error in that poor YouTube video and think about how to correct it before committing it yourself. Of course, having brains is a requirement here. If someone lacks them, I wouldn't recommend YouTube. And I certainly wouldn't recommend that one only uses YouTube. That'd be nuts!

    All great things! Not the only resources available, however. And cutting yourself out of resources you can learn from is never wise. Now if you can't learn from YouTube videos, then don't watch them. If you'll be screwed up by watching them, then don't watch them. But yet again, this is not a mark against watching them. It's a caution to some people who might not be capable of watching them productively.

    This is incorrect. A simple way of demonstrating the falsity of this claim is to point out that the obvious truth that there are many YouTube videos uploaded by professional magicians which offer stellar performances of various tricks or sleights. Of course, these don't usually come with tutorials. So maybe you're just concerned with the one's that do? While I think that'd be a silly concern (it's not as if including a tutorial suddenly--magically--makes a demonstration crappy), I continue to subscribe to the notion that even poor demonstrations can speed up learning (when properly supplemented, of course, by other means of learning, much practice, and, of course, using the brain god hopefully gave you.)

    This is, of course, true. But again, it doesn't amount to a reason to think one shouldn't use YouTube.
  8. Quality not quantity.
  9. I think there's a misundertanding.
    I'm not criticizing the medium youtube or videos (in fact youtube is a great resource for performances of great magicians), I'm just complaining about bad learning resources. And from experience I can definitely say it is MUCH better learning it the right way from the beginning from competent teachers than getting rid of bad habbits you learned from some wannabe youtubers.
    It's like me teaching quantum mechanics on youtube half an hour after I've read the wikipage for the first time.
    I know for sure that I would have done better/faster if I would have gone another path. It's never too late, just much more work.
    Choose your mentors wisely!

    We can't blame a beginner. Usually they don't know where to begin, from whom to learn and what to avoid.
    I claim that you absolutely shouldn't try to learn from bad performances as a BEGINNER because you don't know what a bad performance/demonstration looks like in these stages of your development (well at least I didn't know as I started). This is where places such as theory11 become invaluable (if you don't have the chance getting in contact with mentors). Many professionals who offer great advice and are experienced and gifted teachers (e.g. Jason England).
    Later on you are (hopefully) experienced enough to choose the right leaning resources for further improvement.
  10. Hi Chris. I really like this sort of discussion, so I'll add some further thoughts.

    Not all of the folks teaching (revealing) stuff on YouTube are bad. Nor are they all beginners.

    I suppose there are some "true beginners." As I understand you to be using the term "true beginner," we're talking about someone who is completely clueless, has no card handling skills, and lacks even a rudimentary understanding of sleights and competent handling to the point that they can't even think well about what they're seeing. I haven't met any of these people who also happen to be interested in card magic, but I'm sure some of them exist.

    I'm inclined to think that the vast majority of people who are interested in learning card magic aren't "true beginners" in the above sense of being completely and utterly naive, incapable of critical thinking, lacking the the ability handle cards with some modicum of decorum, incompetent at judging performances, and so on... Such a "true beginner" isn't going to get far in magic no matter what they do.

    Perhaps your "true beginner" should avoid YouTube. Most serious beginners are not going to be as stupid as that "true beginner," however. Intelligent people who begin to learn some art or trade or skill they can go on to master are capable of judging the good from the bad, know where to look, consult appropriate resources, and so on... I assure you that even Jason England has learned much from watching poor performances (and also from watching himself screw up.)

    Use your head. Think about what you're doing. Pay attention to what you're learning from. But there is no need to restrict yourself, provided you have a good head, from learning from a wide range of sources (some of which might well include poor performances!) When it comes to performing magic, you have to use your head. When it comes to learning it, you have to do the same. And when it comes to producing or inventing it, you also have to do the same. This is a thinking man's game. And no "true beginner" in what I've read your sense of "true beginner" as is a thinking man.
  11. The problem is that you don't know who is good and who is bad unless you already know how to do what they are teaching. The thing is, most people who put tutorials up on YouTube are not that good. I've looked at some of the better known YouTube guys and their handling is not that good. Most of them only perform for a camera -- never for a real audience. Their presentation focuses on what they are doing -- which is only interesting to the few people who find the adventures of playing cards in the performer's hands exciting.
    Brett Hurley likes this.

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