How do you practice?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by fridoliina, Jun 25, 2010.

  1. Hello everyone!

    Im going through a phase with a lot of practicing of sleights and routines and doing some fine tuning and refinements. I would like to hear, how do you practice?

    I was reading through Michael Close book Closley guarded secrets and his advice if you want to become really good at what your doing is, Focus and only practice what you use. What do you think about that? Most magicians seems to be practicing everything just for the sake of it.

    Whats your thoughts?
  2. i like to practice when ever i get the shot. doing a lot of dry sleight movement, refining the sleights by analyzing my motions. then i like to dry run through effect talking through my patter at the same time. often times i like to perform along with the DVD. (if i'm working from a DVD)
  3. I think it all depends on the person and what you’re going for. I do agree with Michael Close that if you want to be good practice what you’re going to use. Me I love sleights and love practicing them but they have there place. The routine is what counts IMO

    I try to devote as much practice but with schedules today it’s hard. I try to do something like this:

    10 min run through: I run through easy things to get my hands moving and lose like shuffling, dribbling, fanning, ribbon spreading, cuts, things of that nature.

    Then I move to sleights that I’m comfortable with such as strike seconds and bottoms, glides, forces, top and bottom stock controls etc. I spend 10-15mins with each sleight. Martin A. Nash said that to practice more than 15 min on a move is over kill and counter productive and to move on to the next and come back to it later. I agree with this.

    Next is sleights that need work such as: Double lifts, Pinky count, push off seconds and bottoms, classic pass, elmsley count, culling, palming etc. 10-15 mins each move.

    Now I move on to the actual effects and work on those for awhile and their patter.

    Then after that I would move on to the sleights that I want to learn such as one hand shuffles, one hand shifts, mucks, one hand seconds bottoms, center deal etc. for future effects and/or for alternative handlings for effects.

    It’s hard to fit all of it in one day but it usually tallys up to 3 hours total. The weekends I try to put together a routine with the help of a few friends. I like so many effects that my set would last about 10 hour’s lol.

    My way of practicing is far from perfect and prob not efficient to others but it has worked for me so far. I think lol.

  4. I always keep in mind what other magicians say, even if it's right or wrong. Magician's idea totally helps me how to practice:

    I'll give you some ideas:
    1. Michael Vincent
    "When I practice somne techniques and sleights or even routines, I always trying to figure out when is the climax point and the relaxing point."

    2. Brad Christian
    "If you want to perfect a techinque or sleight, do it slowly. Try to manage the finger positions, and some unwanted movements of the hands."

    3. Me
    "Try to figure out your style, and then that's the time to start the serious practice. If you want to be smooth, discipline your hand movements. If fast, try to practice making your routines very clear yet sticking to your style."

    4. David Williamson
    "Smooth and slow is better than fast" (which means a lot of things)

    How do I practice?
    -First, I think of a card routine or a sleight that I want to practice. Second, I do some warmups, like finger exercise, and eat some snack. Next, if I want to practice a routine, I am going to look on the internet some videos of good performance, and recap the whole routine. If I want to practice a sleight, I will read first a book or watch a source, like on Theory11's 1-on-1, to review the whole mechanics of it. Then, I prepare my props for practice. Afterwards, I practice. Finally, during the practice I am trying to find some mistakes.
  5. In my case, I practice by doing finger exercises in my spare time. I'm a student, so I do these at class just to warm up for later. I'd then go through the mechanics first through the video, or mentally if I'm sure of it. While perfecting a sleight or a routine, practice for only 1-3 hours and STOP. The brain needs to digest what you just gathered today... and continue tomorrow. I also play music while practicing so that I wouldn't bore myself if I get discouraged in a difficult sleight. It helps to continue and not give up on that sleight. Lastly, I video myself from time to time while practicing to see the results. It's a lot better than looking at the mirror because it conditions you to find the right angles without any help, and you could hear and see any unnecessary sounds or movements you could produce.
  6. I mostly practice what I use. I work on new stuff, too, because I like the challenge, and I also work on stuff I don't use in performance because some day I will use it in performance. But the majority of my time is spent on drilling my routines that I perform.

    I practice daily, but the amount varies wildly from day to day, depending on how much energy I have, time, etc.
  7. I actually find that if I keep practicing a move for longer than 20-25 minutes in one period of time, I start to lose my ability to do it for a little while. It sounds weird, but I think there's an over-practice concept thing involved..
  8. Correct. Your brain needs time to form the neural pathways. Constant practice is actually detrimental to learning.
  9. yes sir. I never new that until I saw saw one of his dvds and spoke about it. so 15 min and thats it.

    Now only if my professors could now that and change my 3 hour lecture classes to 15 min. I mean 3 hours of Statistics is detrimental to learning coming close to making you retarded :D
  10. In a mirror :)
  11. Talking about sleights, I don't have a "routine" per say like other fellow magicians here.

    If Im breaking a sleight down, I like to sit down, have some good music in the background and then practice the sleight until I'm comfortable with it.

    Then I go to the mirror, where I first do the move as it is intended, (for example when I practice the pass, I insert the card and I square up witouth doing the pass) so that I can see what the sleight should look like, then I do whatever adjustments the sleight needs and then I practice it watching the angles of the sleight.

    Sleight wise, that's pretty much it :)
  12. How do you fit?
  13. I find that having a set schedule makes practice boring for me. Like, "10 minutes for this, 10 minutes for that" etc. I generally run through my routines, making sure I do every effect at least once. Then I bounce around and work on whatever I feel like working on until I see an improvement.

    If I'm learning something new, I do it very similar to what you said. I break it down, and make sure it looks like what it's imitating.

    Doing it this way keeps everything fresh and fun for me.
  14. Yep. I also should add that whenever I am bored of practicing or doing matgic, I leave the cards aside, I think I cannot improve my technique if I'm not enjoying it :)
  15. Same. On the rare occasions that I just don't feel up to doing/practicing magic, or reading about magic, then I just do something else. Magic isn't my whole life, and I don't want it to be. Luckily, though, my life is full of the responsibilities of being an adult that magic is almost always a welcome respite from the real world.
  16. Practice should be fun and not a chore.

    I tend to spend 30 min learning a set of effects I have written down, then I take a break and go other stuff for a few hours, then come back rinse and repeat.
  17. I would dissagree. There is a strong standard of magic that needs to be studied thouroughly. There is no excuse for a bad trick.
  18. SirFansAlot I value your opinion as well as others on the forum. I do argee with you word for word but you have missunderstood mines. There is no excuse for a bad trick and magic should be studied thouroughly.

    What I meant by it depends on the person and what they are going for is that are you going to be a magician, perform tricks and study every aspect of the tricks you are performing.

    Or are you going to study nothing but sleights and just give gambling demos and such. Or are your going to do both in routine.

    I believe that you should practice what you use and perfect it which is a process that takes longer for some than others.

    As a magician if you practice nothing but sleights your only learning a fraction of what magic is suppose to be.

    It depends on the person and what route they are going to take with their performance.

    Kind regards,

  19. God, that made me laugh out loud.

    So anyways, technically speaking, if you practiced a move for an hour, even if you were terrible at it, if you tried again tomorrow, you would be better? Considering your brain has had time to process the neural pathways or something like that..
    You could make little improvements over time with that, and do this with several moves at once, rather than 24/7 one move only to find out 10 days later you've been doing it all wrong and inefficiently?
  20. Very interesting thread. One thing I would add to this is the value that a video camera can add. Often I would practice something to my heart's content, and start performing it for spectators thereafter. Weeks would go by, months would go by, and then I would see a video of myself performing it - either a taped performance or a television spot. And holy moly - I would shudder!

    Often the way we sound, the way we talk, the way we move looks different than we think. Just like when you hear yourself talk in your own voicemail message, what we see and what others see can be hugely different! Early on, I made an effort to perform everything on video at least a few times to make sure that the way I was moving and speaking and presenting matched up with how I intended it to be. A video camera helps a lot in that pursuit.

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