(Close Window)
Topic: Weeks(?) learning coin production from back palm
Message: Posted by: ldrosenblum (Oct 26, 2009 03:12PM)
As a newbie (6 weeks), I'm quickly learning that many sleights take hours, if not days, of practice. But I'm wondering if I'm doing something wrong in my practicing.
I'm working to develop a Miser's Dream routine and would like to include a coin production (half dollar) from back palm position. It's taking me weeks, and am still not doing it consistently. I'm wondering if this is 'par for the course' or whether I should be using additional instructional material to facilitate my learning. I've been learning my back palm through the Bobo, Mark Wilson, and Tarbell books. Thanks everyone!
Message: Posted by: jhudsy (Oct 26, 2009 03:31PM)

One thing I was advised is to substitute the Tenkai palm for the back palm where possible. I still haven't been able to find a coin of the right size to back palm, but my Tenkai seems to be coming along (slowly). The back palm is, as far as I know, considered very very tricky.
Message: Posted by: othelo68 (Oct 26, 2009 06:13PM)
I'm not great at back palming coins but I've heard that a larger coin could make it a bit easier. try just holding it clipped between your first and fourth fingers for a while to get use to holding it there. then try putting in the same position in the back with your hand straight. then try transfering between the two positions. I've been trying this for a few months now and still can't do it perfect but its comming along try it. if it works great if not then I'm sorry for leading you down a bunny trail.
Message: Posted by: Bob Sanders (Oct 26, 2009 07:34PM)
For me, palming coins worked much better than the heavier real coins.

Bob Sanders
Magic By Sander
Message: Posted by: JamesTong (Oct 26, 2009 07:57PM)
There's more than one way to achieve the same effect. Why use something that is technically challenging to you? I would suggest using something simpler and not technically demanding such as Downs palm, thumb palm or even from finger palm. The idea is to appear the coins.
Message: Posted by: ldrosenblum (Oct 26, 2009 08:14PM)
Thanks folks-

I wasn't aware of the Tenkai palm, or that there was such a thing as 'palming coins'. I'll have to look into those. This could make the whole thing much easier. And while I do use finger palm when my hand back is facing out, I was assuming that having some variety in how I 'grabbed' the coins would be important which is why I was working on the back palm (for when my palm is facing out). Perhaps I am making this too hard for myself.
I guess this is what the 'new to magic' forum is for! Thanks everyone.
Message: Posted by: pradell (Oct 26, 2009 08:27PM)
Hank Lee's Magic Factory has some palming coins you can check out at:


Message: Posted by: ldrosenblum (Oct 27, 2009 01:27AM)

Thanks Pradell. The price for these palming coins at Hank Lee's certainly seems good.

Message: Posted by: JamesTong (Oct 27, 2009 03:39AM)
If you want to produce the coins with the palms facing the audience, I would suggest the Down's palm and it is not technically challenging. I use that for my misers dream too - for production, throwing into the bucket, appearently tossing the coin into the air, etc.
Message: Posted by: harris (Oct 27, 2009 09:39AM)
Downs Palm is great...I prefer Tenkai over back palm...

If it was easy everyone would be doing it.

still learning about coins for 30 + years...
Message: Posted by: ldrosenblum (Oct 27, 2009 11:41AM)
I'll try out the Downs and Tenkai palms, they sound much more manageable than the back palm.
But frankly, even a coin production from finger palm is taking much practice to perform in a smooth, convincing way. I guess patience is key when learning sleights.

Thanks for the ideas everyone!

Message: Posted by: ldrosenblum (Oct 27, 2009 01:52PM)
I've done a bit of research, and the Downs palm definitely seems useful for Miser's Dream.

But, I'm having trouble finding tutorials/descriptions of the Tenkai Palm - which, I assume, is the same as the Tenkai Pinch, and Goshman Pinch. I've checked Bobo, Tarbell, Mark Wilson, and the internet. Any recommendations on where to pick this up?

Thanks again, everyone.
Message: Posted by: DN777 (Oct 27, 2009 04:37PM)
The multiple downs palm production is great for the miser's dream and taught in Jeff McBride's Coin Ball and Thimble volumes.
Message: Posted by: ldrosenblum (Oct 27, 2009 10:29PM)
Thanks Daniel-

I was thinking of ultimately using a multiple downs. I have to say that it does look a bit intimidating for a newbie - but I'll definitely try it after I feel comfortable with the one coin downs.


Message: Posted by: Strange Tasting Fish Sticks (Oct 28, 2009 12:12AM)
The backpalm can be tricky. I learned it in my left hand (even though I am right handed) and can do it pretty good but it takes time. Something I've noticed with a flourish I learned like the four coin roll down, it doesn't happen instantly. Sleights and flourishes seem to take time, when I first started it I couldn't do any steps of it at all. Then I could do a little bit, then I could do the next step of the flourish, until finally I could do the whole flourish once in every 20 tries. Then that got eventually reduced to once in 10 tries successfully, then every time.

I can't produce multiple coins from downs palm or back palm, it is quite tricky. Be sure if you want to do the misers dream with multiple downs palm production you choose worn out circulated US silver..(You can find it in the 'junk' bin at most coin shops)
They are soft and you don't get the noise from them sliding.

There are other sleights such as the classic palm that take literally years and years to get really good at. I've practiced the classic palm for 2 years now every day and It still is not 'great', its not bad but its not that good either.

I suggest you visit http://www.coinvanish.com and check out the information on that site. It will help you a lot in coin magic. If you want to eventually learn the classic palm be sure to learn it in both hands.

Good luck, and keep at it. Remember a lot of people fail at certain things but if they only realized how close they were to success before they quit, they wouldn't.

Don't give up on it, I can't tell you how frusterated I have become of the classic palm. I want a great one like david roths, or david stone but I've come to realize this can take a decade or more of constant practice. I'm not going to give up on it but you have to remain strong and never give up..

Good luck
Message: Posted by: jhudsy (Oct 28, 2009 05:50AM)
Hi again,

I'm a newbie, but as far as I know, the Tenkai palm and pinch (and Goshman pinch) are the same thing. While they're considered simple, its taken me two weeks or so to get to the point where I can do them in both hands around 90% of the time...

So like others have said, just keep plugging away at it, and good luck.
Message: Posted by: JamesTong (Oct 28, 2009 06:23AM)
Yes, practice, practice and more practice, is the key.
Message: Posted by: jake.o (Oct 28, 2009 07:27AM)
I used to have a lot of problems with the goshman pinch until I got jay sankeys revolutionary coin magic dvd where he explaines and teaches the move very well and shows you many uses for it.
Message: Posted by: Servaas Koomen (Oct 28, 2009 07:54AM)
You could check out the ben salinas coin dvd. don't know if tenkai is in there, but it gave me a kickstart on coin magic
Message: Posted by: jhudsy (Oct 28, 2009 10:22AM)
Hi Servaas, The Tenkai/Goshman is a bonus feature on Ben Salinas' modern coin magic dvd. I'd heartily recommend the dvd to anyone working through Bobo's, its great to not only read a move, but see it performed.
Message: Posted by: Noel M (Oct 28, 2009 11:36AM)
If your goal is doing the Miser's Dream, consider Levent's DVD on the subject. He demonstrates just about every palm and sleight you might need. It's gotten great reviews here and if you hurry you might still be able to buy it before the price goes up. Do a search on Levent or the MD and you'll find it.
Message: Posted by: ldrosenblum (Oct 28, 2009 11:56AM)
Thanks for all the DVD suggestions folks-

I'll look into all of them. And also thanks for the encouragement. I'm relieved to know that it's taken many of you a very long time to master these palms. I assumed that it would take some practice, but wasn't aware of the amount of patience one needs before feeling ready to use a palm in a performance. Unlike learning a new lick on guitar for jamming purposes, you're either ready to perform a sleight, or you're not - there's really no spontaneous "let's try this out" during a live magic performance. I'm quickly learning the importance of practice, now I need to learn the necessity of patience.

Thanks again,

Message: Posted by: JamesTong (Oct 29, 2009 03:08AM)
Keep practicing Larry. I have been practicing certain routines for years and they have not even been performed live yet.

So the key, besides just practicing, is to have a 'learning and practice journal' (which I have) and note down important information such as the dates you started, notes on your progress, technical remarks on your execution (good or bad), etc, etc.

This journal will be valuable to you in the long run. Its like a progress dairy.
Message: Posted by: Servaas Koomen (Oct 29, 2009 03:12AM)
What also helped for me is to practice sleights that I really used in a current effect. it was more fun for me that way
Message: Posted by: scaevola (Oct 29, 2009 02:42PM)
Unlike learning a new lick on guitar for jamming purposes, you're either ready to perform a sleight, or you're not - there's really no spontaneous "let's try this out" during a live magic performance. I'm quickly learning the importance of practice, now I need to learn the necessity of patience.


Yeah you hit the nail on the head right here. I have been practicing various back clips and techniques for YEARS. Some of it is ready for spectators and I use everyday, some of it is not.
Message: Posted by: ldrosenblum (Oct 29, 2009 03:25PM)
Thanks for all the encouragement-

You know, as I was thinking about my experience and your input, I realized that I have actually written about something that is quite relevant: the neuroplasticity behind learning an expert motor skill.
It's a short excerpt from my upcoming book that some of you may find interesting. It's long but a pretty easy read:

To get a sense of how short-term plasticity changes to longer-term plasticity, consider this experiment. A group of non-musicians were taught to use their right hand to play a complex pattern on a digital piano keyboard. The keyboard was connected to a computer so that the subjects’ fingering errors, fluidity, and rhythmic consistency could be monitored. Subjects practiced this pattern for two hours on each of five consecutive days. Unsurprisingly, the precision and consistency of the subjects playing increased significantly over this period.

Brain scans (mapping, actually) were conducted on each day before and after the practice sessions. These scans revealed that across the five days, the brain areas dedicated to controlling the muscles of the right-hand fingers increased. However, this increase only appeared after the two hour practice sessions on each day. Scans conducted before the subjects practiced, failed to reveal any change in the size of the relevant brain areas. The practice-induced plasticity was short-lived, reverting to its original state by the next day. At the same time however, once a practice session reestablished the plasticity changes, those changes did benefit from the accumulated experience. This fact, no doubt, was related to the improved performance subjects displayed over the five days.

Now, at this point in the experiment, half the subjects were let off the hook: they stopped practicing the keyboard pattern altogether. The other group however, continued practicing the pattern for two hours, Monday through Friday, for the next four weeks. On each Monday morning and Friday afternoon, all subjects’ brains were scanned. The results were stunning. While the group of subjects who stopped practicing showed brain area maps just like those they exhibited before the experiment began, the practicing group showed continued reorganization. But most interesting was the fact that for the group that had practiced for four weeks, their Monday morning scans—scans taken after a weekend without practice—also showed this reorganization. This means that the reorganization induced by four weeks of practice was more permanent, evident even after two days of rest. It’s likely that the four weeks of practice created the longer-term neuroplasticity indicative of actual nerve cell growth.

Practice doesn’t just make perfect: It makes plasticity permanent.
Message: Posted by: scaevola (Nov 13, 2009 11:53PM)
You can get really good with the coins in practice but then drop them when you do it live. Not only are you trying to do some fine motor coordination, you are trying to psychologically outwit people too. Coin work is hard. It's similar to music but also very different.

The main difference is in music you can hear yourself play. When those keyboardists practiced in your article, they knew when they were messing up for sure. Because of the theatrical and psychological nuances of magic, I can practice my coin moves in a mirror but still mess up when I try to do a trick for a spectator. That's why in addition to endless hours of practice of individual moves, it is also necessary to practice the moves IN CONTEXT and also for live people.
Message: Posted by: JamesTong (Nov 14, 2009 06:02AM)
Fully agree with your thoughts.
Message: Posted by: DWRackley (Nov 14, 2009 07:05PM)

I really appreciate your post. I play the keyboard regularly in public, and often we will have a week (or less) to learn a new part. We have a saying (well actually we have two: one is “Grab a wrinkle and hang on!”). The one [i]relevant[/i] to this post is “Practice [b]doesn’t[/b] make perfect. [b]PERFECT[/b] Practice makes perfect.”

I’ve always been fascinated with the function of memory, largely for personal reasons, but I’m also working on a book dealing with practical methods of “reprogramming” the hippocampus/amigdala to overcome both long and short-term fear (which can very much apply to stage fright!)

Without meaning to over-simplify, repetition is a key to MANY accomplishments!
Message: Posted by: ldrosenblum (Nov 14, 2009 11:01PM)
Yep, folks -

I completely agree with your posts. Having experience playing music, I can say that while there are similarities to practicing sleights, magic does have additional complications - those you've mentioned.

I am happy to report that I can actually feel, and see myself improve two of the sleights I've been practicing. I've been working on both the finger and down's palm for Miser's dream purposes, and after about six weeks, it's really getting there! Not quite ready for performing yet, but I see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Of course I'm still months, if not years away from a back palm, but the improvement is encouraging. (And you've all convinced me to not wait until I get the back palm to try a few Miser mini-performances.) Regardless, it's really quite a treat to learn that even a middle-aged brain can learn new tricks.

And I appreciate everyone's support in the endeavor!


Message: Posted by: JamesTong (Nov 14, 2009 11:09PM)
Larry, I am glad to hear you are seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. Enjoy!
Message: Posted by: asgar (Nov 16, 2009 05:27PM)
1.I'm planning to produce multiple coins from back of the hand.but it seems really hard.Did he really do it on the stage.I've been manipulating coins since I was quite young so coins are not new to me but this sleight requires strength from all your fingers at the same time.2.do you guys use half dollar of silver dollar also find it difficult to produce multiple silver dollar for multiple coins produce from downs palm.i find multiple silver dollars are hard to handle but good for back palming.3.I'm trying to do back palming for some time but the hands still don't look natural .Though it looks like the pics in the books or the vdos but I'm not quite satisfied with it .Is there room to improve?i think back palming is not that good for close up or you can use it in closeup only when you move your hands quickly.any comments please.
Message: Posted by: Strange Tasting Fish Sticks (Nov 22, 2009 02:16AM)
I can easily backpalm one coin but not quite sure how you would palm multiple coins due to the nature of the backpalm. The fingers need to grasp the coin and Im not sure how you can backpalm another coin while already palming one....time to check Modern Coin Magic DVD and check again.