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Topic: How do you spring your cards? (thumb or front)
Message: Posted by: Orlan (May 6, 2012 09:02PM)
Am I the only person that does a card spring releasing the cards from the front fingers? It looks like everyone else springs from the thumb.
I'm just curious, I can't be the only one! :)

Message: Posted by: The Amazing Pog (May 7, 2012 11:56AM)
I'm really not the guy to listen to - I'm a total newb. However, just to start the discussion rolling, I spring from my thumb from my left hand (pretty badly, though), but some reason find I can only spring from my fingers on my right ... ???
Message: Posted by: fingerjack (May 7, 2012 06:48PM)
Thumb and little finger, releasing from thumb. Best method possible in my opinion for most hands. Thanks, Jerry!
Message: Posted by: saurabh (May 8, 2012 09:20PM)
I'm also new here, looking to get things off!

I use the thumb as it makes for a longer and more controlled spring. But its just personal preference.

Here's a Spring tutorial from the Buck Twins on their youtube channel. He explains both the thumb and the finger versions in detail.

Message: Posted by: Anatole (Jun 19, 2012 06:28PM)
In the instructional video that I produced back in 1990 (coincidentally titles "The Art of Card Manipulation" many years before Jeff McBride's three-video set was released) I point out that one advantage of spring the cards by releasing them with the thumb is that the audience can more easily see the faces going by, which to me has to be just slightly more visually appealing than seeing a lot of backs flying by.

I also pointed out that springing from the thumb means that the cards are flying toward the body, and if the catching hand is held against the waist, the body can help prevent loose cards from flying out of control.

I think I did point out in the video, too, that the technique for springing from the fingers is later adapted to both the pressure fan and arm spreads.

----- Amado "Sonny" Narvaez
Message: Posted by: Suren (Jun 20, 2012 05:38AM)
The correct way is to spring cards from your thumb, which contacts inner corner of the deck. There are no right or wrond ways in cardistry but card spring is a little different.Springing from corner with your thumb gives you much more control and a better rhytm. Adding your oinki to the outer edge might give you additional help for controlling cards.Also, while springing from fingers the catch is not as beautiful as in the thumb version, becuause while springing the deck from thumb your catching them in a straddle grip, which, in my opinion, is a nice detail.
Hope I helped you.
Message: Posted by: Magic-Scott (Jun 23, 2012 09:53AM)
I spring from the thumb - better control
Message: Posted by: todsky (Jul 9, 2012 06:27AM)
Thumbs for me.
Message: Posted by: Atom3339 (Jul 9, 2012 10:32AM)
Yep. All thumbs.
Message: Posted by: SilvaAce (Jul 16, 2012 04:39PM)
I spring with the fingers! I hold the entire deck in palming position and let the cards spring off my fingers without ever using my thumb at all. I like this because I can keep the top card in palm position after the spring and produce the card later.
Message: Posted by: Orlan (Jul 16, 2012 10:22PM)
Since Anatole mentioned Jeff McBride, I remember I bought his videos (The Art of Card Manipulation) on VHS when they first came out and really wanted to learn some of the stuff. Just dusted off my copy (I bought a VHS->DVD machine a few years back to preserve a bunch of tapes) and that's the source!

He says "I spring from the tips of my fingers, other magicians prefer springing the cards off the thumb", and then proceeds to explain how he does it.

I guess I could have bought Anatole's Art of Card Manipulation and I would then spring the cards from the thumb like everyone else :-p .
At least I'm in good company knowing that Jeff McBride also springs from the fingertips :). Oh, and also SilvaAce! Thanks for the solidarity!

Message: Posted by: JJKnight (Jul 22, 2012 10:53AM)
I seem to be really messed up compared to you guys. I can only spring from right hand to left using a diagonal grip with thumb and ring finger! My release seems to feel like it is more thumb than finger but they just kind of slip from my grip without a lot of control so I guess it could be either.
Message: Posted by: Anatole (Jul 22, 2012 11:46AM)
Whether one springs cards from the fingers or thumbs is purely a matter of preference. Although I do have my personal preference, I demonstrated and explained both techniques in my instructional video so that people could try both versions on their own and decide what suits them best. That's what a good teacher/coach should do. (In a similar unbiased fashion, I demonstrated how to do a card fan using either a pressure fan or thumb/finger fan, pointing out the advantages and disadvantages of both techniques.)

Adopting a technique because a majority of people do it is not a very creative way to approach learning something. The majority of tennis players, for instance, use a one-handed backhand. That served well for players like Pancho Gonzales, Ken Rosewall, Rod Laver, Pete Sampras, Steffi Graf, Ivan Lendl, and Roger Federer. However, one can't argue with the phenomenal success that Andre Agassi and Bjorn Borg enjoyed with a two-handed backhand.

When it comes to learning any art form or skill, it helps to at least be aware of and explore the options that are available to the student so that an intelligent, well-informed choice can be made--keeping in mind that that choice is not carved in stone.

In any event, the spring flourish is generally such a small detail in any magic act that it is not likely that it will affect the audience's enjoyment of the performance one way or the other. Channing Pollock did not do the flourish at all in his classic act. Neither did Johnny Hart, IIRC.

----- Amado "Sonny" Narvaez
Message: Posted by: kalin_inkov (Aug 1, 2012 03:32AM)
I've been practicing springing the card from the thumb since 12 years. I really love this method.

Message: Posted by: Dick Oslund (Dec 26, 2012 05:38PM)
Well Sonny! Here's where thee and me part company!!! Hee Hee.

I learned to do the cascade or spring shuffle in 1946. I have an 8 x 10 of me doing it about 22 years ago, and the cards in the right hand are at shoulder height while the cards in the other hand, that is catching the cards, is at waist height.

When I first started to learn it, I used the thumb release. The cards were propelled toward the body and to me it cramped the visual appeal. So, I have released cards from the fingers for almost 65 years. As I age, I have less strength in the fingers and lately, I'm lucky to get a 15" spread. It used to be almost 24".

I have seen guys who shoot the cards in an almost horizontal direction. -- and they do a 'body swing' simultaneously. To me it looks "cramped".

If you use the thumb, how do you do the armspread and turnover??? Ditto, a pressure fan?

De gustibus non est disputandum! (Concerning tastes, we cannot argue.)

So, there!!!! C O L (chuckling out loud)

I think I still have your address. I'll send you a glossy. I'll enclose it with the clipping of Earl and Donna.

Maybe we could have a duel!!! Shuffles at 50 paces???!!!

Maybe I had better call Ricki--if we're going to use Cards As Weapons!!!
Message: Posted by: Dick Oslund (Dec 26, 2012 06:15PM)
Sonny~~~I THOUGHT I HAD YOUR ADDRESS. In fact, I was SURE I had your address! Apparently, I don't have your address!!!And I can't seem to bring up the right screen to PM you! (This infernal electrisch peckenclacker is getting the best of me again, today.

I've pulled out an 8 x 10 of me and the Cascade Shuffle + a Lyceum sheet from Dakota Assemblies with the same picture printed. Also, the clipping of Earl and Donna is in the envelope.

My email>>>>> d.oslund77@gmail.com

Gettin old is the pits~
Message: Posted by: Anatole (Dec 29, 2012 02:27PM)
To answer Dick Oslund's question "If you use the thumb (to spring the cards), how do you do the armspread and turnover??? Ditto, a pressure fan?"

I use the fingers for the armspread/turnover and also for the pressure fan. I don't recall a (pardon the expression) rule of thumb that says if you use the thumb to release the cards in one flourish that you have to use the thumb to release the cards for all flourishes.

If you watch the Cardini clip from "Festival of Magic" at
at about 1:50 when he does the spring flourish, it looks to me like Cardini releases from the thumb. I think it would be difficult to do the spring flourish and at the same time turn the body toward the right and so the faces of the cards can be seen as in the Cardini clip.

I learned my spring/pressure flourishes from Henry Hay's _The Amateur Magician's Handbook_, and in the section on flourishes (page 80) he mentions that "if the cards slide off your thumb rather than the fingers, your stomach will help catch the cards." He doesn't say anything at all whether one method is better or more prestigious than the other.

I did some magic for Henry Hay (real name Barrows Mussey) and his wife in a restaurant in Germany one evening and Mussey flattered me saying, "You do that (the pressure fan) better than I do." (That same evening he did a very brief Miser's Dream routine using what is called the "edge, oblique or Downs palm" in the book--and it looked like pure magic--the way it would look if you really could reach into the air and produce a coin. And please check the edge palm in the book on pages 132-136. What Hay calls the "edge palm" is rarely seen nowadays. But done properly I think it is the best way to produce coins because in what other people call the edge palm (but which Hay calls "the crotch palm," the thumb is sort of hidden behind the hand.)

As I've often said, if an act is entertaining, it doesn't matter a whole lot what technique the magician uses. I can do a very nice waterfall flourish, but really the audience couldn't care less if I used an electric deck--right? And certainly they would never be able to tell the difference.

----- Amado "Sonny" Narvaez
Message: Posted by: Dennis Loomis (Jan 22, 2013 07:29PM)
I learned to spring cards from Dick Oslund. But I couldn't do it very well until I switched to doing it off my thumb. So that's how I've done it for many years. Probably more like 55 years than Dick's 65.

Dick, as our pal Jasper would have said: "It's a matter of personal preference and little consequence."

Dennis Loomis
Message: Posted by: SWiCh (Feb 12, 2013 03:06PM)
I use the thumb, and hold opposite corners of the deck (the guys from the Virts 'taught' me, see: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sE1P7fINjX8). There is a certain 'feel' about getting it right, when the cards just seem to flow - and I know how pretentious that sounds!

I had a magic lesson with an incredibly talented guy in the UK, who springs from the top and bottom, but for me it can look clumsy (although the chap in question did not have this issue!).
Message: Posted by: Cubby199 (Aug 5, 2013 01:22AM)
For me I put my middle to ring finger on one of the short sides of the card.. Then I put my thumb in the corner and slowly apply pressure.
Message: Posted by: kalin_inkov (Jan 6, 2016 06:01AM)
Hi, fellows!
A long time ago I started with a plastic deck and after that I moved to any other decks very comfortable. And by the way I'am springing cards using mainly the thumb, but I learned other methods.
Message: Posted by: PeterOwens (Feb 27, 2016 12:03PM)
I spring them from the front fingers, I do the middle right finger, works well for me.

Message: Posted by: JacksonAces (Apr 12, 2016 11:36PM)
I've tried both and found springing from the thumb to give the most distance and control... I spring from opposite corners as well
Message: Posted by: JassTan (Nov 4, 2016 05:53PM)
I also tried both, interesting thing is they sound very diffrent, the front finger one shoot more horizontally.
But just like what JacksonAces say, thumb has more control with, card goes where the thumb points.
Message: Posted by: macc (Nov 6, 2016 09:15AM)
I learned the spring from jerry cestkowski...from his part on the dvd xtreme beginners, his encyclopedia of playing card flourishes...and he helped me out a bit via email.

he releases from the thumb and I really prefer it....like itīs already been mentioned, more control, distance and imho it looks way better.
Message: Posted by: Sleight Of Mind (Nov 28, 2016 05:28PM)
I learn the spring from here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sE1P7fINjX8
very detail explanation , they teach it from the thumb.
Never tried springing card from the front fingers yet.