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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » New to magic? » » Learning magic from books…10 Steps that work (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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RJ Hunt
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I am going to keep it simple and as straight forward as I can. This is what works for me and may work for you too. I was shown this method by some of the greatest minds in magic. And ALL the secrets of ALL the magic are in the books. And here is how I am mastering them.

Step 1) READ THE INTRODUCTION Most of the time magic writers will explain the best way to tackle the effects laid out in the book. (NO PROPS IN HANDS)

Step 2) FOLLOW THE ADVISE If the writer has take the time to explain how to study and learn from the book you are now holding I think you should listen to him. There maybe a reason for it. (NO PROPS IN HANDS)

Steps 3-10 are for when Step 2 dose not apply

Step 3) READ THE ENTIRE BOOK OR FIRST CHAPTER WITHOUT THE CARDS OR COINS OR WHATEVER IN YOU HAND. Most magic books can be read in a day, if not; read the first chapter or section of the book before you attempt to follow along. This is so important, and believe it or not, the reason why so many people make excuses for not being able to learn form books. Frustration is bound to happen and if the book is laid out in a progressive fashion and you jump right in you maybe missing something that was discussed in an earlier chapter. (NO PROPS IN HANDS)

Step 4) REREAD THE FIRST EFFECT AND TAKE NOTES: If the effect has a set up take notes on the set up in a way that makes it simple for you to understand. So you are not fumbling with the deck or whatever while trying to get thru the initial set up. This also serves as way to help memorize and can be an easy reference. Next and most important what moves are required in the effect and the order they are done. Other things to note are when something magical is supposed to happen during the effect. (NO PROPS IN HANDS)

Step 5) REVIEW YOU NOTES AND MAKE ANY CORRECTIONS: These notes are your key during practice and you should have them organized in a way that is clear and easy for you to recall. Also at this point you should be thinking about the actions described in the book and you should know, based on your notes where you are in the effect. (NO PROPS IN HANDS)

Step 6) READ THE EFFECT AGAIN PICTURING THE ACTIONS. Pretty simple here, also you should be checking your notes and adding anything you think is important. Also think about any moves you may know that accomplish the same thing or arrive at the same point. This is something you will be able to adapt as you become more advanced and more knowledgeable. (NO PROPS IN HANDS)

Step 7) GO BACK REVIEW YOUR NOTES MAKE CHANGES AS NEEDED: Pretty self explanatory. These notes should be as if you are not going to have access to the book for a while. (NO PROPS IN HANDS)

Step 8) CLOSE THE BOOK AND ATTEMPT THE EFFECT FOR THE FIRST TIME BASED ONLY YOUR NOTES: This is the first time you should have any props in your hands when you get to a point you can’t remember. Stop and practice the effect over and over up to that point. And most times during the practice you will recall what comes next and you did not even have to go to the book. But if you are stuck go to step 9.

Step 9) FIND THE POINT IN THE EFFECT AND MAKE CORRECTIONS TO YOUR NOTES: Do not go back and reread what you already know and can do. You were doing well but you forgot something so make the required adjustments and note that this is the first problem area of the effect for you. Make corrections as need so you will get it next time.

Step 10) CLOSE THE BOOK AND ATTEMPT THE EFFECT AGAIN BASED ON YOUR NOTES: If you get thru it, AWSOME!!! Give yourself a pat on the back, because you just STUDIED your first effect. If you do not get it from your notes go back and repeat step 9. You’ll have it the next time. To practice always refer to your notes and your find that your note taking will be more effective the more you STUDY!!!

You are now ready to move on to the next effect…

Why take notes when you have the book? First it helps you memorize the routine. And second, you can carry your notes with anywhere and practice anywhere, and if you think about something or something pops into your head regarding the current effect you are working on you can jot down. And last but not least, by taking notes you save the integrity of a book that may have been pretty expensive. And in some cases can even increase in value. So why mess it up?

I am not saying this is the right way or the best to study magic. I am merely sharing what works for me and works for a lot of fellow magi. And instead of learning tricks you are now studying the tricks and gaining a bigger understanding of the Art of Magic. And that is something no DVD or a thousand DVD’s will give you…

Enjoy and welcome to the world of Magic

RJ
kroberge
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I would say that this applies to just about anything. If you want to learn something you have to study, take notes, reflect and converse. Euclid's age old quote about geometry could be changed to say: "There is no royal road to magic"

As a newb I'm starting to realize the value of books of magic. I'm working through The Complete Course in Magic and see plenty of tricks in there that you could buy seperately. It has lots of information, hundreds of tricks that build on principles and presentation and so on. Its a really good bargain. Of course its not as flashy as buying a prop (I have a few) but its a long term investment. Buying a couple tricks won't make me a magician any more than a calculator makes you a mathematician. But long study and thought will help.

Anyway,Thanks for the nice post RJ

Kevin
ToasterofDoom
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I would also solidify the idea of never overloading the number of tricks you have to learn. I've kept the number to two or less at any given time. Any more, my patter and moves start jumbling up and I inevitably get confused.
Robert-o
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Great post
"Hey... How'd you do that?".
Andy the cardician
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I would like to add that Gerald Edmundson wrote a fantastic book called Ostrich Factor about practicing magic.

http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewt......forum=37

Andy
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RJ Hunt
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Quote:
On 2006-12-19 20:01, Andy the cardician wrote:
I would like to add that Gerald Edmundson wrote a fantastic book called Ostrich Factor about practicing magic.

http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewt......forum=37

Andy


Andy,

Thank you very much...I been trying to remember that book and I could not for the life of me...Big Help...THANKS MAN!!!

Also thanks to everyone for the comments I been getting about the post. I am glad to see I could help.

RJ
DomKabala
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Great advice RJ. I agree especially with steps 4 & 5. Taking notes does help tremendously with the learning process and I highly encourage everyone to keep a dated journal of all that you do. It not only provides a history of your journey thru magic but it is a great reference as you age and your memory begins to wane. Whenever I learn a new effect I document what I like or dislike about it and if there is an alternate methodology that I can come up with. It is a rarity that an individual can perform every sleight with the dexterity and consistency of a Vernon or Marlo, sometimes we have to adapt and find a solution or alternate means.
So, you should get in a habit of documenting these changes. I jot notes in the book as well as keep a running journal.
Cardamagically,
<<<KRaZy4KaRdZ>>> Smile
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Matt Malinas
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Great RJ that you took the time and try to give a wake up call to those who forgot all about books. very good advice. and like kroberge said, this applies to just about anything.
I hope that once people learn to learn they will realize how valuable books are.
because in my experience that is the hardest part. learning to learn.

-Matt
The masters make the rules, for the wise men and the fools
The Magician
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Great post
The Magician

Expect the Unexpected
ChristopherM
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Agreed - a very nice, structured piece of advice. Thanks for sharing.

Cheers

Chris
lion head
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Great post! It is a big help when the more experienced help the newer. I am glad you posted this it helps. I am going to take what you said and use it in my magic. And for the reply’s they help to. Thanks. Lion
RJ Hunt
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Thanks again to everyone...it's my pleasure.


And remember: Magic, is nothing more than a soulition to a problem...
Green Knight
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Sleightly_Dangerous,

Great piece of advise you have passed along. I am just starting over again and I picked up Roberto Giobbi's Card College to start back in with cards. If you don't start at page 1, you'll get lost later on.

One thing I was not doing was making my own notes... Should have remembered this trick from back in College... Oh well, back to page 1 for me and no more clean margin's from now on!

Thanks for the advise and the mods should seriously think about making this a sticky post as it would have been a good read from day 1.
MagiClyde
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Another thing to do would be to either highlight critical parts of the lesson and/or put some notes into the book itself to clarify or emphasize a point.

Also, once you move on to another chapter and learn it, remember to go back to previous chapters to brush up on what you've already learned. The old adage is true: Use it or lose it.

Once you learn the effect, experiment with it. Find new variations. Plan for possible mistakes. After I "mastered" the basic overhand shuffle from chapter one of RRTCM, I started to combine different handlings of that shuffle. I combined, for example, the injog and false shuffles.
Magic! The quicker picker-upper!
ilusionista
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Thank you so much for posting this Sleightly_Dangerous– it is a big help. I am working my way through MWCC and I feel that your tips on note taking will really help my studying.
in flames
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Excellent post! Thanks Sleightly_Dangerous
mrunge
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RJ, I just found this post and wanted to say "Thank you!" This is some fantastic advice and a great reminder for me.

Mark. Smile
MagiClyde
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I would like to add a note here that I, too, would like to see this one stick-taped to the top of this forum. There is just too much good advice here to see it get lost in the sauce.
Magic! The quicker picker-upper!
Andy the cardician
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Another thing when learning from any book - feel free to make notes, mark and scribble inside the book. Make it your work-book - unless you want it for collection reasons.

Andy
Cards never lie
RJ Hunt
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Again I want to thank all of you very much for the kind words...If anyone needs help please feel free to PM me.

"just do'in my part to help the art"

Thanks and good luck to all

Later & Out
RJ
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