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Hugokhf
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Hi,
I have no experience at all with cups and balls and sponge but I want to learn it now.
I previously only do card magic so I need a beginner source to learn cups and balls and sponge. Is there anything is like the Card College in cups and balls/sponge these days?

Also, I have skinny hand (so skinny that I cannot classic palm a smaller coin without my hands looking cramped), does it affect learning it? also my fingers are thin and there are holes between fingers even when I try to close it. Again, does it affect learning it?

thansk veyr much
hugo
Dr_J_Ayala
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There are many places to start in learning for both the Cups and Balls and Sponge Balls.

Michael Ammar is considered to be one of the best teachers of the Cups and Balls. His work and teachings are available in both DVD and book format, and they teach everything from complete beginner all the way up to advanced skills and techniques. I would recommend the books first, then move on to the DVDs.

Bill Tarr has an excellent book on sleight-of-hand magic that includes a section on cups and balls. There is also a section on billiard ball manipulation, from which certain sleights can be adapted to cups and balls work.

World's Greatest Magic DVD series has videos available for teaching Cups and Balls techniques, and a whole DVD dedicated to Sponge Balls.
Steve Dacri also has a Sponge Ball Tool Kit, which comes with certain props and is an excellent learning source for beginners on sponge ball technique.

If you can find it, there is the Encyclopedia of Sponge Ball Magic by Frank Garcia - which is considered one of the best resources for sponge work and Frank was truly a master. Also, look to the man that made sponge magic what it is today - Albert Goshman. There is a book out there somewhere, the name of which escapes me at the moment, that contains all sponge magic as done by Goshman.

I highly recommend all the above materials, which should give you plenty of things to start learning with.

Having skinny hands and thin fingers have nothing to do with learning proper CP/FP technique, especially in coin work. If your hand looks cramped when you are attempting a CP, you are probably not putting it in the proper position to begin with. The size of the coin/object does not really matter - it is your technique and depends on how much you practice. Everything should look natural and again, that will only come with proper technique and practice.

The spaces between your fingers are called windows (forgive me if you knew this already, but tone of your post says otherwise), and you just have to work on being able to close your fingers in such the way that there are no spaces. Yet again, this should not look awkward to a spectator, nor should it look obvious that you are holding something in your fingers. Practice holding different objects in FP and see what it takes to make those windows close whilst holding each object. Experiment with different sized objects with different textures and shapes.

The anatomy of a hand, both inside and out, varies from person to person so only you can ultimately know how to overcome those challenges, and that will only be found through use of proper technique and lots of practice.

I hope this information is useful to you.
rklew64
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Hi, I am the grumpy magic uncle here to say Dude, magic overload.
Just want to be the other side of not helpful.

Rich in skill, poor in performance will make your magic flat and bland.

This stuff is not overnight, your lucky many who advise you make many assumptions and offer you so called experience tip freebies but I'm saying it again, you are setting yourself up for a big fall.

Your questioning totally outs you as not having put in the work, way too premature. Harvesting shortcuts without any serious practice references will only drive you in many wrong directions with no true focus and can only be more distracting than helpful.

Believe it or not, you will realize what I'm doing here at some point. Why am I like this? I don't see any integrity. All I see is greed in gathering "advice".
Hugokhf
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Quote:
On 2011-07-25 01:28, rklew64 wrote:
Hi, I am the grumpy magic uncle here to say Dude, magic overload.
Just want to be the other side of not helpful.

Rich in skill, poor in performance will make your magic flat and bland.

This stuff is not overnight, your lucky many who advise you make many assumptions and offer you so called experience tip freebies but I'm saying it again, you are setting yourself up for a big fall.

Your questioning totally outs you as not having put in the work, way too premature. Harvesting shortcuts without any serious practice references will only drive you in many wrong directions with no true focus and can only be more distracting than helpful.

Believe it or not, you will realize what I'm doing here at some point. Why am I like this? I don't see any integrity. All I see is greed in gathering "advice".


to be honest, I have put lots of work in my card magic, thinking about magic every waking moment, and even thinking not only the sleights but also the presentation, like what should I say when I am counting the cards etc. I am currently also tryng to get experience in performing 'publicly' as all of th magicians will do.
I am trying as hard as I could to be a good magician, not a medicore one, but a good one.

I asked if there is a card college like of cups and balls because is is not a shortcut, it is a course so you can learn from the basics to the advance. I just don't see why you think I am trying to get shortcuts?

@dr j,
thanks very much for ur recommendation and I will definately look at those
as for the CP, I should have mentioned that it was the heavier coin which I struggled not the small ones (i mistyped it) Anyway, so do you mean that CP position is not the same for everyone? I saw videoes teaching using base of thumb and placing the coin in the center of the palm, but I feel more comfortable when placing my coin right/left to the palm. Am I learning it the wrong way? I asked because I don't want to mess up with my foundation.
yin_howe
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The Micheal Ammar CnB DVDs will get you started from ground zero, you may also find many other threads that recommend the Ammar DVDs as the best place to start. That is where I started.
"Talent without passion is talent wasted.."
Watchmaker
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Mr. Hugo,

First, don't be discouraged by small hands. Mr. Max Malini had small hands and was considered one of the greatest close up magicians ever.

Second, don't be put off on learning the cup and balls. Even if you never perform it for what ever reason, like maybe it doesn't fit a particular style, it will still serve you well to learn it. The slights and misdirection envolved is so easily applied to other tricks it's time well spent. Plus you never know, you might turn out to be the greatest cup and balls worker ever!

Mastery of something does take a lot of time and effort but it must begin somewhere.

Respectfully,

Phil
Bill Palmer
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Quote:
On 2011-07-25 00:15, Hugokhf wrote:
Hi,
I have no experience at all with cups and balls and sponge but I want to learn it now.
I previously only do card magic so I need a beginner source to learn cups and balls and sponge. Is there anything is like the Card College in cups and balls/sponge these days?

Also, I have skinny hand (so skinny that I cannot classic palm a smaller coin without my hands looking cramped), does it affect learning it? also my fingers are thin and there are holes between fingers even when I try to close it. Again, does it affect learning it?

thansk veyr much
hugo


@Hugo --

Maybe I can make some things easier for you. First, where are you located? I suspect that English is not your first language, so I may be able to help you find something in your native language that may be a good starting point.

The Michael Ammar DVD's are among the best for a beginner in the cups and balls. He starts you out with basic terminology, and gives you a foundation upon which to build a good cups and balls routine. By the time you finish the 2 DVD set, you will have not only three very solid routines to perform, but you will also have some basic knowledge of the history of the cups and balls.

The Bob White cups and balls DVD is also very good.

I'll let others tell you where to go for the sponge balls. I learned most of my sponge ball work from books and from teachers, so my knowledge of the DVD's and videotapes is somewhat limited.

A good knowledge of coin work is helpful in learning how to manipulate the balls.

Also, be sure to visit the cups and balls museum. It's on line. You will need a password, which I will provide you with, once you send me an e-mail requesting it. Just go to http://www.cupsandballsmuseum.com and follow the instructions on the home page.
"The Swatter"

Founder of CODBAMMC

My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

www.cupsandballsmuseum.com
Andrew Zuber
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Quote:
On 2011-07-25 01:28, rklew64 wrote:
I don't see any integrity. All I see is greed in gathering "advice".

Wow, so no one ever mentored you or pointed you in the right direction when you were looking for assistance?
"I'm sorry - if you were right, I would agree with you." -Robin Williams, Awakenings
Hugokhf
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I am definately getting Michael Ammar's DVD since it cost only 15USD each. It will be my first starting point.
As for where I am located, I am in Hong Kong, however, I think DVDs which speak English is fine for me since I understand 99% of what they say + visual help which is super useful. The only thing I struggle is books where they teach sleights but don't give you pictures.
ANyway, if you have sources of C&B in CHinese, I will really appreciate it.

also, just sent you an email for the museum password, I want to have a look at it

ps, if I just started playing it, is the $10 plastic cup good enough? And what size of sponge ball is recommended for small hands beginner?
yin_howe
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Hugokhf,

I am from Malaysia and am of Chinese decent. CnB doesn't seem to be popular over here as well, probably due to most younger magicians from Taiwan, HK, China, Korea, Malaysia, Singapore are being infuenced by Lu Chen, Lee Eung Gyol, An Ha Lim's super flashy style.

The plastic Red/Yelow/Blue set may not be suitable, if you want to learn along with the Ammar DVD set.

My 1st set of cups was an Alluminum UDAY set I think. Although very light, it served me well for practise and allowed me to see if I liked the CnB.

As for sponge balls, 1.5 inch should work fine.

From what I can tell from your posts you seem to be new to magic. Take it slow, don' try to learn everything/every type of magic at once.
"Talent without passion is talent wasted.."
Hugokhf
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I didn't decide to learn C&B until I was told I have a chance to do a voluntary show in christms in community centre. All I want to do is like the 3 shell game style C&B.
If it weren't the show, I would not have touched any other aspect of magic except for card

also, are these suitable and reasonably priced for beginners?
http://www.rnt2.com/index.php?dispatch=p......id=30204
Bill Hegbli
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This would be a good beginner set of Cups and Balls to learn with:

http://www.magicinc.net/irelandcupsalumi......ial.aspx

Resonably priced!
Vietnam Veteran 1967, Sgt. E-5

Graduate of Chavez College of Prestidigitation and Showmanship

"Magic With A Twist Of Comedy"
Hugokhf
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Quote:
On 2011-07-25 07:10, wmhegbli wrote:
This would be a good beginner set of Cups and Balls to learn with:

http://www.magicinc.net/irelandcupsalumi......ial.aspx

Resonably priced!


it is a shame that it cost $44 for shipping, even to UK
yin_howe
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There should be magic shops in HK right?
"Talent without passion is talent wasted.."
Dr_J_Ayala
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[quote]On 2011-07-25 02:32, Hugokhf wrote:
Quote:
@dr j,
thanks very much for ur recommendation and I will definately look at those

You are most welcome.

Quote:
as for the CP, I should have mentioned that it was the heavier coin which I struggled not the small ones (i mistyped it) Anyway, so do you mean that CP position is not the same for everyone? I saw videoes teaching using base of thumb and placing the coin in the center of the palm, but I feel more comfortable when placing my coin right/left to the palm. Am I learning it the wrong way? I asked because I don't want to mess up with my foundation.


Nobody can say whether you are learning something entirely the wrong way because everybody has to make some small change to a move to make it work best for them, and the CP is slightly different for everyone. This is due to individual anatomy and the size of the hand, which varies from person to person.

The way to find the best overall CP position is to open your hand flat, then curl the ring finger inward until it touches the palm of the hand. This will put a coin into a deeper CP position. Now open the hand again, and this time curl the middle finger inward until it touches the palm. This will put a coin into a higher CP position. They are both good positions and each have their advantages. After plenty of practice and when you have attained a good, solid CP, you should be able to do a CP in either position without any problems. Most people use the higher position because you have the aid of the fleshier part of the thumb base there. Just make sure that when you push a coin into CP using the middle or ring fingers, the thumb and the index finger are touching each other near the tips. The thumb swinging way out and then back in is a dead giveaway. Bill was right in that certain coin sleights will help you a lot in the realm of cups and balls.

Also remember that some coins may be easier to CP than others, depending on what type of edge they have. Coins can have milled edges, smooth edges and even interrupted milling. You may find one to work better than the other for yourself, and if so, use it! U.S. quarter and half-dollar size coins are a good place to start, and once you have gained proficiency through practice, you can work your way up to larger coins.

The Uday set of cups and balls is perfect for learning the basics of sleights, routines, etc. They are not expensive and they are also light, which is not always favored by cups and balls performers but as a beginner, you may appreciate that more. Anything than can be done with a $400+ set of cups can be done with a $20 set, and you may find that you never want to get a more expensive set, based on your style, venue, or any number of other things. As Bill mentioned, visit the Cups and Balls Museum - you will not be disappointed!

As for a magic shop more local to your area, try SEO Magic. I know they have a store in California, in the United States, but I believe they also have another store outside of Japan. They may have something along the lines of what you are looking for in a beginner set of cups.

I hope this information is useful to you.
Pete Biro
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Hugo... I have sent you a privae link to a magic seller in China that that has a set very low price to use for a beginner.
STAY TOONED... @ www.pete-biro.com
Donnie Buckley
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Quote:
On 2011-07-25 08:00, Hugokhf wrote:
Quote:
On 2011-07-25 07:10, wmhegbli wrote:
This would be a good beginner set of Cups and Balls to learn with:

http://www.magicinc.net/irelandcupsalumi......ial.aspx

Resonably priced!


it is a shame that it cost $44 for shipping, even to UK

That shipping charge is ridiculous. I ship to HK all the time for much less.
Learn the form, but seek the formless. Learn it all, then forget it all. Learn the way, then find your own way. Rings-N-Things
magicians
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Quote:
On 2011-07-25 10:55, Pete Biro wrote:
Hugo... I have sent you a private link to a magic seller in China that that has a set very low price to use for a beginner.

The price in he U.S. for an inexpensive c&b starts at $10 retail in metal. I almost hate to send him to China when stuff has already landed here.
Illusionist, Illusionist consulting, product development, stage consultant, seasoned performer for over 35 years. Specializing in original effects. Highly opinionated, usually correct, and not afraid of jealous critics. I've been a puppet, a pirate, a pawn and a King. Free lance gynecologist.
Pete Biro
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HE IS IN HONG KONG
STAY TOONED... @ www.pete-biro.com
Bill Palmer
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That set from RnT II is an excellent buy for the beginner. They are, in my opinion, a much better choice than the Magic, Inc. set that wmhegbli provided the link to.

The Ireland's set (from Magic, Inc.) was designed to be used with sponge balls, but not the kind of sponge balls we have today. The kind they were designed for were the old-fashioned sponge balls that were made of rough sponge rubber.

An even better choice, although it is more expensive, would be these:

http://www.rnt2.com/index.php?dispatch=p......id=29794

They have a much more usable shape, and will work with a larger crochet ball. Even with small hands, you shouldn't have any trouble using them.
"The Swatter"

Founder of CODBAMMC

My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

www.cupsandballsmuseum.com
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