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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Time after time » » Muscle memory (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Regular user
163 Posts

Profile of indridcold
I was wondering if people here learn better using muscle memory in their magic (or brain memory) for most effects? Playing the piano a lot, I use muscle memory a lot so after a some run-throughs I can find I do it automatically.

Do other people think a lot when doing magic? I think it makes me way too nervous if I use my brain.
Emily Belleranti
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Tucson, Arizona
349 Posts

Profile of Emily Belleranti
When I am first learning a new sleight/effect I do have to concentrate on the mechanics, but after a few practice sessions with it, it starts to become automatic (and that is certainly how I want it to be when I use it in performance).

My personal goal for performance is to have both the mechanics and the presentation of the effect so thoroughly down that I can keep most of my focus on my audience.
"If you achieve success, you will get applause, and if you get applause, you will hear it. My advice to you concerning applause is this: Enjoy it, but never quite believe it."

-Robert Montgomery
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North Carolina
61 Posts

Profile of oldmanxxvi
Muscle memory is the key. If you are concentrating on what you are doing during a performance the audience will know. You will pause, or there will be an interuption in your movements that the audience will pick up on. Keep practicing until you can do your effect without any thought at all.

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Veteran user
324 Posts

Profile of santlerconjurer
Music helps. I've been doing the zombie to the same spooky music since, oh, let's just say Gerald Ford was President then. By now, all I have to do is hear that music and anything shiny and round that happens to be in the vicinity starts floating around the room on its own.
Jonathan Townsend
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Eternal Order
Ossining, NY
27082 Posts

Profile of Jonathan Townsend
AFTER the basic learning and angle checking and fidgeting and refining... THEN comes the use of muscle memory... for me.

I lost a few good sleights by committing the things to habit too quickly and not understanding the details that make the material work properly. all the coins I've dropped here
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New user
New York
63 Posts

Profile of flooglestreet
Ever try the "Think method" (the name is from Meredith Wilsons Music man)? Remeber how the slight felt to you when you are drifting off to sleep. There is a book called Psycho-Cybernetics which goes into detail on the "Think Method". Smile
If ya wanna be the Top Banana, Ya gotta start at the bottom of the Bunch (Johnny Mercer)
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Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada
126 Posts

Profile of TheCaffeinator
As a piano player myself, I have found that muscle memory must be complemented by brain memory to be truly useful, particularly when dealing with lengthy series of movements. If you're relying on muscle memory alone, what happens if you get stopped in the middle of a sequence? Muscle memory enables you to carry out a series of movements without consciously thinking about them; but when a sequence is interrupted, brain memory can provide the context necessary to enable you to identify where you are in the sequence and where you need to go next.
Alan Munro
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Inner circle
Kentwood, Michigan, USA
5732 Posts

Profile of Alan Munro
Muscle memory has to be there, but cognitive memory helps as a backup. The unconscious processes free up the mind to handle unusual circumstances, as well as making the moves smoother.
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