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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » New to magic? » » Tarbell - Where to Start? (2 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

bwinn
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Hello fellow Magicians,
I just got all Eight volumes of The Tarbell Course in Magic, but don't know where to start. Should I just read through each book in order, or skip around to what I'm interested in?
Thanks!
Abracadabra, Hocuspocus, and all that Jazz
Dick Oslund
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Wow! You're a most fortunate young man!

The Tarbell COURSE is just THAT. IT'S A C O U R S E.

When you started school in Kindergarten, you didn't study algebra! --not even long division! Colleges begin with " " 101, not 303. Tarbell begins with a bit of history. READ IT!

Then Doc. discusses magic as a science. In both "essays" there is nothing exceptionally technical. You will begin to understand the fundamentals. You need a FOUNDATION before you can build a house!

Then he begins with very basic sleights and tricks. I remember struggling with a few of them, but, I learned them.

Frankly, I am not, and, never was, very interested in card tricks. (For my money, the best card trick in Tarbell is the Card in the Orange"!!! SO! I "skimmed" them, enough to grasp the PRINCIPLES. Ditto, mathematical tricks! I skimmed through them, and have NEVER "missed them".

The original COURSE was a CORRESPONDENCE COURSE. The learner received the material, ONE LESSON AT A TIME, printed on 8 1/2 x 11
sheets of paper, A large binder was furnished to file them in. (Also a little box came with a TT, a dye tube, and some palming coins, etc.

You will soon find that the hardbound volumes that you have, contain somewhat archaic patter, and, presentations. STUDY the PRINCIPLES! Most of my professional program which I used to make a living for 50 years, came from TARBELL! (I updated the patter and presentations!)

A young man, about your age, whom I have been mentoring, listens! Last winter, he was awarded a scholarship to the Columbus Ohio MagiFest. A month or so ago, he received a scholarship worth about $1600. to the Tannen Magic Camp (for youth). PLUS, he just received another scholarship to Jeff McBride's "Master Magic Course". He is STUDYING the TARBELL COURSE!

I understand the impatience of youth! --That's NORMAL!!! The ancient Romans had a motto: "FESTINA LENTE!" That means, "Make haste slowly!" The function of a mentor is to COUNSEL, and ENCOURAGE. I don't DICTATE.

If you are seriously interested in learning to be a magician, you MUST "Festina Lente"! THERE AINT NO SHORT CUTS. THERE AINT NO SHALLOW END IN THIS POOL!

Keep a notebook as you study Tarbell! Volume Seven has an INDEX. Use it.

Enough preaching! Start reading! Start studying!

The Chinese have a proverb: "The journey of a thousand miles, begins with a single step!"

I knew Doc Tarbell. He knew the principles!!! You can learn them, too, if you're willing to study them.
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
Julie
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Hello bwinn

There are TWO sofcover publications that might be useful to you:
1.) THE TARBELL COMPANION edited by Steve Burton "written and Illustrated by Harlan Tarbell".
Published in 1994, this is intended to compliment your study of the original course.

2.) THE TARBELL STUDY GUIDE compiled and edited by Steve Burton copyright 1995. This is a true study guide and the author mentions all 8 of the books in his forward.

I do not know if either or both of these are still in print, but I imagine there are copies floating around the secondary market.

Have FUN!

Julie
Dick Oslund
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P.S.!

Naturally, most young guys are interested in learning TRICKS!

S.H. SHARPE, was not the world's greatest PERFORMER, but, he UNDERSTOOD MAGIC!

Regarding TRICKS, he said: "...Those who think that magic consists of doing tricks, are strangers to magic.
Tricks are only the crude residue from which the lifeblood of magic has been drained."

When I was a teenager in the '40s, Dariel Fitzkee authored a trilogy, "Showmanship", "The Trick Brain", and "Magic By Misdirection"

Here's his thought on "tricks": "I must insist that tricks are but tools. This eagerness to add new tools to the workshop, at the expense of learning how to use the tools we already possess, definitely results in overcrowded workshops, but unskilled artisans."

I will PM you in a day or two.
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
Dick Oslund
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Hi Julie!

I'm not sure that those two publications are still in print either.

I plan to PM Bwinn with a few thoughts on where he might find copies. I don't KNOW Steve Burton, and, haven't read his two supplements to Doc's masterpiece, but, Denny Haney (Denny & Lees Studio--Baltimore) may very likely have used copies.

I'm also recommending that he find a copy of Ken Weber's "Making Magic Entertaining".
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
Julie
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Dick, you never cease to amaze me with all the things (and people) you know! Our friend bwinn is indeed fortunate to have you providing guidance.

Julie
ScottMN
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Dick,

Really appreciate your insight - I recently acquired the Tarbell Course as well, and decided to work through it completely as a way to better educate myself and just broaden my foundation.
Dick Oslund
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Thanks, Scott!

You'll never regret your decision!

I'm glad that bwinn asked this question! He is, evidently, a young man who is THINKING! (The only "dumb" question is the one that "you" didn't ask!!!)

In a sense, TARBELL is the "sandbox", that we all played in, when we were starting out. (I flunked "sandbox" in Kindergarten! --The other kids built a "castle", I just made a shack!)

"But seriously folks" (as some of the old comedians, "usta" say) Doc. Tarbell didn't just write a "magic book". As I said to bwinn, Doc really wrote what his magnum opus is called: The Tarbell COURSE IN MAGIC. Doc wrote it as a CORRESPONDENCE COURSE. Such courses were popular, at the time (late 1920s). Egad! --It's still "in print"!!!

I was born and raised in the "U.P. of MICHIGAN, far from the "big cities". Fortunately, C. Thomas Magrum did his school show at the Senior High School in November of 1946. He also did the Junior High that day. I was able to attend both shows, and, get acquainted with Clem. He passed my name along to Vincent Malmstrom, Postmaster in a town, 60 miles away! (Vincent has a trick/routine (Organ Pipes) Vol. 6, p379.) Mr. Malmstrom, wrote a postcard, inviting me to meet him when he attended a postmasters' meeting in Escanaba, shortly after. We spent a great evening, and, he offered to loan me his TARBELL, one volume at a time! I accepted his offer (!!!) and, for the next six months, I "took the course"! >>>WOW!<<<

"Ait Sevyn Tou's" (Vincent's "magic name", according to an article by him in "The Dragon" (a magic "magazine", defunct for several eons!) wonderful courtesy, was a MAJOR HELP in my development as a magician. (Magrum, and, another old pro', Roy Mayer, became MAJOR MENTORS, also.

I started on page ONE, and worked my way through page 417 of Volume 5. That was the "whole course, at the time. It was an excellent investment of my time in those early years.

When another early mentor, Stuart Ross died after a too brief mentorship, I inherited Stuart's original correspondence course "edition". Reading it, I realized that Lou Tannen, the "red haired magic dealer, had made some slight "changes" in some of the text. (He "substituted" a few tricks, that he sold! but, it was substantially TARBELL!)

Some years later, I purchased from Jay Marshall, an autographed, presentation set of the first five volumes. My volume 6 is autographed by Lou Tannen. I really should send my volume 7 to Harry Lorayne! And, as soon as I can save up the postage, (heehee) I will probably do that!!!!!

Much of what I did for a living for 50 years, came from TARBELL.

I suggest that you keep a notebook, to "bookmark" items that are of particular interest. As I mentioned to bwinn, above, I had, and still have, little interest in "cards" and "mathematical" stuff. I SKIMMED "SUCH".

You will soon note that the PRESENTATION & PATTER need updating (here comes the "but"::: But, the PRINCIPLES are what's important!).

Some "magicians", who only see the "surface" (cf. old Navy story, in my P.S. below) don't recommend TARBELL! I think they just don't realize that, the PATTER & PRESENTATION should fit the PERSONALITY of the PERFORMER! --I use several tricks that came from "Scot's Discovery...". They needed updating, too!
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
Dick Oslund
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P.S.!

A ship was heading out to sea. At the ship's rail, a new young sailor, on his first cruise, was standing next to an "old salt", a veteran of years "afloat".

The young sailor, gazing at the ocean, exclaimed, "Wow! There's a lot of water out there!"

The old guy, replied, "What you see is ONLY the top of it!"
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
Dick Oslund
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Hello, anyone who may have read the thread above!

I PMd bwinn, a day or so after my first post. HE HAS NOT EVEN READ IT YET!

Of course, I have no idea why he has not "opened" my message.
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
Boomer
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@Dick,

Maybe bwinn thinks it's a PM for a new Custom deck of cards?

Just kidding, seems like I'm getting a new PM every three days for another deck of cards that I'd never use.

Maybe we should have a specific forum for card collectors.

Oh wait, there already is.

<sigh>


Dave
Dick Oslund
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@Dave

Well, it's now a MONTH, and bwinn, the OP, has not opened my PM! Nor has he made any comments, or asked any questions on this thread.
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
Boomer
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Yea, he hasn't posted anything in over 30 days, and I had such high hopes.

Oh well, on to the next one.


Dave
Dick Oslund
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Yes!

I'm ultra busy, mentoring a young man, whom I met in the Café! He just did his first paid show, and is progressing nicely. Interesting enough, he lives in Montana, and, I'm retired in Michigan!

I find it rather interesting, that so many check in to the café, and, are never heard from again!. When I was on the road, I was too busy for "outside activity", and, had never heard of the café anyway.

Then Jon Racherbaumer "kvetched" me into writing a book! I bought this "infernal electrisch peckenclacker" and, started writing! THAT took about five years! Then, the late Dennis Loomis, an old and dear friend, sent me the information about the café.........

Most of the names that I saw in the various fora, then, have disappeared. I suspect that many of them were only "magic shop magicians".
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
Boomer
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Retired in MI? I thought the rule was that people from MI were required to retire in Florida, that's why my grandparents did.

Just kidding of course. I was born/raised in Holland, moved away after college (CMU). I return every few years to see my siblings and cousins.


Dave
MrWizard
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Quote:
On May 14, 2017, Boomer wrote:
@Dick,

Maybe bwinn thinks it's a PM for a new Custom deck of cards?

Just kidding, seems like I'm getting a new PM every three days for another deck of cards that I'd never use.

Maybe we should have a specific forum for card collectors.

Oh wait, there already is.

<sigh>


Dave



New deck of customs cards is what I expect to see when I get such frequent PM's. Smile

Maybe bwinn is hopefully busy reading his 8 volumes of Tarbell.

The first magic book I ever bought was Tarbell Course In Magic Vol 1.
Perfect book to start with I learned so much from that one book I was hooked.
I had to buy them all after that.

Richard
It's An Illusion Unless I Can't Fix It Then It's A Reality.
loutwice
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Hi every body !

i am on the quest to find those 8 volumes...
as a beginner, I thougth that it will be the best course I could have
the problem is that I live in New Caledonia Smile

whishing me good luck ;-)

at the moment I've found some e version, but you know , magic come from books !
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