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New user
Medicine Hat, Alberta
10 Posts

Profile of Myth
Hi everyone. I have been interested in close up magic for quite a long time, but was always under the impression that I needed to know a magician in order to learn how to become one. Well, after lots of searching I discovered that this is not the case!

Anyways, I feel that i have the wrong impression when it comes to learning. I am mainly interested in sleight of hand card magic, but coins also seem like they could be fun. It seems that there are literally hundreds of videos and books out there, and many of the people that I have talked to have recommended one thing or another. It just seems that in order to learn how to become a good magician that I need to own 50 videos and 100 books which is very frustrating.

As I said, i am brand new to magic, and when I say brand new, I mean with less than 1 month of experience. But hey, you have to start somewhere right? So far I only know a few basic maneuvers. Right now i am working on the Double Lift, Elmsly Count, learning how to do breaks and such. I know how to do a few small tcks like the classic color change and shapeshifter. The problem that I face is how do I learn the basics? I really do not want to buy a ton of videos that contain tricks that I would never be able to do without learning basic sleights etc. Two books that have been recommended to me for learning the basics are Royal Road to Card Magic and Expert Card Technique. I have heard from a variety of people that these are good sources to learn the basics from, and I was just wondering if I could get some input from some of you fine people. I would really like to become a decent magician in time, I just need to be sent in the right direction to get me started.

I do not think that there is a magic store in my town, but im sure that there are good ones in Calgary. I realize that a mentor would be of immaculate benefit, but I don't think that luxury is really an option in this town. I'm a shy person and would feel embarrassed to even ask someone for tips given my current skill level hehe.

Anyways, that is my story and I would greatly appreciate any input that anybody could contribute. Thanks.
Peter Marucci
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Inner circle
5389 Posts

Profile of Peter Marucci
You most certainly do NOT need a thousand books and videos to start.
One good book on coins and one on cards is all that is needed to get you going and then you can sort out your interests after than.
If you think you might want to do something more than cards and coins, I would strongly recommend the Mark Wilson Complete Course in Magic; it's a standard work and available from most dealers, on the net or otherwise.
For coins, Bobo's Modern Coin Magic is an absolute "must".
For cards, there are others on this board who are more knowledgable in that area than I am and who will, I hope, give you some advice.
BTW, since you are in Canada, you might want to check our Morrissey's in Toronto (prices are all in Canadian dollars):
Peter Marucci
Jim Morton
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Veteran user
361 Posts

Profile of Jim Morton

Peter's choices are good ones. For card magic, I would agree with those who recommended Royal Road to Card Magic and Expert Card Technique. They are excellent and they are both available in inexpensive paperbacks. Later, when you are feeling more flush, financially, you may want to invest in Card College, but Royal Road and ECT are a great place to start learning card magic, and you will be able to pick those books up years from now and still learn things. I know because I do it from time to time.

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New user
90 Posts

Profile of PatUmphrey
I would go with Royal Road to Card Magic, or Card College volume 1.

While I think that Expert Card Technique is a good book, IMHO it is definitely not a good book for raw beginners. I would recommend ECT to people that have at least learned basic card handling. Based on your description, you will not have nearly as much success with ECT as you would with the others mentioned.
“And you’ve got a perfectly logical reason for showing the cards like this” -Harry Lorayne

“Paging Mr. Herman” –Rafael Benetar
Uli Weigel
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Inner circle
Berlin, Germany
1478 Posts

Profile of Uli Weigel
Another vote for The Royal Road To Card Magic. It's widely available, costs only a few bucks and provides a solid foundation in card magic.

If money doesn't matter or if you already know that card magic is your thing, I would highly recommend the Card College series (Four volumes). These books are State of the Art.

Good luck!

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Veteran user
386 Posts

Profile of r4bid
As the others stated above

-Royal Road is the best you can get if you are just starting
-Daryl's Encyclopedia of Card Sleights (an 8 vid or DVD set) is also a great addition and it covers more sleights than you would ever need.

-Bobo is the "bible" of coin magic and will teach you the basics and some nice more advanced stuff too.

I think a more important factor than the number of books and videos you own is how you learn from them.
When you get a book or vid skim through it once but don't try to learn anything. Just get used to the writers techinque or the performers style (book or vid).
Then go to the begining and learn the first move, practice it for as long as you think you need to and then do a little more. Once you have the first move down move on to the next effect.
This style of learning will take a long time but you will learn your basics far better than any other way.

Another thing to note while practicing is to take frequent brakes. It has been shown in many studies that by breaking up your practice time you increase the amount of info you retain. I reccomend practicing for 10-15 minutes then taking a 5 minutes break.

Good luck, if you need any more help this is a great place to ask.
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New user
Vacaville, CA
55 Posts

Profile of jbguy
Hi Myth!
It is so nice to hear that someone else is as much a beginner as I am. Just starting out in magic. I've been interested in magic ever since I can remember. I have bought the little cheapie tricks to get some immediate gratification, but I in no way can call myself a magician yet! But I am getting more involved in doing some magic stuff now. Thanks to this forum my love for magic is heightened even more. Take from and give to this forum what you can and I'm sure you'll be content in your path. This forum is a great way to meet others that have been doing what we want to do for years and years, and they, IMHO are the best ones to learn from!

Good luck in your quest in magic and welcome to the Cafe!

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New user
Medicine Hat, Alberta
10 Posts

Profile of Myth
Thanks for the advice everyone, i appreciate it!
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Regular user
Broomfield, CO, USA
115 Posts

Profile of tglund

As Peter has said you don't have to have a room full of books and tapes to learn magic. The choice between books and videos is more a personal choice. It all depends on how you learn best and what your finances allow. Videos obviously let you see how the sleight is performed and then show you how the moves are actually done. Books usually provide more material for the same price. If you are interested in videos the Michael Ammar Easy to Master "Card Magic" and "Money Magic" series are good. Smile
Michael J. Douglas
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Inner circle
1649 Posts

Profile of Michael J. Douglas
Most of my magic is cards.
I don't have Royal Road, ECT, or Card College, but I do have, and highly recommend Ammar's Easy to Master Card Miracles. There are some of the best card tricks you'll ever perform.

And I agree that for coin magic, Bobo's the best!
Michael J.
�Believe then, if you please, that I can do strange things.� --from Shakespeare�s �As You Like It�
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