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  1. #1
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    What does having a good foundation in card magic mean?

    Hi, I posted a thread yesterday, and thanks a lot for the really great advice :)

    Many people said you need to 'have a good foundation' first...what does this mean in card magic? And how can I build a good foundation?

    Thanks! :)
    - Tanay

    Currently working on: Routining, scripting and misdirection

  2. #2
    Shawn Mullins's Avatar :: Team Ellusionist
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    It means having the basics down to a perfection.

    Things like a good mechanics grip, false cuts, shuffles, over hand shuffle, double lift and other basics.

    Eventually working yourself slowly to the more advanced areas such as the side steal, pass, cull etc...

    The best way (and progression) I've found is in Royal Road to Card Magic. It really brings you through the basics in a pretty good order and clearly defines what should be happening. It's a great book. Coupled with other basic material like Crash Course 1 and 2 you will have a solid foundation in no time.

    That solid foundation applies everywhere. You see when you build a house that's what every one sees. They see this massive structure towering and and standing sturdy. The truth is though the house is only as good as the foundation it sits on. If it's unstable the house will collapse or be unsafe while a sturdy foundation the house can withstand any test.

    MASTER the basics... and you'll already be advanced...
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  3. #3
    Tempest's Avatar :: Elite
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    Ideally, you want to have a set, or a selection of effects or routines that you are VERY comfortable performing as your core act. After that, you should study a lot of sleights and concepts, as many as you can, and then from those, develop ones that you feel are practical for you. The idea here is that you have a core selection of strong material to perform, but when you are not prepared to perform those for any reason, you have a backup knowledge of sleights and ideas that you can apply to and adapt to a given situation. Does that make sense?

    I would suggest Royal Road, Hugard and Braue, Erdnase as basic starting points for material. Eddie, in my opinion, is probably our most knowledgeably book expert on card magic here, so I would suggest getting in touch with him for more card material that is going to benefit you rather than slow you down. There is a lot of crap out there to wade through.

    || sean ||
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  4. #4
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    What Shawn said is right on, but I also want to add that (in my opinion) it includes knowing what's gone on before you. Meaning, familiarizing yourself with a lot of effects and type of effects, even if you don't plan on using them yourself. I add this because once you've got that good technical foundation, you know enough to start improvising, creating, and the deadly trap of thinking you're the first. You may only ever have 5 effects 'perfected' but knowing about the dozens to hundreds out there not only saves you from not reinventing the wheel, it also feeds on your own creativity.

  5. #5
    ScottBaird's Avatar :: Moderator
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    I'd say it means you can comfortably do the following many different ways, and convincingly:

    Control multiple cards to the top and bottom of the deck.
    False shuffle.
    False cut.
    Double turnover/lift.
    Pass.
    Cull cards.
    Color changes.

    That about sums it up I think.

    Scott.
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  6. #6
    Shawn Mullins's Avatar :: Team Ellusionist
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    As I thought about this more I think everyone developes a different area where they would call there fundamental groundwork.

    It's really on yourself to pick up the basic set of skills. What you use and what you practice is unique to yourself but it should include things you are going to use. Like the double lift; it's worth researching becuase it's probably mose used/overused sleight in everyone's collection.

    If you break it down to simple terms...

    Card Controls (top and bottom)... cuts and shuffles
    Double Lift/ Getting Maintaining a Break

    Once those are down to perfection you move on to where you seem to be heading. Then comes the next area. Tackle one at a time and TAKE your time. Make sure you have it flawless.

    This is a reason why I LOVE Royal Road. Once it teaches you the sleight it gives you an effect to play with. Get it mastered and move on. In this process you are also getting to know yourself as a magician. Finding out what works and what doesn't for you. So it's giving you material as you move on. It's a fantastic "text book" in my opinion. Card College is another one that get's a solid vote but for the price you can't beat Royal Road. Card College and Royal Road are also in print which helps you visualise what you need to know. When it clicks you are already on the right track.
    Pancakes10385
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  7. #7
    Tempest's Avatar :: Elite
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    I am going to disagree here with everyone and say that for a SOLID foundation in card magic, do not start off with researching sleights only. In my opinion, a more effective route would be to choose a few card tricks or effects you really love and would love to perform regularly, and study the basic sleights in THOSE effects.

    Do that first.

    Why? Because anybody can learn a bunch of sleights and moves. By studying the basic moves and sleights within an effect, you will begin to understand how sleights work as pieces of an effect, and not the actual effect. You will learn how sleight of hand works and how it doesn't work. You will learn how to use sleights effectively and practically, instead of the opposite, which kills your magic, trust me.

    When you can do those effects really well, and perform them really well, the next step is studying sleights.

    The main problem with just focusing all of your efforts on sleights is that most people do that, and their so-called "magic" is actually just a sloppily done mess of a bunch of sleights and flourishes. For sleight of hand to be magic, it must not exist to the audience, and by focusing your priorities on effects that require you to perform basic sleights, you will gradually understand how to make that happen.

    || sean ||
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  8. #8
    Shawn Mullins's Avatar :: Team Ellusionist
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    Pretty darn good advice Sean :-)
    Pancakes10385
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  9. #9
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    Great advice. I would add that it is not enough to have a move mechanically mastered; one needs to perform these sleights NATURALLY. The double lift/turnover is a great example for me. I can do a DL without a problem, but making it look natural is what I am working on. So I would say a good foundation is being able to perform the sleights mentioned above comfortably and naturally.
    Last edited by toolnard; 04-26-2010 at 08:01 PM. Reason: Typo
    -toolnard

    Currently working on:
    * Double Turnover
    * Two-Handed Shift

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