Hands On Deck: Six String Symphony

By Ben Harris - Thursday, June 25, 2020

Once in a while a truly magical deck surfaces - one that by design (or fluke) transcends what we expect to find. This may be exceptional quality - imparted by a fussy production team (and an exceptional press-run) - or artistic design that elevates the deck to a level of tactile and visual beauty. Sometimes it’s both.

six trings playing cards case

Kardify’s Six Strings Playing Cards (Classic edition) is one of these exceptional decks. It plucks all the strings, hits the right notes.

The moment you peel the cellophane from the tuck box you know that something special is at hand. The box is a matt, uncoated board, beautifully foiled in copper. (A dual reveal: 9 of Diamonds or 6 of Diamonds, is printed on the tuck’s flaps). The quality seal carries the notation, “052.” Of course, we know this is the number of cards in a deck. However, it’s also a specific gauge of guitar string. Sweet, eh? A clear sign all has been lovingly thought out. Tactile - the tuck box is just like holding an old-school box of guitar strings. Immersive? You bet. My head is filled with the strains of Maria Elena by Los Indios Tabajaras (google it), and I’m wondering where I can find my lovely old Manual Rodriguez e Hijos guitar.

This deck celebrates the guitar in it’s various forms - and it’s not superficial - nothing fan-boy here. This is homage, pure and simple. The back design is rendered in bronze and gold inks as a complex, yet tasteful, guitar sound board. Classy and clever. In fact, this back design is such that it effortlessly creates its own white border. Love it. It’s as if the design has allowed the backs to be set free. Card fans look elegant and precise, as do Ribbon spreads. Music is, after all, a language of mathematics (as well as being the resonance of heart and soul).

six trings playing cards court cards

Where this deck really shines is with the complete re-imagining of the face cards. Simple, and to the point, designer Ade Suryana has done a fantastic job. The court cards? WOW! The Kings, Queens and Jacks are all musicians playing stringed instruments. The Ace of Spades is stunning! Here is the guitarist standing at the peak of his power. For the story-telling magician, these beautiful renditions are pure gold. Without any effort on your part, many familiar routines can be given entirely new presentations. To your audiences these become entirely NEW effects. Here are a few quick ideas using the guitarist court cards:

The Four Robbers Trick becomes “Band On The Run.”

Oil & Water becomes a battle between the boy-band (Kings) and the girl-band (Queens) for “Top of The Pops.”

The Ambitious Card becomes “It’s a Long Way To The Top (if you want to rock ’n’ roll).”

Ace Assemblies (performed with the guitar-toting picture cards) becomes “the guys gathering for band practice.”

Cosmosis: The Original Floating Match, is easily adapted to become a “floating guitar pick!” The back design of these cards is perfect for concealing the work.

six trings playing cards court cards

There are dozens of ideas waiting to be explored. Collectors, Interlace, the list goes on and on. Triumph lends itself to a “mosh-pit” interpretation!

Two Jokers are supplied. While not identical, they are close enough. One holds an Ace of Diamonds which can be used as a reveal. In addition, the deck is supplied with a double-backed card and a blank-facer. All very handy.

Printed by The United States Playing Card Company, the deck is a joy to handle. Feels like premium crushed stock and is definitely traditionally cut. Faro shuffles perfectly out of the box - great for Cardistry or for traditional magic.

Six String Playing Cards (Classic edition) are well worth exploring, especially if you like to weave little tales of wonder. This deck will allow you to-re-imagine a whole bunch of classic routines, giving them a musical spin along the way. At only $11.95, this deck is great value for money!

Before you go, I’d love it if you check out my new book, Machinations. It’s full of material (and supplied with all performance cards) that just thrives on story-telling!

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