How Long Will it Take?

By Andi Gladwin - Sunday, January 10, 2021


The most common question I get asked from people working on my Master Pushoff is how long it will take to get the move down. I can appreciate where that question comes from: sleights don't have a set time that they take and so it's understandable to want to know whether you're signing up for a day's work, or a year's work.

Sadly, though, it's just not possible to answer the question. I met someone who learned the pushoff in a day, and someone else who has been actively practicing it for a year without much success.

I think it comes down to whether you have worked on similar moves and how much time you are willing to spend practicing. Therefore, the answer I always give (and it applies to every sleight in magic) is that it will take as long or as little as you want it to. If you really want to learn a sleight quickly, you'll need to put in several hours of focused practice per day to get it right. I think there are some ways to speed things up though:

Start with the foundations: don't rush to get the move up to speed quickly. Instead, practice it slowly and constantly make sure that the core handling is correct.

Return to troublesome areas: one difference between excellent sleight of hand artists and good ones, is that the very best obsess over the details of a sleight. Consider every part of the sleight and work out exactly where you are failing with it. Review those points constantly.

Record yourself from every angle: record videos of you doing the move up close, from behind, from far away. Don't just look at your hands, but review your body, posture, facial expressions and more.

Focus: we're often encouraged to practice whilst watching TV, or when we're doing something else. But to perfect a move sooner, I think the secret is to really focus your practice so that you can analyse the mistakes you are making, and to make sure that you are executing the move correctly.

So, while I can't tell you how long it can take to master a specific move, I hope that these approaches will at least help you speed up the learning process.


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