What Is The Best Way To Learn Card Magic?

By Joshua Jay - Saturday, January 11, 2020


I’m asked this question a lot, and it of course depends on the student. How old are you? How do you learn best? How much time are you putting in to your card magic? What’s your goal within the craft? The answers to these questions will, of course, affect how you study.

But in general, the best way to learn card magic is from private instruction. If you can find a great teacher to mentor you, you’ll gain experience not only in what tricks to learn, but how specifically to get into and out of the tricks. You’ll learn how to interact with your audience, and if your mentor is smart, she will work with you on your specific problem-areas, be they technique or presentation or simply remembering the steps. Your teacher can also help you curate the kind of magic you enjoy performing.

If you can’t locate a mentor, the next best option is a magic book. Magic books pack the most value for your money, and they allow you to go at your own pace as you learn new material. There are a lot of terrible books on the market, but if you invest in the right books, you’ll progress quickly.

The advice I would offer on what not to do is easy: I would avoid YouTube as a primary teaching source. Most of the tutorials on YouTube are junk, and the self-appointed teachers are often fuzzy on details and lack an understanding of the subject matter.


Reader comments:

Brett

Saturday, 11 January 2020 15:02 PM - Reply to this comment

Joshua:

Go deeper here. What would be your reading progression? Card College? Royal Road? Then where?

I have always thought there was a place for folks to publish well-curated training syllabi in magic that go beyond the "first book" or that offer study guides to the books.

The brilliance of Tarbell (which is a little dated in many places) or, for those fortunate enough to attend them, the courses at Magic University at the Magic Castle, is that they offer learning plans to become well-rounded in the art as a whole. We need a bento.com (a site that curates learning tracks from a variety of sources for folks who want to learn how to code) for magic. You guys would be doing a great service to build something like that--and it would probably create added sales too.

Brett

Saturday, 11 January 2020 15:05 PM - Reply to this comment

One more thing.

Private tutorial is great. Finding a tutor is hard. Gone are the days where you could meet quality tutors at the local brick and mortar shop. Mamy IBM and SAM rings don't offer great tutoring options. It would be nice to see a compiled list of people who are interested in tutoring or qualified to do so people can find folks to work with in their community.

mac

Saturday, 11 January 2020 22:14 PM - Reply to this comment

I found Steve Faulkner’s online complete card course a fantastic place to start, everything from beginner handling into more complex stuff. A very nice pathway “a route” through with easy progression as you improve.
Very well put together and at a very very respectable price.

Malcolm

Sunday, 12 January 2020 12:41 PM - Reply to this comment

If you’re passionate enough you’ll find a mentor.
I travelled to New York quite a few times from the U.K. for private lessons.
It was worth every penny.

Iain

Monday, 13 January 2020 16:26 PM - Reply to this comment

I have found working with a regular private teacher invaluable. Learning music is very similar in many ways, and starting with a private teacher is just the norm there. I'm working through the Giobbi materials and various classics with my teacher, and when I started lessons, it helped massively, and was much more motivating. One thing I wanted to share was that, even though in person is obviously better, I think skype with the *right teacher* is better than in person with someone not so good. All my lessons are on video, enabling me to work with someone really good with whom I get along well artistically and personally. HTH!

Leave a comment

Log in or sign up to post a comment about What Is The Best Way To Learn Card Magic?.


Back to blog homepage

Similar posts on the blog:

How to learn card magic tricks

How to learn card magic tricks

Damian Jennings - Friday, January 24, 2020

Category: Articles


Read more

Race to the Top?

Race to the Top?

Andi Gladwin - Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Category: Articles


Read more

The Session 2020 - Gallery

The Session 2020 - Gallery

Damian Jennings - Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Category: Articles


Read more