What Is the Best Way to Start Learning Magic Tricks?
Photo credit: Ari Isenberg
Whether you’re looking to just casually entertain friends with some easy magic tricks or party tricks, or aspire to be a professional magician like David Blaine, Dynamo, David Copperfield, Penn & Teller or Houdini, every beginner magician is always faced with the same question:
What is the best way to start learning magic tricks?
Everyone on the Vanishing Inc. team is a magician that was once in this same situation. That’s why we’ve put our heads together to create a list of the best ways to learn magic tricks.
Start at the library
With the popularity of magic downloads and YouTube magic, you might be shocked to learn that the best place to start learning magic is still the library. Many professional magicians agree that books are still the best way to start learning magic and your local library probably has a variety of magic books that are perfect for any beginner magician. Since you can’t just watch and copy someone else's movements, books force you to examine every aspect of a magic trick and learn how to bring it to life in your hands with your own unique style.
Where can I find books about magic tricks in my library?
You can find magic books in section 793.8 of your library. This is the Dewey Decimal System number for all books related to magic tricks, card tricks and juggling.
You'll find books on card magic basics, prop and bar bets, coin magic, [mentalism](/mentalism], card magic, sleight of hand, playing cards (I love Bicycle cards, and even virtual magic at your library. Despite being the biggest magic store in the world, we do always love a library. Sure, you can't get flash paper there, but you can get started in magic. They cannot sell you the latest magic tricks but you can learn aboutthe classics. The books we bring to magic conventions always sell more than the tricks, and for good reason! It's the best way to learn magic tricks and how to learn card tricks.
What books about magic tricks should I read as a beginner magician?
When first starting to learn magic, it’s important to try out all kinds of magic tricks to see which you like best. Many beginner magic books offer a wide variety of magic tricks from card tricks to coin tricks, magic with dollar bills, rubber band magic, mind reading, mentalism and much more. Beginner magic books often aren’t just limited to close-up magic either. They often feature a variety of parlor magic tricks and stage illusions as well.
Of all the best books for learning magic, some of the most often suggested include Mark Wilson's Complete Course in Magic and MAGIC: The Complete Course by our own Joshua Jay. Joshua has also written 2 other incredible books that can help you get started performing magic right away: Joshua Jay's Amazing Book of Cards and Big Magic for Little Hands (which has a downloadable sampler where you can learn magic tricks for free). Books with self-working magic tricks such as those created by Karl Fulves are also an excellent place to start learning magic.
Magic DVDs and Downloads
There are also a variety of incredible DVDs and downloads available for beginner magicians. However, when first starting to learn magic, we would suggest not purchasing too many of the latest single-trick or single-move DVDs and downloads. At just $5-$10 each, we know it can be very tempting to learn all the latest and greatest magic tricks. However, these can often be overwhelming for a beginner magician. The best way to start learning magic tricks is with a DVD or download that offers a wide variety of basic moves and beginner magic tricks.
Get started with a free card magic download
To help you get started learning magic immediately, we’re offering our 10x10 beginner card magic download for FREE. In this video, legendary card magician R. Paul Wilson teaches you a variety of card tricks and fundamental card sleights that will help you start performing card magic right away.
Learn magic now
A warning about YouTube Magic
Speaking of learning magic for free, it’s no surprise that many beginner magicians look to YouTube when first starting out in magic. YouTube magic tutorials, while free and easily accessible, are often performed by people who have not yet mastered the magic trick or sleight of hand they are teaching you. Their poor instruction can cause beginner magicians to learn bad habits and fundamentals that can be detrimental to future growth. While YouTube is a good resource for the occasional quick party trick, bar bet or self working card trick, beginner magicians should stick to professional magic dvds, downloads and books featuring content that has been mastered by the professional magicians teaching it to you.
Seek help from other magicians
See if your area has a magic club (the International Brotherhood of Magicians and Society of American Magicians are a great start) or a magic shop where you can meet with magicians and mentalists that can help you start learning magic. You can also search online for local magicians and offer to buy them a coffee or lunch if they’d be willing to meet up with you.
Photo credit: Ari Isenberg
Don’t just practice - practice properly
It’s probably not surprising to learn that achieving the sleight of hand mastery of Shin Lim or the seemingly casual presentation style of David Blaine requires an incredible amount of practice. However, trying to practice everything at once can be overwhelming for beginner magicians. Find a few magic tricks that catch your interest and practice until you’re confident enough to perform them.
Go out, perform and have fun!
Photo credit: Ari Isenberg
While practicing is important, you’ll learn more when you perform magic than you ever could by just practicing in private. Magic is designed to entertain people. So, learn some easy magic tricks and then show them off to all your friends and family. You’ll be amazed at how this will help you learn about your magic and improve it.
That’s it. There’s all the best ways to start learning magic tricks. Now, all that’s left to do is actually get started. Enjoy the journey and have fun! If you have any questions along the way, just send us an email or get in touch with us on our live chat.