How do I Learn to do Magic Tricks?

As Vanishing Inc. is an online magic store run by passionate magicians, we might be a TINY bit biased when we say that everyone should try learning magic at some point in their life. Whether you learn a few easy magic tricks as a hobby or aspire to be a professional magician, performing magic is one of the best ways to connect with people and impress your friends and family.

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But, you’re probably wondering, “how do I learn to do magic tricks like Michael Carbonaro, Justin Willman or Penn & Teller?” Haven’t all magicians sworn to never share their secrets?

The truth is, it’s actually quite easy to learn magic tricks. You just have to know where to look.

Head Over to the Library

One of the best places to start your magic journey is at your local library. If you head to section 793.8, you are likely to find a variety of beginner magic books that can help you start learning magic for free.

Some of the most recommended books for beginner magicians that can be commonly found at local libraries are Joshua Jay’s MAGIC: The Complete Course, Mark Wilson’s Complete Course in Magic, Magic for Dummies and the Idiot’s Guide to Street Magic.

If your library doesn’t have these exact magic books, don’t worry. Any magic book that offers a variety of easy magic tricks such as card magic, close up magic, coin tricks, or mentalism are a great start.

What’s most important is that you try out all types of magic tricks to see which you like best. Do you want to be a street magician like David Blaine or perform beautiful stage illusions like David Copperfield? This is the time to find out!

Once you’re ready to transform this newfound interest in magic into a more permanent hobby, or even a career, it’s time to find a trusted magic store.

Good Magic Stores

Magic stores are like Disneyland for magicians. They are a magical place (pun intended) filled with everything a magician might need from magic tricks to books, DVDs, decks of cards, magician’s rope, fire magic tricks and so much more.

If you live in, or near, a major city, do a quick search to see if there is a brick & mortar magic store near you. Beyond selling magic tricks, places like Tannen’s Magic Shop in NYC or Misdirection’s Magic Shop in San Francisco, offer you a chance to connect with other magicians and see magic tricks performed live before you purchase them.

Unfortunately though, physical magic shops are becoming increasingly rare. Thankfully, great online magic stores like Vanishing Inc. have stepped in to serve magicians and mentalists of all skill levels around the world.

Vanishing Inc.’s online magic store carries everything you need to start learning magic from beginner magic books to videos, playing cards, rope, spongeballs and more. With lightning fast worldwide shipping, you’ll be able to start learning magic immediately.

Furthemore, Vanishing Inc.’s entire team is composed of skilled magicians. So, just like the knowledgeable magic store owners of yesteryear, they’re always here to help you with any question or concern you may have as you start your magic journey.

DVDs vs Downloads

While magic books are still one of the most popular ways to learn magic, some magicians prefer watching videos over reading. While magic DVDs are still widely available, most magic stores now also offer instant magic downloads.

The allure of being able to instantly start learning magic for just a few bucks (typically $5-10) is a tempting one for many beginner magicians. However, it can also be a trap. Beyond the fact that these costs will quickly add up, trying to learn too much at once can also be overwhelming.

We strongly suggest beginner magicians try to avoid purchasing every exciting new download that comes out - especially if it only teaches 1 or 2 magic tricks. It’s best to start with magic DVDs or downloads that cover a wide range of beginner sleight of hand and magic tricks or card tricks like the Greatest Beginner Magic DVD Ever or Michael Ammar’s Easy to Master Card Miracles.

Should I Learn Magic from YouTube?

We can already hear the thoughts running through your head...

“Why would I spend any money at all...can’t I learn magic for free on YouTube?”

The short answer is: Yes, there are a variety of YouTube channels you can learn magic from. Some of them, like Jay Sankey, Chris Ramsay and 52kards, are actually quite well made. However, this is not the norm.

For the most part, YouTube magic tutorials feature someone teaching something that was created by another person. Combine this with the fact that the YouTube “teacher” typically doesn’t take the time to master the move or magic trick before presenting it, and you end up with an instructional video that is typically quite poor.

While YouTube can be a valuable supplemental resource, it’s not advised to make this your main source for learning magic. In fact, professional magicians will very rarely, if ever, learn magic from YouTube..

Learning magic from YouTube may cause you to form poor fundamentals and bad habits that will severely impact you down the road. So, unless you’re just looking for a quick party trick, bar bet, cardistry flourish or self-working card trick to learn, we’d suggest sticking to magic downloads and DVDs produced by professional magicians.

An Example of the Best Way to Learn Magic Tricks from YouTube: Let’s say you want to learn card magic. Grab yourself a copy of a book like Royal Road to Card Magic or Card College Volume 1 that covers the card sleights and card tricks every beginner magician should know.

Then, if you ever get stuck on a particular move or trick as you work through the books step-by-step, search it on YouTube. Seeing it in action combined with learning the correct fundamentals from the books can ultimately help you become a better magician.

Magic Conventions

Every year, there are a variety of magic conventions that take place around the world. From small local conventions, to large conventions like Magifest and The Session that attract 1,000s of magicians, these special events are an amazing opportunity to meet other magicians.

Typically, conventions will offer a variety of lectures and workshops where you can learn directly from some of the best professional magicians in the world. Many magic shops will also have booths where you can check out all the newest magic tricks. However, most magicians will probably agree that the best part of any magic convention is the “jam sessions”—informal meet-ups where magicians of all skills levels have a chance to exchange ideas and tricks freely with their like-minded peers.

The fact the magic community is so tight knit is one of the best things about magic. Some of the best ideas and tricks have spawned from magic jams. In fact, it’s not uncommon at magic conventions to find the professional magicians that were hired to perform or lecture jumping into one of these jam sessions.

Bonus Tip: Make sure to always have a pen and a piece of paper in hand when attending a magic convention. You never know when a great idea or piece of advice will come up, and you definitely don’t want to forget it when it does!

Magic Lectures

If you’re unable to book a full weekend of magic, many magic shops or local affiliates of magic societies like the Society of American Magicians or International Brotherhood of Magicians, will bring in professional magicians for private lectures.

Online magic stores like Vanishing Inc. Magic have also developed exceptional virtual lecture experiences. Most recently, we launched the Vanishing Inc. Masterclass: LIVE series. For one low subscription fee, Magicians from around the world gather together online in small groups for 3 weeks in a row with a world-class magician. Each session covers a different topic from close-up magic to parlor magic and mentalism, and concludes with a special Q&A session.

Make Magic Friends

While magic can feel like a very independent art form, it’s always best when shared with friends. The ability to bounce ideas off other people and get different perspectives on your magic can play a huge role in helping you evolve as a magician.

Magic shops, magic conventions and magic lectures are great ways to meet other magicians. There are also a variety of online magic forums, particularly on Facebook which has a particularly active magic community that can help you stay informed about the world of magic.

After reading all this, you’re probably pretty eager to get started. So, check out these helpful articles on how to learn magic tricks for free: