1) Choose just one trick at a time.
Most magic shops would love you to constantly buy each new trick they market. But unless you are already at an intermediate or advanced skill level, this may not be the wisest move. Choose just one trick, and work on nothing else until it’s mastered. Only then, should you move onto your next trick to master.
Every day, in small, quick sessions. Many experts recommend the practice drill principle: Running through the moves 15 times in the morning and 15 times at night for 20 days. If you can’t do that, just try to do 10 minutes practice every day. Short, regular sessions are best.
3) Don’t practice sleight of hand in silence.
Make sure you talk as you practice. Do you find you tend to ‘freeze’ when you perform a move in front of people? Saying the words provides cues for the moves and really helps prevent this.
Don’t just run through the moves quickly. Perform the whole magic trick from start to finish, imagining its a real performance. Do this just as much as you practice the mechanics of the trick.
5) Slow it all down.
Slow is far better than fast. Sudden quick moves raise suspicion. Chances are, the speed you feel naturally comfortable at is still too fast.
6) Check your sleight of hand looks real.
When considering learning a new sleight, make sure it looks natural. Do the action for real, then adjust the sleight to match your real gesture or movement as much as possible. For example: Really turn a playing card over, then make sure it looks the same when you just pretend to do so. Avoid obscure moves that look pretty but nothing like real life actions.
7) Check your sleight of hand looks effortless.
Work on looking relaxed and happy when you execute a move. Make sure you don’t hesitate, close your eyes or look guilty as you perform it. Videoing your performance is a great way to spot this.
8) Make sure your sleight of hand is clear and visible.
Look at your hand positions. Are you covering up the action with your fingers or the backs of your hands? Work on a light touch, showing as much as possible to all around you.
9) Reduce all unneeded movements.
Go over your routine, removing pauses that don’t add to the trick.
Cut out and gestures or movements that may be totally innocent, but actually make the spectator think something suspicious may have happened.
10) Actually perform your sleight of hand live.
Seriously, you will develop your technique way beyond anything you can learn in private, once you start showing people your magic live. Don’t fall into the trap of performing only on YouTube. That will stop you getting real feedback from your audience’s reactions. Instead, show your family and friends, your work, once it’s ready and you will improve it way beyond what you thought was possible.
Please let us know your thoughts in the comments section below: