Colin Writes: “I’m learning card magic tricks and I tried to learn the little finger break (1 hour solid each morning), and whilst I could do 100 “clean” each day, it was still taking circa 200 tries to get there. Am I doing something fundamentally wrong – any quick tips on this? Finally, I used to use a different website and have to say that your website, the emails and the support you offer, are head and shoulders above. Keep on the great work!”
Thanks Colin. It’s always satisfying to get good feedback, and both myself and the team at the Merchant of Magic appreciate it.
Wow, hat’s off to you for putting in some serious hours into your card magic practice. That shows real commitment. Finding the time to do regular work on your card magic tricks can be a struggle for many people, so an early morning practice session is a remarkably good idea. However, you may find that you get just as much benefit from a few short 10 minute practice sessions through the day, rather than a full hour all in one go.
Magicians doing private tuition at the Merchant of Magic shop are often put on a 10 minute practice drill, repeated twice a day. The aim is to build up muscle memory of the technique so a period of rest between small sessions will give your mind time to consolidate the learning that has taken place in the session.
With the little finger or pinky break, there are quite a few methods. The mechanics of card magic tricks aren’t something we can write about on the blog, but we can give you 3 quick tips that will help.
1) Slow down altogether, start drilling the move as slowly as you can. Don’t attempt to speed up, no matter how hard you want to. The little finger break is actually performed slowly, with the angle of the deck covering the action. The move slowly you can get into position, the smoother it looks and the more control you will have.
2) If you are trying to get into a break just using your little finger, bevel the playing cards slightly. While in mechanics grip, your thumb applies a little pressure to the bottom cards in the deck, causing them to bevel out slightly. This creates a slope and the little finger will be able to do it’s work more easily.
3) If you are having trouble holding a break with your little finger, you may be trying to hold too small a break. In practice, the break can be quite large. It’s hidden from view by the position of the deck of playing cards, and your hand as it holds the deck.
It’s more profitable not to focus on the size of the break, but rather on ensuring that the top of the deck playing cards looks flat and level. Use your thumb to push down a little on the top, so it hides the break from the front and disguises any curve on the surface of the deck.
Best wishes and good luck with your magic