Tarbell Course In Magic

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Postby Lord Freddie » Wed Aug 15, 2007 2:42 pm



Volume 4

The Effect
This eight volume magic course is highly regarded by many magicians and covers practically everything!


Cost
Between £20 and £30 per volume, depending where you look.



Difficulty
(1=easy to do, 2=No sleights, but not so easy, 3=Some sleights used,
4=Advanced sleights used, 5=Suitable for experienced magicians only)
Aimed at the beginner, this also has some more complex effects. It varies betwen 1 to 4.


Review
I'm trying to get round to covering all eight volumes in this thread - if I can tear myself away from reading them!
Again, volume four is another mixture of diverse areas of magic. I will go through each lesson and point out the most memorable effects.

NOVELTY MAGIC
There are some interesting an unusual effects here, some which will need updating such as Telegram To Flowers as telegrams are rarely used these days, but there are some nice ideas here including some suggestions for the usage of flash paper, a flaming napkin effect, flower production, impromptu cigarette production, a great method for blowing cigarette smoke into one sleeve and it comes out of the other,hydrostatic glass, freeze a glass of water (no, no powder is used!), anti-gravico bottle effect, a series of productions using paper cups,magic stamp & photo album effect, hot rod style effect with a knife, cut and restored necktie and colour changing rabbit.
There are some unusual effects here which make for interesting reading even if you don't use them. Some are simple to make and some use common acessories you can buy from a magic shop.

THIMBLE MAGIC
Not an area I have chosen to explore, but this lesson has made me more interested in it than I was previously. All the moves are taught along with vanishes and even a variation of the Miser's Dream with thimbles!

SWALLOWING NEEDLES AND RAZOR BLADES
Many people have asked about this effect on this and other forums and it's explained here in full detail. It's not that difficult, but obviously precaution has to be taken in performing it.
For those that do not know, the effect is this. Some razor blades are shown and to proves their sharpness a piece of paper is torn with one of them.They are then placed in the performers mouth along with some cotton thread. After taking a swig from a glass of water, the cotton is pulled out of the performers mouth with the razor blades threaded onto it!
This can also be done with needles. What US teens call 'geek magic'. From 1927!


UNIQUE CARD MAGIC
The lessons concerning cards in the Tarbell series always contain some gems and are always well described and illustrated. This one is no exception. One of the effects uses those trick cans of nuts in which a snake jumps out. This time holding the selected (signed if you wish!) card in it's mouth!
I like some of the sleights/flourishes in this section, particularly revolver card, Audley Walsh's Long Distance Spinner and the vanishing bird cage card. Very worthwhile material here.

NOVELTY RISING CARDS
Rising cards in different forms.From envelopes, books, hats and a haunted house! They do take some prep so be warned but nothing too taxing.

CARD TRANSITION
If you like effects like 'Three Cards Across' then you will find lots of other similar effects here. Not only are many effects explained, but also different methods. You can easily come up with your own travelling card routine after studying the principles and methods here.

MENTAL AND PSYCHIC MYSTERIES
I really like these sections. The Himber Book test is not only simple to do, but will cost you nothing and there are no gaffs to prepare!
I have used it a few times and it gets a good response.
There is material on swami writers here and a cheeky way of reading information from a sealed envelope.
The effects in this section are ideal for the intermediate magician who wants to venture into mentalism.

THE THUMB TIE
Your thumbs are tied together but you can catch hoops on your arms and pass your hands through a broom handle, etc. A few different methods are given here of this classic in magic.

CHINESE LINKING RINGS
A wel illustrated and taught section on another classic effect.

MAGIC WITH RIBBON
Cut and restored ribbon, dollar bill on the ribbon and six other ribbon effects are well explained here.

SILKEN TRICKERY
That standard piece of magician's kit, the silk hanky is given a whole section on vanishes,colour changes, productions and the classic 20th Century Silks is explained in detail.

SLATE MYSTERIES
Who sells slates these days? I'd like to know there are some great 'seance' style effects in this section.

ILLUSIONS
Well, just one illusion, which is David Bamberg's 'Girl From The Light'.
A nice effect which would look dated today, I think. The method here could be the foundation for you to devise your own illusions.


Another mixed bag and although not everything will interest you here, it's fascinating to read and there's something for all magicians in these books. I can't help but them all a top rating as not only do they include dozens of quality effects for the price, they are explained in detail and the diagrams are clear and concise.


Overall
10/10

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Postby Lord Freddie » Thu Aug 23, 2007 10:01 pm

Volume 5

The Effect
This eight volume magic course is highly regarded by many magicians and covers practically everything!


Cost
Between £20 and £30 per volume, depending where you look.



Difficulty
(1=easy to do, 2=No sleights, but not so easy, 3=Some sleights used,
4=Advanced sleights used, 5=Suitable for experienced magicians only)
Aimed at the beginner, this also has some more complex effects. It varies betwen 1 to 4.


Review
So, onto volume five and the Tarbell course continues with another volume bursting with effects of all kinds, some you will use, others you will read with interest, but there's plenty of food for thought in these books.
One aspect I neglected to mention previously was how good the diagrams are in this course. All hand drawn by Tarbell himself and you're left in no doubt as all the illustrations are clear whether they be diagrams showing sleight of hand positioning, handling of props, plans for stage apparatus or handling instructions, you'll know what you're doing.

For twenty quid you could buy one average effect from Ellusionist and their ilk or you could buy one of these books and have more effects than you can use! It's a lot to take in so it's worth reading sections in chunks, concentrating on the areas that interest you first.
These books are great for reference too. Just bought some cups and balls? Look it up here. Thinking about rope magic? There's tons in these books!

This volume contains more quality effects, the section on Unique Magic for instance, has a Knife Through Coat routine, Milk and Silk transposistion, Ink to Water and a nice, dated effect called King of (Nite) Clubs, where a pop-up Al Jolson comes out of a glass in place of the king of clubs as he's the king of nightclubs. Geddit? I should imagine this sort of thing would be considered racist by todays loony left and most young people wouldn't know who Al Jolson was, but I suppose you could use Peter Stringfellow instead!

The second section, More Unique Mysteries has some great effects and will inspire you to modify them rather than use them as they are.
A briliant section on Four-Ace Effects follows with contributions from Ed Marlo, Grant and Audley Walsh, among others and includes the ago old classic Conus' Aces. Some excellent effects here.
The rest of the book features Modern Mental Mysteries, Hat and Coat Productions, Oriental Magic, original Oriental Secrets, Tarbll Hindu Rope Mysteries, Modern Rope Magic, Magic of the Bambergs, Magic With Bowls and Liquids, Egyptian Mummy stage illusion and a useful section on Publicity and Promotion.
Another worthy volume to a great series of books.
Overall
10/10
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Postby Lord Freddie » Sun Jan 27, 2008 10:24 pm

It's worth adding that World Magic Shop have all eight volumes in stock for £21.99 each.

http://www.worldmagicshop.co.uk/books-c ... sort_order

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Postby Lenoir » Sun Jan 27, 2008 11:49 pm

Hey Freddie..err wanna lend me £172.92?

That should cover the cost 8)

"I want to do magic...but I don't want to be referred to as a magician." - A layman chatting to me about magic.
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Postby Lord Freddie » Mon Jan 28, 2008 9:42 am

Hmm, I'm looking for a new butler and that would be your monthly wage...
:wink:

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Postby Mr.Mystery » Wed Jan 30, 2008 4:12 am

These books have to be the best ever work on magic. No magician should be without them.

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Postby Lord Freddie » Wed Jan 30, 2008 9:43 am

I completely agree with you there. Whenever I delve into these volumes I always find something new and it's not only tricks you learn - it's principles which you can learn, apply and adapt to your own effects, which is far more valuable to anyone who wants to be a 'real' magician.

Having studied these books before anything else, when I bought Bobo and Royal Road, I had a head start as much of the basics had been covered in Tarbell. The drawings and instruction and clear and free from over complicated waffle making the content easy to follow. With these books on your shelf, you eradictae the need to buy "new tricks" all the time as a rummage through their pages will give you something that is just as impressive as it was at the time and will appear unique to audiences used to the latest gimmicky effects. Quite a few effects in here I have adapted and added to making them my own. Tarbell is certainly inspirational to the thinking magician.

A big mistake by many people is that they take the books at face value and consider some of the material "old-fashioned", but the principles can be applied whichever way your imaginaion allows and are still potent to today's layman if presented correctly.

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Postby Al Doty » Sat Feb 16, 2008 5:31 am

I have tried to encourage members of my magic club to learn history by challenging them each month to name the originator of a trick like the Panama Rope effect and can they perform it. A prize is offered and I hope to motivate them to read good reference material likeTarbells. It should be recommended reading.
Best
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Postby Lord Freddie » Sat Feb 16, 2008 12:40 pm

I agree, but the wham-bam-in-your-face E crowd will be turned off of such books as this because :
1) It requires modest amounts of practice
2) You need to be able to read
3) Some of the patter and presentation is out of date and with some thought you can adapt and modernise them
4) They don't come 'ready to go'

For me, the Tarbell books are a storehouse of magic. I can browse through them as I would a catalogue and find new things each time. The effects in here stand the test of time and the ideas and principles are invaluable and will inspire the thinking magician to apply them to their own effects or to improve existing ones.

A lot of effects from Tarbell have becomes ones that I regularly perform. If I told the people who were entertained by them that they were from a book first published in the 1920's, they would be astonished further.

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Re: Tarbell Course In Magic

Postby Brothergerr » Sat Jul 07, 2012 1:15 pm

I am just starting to delve into the warehouse of knowledge that is the Tarbell course and I am just so impressed by it. You can detect a real love of and passion for the magical arts as you turn the pages. The drawings and instructions are very clear even to a complete noob like me. I think for beginning magicians, such as myself, they provide an extremely strong foundation of the essential skills of magical practice and performance. After all if you cannot perform some of the simple coin slights and palms, or tricks such as the coin through handkerchief convincingly with sufficient dexterity and smoothness, then how in the world would someone suppose they could do anything more complex and demanding? I particularly like his presentation of the course as being training for the professional magician thereby elevating it in the eyes of those who read it and not cheapening as a collection of tricks to win friends and gain popularity or something of that ilk. In short, solid stuff!

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Re: Tarbell Course In Magic

Postby Lee Enfield » Fri Jul 27, 2012 1:28 pm

These are essential for any magician who takes themselves seriously.

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Re: Tarbell Course In Magic

Postby Stephen Ward » Sat Jul 28, 2012 12:14 am

Lee Enfield wrote:These are essential for any magician who takes themselves seriously.


:shock: The Dark Lord appears on TM! Pop over to introductions for those who do not know you.

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