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Anthony Vinson

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Reply with quote  #1 
No, I'm not wearing a pacemaker. [biggrin]

Been working on my Siva Count in the context of a trick requiring its use. While the mechanics are simple enough, the execution is tricky since it, like any sleight, requires a certain "natural" contextual rhythm. Dissatisfied with my progress, I whipped out my phone, opened the Garage Band app, and used the metronome feature to secure the right rhythm for the count. So far, so good. Applied the same to my Elmsley, Jordan, and Biddle Counts. Surprise, surprise, I was able to note slight (wink, wink) improvements in execution. Hadn't noticed that I'd drifted into rote execution of the sleights without regard for the best pacing and rhythm. 

I am not offering this as some wonderful revelatory idea. I am certain it's been done and redone for decades, but it got me thinking about what other sleights or movements might be strengthened using some of the common apps currently available on our ubiquitous electronic leashes? Video camera, obviously. Audio recorder. There must be more; what can you think of, or what are you using?

How can we put our tech to use and improve our magic?

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Robin Dawes

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Great idea!  I've been working on a false count that Jon Armstrong teaches - consistent rhythm has been my stumbling block.  I'll try the metronome.
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RayJ

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John Mendoza, and I'm sure people before him, recommended using a metronome.  I believe it is in 'The Book of John', by John F. Mendoza.  I've mentioned it here previously as rhythm is what I believe to be a huge thing in magic.
Rhythm comes into play in many tricks and not just with cards.  Cups & Balls, specifically on the final loads, benefits from proper rhythm.

As far as other technology, we're using one now and it has helped tremendously.  Used to be you wrote letters to other magi and/or called them on the phone.  Or you ran into them at magic club meetings or conventions.  Now we are only a keystroke away from each other.

Other technology also includes video, whether your computer or cell phone.  When I first started, some people had Super-8 video cameras, but the film had to be developed and it was costly.  You can now video yourself for feedback or for posting on forums, etc.  Free editing programs are also available.  

You can also use the application Anthony mentioned, Garage Band, to create your own backing music should you choose to.  

So technology is plentiful and very helpful.
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John Cowne

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Reply with quote  #4 
I must admit that the metronome leaves me less than enthusiastic, from early guitar training days. An absolutely useful tool, but I’ve found just using music that I love, with a discernable beat, provides more energy and interest for me. At a kids club I’ve done a sponge ball routine with all the kids singing ‘the cup song’ - ‘When I’m Gone’ (made famous by Anna Kendrick in ‘Pitch Perfect’). I found that an extreme workout!
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RayJ

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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Cowne
I must admit that the metronome leaves me less than enthusiastic, from early guitar training days. An absolutely useful tool, but I’ve found just using music that I love, with a discernable beat, provides more energy and interest for me. At a kids club I’ve done a sponge ball routine with all the kids singing ‘the cup song’ - ‘When I’m Gone’ (made famous by Anna Kendrick in ‘Pitch Perfect’). I found that an extreme workout!


Most people are capable of making a steady beat just by counting out loud.  So the metronome is not a requirement, just helpful because you can focus on the count and not counting, if that makes sense!

When I practice, I count in my head.  Steady is good, any interruption in the flow looks fishy.
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chris w

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Reply with quote  #6 
I knew I remembered reading the metronome thing somewhere recently, and I just found it: It's named as a tool Slydini used with his magic students here.

Despite encountering this advice several times over the years, I don't believe I've ever bothered to do it. The technology for it sure is convenient and readily available these days. Thanks for the kick in the pants to incorporate it into my practice too, Anthony.
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John Cowne

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One of my fave movies is ‘Strictly Ballroom’ (good training for hearing Aussie accents, so I’m told) where the hero, Scott, is learning a Gypsie dance to the Pasodoble (120 bpm), for the Pan-Pacific Ballroom dancers contest. When he ‘demos’ it to his Spanish love-interest’s family, they start laughing; apparently, he did not have the right ‘’feel’. So the matriarch shuffles up to him and starts pounding his chest, repeating ‘feel the rhythm’. That’s when his body learns to - feel the rhythm. I’ve recently heard someone say (on a sponge ball DVD) a magic performance is like a dance. I’m gonna imagine a Spanish matriarch thumping my chest In my next practice session.
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