4 cool hobbies to pick up for free online

There are tons of free hobbies out there, but the problem is that most of them don’t sound very interesting or are just not appealing enough to pique one’s interest. You can choose to spend all your free time Netflix-ing, or online gaming, but the amount of street cred that’s going to give you in the real world is practically zero.

We’ve come up with 4 hobbies you can learn for free any time, at your own pace, that will boost your coolness factor and increase your self-confidence.

Beatboxing

Unlike mastering the piano or saxophone, in which progress is largely dependent on being taught by a real live teacher, beatboxing is a skill that most people these days pick up by watching online tutorials. Some of the beatboxing pros started out entirely online and then try to improvise and emulate the sounds they hear.

Best of all, you only need your mouth and hands! No need to shell out money on an instrument, or having to lug it around when you want to impress others. Here’s a list of tutorials to get you started on your way to beat greatness. 

Street Magic

Just to be clear, we don’t mean the sawing-your-little-sister-into-half type of magic. If you have seen any of David Blaine‘s videos, or Cyril Takayama famously pulling a real-life burger out of a burger menu in Japan and then taking a bite out of it,  it’s street magic that makes instant stars out of whoever is performing it nowadays.

If you have a few card or coin tricks up your sleeve, it’s enough to wow the people around you at any orientation camps or class parties. Many professional magicians started out with a book like J.B. Bobo Modern Coin Magic, which you can borrow free at the library and memorise the routines inside. There are also numerous YouTube tutorials to learn from to help you on your way to impressing others (or simply to mess with people’s minds).

Photography

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. If you get good enough at snapping pictures and editing them on software such as Adobe Photoshop or Lightbox, it could even be worth a thousand bucks. Good photos tell a great story. There’s plenty of YouTube channels out there that are dedicated to breaking down the many aspects of photography such as aperture, shutter speed, and ISO, to easier-to-digest pieces.

One channel that can help inspire as well as improve your photography skills is COOPH or The Cooperative of Photography, which features videos full of practical tips and tricks such as 7 DIY Photography Tips Using Household Objects that you can put to use right away using your phone camera. 

Parkour

One of the coolest movies I’ve watched as a teenager was a French film called Yamakasi that introduced the world to the art form called Parkour. Even if you have not seen it, I’m sure you would have seen that Singaporean parkour practitioner leaping across railings and free-running through HDB playgrounds. 

The best part is that parkour remains a discipline that you can practise in any type of urban environment, of which Singapore fits pretty perfectly in. Most of the basic moves such as climbing, precision jumping and rolling, have to be practised repeatedly on your own for you to improve. But it is at absolutely no cost at all. Watch tutorial online to get the basics right, and then all you need are running shoes and an HDB estate.

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