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KenTheriot

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Reply with quote  #1 
Since first hearing of the Hermann Pass, I sent in search of what it was and how to do it. When I found multiple YouTube videos purporting to teach it, and they looked pretty much identical, I (wrongly) assumed those videos were showing the correct Hermann Pass. 

Last night I looked through New Era Card Tricks and More Card Manipulations (Hugard) for instructions on the Hermann Pass. NECT was not terribly clear to me. But Hugard's description and illustrations were very clear (even though 2 of the pictures were mislabeled:-P). 

I'm going to go on the assumption that Hugard is right and the YouTube guys are - less right. But i'd love some clarification from the card pros here. If we have to take this into the Session Room, that's fine. 

Thanks!

Ken
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RayJ

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Reply with quote  #2 
I just dusted off my copy of More Card Manipulations and read the description.  While it is probably technically correct, it is not the way I learned it, or do it.  By the way, it is spelled Herrmann.  Most of the videos I saw on Youtube misspelled the name also.  

The Herrmann Pass is as you know, the opposite of the classic pass action.  The bottom goes to the top.  The mechanics described by Hugard, to me, are not very comfortable.  I don't mind a straddle grip for certain moves, but putting your two middle fingers under the pack such that the fingernails rest on the bottom of the deck?  Not!  

What I've done, without even knowing it at the time, is incorporated the concept of gravity to initiate the motion of the bottom half.  Aaron Fisher has done extensive work on the concept of using gravity to help eliminate overt motion and thereby make sleights look more natural and "moveless".

Getting back to your discussion, I want to say my piece about youtube videos.  Most of them (the tutorials) are awful.  Really bad.  Either the person cannot really do it but explains it anyway, or they do the move and give it no attribution, claim it as their own because they did it with one foot in the air or such.  And then if you read the comments below the video, it is either hilarious, sad or evil depending on the participants.  Anyone who questions whether society has gone to heck just has to read the comments under most videos.  

So in my opinion, what you mostly have is Herrmann mechanics.  The mechanics of what makes the shift work typically don't change that much.  It is what the magician does during the process that adds to the appearance of the sleight.  Some incorporate body turns to good effect, some raise their hands or lower them, some turn the deck over and even that can be by rotation of the pack front to back or merely side to side.

A decent resource is Richard Kaufman's video On The Pass.  He covers the Herrmann Pass and several variants.  

Many of the explanations I've read have one fatal flaw in common.  The just don't adequately explain what the initial movement is that causes the bottom half to begin the transposition.  I would argue that if you asked 100 magicians to do a Herrmann Pass, you would find many different LH grips and the movement initiated in different ways.  Different finger positions, etc.  

If you have Expert Card Technique, (and you should), read what Hugard has written up in there on the various passes.  ECT is cheap and a good reference.  


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Steven Youell

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Reply with quote  #3 
Quote:
Originally Posted by RayJ
Getting back to your discussion, I want to say my piece about youtube videos.  Most of them (the tutorials) are awful.  Really bad.

Take your bad feelings and multiply them by infinity. That's how much I dislike them. The guys who really know how to perform and/or teach Sleight of Hand don't do it on YouTube. Connect the dots, folks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RayJ
A decent resource is Richard Kaufman's video On The Pass.  He covers the Herrmann Pass and several variants.

And that's a point I'll have to disagree with-- I would not recommend that video for several reasons.

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RayJ

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Reply with quote  #4 
Steven, Kaufman's video is not perfect, far from it.  That's why I said a decent resource.  You and I probably have similar reservations about the video.  What I do like about it is that it is a lot of technique in one video.  During the process of studying the pass you always have to separate the wheat from the chaff.  Ultimately, the pass is a very personal thing and the secret is to work out what works for you, the way you hold a deck, your mannerisms, etc.  
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Steven Youell

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Reply with quote  #5 
Quote:
Originally Posted by RayJ
Steven, Kaufman's video is not perfect, far from it.  That's why I said a decent resource.

Hey RayJ, please don't think I was taking a swipe at you! [eek]
I promise you that was not the case.

I respect both you and your opinion regardless of whether we disagree or not. We good?

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RayJ

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Reply with quote  #6 
We are definitely good.  I did not and do not take anything negative out of your comment.  In fact, like I said, I agree.
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Mike Powers

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Reply with quote  #7 
Those of us who were at Steve's last lecture got to see some really clean pass work. Steve is a true expert on the pass, the top change and other sleights too. I think you can still buy access to the video of the lecture. It's money well spent.

Mike
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KenTheriot

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Reply with quote  #8 
Thanks for that clarification. I missed the double R in the name but have now corrected that in my mind[smile]

I actually found the Hugard handling totally intuitive for me, and it smoothed out my rotation motion under the top pack. I'm sure it's going to be one of those individual preference things. 

I appreciate all the input, guys!

Ken
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StevePR104

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Reply with quote  #9 

I would humbly suggest that the Herrmann Pass is probably the easiest pass to learn and become proficient in.  Moreover, when it's done decently, it's silent, and can easily be done on the offbeat in any of its many variants.

I have one minor adjustment, which I've found to be of tremendous help in ensuring that the packet transferral doesn't get hung up.  Works for me....if you're interested, PM me.

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Steven Youell

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Reply with quote  #10 
For the record-- the nomenclature is different now in modern times.

The terms Classic Pass and Herrmann Pass seem to be categories, instead of specific sleights.
In general, the former describes a two handed shift in which the top half is moved around the bottom half.
The latter describes a two handed shift in which the bottom half is moved around the top half.

The modern nomenclature is necessary because of the large number of variants, however as you can
see in this thread, it can cause confusion.

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