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Caruso Lesson Notes


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PH
Bill Adam/Carmine Caruso Forum Moderator


Joined: 26 Nov 2001
Posts: 5350
Location: Bloomington Indiana

PostPosted: Mon Aug 26, 2002 9:50 am    Post subject: Caruso Lesson Notes Reply with quote

I found these notes I had collected from my lessons with Carmine over the years. A lot of what he says here is restating the text portion of MCFB. I hope you find this interesting.

1) Start your foot tapping before you play. This sets up the timing. Even the first soundÖeven the breath needs to be in time.

2) Maintain the mouthpiece pressure and placement and keep the lip tension constant during the rests. Keep the setting until no notes are sounding.

3) Breathe through the nose so you donít disturb the embouchure.

4) Donít apply these procedures to other playing. These are only for doing your calisthenics.

5) These exercises are a complement to your regular practice. Donít abandon other exercises you already do.

6) When you do these exercises, try not to be music conscious. You donít need to strive for pitch, tone quality, or aesthetic results. These exercises are designed for muscular conditioning. All of your thinking should be directed towards timing.

7) Exercises need not and should not sound like performance.

8) Donít stop as long as there is even a piece of the note. Where thereís smoke there is fire. Little notes will grow.

9) Disregard mistakes. Go on as if you are playing perfectly.

10) Donít make an issue over a mistake. It is already in the past.

11) You learn from frequent repetition. Donít consciously ďfixĒ anything.

12) Synchronization and timing are the main goals.

13) All muscles in the chops, hands, breathing apparatus, etc. respond to musical and timing demands.

14) Good sound comes from synchronization of muscles.

15) Good timing solves all technical problems.

16) Breathe in rhythm!

17) When playing, we are dealing with too many body motions to even list. The synchronization of these motions gives the desired results. Timing is of the utmost importance. Accuracy is the result of subdivision of the beat. Subdivide the beat immediately prior to any pitch change or articulation into four sixteenth notes. All motion should happen after the fourth sixteenth. Even finer subdivisions (than the sixteenth) will eventually produce more refined timing.

18) It isnít how fast you play, but rather how fast you change from note to note that produces clean technique.

19) Feel the upbeat as clearly as the downbeat.

20) Six things determine pitch: mouthpiece pressure, lipping, pivot, twisting, lateral slides, and jaw jutting. If any of these are overdone you have a bad habit. If these things are synchronized to occur simultaneously, you canít overdo any aspect or you will miss the note. Repetition and synchronization end bad habits without conscious fixing.

21) Donít think of any particular aspect of playing. Just play!

22) Practice the whole body, not specific parts.

23) Use the most natural volume FOR YOU on all exercises without dynamic markings.

24) Use a breath attack (ďwhoĒ) on the six notes.

25) With a breath attack, the lips respond only if well focused.

26) Just let the corners happen. They only radiate what goes on inside the mouthpiece.

27) Steady blowing makes a musical sound. Inertia keeps the air and chops moving regularly.

28) Breath intake and blow is a pendulum-like action. Donít hold the breath or hesitate. Like everything else, the breath responds to the time.

29) Keep the blow constant so the lips can ride on the air stream.

30) Steady breath is not forced breath.

31) The instrument is an extension of the body!

32) Each note complements the next. Donít set for where you are going. Set for the note you are playing now.

33) The purpose of practice is to repeat a muscular activity until it is a habit.

34) The overblow indicates that you have more air power than you chops can harness.

35) We practice overblowing to train the muscles to handle the overblow so you can use that power.

36) Slow air=soft. Fast air=loud.

37) The chops, not the air, determine the pitch.

38) The lips are the resistors to the air stream. The resistance energizes the air molecules.

39) The same work effort is required for a double C as for a low C, only with more resistance from the lips.

40) If stiffness occurs, breath attack a low F# ppp and hold it for 40 seconds or more. Intersperse low F# at varying parts of the routine, whenever you need it. You canít overdo this.

41) Donít do the exercises on tired, swollen, or stiff chops or on the day of an important gig.

42) Any stiffness that may result will go away in a short time as the muscles begin to set up properly. You will eventually be tireless.

43) (to my orchestrally oriented buddy) Do these exercises on your main instrument. If C trumpet is your main instrument then do the exercises on C trumpet. Play them as written. Do not transpose.

44) Always finish a playing session on your main instrument. If you play a thing on flugelhorn or piccolo trumpet, or whatever, always play a little on your main instrument before packing up.

45) If you are having trouble with a double like flugelhorn, you should at least do the six notes, seconds, and harmonics on flugelhorn every day. To be equally good on two instruments requires double the amount of practice time!

46) Consistency comes from repetition.

47) Relaxation is a product. Tension is a symptom. When the body works properly it will be relaxed. There is MINIMUM work effort for the desired result.

<font size=-2>[ This Message was edited by: PH on 2002-09-19 08:25 ]</font>


Last edited by PH on Sun Dec 26, 2004 3:15 pm; edited 1 time in total
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sabutin
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Joined: 20 Aug 2002
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 26, 2002 10:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pat...

WOW !!!

(You take good notes.)

Sam
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trickg
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 26, 2002 10:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for sharing these. This looks like a great list to enlarge and put up on my practice room wall!
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Patrick Gleason - Jupiter XO 1600i, Warburton 4SVW/KT, Curry 3C

"95% of the average 'weekend warrior's' problems will be solved by an additional 30 minutes of insightful practice." - PLP
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_bugleboy
Carmine Caruso Forum Moderator


Joined: 11 Nov 2001
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 26, 2002 11:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pat,

I'm going to put a link on the Tribute site to this thread.

Good one!

Charly
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Xenoman
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 09, 2003 1:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Saw this link on Charles Raymond's site... wanted to bring it back to the top. Good stuff here.
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livelyjazz
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 09, 2003 1:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

To PH,

These are great notes!!


To Xeno "Lawler" Man,

Thank you for bringing this back to the top!

Logan
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trumpetdiva1
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 09, 2003 3:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for sharing, Pat. I have printed out these notes and will post it to my music locker and share them with others, too.

Janell Carter
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_Don Herman
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 10, 2003 10:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cool, PH -- thanks! - Don
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Don Herman/Monument, CO
"After silence, that which best expresses the inexpressible, is music." - Aldous Huxley
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PH
Bill Adam/Carmine Caruso Forum Moderator


Joined: 26 Nov 2001
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Location: Bloomington Indiana

PostPosted: Sun Jul 04, 2004 6:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Keep this at the top!
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Terry
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 10, 2004 6:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Let's bring this back up
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Chaser
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 16, 2004 6:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"36) Slow air=soft. Fast air=loud."

Am I the only one who wants to pull my hair out everytime I see a "I can't play high" post with a "Relax the center, keep the corners firm, and really move the air. The faster the air, the higher you'll play" reply????


AAAAAAAAAAaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhggggggggggggggggg!
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_bugleboy
Carmine Caruso Forum Moderator


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 19, 2004 6:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It is demonstrably clear to me that increasing air speed has nothing to do with how high the note is. A lot of players are of the opposite opinion, so I have given it some thought and come up with this explanation.

You'll notice that, if the air pressure is constant, as you increase the tension necessary to raise the pitch of a note (increasing resistence in the lips), the volume of the the note gets softer. At some point in creating more tension in the lips, if the air pressure isn't increased, the resistence will be such that no air will pass through the lips. Increasing the air speed, however, will maintain the volume as the pitch increases. Perhaps, for this reason, players mistakenly associate the air speed with pitch. This also explains why it is more tiring to play high notes loud than it is to play low notes loud. It requires more muscle flex in the embouchure and in the respiratory system.

Anyone advocating the firm corners, loose center, etc. approach, is advocating that the student attempt to micromanage muscles. It doesn't matter whether or not, in fact, the corners may be firm and the center may be loose. Sometimes this may be true and at other times it may not be true. But, regardless, implementing these willful manipulations (constraints) on the muscles is the kiss of death for their development. Do so at your own peril.
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Jazzalive
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 14, 2004 2:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great Post. Good information. I'll share this with my troops.
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GrumpyPe0n
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 11, 2004 10:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah personally I donot agree with fast air= louder. I keep air speed constant throughout
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Blutch
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 29, 2004 8:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pat,

PURE GOLD!

My teacher studied with Carmine and taught me the routine and concepts and I use it with *some* of my students. Not all are ready for it.

I have said many of the things you list over and over, but never seen them compiled like this. I am so very happy to have this list.

I also took lessons with Mr. Adam on my sabbatical almost 2 years ago. I heard you play while I was there and we spoke for awhile. Your list in the Adam forum is also a great resource.

I studied for 8+ years with Mr. Jacobs and went to his summer week-long masterclass twice. I wish you were a student of his so we could have a list compiled on his concepts too!

Actually, the Adam list is full of "Jacobian" concepts.

Thank you again for this valuable post.

Michael Anderson
Oklahoma City University
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trptStudent
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 27, 2005 9:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

bugleboy wrote:

It is demonstrably clear to me that increasing air speed has nothing to do with how high the note is. A lot of players are of the opposite opinion, so I have given it some thought and come up with this explanation.

You'll notice that, if the air pressure is constant, as you increase the tension necessary to raise the pitch of a note (increasing resistence in the lips), the volume of the the note gets softer. At some point in creating more tension in the lips, if the air pressure isn't increased, the resistence will be such that no air will pass through the lips. Increasing the air speed, however, will maintain the volume as the pitch increases. Perhaps, for this reason, players mistakenly associate the air speed with pitch. This also explains why it is more tiring to play high notes loud than it is to play low notes loud. It requires more muscle flex in the embouchure and in the respiratory system.

Anyone advocating the firm corners, loose center, etc. approach, is advocating that the student attempt to micromanage muscles. It doesn't matter whether or not, in fact, the corners may be firm and the center may be loose. Sometimes this may be true and at other times it may not be true. But, regardless, implementing these willful manipulations (constraints) on the muscles is the kiss of death for their development. Do so at your own peril.


Hmm, this is an interesting point. I, for many years, have associated fast air with higher notes, and more air with volume. But perhaps what was happening when I put more air into the horn, is simply just faster air.

I'm wondering if you can give another analogy or example where air pressure (I'm thinking the word compression can be used here as well) accounts for higher notes.
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_bugleboy
Carmine Caruso Forum Moderator


Joined: 11 Nov 2001
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 27, 2005 10:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I refer you to many threads on this subject with posts by Kalijah. Here's one.

http://www.trumpetherald.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=28764
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kimisan
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 01, 2005 6:34 am    Post subject: Getting Started Question Reply with quote

I've been playing the MCFB for a couple of weeks. My question is: When playing the exercises, do you leave your embouchure flexed during the four beat rests or do you relax it? I know you keep the position of the mouthpiece unchanged. Thanks.
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PH
Bill Adam/Carmine Caruso Forum Moderator


Joined: 26 Nov 2001
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 01, 2005 7:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

See my post in this thread.

http://www.trumpetherald.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=31111
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Maratom
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 03, 2007 7:12 pm    Post subject: Carmine Caruso and the six notes Reply with quote

http://www.trombone.org/articles/library/letters-caruso2.asp
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