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Caruso: Daily Routine?


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WyoTrumpet
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PostPosted: Mon May 08, 2017 8:40 am    Post subject: Caruso: Daily Routine? Reply with quote

Hello all,

Over the past few months, I have been experimenting with some Caruso exercises and the Laurie Frink FLEXUS book.

When doing the exercises daily, I've noticed an overall ease in playing ability, natural extension to my range, and an overall more consistent sound. However, I can easily spend an hour or more each day playing these exercises, which is valuable time; I am in graduate school and often times have 4-5 hours of additional playing to get through each day with ensembles and practice time.

My question is this: Is there a way to sustain the benefits of these exercises without having to do them every day? Sometimes (particularly on days I have a gig or performance), it simply isn't a practical use of time to spend an hour's worth of chops going through my FLEXUS book.

What are your experiences with this? I would love to have the freedom and time to play a long routine every day, but between academic coursework, ensembles, lessons, gigs, etc, I am finding it difficult to maintain.
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Danbassin
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PostPosted: Mon May 08, 2017 10:17 am    Post subject: Re: Caruso: Daily Routine? Reply with quote

WyoTrumpet wrote:
Hello all,

Over the past few months, I have been experimenting with some Caruso exercises and the Laurie Frink FLEXUS book.

When doing the exercises daily, I've noticed an overall ease in playing ability, natural extension to my range, and an overall more consistent sound. However, I can easily spend an hour or more each day playing these exercises, which is valuable time; I am in graduate school and often times have 4-5 hours of additional playing to get through each day with ensembles and practice time.

My question is this: Is there a way to sustain the benefits of these exercises without having to do them every day? Sometimes (particularly on days I have a gig or performance), it simply isn't a practical use of time to spend an hour's worth of chops going through my FLEXUS book.

What are your experiences with this? I would love to have the freedom and time to play a long routine every day, but between academic coursework, ensembles, lessons, gigs, etc, I am finding it difficult to maintain.


What's wrong with having something that works that you do every day?

In actual answer to your question, I have played with Basic Caruso and my own version of the Fluxus exercises on-and-off for many years. With most calisthenics, regular maintenance work is essential for sustaining continued benefit, but you can most certainly 'get something out of' returning to them when you need them.

Fundamentally, Caruso's (all of the exercises, but specifically The Seven Notes) aren't about endurance, range, strength, or such similar things - they're about synchronizing the overall playing system with the aim of greater efficiency. This is a bit of a re-frame from how most of us approach this...approach to daily practice, but when you use these exercises for targeted improvements to your overall system, an intensive check-in every couple of weeks can really help things along.

For reference, 'my' version of the Fluxus exercises pick up with the expanded 'Seven Notes' only I keep things in fourths, rather than using open notes. Therefore, I'll go chromatically from G-C (the 'normal' Caruso) with, or without the note bending that I find very important in the McNeil/Frink version, then from D-G, then C-F, then put the whole thing together from D under the staff to F on top --- feel the burn! Occasionally, I'll keep going: A-D, F-Bb, and even Pedal E-A, Bb-Eb.

NB - These are best at the END of a day of practicing and/or gigs. Perhaps if I had the discipline to be a daily fluxus-er or Carusophile, I'd be able to hit them first thing, then go about my regular trumpet business.

Happy practicing,

-DB
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PH
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PostPosted: Mon May 08, 2017 5:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Chops and endurance aren't something where you have a finite amount of resources. The more efficiently you play, the better the results in every way...endurance, sound, tone, flexibility, range, agility...everything.

Assuming that you are doing the drills properly, the more consistently you do the drills on a daily basis (an hour or so seems about right...no more than 90 minutes) the BETTER you will play at the end of your 5th hour of rehearsal. Trust me.

Do this stuff every day. Ideally, do it early in the day before you have any other playing obligations. You'll get stronger over time. Don't be careful. Be carefree.
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kevin_soda
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PostPosted: Tue May 09, 2017 12:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

PH wrote:
Chops and endurance aren't something where you have a finite amount of resources. The more efficiently you play, the better the results in every way...endurance, sound, tone, flexibility, range, agility...everything.

Assuming that you are doing the drills properly, the more consistently you do the drills on a daily basis (an hour or so seems about right...no more than 90 minutes) the BETTER you will play at the end of your 5th hour of rehearsal. Trust me.

Do this stuff every day. Ideally, do it early in the day before you have any other playing obligations. You'll get stronger over time. Don't be careful. Be carefree.


I've found the days I start early I play much better throughout the day. Even on days when it's harder to make sound, I'm always better after my daily stuff. Even if I'm not as good as yesterday, I'm always better than when I started the day.
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maynard-46
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PostPosted: Tue May 09, 2017 2:07 pm    Post subject: caruso: dailey routine Reply with quote

Quote:
all of the exercises, but specifically The Seven Notes


Unless I missed something over the last 50 years of doing Caruso's method...it's "6 NOTE EXERCISE"!!!!

Butch
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bach_again
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PostPosted: Tue May 09, 2017 2:52 pm    Post subject: Re: caruso: dailey routine Reply with quote

maynard-46 wrote:
Quote:
all of the exercises, but specifically The Seven Notes


Unless I missed something over the last 50 years of doing Caruso's method...it's "6 NOTE EXERCISE"!!!!

Butch


G, Ab, A, Bb, B, C and the brown note.
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gstump
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PostPosted: Wed May 10, 2017 1:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pure Caruso Interval Studies, Harmonics and the 6 Notes do not take much time at all. Flexus does. There is nothing wrong with skipping Caruso when you have a gig or performance. The muscle memory developed by the Caruso Method has a very long shelf life.

I am not that knowledgeable on Flexus. I practiced it religiously and really improved my playing. Then I quit and my playing level went down. I am lazy. If I was not so lazy maybe I could have auditioned and won a gig with Blue Cross. But I also get bored easily if I am not playing short jazzy bursts of loud and high. That always worried me. So I stuck with pure Caruso for 50 years. I love talking about myself. Is that wrong?
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Danbassin
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PostPosted: Wed May 10, 2017 5:14 am    Post subject: Re: caruso: dailey routine Reply with quote

maynard-46 wrote:
Quote:
all of the exercises, but specifically The Seven Notes


Unless I missed something over the last 50 years of doing Caruso's method...it's "6 NOTE EXERCISE"!!!!

Butch


Hah!

Sorry about that - maybe counting it out would've been the smart move. Rather than edit my post, let's just let the embarrassment sink in.

Clark 1 = 7 notes

Caruso "1" = The Six Notes

Bassin 0, Math ∞

Off to practice a multiplicity of notes,
-DB
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Daniel Bassin
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I play:
Monette CORNETTE
C: Monette P1
Various Bb, D trumpets.
Picc: mid-70s Schilke P4-3 (Monette A pipe)
MPCs: Monette Prana Resonance 1-1 series.
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Irving
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PostPosted: Wed May 10, 2017 5:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

GStump, Is your Caruso routine based on Caruso's book Musical Calisthenics, or did Caruso give you a routine? Would you mind sharing it with us?
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gstump
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PostPosted: Wed May 10, 2017 7:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Irving wrote:
GStump, Is your Caruso routine based on Caruso's book Musical Calisthenics, or did Caruso give you a routine? Would you mind sharing it with us?


My Caruso routine is MCFB without the 16th note stuff at the end. Mr. Caruso gave me hand written manuscripts and a typed photo copy of a schedule for the Intervals. That schedule and the hand written manuscripts are almost identical to what came out in the MCFB book that Herb Alpert later had published. Caruso Manuscripts

I added 16th note studies of my own based on Caruso Principles. At first I called them Stump Studies and hand wrote them for my students. Later one of my college students traded publishing them in a book in exchange for summer lessons. He later reinvented himself as David Shelby, the country music artist. Great guy.

Anyway, my maintenance routine of Caruso and my stuff only takes about 45 minutes. At least with my range up to Gs and As. If one had a real high range it would take longer. Short of making a deal with the devil I never was successful at that!

Thanks for asking,

Gordon Stump
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Irving
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PostPosted: Wed May 10, 2017 9:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Gordon. A question. In the hand written copy of the harmonic series, there are fermatas on the high C, D etc. Do you keep time during the fermatas? Then, during the measure rest, do you keep the mouthpiece on the lips? Caruso wrote something above the rest, but I can't read it. What does it say?
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gstump
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PostPosted: Wed May 10, 2017 10:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Irving wrote:
Thanks Gordon. A question. In the hand written copy of the harmonic series, there are fermatas on the high C, D etc. Do you keep time during the fermatas? Then, during the measure rest, do you keep the mouthpiece on the lips? Caruso wrote something above the rest, but I can't read it. What does it say?


That one with the fermatas is my manuscript extending the one Mr. Caruso gave me in the "Don't Think" manuscript. The fermatas are held 4 beats and only 1 is held. So if you where assigned to the third hold you would play the C and D like quarter notes and the E held 4 beats then the four beat rest.

The mouthpiece was left on the lips and everything kept still while breathing thru the nose. As I got older, I took the mouthpiece off the lips.

The harmonic became part of my warm-up. I warmed up first with the 6 notes and then the harmonics to the 5th hold so letting the muscles relax during the 4 beat rest at this stage in my warmup seemed better for me.

Gordon
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WyoTrumpet
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PostPosted: Wed May 10, 2017 3:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is all very interesting and I appreciate the replies from everybody! Seeing copies of original Caruso manuscript is particularly cool Glad to know I'm not the only one who feels the need to take a day or two off now and again (especially on performance days).

Hopefully, with repetition, I'll get to a point where breaks are no longer necessary.
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bagmangood
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PostPosted: Wed May 10, 2017 3:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

FWIW, practicing ALL the exercises in Flexus every day probably doesn't make sense for most players (even if you limit to the suggestions per grouping listed in the book).

I'd recommend figuring out which exercises are really helping you and only doing those (preferably with a teacher who understands them). Even a single lesson with someone who studied with Caruso can be valuable
(or at this point, studied with someone who studied with Caruso...)

Good luck with your studies!
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PH
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PostPosted: Wed May 10, 2017 5:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

bagmangood wrote:
FWIW, practicing ALL the exercises in Flexus every day probably doesn't make sense for most players (even if you limit to the suggestions per grouping listed in the book).

I'd recommend figuring out which exercises are really helping you and only doing those (preferably with a teacher who understands them). Even a single lesson with someone who studied with Caruso can be valuable
(or at this point, studied with someone who studied with Caruso...)

Good luck with your studies!


There is a guide to assembling a routine from Flexus in the introductory text to the book. This routine takes me about 80". Do people never read the instructions anymore?!?
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kevin_soda
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PostPosted: Wed May 10, 2017 5:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I always read the words in the books. It's important.
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Pete
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PostPosted: Wed May 10, 2017 6:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The six notes exercise is the one that you should not ignore. I have been doing the six notes and one interval exercise before leaving for a gig for more years than I want to count. Everyone is different, but you do not want to tire your chops out before a gig.

Pete
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halfgreek12
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PostPosted: Wed May 10, 2017 6:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Chuck Findley talks about his 20 min Caruso warmup in this video at 1:05:56:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JJUP8TkMf2E&t=5s

This has been working good for me.

Steve
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jgadvert
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PostPosted: Wed May 10, 2017 9:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am not the most sophisticted person on here but would like to offer my opinion. Reduce the exercises down to a 20 minute routine.

You didnt say how many days a week you have 4-5 hours of rehearsals etc..
I never do exercises on performance days but those are only 1-2 days a week on average for me.

Anyway, I do Caruso and lip flexibility stuff every day for 20-30 minutes...five days a week...for many years now. What it adds to your endurance and efficiency is well worth it.

I have never done Flexus...but what a nice lady and encouraging teacher Laurie was.
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TrpPro
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PostPosted: Wed May 10, 2017 10:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My minimum daily is 6 Notes, Harmonics plus a Regular Interval. That's probably around 10 - 12 minutes. I think Chuck Findley mentions something like that in a youtube video.

I would invest whatever time you have in Caruso first.
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