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Caruso and endurance



 
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Tivolian
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2018 7:52 am    Post subject: Caruso and endurance Reply with quote

Howdy folks. I'm a comeback player about two years in after a 40+ year layoff. It's been challenging but also rewarding. I started doing the first few exercises in the Caruso book twice a day in February, and at long last might be seeing slow but steady progress in my achievable upper register. I'm not noticing as much progress in my endurance, though. I was hoping to get peoples' thoughts about the use of Caruso exercises for building stamina, and if there are any suggestions as to how to speed up progress a bit. Thanks in advance.
--Tivolian
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MrOlds
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2018 8:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My experience with the Caruso method is that it’s more about coordination, balance and timing. Endurance is a result of playing in balance for longer periods. There is some muscle tone involved but it’s not the primary factor.

Others may differ.
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JoseLindE4
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2018 10:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's how it works for me as well. My general sense is that many people become overly focused on building muscles when doing Caruso. Subdivide so that you develop the coordination needed to play. I can work out so that I'm strong enough to carry a heavy rock up a steep hill, but it's much easier just to drive it up in my car.
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PH
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2018 11:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Follow the Four Rules. Read and reread the Getting Started threads. Caruso calisthenic practice creates balance and efficiency. Eventually, this results in endurance, range, flexibility, beautiful tone, etc. The first benefits I found were in cleanliness of execution and flexibility. Everyone has different results. Done properly (as discussed in Getting Started), I have not found anyone who did not improve their total playing situation.
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Tivolian
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2018 12:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Okay, so these responses are helpful. I do my best to follow the instructions to a tee, but at least two of the four rules pertain only to the Caruso exercises and not to other playing -- breathing through the nose and keeping mpc on lips when breathing. I have trouble transferring all techniques to regular playing. The steady blow and coordination of rhythm are transferable. So, it's like I'm developing the muscles to pick up the boulder and put it in the car, but then can drive only a few yards before it falls out and has to be put back in again.
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PH
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2018 12:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tivolian wrote:
Okay, so these responses are helpful. I do my best to follow the instructions to a tee, but at least two of the four rules pertain only to the Caruso exercises and not to other playing -- breathing through the nose and keeping mpc on lips when breathing. I have trouble transferring all techniques to regular playing. The steady blow and coordination of rhythm are transferable. So, it's like I'm developing the muscles to pick up the boulder and put it in the car, but then can drive only a few yards before it falls out and has to be put back in again.


This is a matter of training. Do not try to consciously transfer anything you do during calisthenic practice to when you are playing music. This is an indirect approach. Do the calisthenics. Take a short break. Then go play music, and think only about the music. The benefits transfer to your playing naturally and incidentally. If an athlete goes to the gym, or goes for a run, or whatever they do to train, they trust this to improve their efficiency when playing their sport without consciously thinking about how their body is working.
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PH
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2018 12:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Remember that the Four Rules don't apply to playing in a musical situation. Don't do nose breaths, breath attacks, etc. when playing music. these procedures are only for the calisthenic practice portion of your playing day.
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gstump
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2018 2:57 am    Post subject: Re: Caruso and endurance Reply with quote

Tivolian wrote:
Howdy folks. ...... I started doing the first few exercises in the Caruso book twice a day in February, and at long last might be seeing slow but steady progress in my achievable upper register. I'm not noticing as much progress in my endurance, though........Thanks in advance.
--Tivolian


The Caruso book has a progressive daily routine that adds exercises. While coordinating the face and the brain results in better playing in all ranges, the side effect is increased endurance. But a few will not translate as well as the entire routine.

Cheers,
Gordon Stump
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DustinB
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 21, 2018 2:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tivolian wrote:
Howdy folks. I'm a comeback player about two years in after a 40+ year layoff. It's been challenging but also rewarding. I started doing the first few exercises in the Caruso book twice a day in February, and at long last might be seeing slow but steady progress in my achievable upper register. I'm not noticing as much progress in my endurance, though. I was hoping to get peoples' thoughts about the use of Caruso exercises for building stamina, and if there are any suggestions as to how to speed up progress a bit. Thanks in advance.
--Tivolian



In my experience with these exercises, you'll find the most benefit when you have, at the very least, one session of Caruso/technical practice and another session working on music. The best way to gain endurance is putting in the actual time playing the horn. Your body will learn how to incorporate the calisthenic training subconsciously as you carry on with your daily playing commitments. While Caruso is strenuous, the routine averages around 20 minutes. I know what happens when I show up to a three hour show/gig having only practiced 20 minutes the days leading up... For me, these exercises really do their job when your practice routine is balanced – and balance is what Caruso is all about!

Dustin
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JOF
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2018 8:09 am    Post subject: Caruso and endurance Reply with quote

I am a trombonist and studied with Carmine in the early 70's before moving to Europe. I read earlier in this forum that perhaps it was different for trombonists and other larger/lower brass instruments but Carmine told me - and I did therefore, you can play all day as long as you contrast what you are working on. Playing high? Make the next material low register (and vice-versa, of course. Articulated things, play legato things. He gave me the 6 Notes as BTB in the normal register. I do the notes in 5 octaves now and then take the mp off for a minute or so and then play the six note rhythmic pattern on a Bb scale beginning on High Bb (Trumpet C) up to Bb an octave higher. Carmine said the normal range of a brass instrument is 5 octaves but can sometimes be more as well.

In my experience, the Caruso studies help one develop very fine endurance - but it all comes from developing breath control and that reverts to the 4 rules and consistent practicing. As I get older (73 now), I have less breath - but I can still keep a steady blow which seems to be the engine that makes range, intonation, etc work.

Many people say that you can't use the things from the
Caruso studies/6 notes in your 'normal' playing but my experience is that whenever playing continuously in the high register, making very delicate entrances (attacks) in both the high and low registers- I use a breath attack quite often. I found that the interval studies really help one to develop a "taste" of a note which one uses all the time to pick out entrances.

Carmine turned my life as a player around with his teaching and I am forever grateful. That he was a terrific person was a bonus. I always remember his comments that you never say that's wrong to a student because you take away their self-confidence, if you are a teacher, you need to devise an exercise which leads them to a better way of doing it.

Endurance will certainly come if you don't have it just yet.

Jim
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arenarx68
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 14, 2019 9:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have a personal experience that may or may not apply to your situation. I have always had endurance issues and my range has been adequate but not exceptional. When I retired a few years ago I decided to devote more effort into improving both range and endurance. I finally started taking lessons. I discovered that my mouthpiece placement was the issue. I had been playing "in the red" for as long as I could remember. I was able to play fairly well but there was a literal brick wall as far as endurance was concerned. I was never able to play more that an hour a day without feeling damaged. It took almost 2 years for the correct placement to become a habit. And it took longer than that to get a high C back. After about 3 years I am routinely practicing 2 hours or more a day and am now working at getting a reliable D above high C. At 68 the improvements come very slowly but I feel I am finally on the right track.
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JOF
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 14, 2019 9:39 am    Post subject: Caruso and Endurance Reply with quote

arenarx68

Good to hear that you have solved those problems - somewhat of range but primarily regarding endurance. Changing one's embouchure can be a soul destroying experience but clearly it hasn't been for you. The premise of Caruso's exercises is that the necessary changes will follow by doing the routines according to the 4 rules and doing them daily to expose your body/embouchure to what you want it to do. It would have been interesting to see if you had been able to study with someone who had worked with Caruso to see if the same results would have been achieved without a change of embouchure - but the important thing is that you have found a way to sort out what felt as a problem for you - and being only able to play for an hour was certainly a problem. There are many roads that lead to Rome. I'm glad that you chose one that did that successfully.
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PH
Bill Adam/Carmine Caruso Forum Moderator


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 15, 2019 5:37 am    Post subject: Re: Caruso and Endurance Reply with quote

JOF wrote:
arenarx68

Good to hear that you have solved those problems - somewhat of range but primarily regarding endurance. Changing one's embouchure can be a soul destroying experience but clearly it hasn't been for you. The premise of Caruso's exercises is that the necessary changes will follow by doing the routines according to the 4 rules and doing them daily to expose your body/embouchure to what you want it to do. It would have been interesting to see if you had been able to study with someone who had worked with Caruso to see if the same results would have been achieved without a change of embouchure - but the important thing is that you have found a way to sort out what felt as a problem for you - and being only able to play for an hour was certainly a problem. There are many roads that lead to Rome. I'm glad that you chose one that did that successfully.


This!^^^
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arenarx68
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 17, 2019 8:53 am    Post subject: Re: Caruso and Endurance Reply with quote

JOF wrote:
arenarx68

Good to hear that you have solved those problems - somewhat of range but primarily regarding endurance. Changing one's embouchure can be a soul destroying experience but clearly it hasn't been for you. The premise of Caruso's exercises is that the necessary changes will follow by doing the routines according to the 4 rules and doing them daily to expose your body/embouchure to what you want it to do. It would have been interesting to see if you had been able to study with someone who had worked with Caruso to see if the same results would have been achieved without a change of embouchure - but the important thing is that you have found a way to sort out what felt as a problem for you - and being only able to play for an hour was certainly a problem. There are many roads that lead to Rome. I'm glad that you chose one that did that successfully.


JOF, Thank you for those thoughts. The process of changing my embouchure was daunting and I would not want to do it again. (Especially at my age....I've been playing for 58 years) I recently discovered the benefits of Caruso and have wondered if it wouldn't have made the process a bit easier. The hardest thing was developing a new habit without slipping back to previous habits that had more or less worked before.
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arenarx68
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 22, 2019 8:18 am    Post subject: Re: Caruso and endurance Reply with quote

JOF wrote:
I am a trombonist and studied with Carmine in the early 70's before moving to Europe. I read earlier in this forum that perhaps it was different for trombonists and other larger/lower brass instruments but Carmine told me - and I did therefore, you can play all day as long as you contrast what you are working on. Playing high? Make the next material low register (and vice-versa, of course. Articulated things, play legato things. He gave me the 6 Notes as BTB in the normal register. I do the notes in 5 octaves now and then take the mp off for a minute or so and then play the six note rhythmic pattern on a Bb scale beginning on High Bb (Trumpet C) up to Bb an octave higher. Carmine said the normal range of a brass instrument is 5 octaves but can sometimes be more as well.

In my experience, the Caruso studies help one develop very fine endurance - but it all comes from developing breath control and that reverts to the 4 rules and consistent practicing. As I get older (73 now), I have less breath - but I can still keep a steady blow which seems to be
the engine that makes range, intonation, etc work.

Many people say that you can't use the things from the
Caruso studies/6 notes in your 'normal' playing but my experience is that whenever playing continuously in the high register, making very delicate entrances (attacks) in both the high and low registers- I use a breath attack quite often. I found that the interval studies really help one to develop a "taste" of a note which one uses all the time to pick out entrances.

Carmine turned my life as a player around with his teaching and I am forever grateful. That he was a terrific person was a bonus. I always remember his comments that you never say that's wrong to a student because you take away their self-confidence, if you are a teacher, you need to devise an exercise which leads them to a better way of doing it.

Endurance will certainly come if you don't have it just yet.

Jim

I just read this today. It was very helpful and it confirms what has been my recent experience in the practice room. Yesterday I felt as if I could have played all day. I am now up to 2.5 hours with no discomfort. Before my embouchure change that simply never was going to be the case.
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JOF
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 25, 2019 5:01 pm    Post subject: arenarx68 Reply with quote

I just read this today. It was very helpful and it confirms what has been my recent experience in the practice room. Yesterday I felt as if I could have played all day. I am now up to 2.5 hours with no discomfort.Before my embouchure change that simply never was going to be the case.

What many players find is that the first noticeable effects from doing these studies regularly is an improvement in their endurance and that other players comment on the improved tone quality. So... I'm not surprised at your results.
One amusing comment which is perhaps pertinent to this is that I was listening to a lesson Carmine was giving before my lesson. He spent nearly a half hour listening to a trumpet player telling him about the personal problems he was having with his wife. He didn't play a single note until after this lengthy story. After he was gone, I said to Carmine, "You spent all of that time listening to his story and he didn't play a single note?" Carmine said, " He wasn't in a fit state to play before he got all of that out. THEN, he was relaxed enough that he could begin to play. If, telling someone to relax, enabled them to relax so that they could play, they would do it without me and they wouldn't need to come in here. When a player sees that they are making progress, they automatically relax - and can play better. But relaxation (and thus progress) only comes when a player sees progress."
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peanuts56
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 26, 2019 3:38 am    Post subject: Re: arenarx68 Reply with quote

JOF wrote:
I just read this today. It was very helpful and it confirms what has been my recent experience in the practice room. Yesterday I felt as if I could have played all day. I am now up to 2.5 hours with no discomfort.Before my embouchure change that simply never was going to be the case.

What many players find is that the first noticeable effects from doing these studies regularly is an improvement in their endurance and that other players comment on the improved tone quality. So... I'm not surprised at your results.
One amusing comment which is perhaps pertinent to this is that I was listening to a lesson Carmine was giving before my lesson. He spent nearly a half hour listening to a trumpet player telling him about the personal problems he was having with his wife. He didn't play a single note until after this lengthy story. After he was gone, I said to Carmine, "You spent all of that time listening to his story and he didn't play a single note?" Carmine said, " He wasn't in a fit state to play before he got all of that out. THEN, he was relaxed enough that he could begin to play. If, telling someone to relax, enabled them to relax so that they could play, they would do it without me and they wouldn't need to come in here. When a player sees that they are making progress, they automatically relax - and can play better. But relaxation (and thus progress) only comes when a player sees progress."


I love this story. That was Carmine, he didn't watch the clock while a student was taking a lesson. He was a master psychologist. I loved to sit and watch him teach when I was waiting for a lesson.
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gstump
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 26, 2019 5:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This story reminds me of how much Mr. Caruso came across as human to human rather than professor to student. My experience going to Music School was rather the opposite.

Professors with doctorates could only be addressed as doctor. The music professors looked down on the students while their noses were looking up.

If it rained they would drown. I was an adjunct professor at a city college and it was not like that at all. Maybe it was just the Music Schools in corn fields.

Anyway, on this day Carmine accompanied me down on the elevator after our lesson. He said......."I feel a a little funny, maybe I have to go the bathroom." I never forgot that. He was talking to me like a friend, a human being. I did not think my Music School professors even went to the bathroom. This seems so small and anecdotal but it changed the way I approached my students at college. He made me relax around him and I tried to do the same.

Good times.

Gordon Stump
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Couesnon Flug (1967)
Funk Brothers Horn Section/Caruso Student
Trumpet Stand
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peanuts56
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 26, 2019 5:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

gstump wrote:
This story reminds me of how much Mr. Caruso came across as human to human rather than professor to student. My experience going to Music School was rather the opposite.

Professors with doctorates could only be addressed as doctor. The music professors looked down on the students while their noses were looking up.

If it rained they would drown. I was an adjunct professor at a city college and it was not like that at all. Maybe it was just the Music Schools in corn fields.

Anyway, on this day Carmine accompanied me down on the elevator after our lesson. He said......."I feel a a little funny, maybe I have to go the bathroom." I never forgot that. He was talking to me like a friend, a human being. I did not think my Music School professors even went to the bathroom. This seems so small and anecdotal but it changed the way I approached my students at college. He made me relax around him and I tried to do the same.

Good times.

Gordon Stump


He was truly one of a kind. I vividly remember the last time I saw him. I was in the city with my girlfriend at the time and her sister. I had not seen him in maybe two years and called to ask if it was okay to stop in for a quick visit. He happened to have an hour free and said to come up.I asked him if he wanted a coffee and we stopped and picked up some coffees before heading up to West 46th. I wan't sure he would remember me given the thousands of student who had gone to him. When we walked in he looked at me and remarked that I had grown a beard since the last time I had been there! Amazing guy, I'll never forget him.
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