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bhipp
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 10, 2003 12:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I started doing the Caruso method last week, so I'm a complete newbie to it. I intend to get the book as soon as I can, but for now I'm making do without it. I found the first 5 exercises on-line, and I've read several of the threads here in the TH Caruso section. Also, I've read some other Caruso stuff on the net too. I've come across what seems to me to be conflicting interpretations of what I believe is rule #2, and I'd like to get the experts' opinions on what is correct.


Mr. Raymond, you write in this thread:
_____________________________________
Carmine states at the end of Rule #2,

"While breathing, maintain the same mouthpiece pressure and tension used for the previous notes. Do not be concerned with sound or pitch."
_____________________________________

Here is a quote from Eddie Lewis on his website (eddielewis.com):
"My first exposure to the Caruso "stuff" was in High School when my trumpet teacher taught me what he called "The Caruso Six Note Study". Since then, I've learned that he taught it to me incorrectly. I was taught to keep the embouchure rigid during the breaths. I know now that this is a common misinterpretation of the materials in this book. The lips are supposed to stay in position, but the muscles of the lips are not supposed to stay flexed. Knowing just HOW MANY people have misinterpreted this book in that way, I don't blame my teacher for teaching it to me wrong."

It seems to me that Mr. Lewis' quote "...The lips are supposed to stay in position, but the muscles of the lips are not supposed to stay flexed..." contradicts the wording of Rule #2: "While breathing, maintain the same mouthpiece pressure AND TENSION (caps added by me) used for the previous notes..."


On webpage http://abel.hive.no/trumpet/artist/friedrich/seminar/caruso.html (which is where I found the first 5 CC exercises posted) is written "The mouthpiece remains set for the entire exercise i.e. for each exercise. The lip tension is if possible to be maintained, in any case must the position of the mouthpiece on the lip remain, the press can however in every pause be taken away."

"...the press can however in every pause be taken away" seems to contradict the wording in rule #2: ""While breathing, maintain the same mouthpiece pressure and tension used for the previous notes..."

I'd appreciate comments from you Caruso experts. I want to do this correctly. Thanks much.

peace
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_bugleboy
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 10, 2003 6:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The first thing you can do is disregard ANYTHING about Carmine Caruso that emanates from Eddie Lewis. He didn't study directly with CC and is guessing about anything he says. The statement on his website should be removed and I've told him so. He is misrepresenting the Four Rules because he doesn't understand them, and the fact that he continues to keep his Caruso statement posted is more of a reflection of his website's integrity and his stubbornness to admit that he can't make an intelligent statement about the Caruso calisthenics.

When I studied with Carmine (several years before MCFB was published) he instructed me to keep the pressure on and keep the same tension as the last note while breathing. I know there may be circumstances where he might not require the pressure to stay on. That's not the way he did it with me.

I'd be surprised if he ever allowed the tension to relax, because then the embouchure would practically be resetting for each interval which would be defeating the purpose of reducing the moving parts.

Keep reminding yourself that musical success with the calisthenics is not the goal nor is it a barometer of progress. Don't worry about how far you can get with them. Instead focus on following the Four Rules and concentrating on your subdivision while foot tapping.

The muscles have to be synchronized.

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[ This Message was edited by: bugleboy on 2003-06-10 21:20 ]
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PH
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 10, 2003 6:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My experience when I studied with Carmine mirrors Charly's.

You keep the mpc. placement, the lip position, the lip tension, EVERYTHING...the same as it was on the last note you played. The purpose is not to make the muscles stronger through isometrics, however. The reason to follow rule #2 is to minimize the amount of muscular activity. When you keep the setting through the rests you do not have to reset to begin playing again. This eliminates excess muscular activity and gives you the minimum number of muscular activities to synchronize.

Remember, the calisthenics are not designed to make you strong, but to make you coordinated. All the rules are designed to minimize muscular activity. Anyone who tells you differently misunderstands or misrepresents the premise behind MCFB and probably didn't work extensively with Carmine himself.

[ This Message was edited by: PH on 2003-06-10 21:33 ]
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Horn of Praise
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 24, 2003 4:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

BugleBoy or PH,

Ok. You got me. I was curious about the "Six Notes".

I "cheated" on many things for a number of years (i.e. - a "little" lip swelling can't be all bad. After all, it "firms" things up for the upper register).

So, you get the picture.

Setting the mouthpiece, not removing it between rests, breathing through the nose. Why is it that the "Six Notes" can be so tiring, so quickly? Was my endurance poorer that I realized?

Go easy on this "rookie"! Thanks.

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[ This Message was edited by: Horn of Praise on 2003-06-24 20:57 ]

[ This Message was edited by: Horn of Praise on 2003-06-24 20:58 ]
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_bugleboy
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 24, 2003 7:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Paul,

My experience with the Six Notes is that the first time you try it, it may be very tiring. I didn't get through the repeat the first time and that was exactly why I though that it must be something good. It probably won't take long for you to be able to handle the Six Notes with the repeat.

Why is it tiring for you?

My guess (and it's only a guess) is that you may have little manipulations that are built into your playing embouchure, such as jaw movement, twisting or sliding the mpc, pivoting, pressure (BTW, the least one to be concerned with), etc. Following the Four Rules pretty much diffuses manipulations, so you are then only left with the muscles by themselves to do the work, as opposed to doing it in conjunction with the other devices.

As you continue to practice the Six Notes (plus adding the other calisthenics) the muscles will be developed more and will start to take over for the other devices, lessening their importance in your sound production. The result is less twisting and sliding, less jaw movement and less pressure.

None of these things ever need to go away completely, they just need to be reduced to a minimum: to the point where they cause little or no hassles in your playing.

Welcome to the world of pre-music calisthenics!
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Horn of Praise
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 25, 2003 3:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Charly,

I don't do twisting, sliding or pivoting. But, I probably use too much pressure at times. I usually stay soft and flexible for the middle range, but reset for a G on top of the staff "for everything higher". Kind of like two embouchures (I did admit that I cheated).

What I started working on recently was setting for a G on top of the staff for "everything", and playing from there (with no sacrifice in tone quality). It just seemed that the "Six Notes" was the next logical step.

To answer your question for you: It was probably tiring because the proper muscles weren't properly developed. Right???

BTW, your analysis makes TOTAL sense to me.

Any help you can provide is appreciated. Thanks.

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[ This Message was edited by: Horn of Praise on 2003-06-25 19:02 ]

[ This Message was edited by: Horn of Praise on 2003-06-25 19:05 ]
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PJN
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 05, 2003 8:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello ,

I have just started using Caruso, thanks to this forum. I have the book,but... I also did some Caruso way back in college, but it has been some years since then. I have been playing again for about 2 1/2 years now.

My question is about taking a break from the routine. I am going to a week long jazz workshop this month, and I think they may keep us pretty darn busy! Plus driving to and from, I think I may miss my daily routine. How and where should I pick back up when I get home?

Thank you for all your great information here on TH.
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_bugleboy
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 06, 2003 8:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

PJN,

The attitude that Carmine expressed to me on more than one occasion (regarding taking time off) was to not particularly baby your chops when you start playing again. IOW, it will come back faster if you make it happen rather than wait for it to happen.

I know that is not what you're question is about, but I'm thinking that the principle might be the same. If you take a few weeks off from whatever CC routine you may be doing (but continue to play as in your case) then I don't see any reason not to pick up the routine right where you left off. Perhaps it won't feel the same for a day or two, or the exercises may not respond the way they did before, but it will all settle back in in a short time.

And to reemphasize the nature of CC, don't be concerned with feel or results, just do it.
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PJN
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 06, 2003 7:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mr Raymond, may I call you Charley?

Thanks for your speedy reply. I will proceed with relish, as my father likes to say. I have been making more sense out of Caruso now that I realize it is not about "weightlifting" as much as timing and co-ordination.

Thanks again
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The most important factor in developing the high register is desire, the patience to wait, and the necessary time to acquire it.
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Jerry Freedman
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 07, 2003 7:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

How about if you have to take a week off completely? Might happen to me next month. Should I start at the beginnng of MCFB, pick up where I left off, ease in slowly?

J. Freedman
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_bugleboy
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 07, 2003 8:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Same advice.

Pick up where you left off. One week is not that long of a time.

If a player was to take several months (years) off, then the scenerio might involve a day or two of easing into the routine. At least that's what I did about 15 years ago when I didn't play for 2 months. I spent the first day pretty much in the staff, and second day to about high C. By 3-4 days I was hitting it in a very normal manner and had everything back up to speed in about 7-10 days, as I recall.



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[ This Message was edited by: bugleboy on 2003-07-07 11:48 ]
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musicemt
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 05, 2004 10:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

BugleBoy, a question for you.

How long should I stay on a particular lesson? I just started MCFB, and I've been doing Lesson One for three days now. I want to get a time frame right off the bat, so I don't overplay these things and risk hurting my lip.

Thanks in advance for the help. I really appreciate your keeping this forum dedicated.
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_bugleboy
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 05, 2004 11:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

musicemt,

In the opening post I tried to lay out the first seven weeks. Is there a particular question about these instructions?

1.) Do the Six Notes for a week. Once or twice a day is sufficient.
2.) Week 2, add Exercise 2, the 2nds, to your schedule. As the book instructs, rest 15 minutes before repeating the exercises, but you may do Ex.1 and 2 in succession.
3.) Week 3, add the 3rds. Individual exercises (without repeating them) may be done in succession up to a 20 minute maximum before resting for 20 minutes.
4.) Week 4, replace the 3rds with the 4ths but continue doing the Six Notes and the 2nds. Also start doing the Harmonic exercise. (If the high C is too high for you to play at this time, move it down to the highest note in the harmonic scale that you CAN play.)
5.) Week 5, replace the 4ths with the 5ths, continue doing the other exercises and now add the Six Notes soft-loud-soft (SLS). It is important to follow the instructions in the text exactly as written.
6.) Week 6, replace the 5ths with the 6ths and add the D3 (D above high C) to the harmonic scale exercise (If the highest note was lowered as per week#4 instructions, try adding one more note at this time).
7.) Week 7, replace the 6ths with the Minor 7ths. Also replace the SLS Six Notes (the SLS Six Notes will probably not ever be practiced again) with the SLS 2nds.

*****By this time you should be doing the following exercises on a daily basis******

The six Notes (regular)
Regular 2nds
Regular Minor 7ths
Harmonic Scale
SLS 2nds
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_swthiel
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 05, 2004 2:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Charly,

I think musicemt had a question similar to one that I had -- at one point, I was wondering if there was a certain level of proficiency needed before moving from one exercise to the next. (For example, being able to repeat the six notes a certain number of times before moving on to the seconds.) Howevere, knowing the level of precision with which you endeavor to write, I concluded that the progression is time-based rather than achievement-based and planned to proceed on that basis. I assume you'll let me know if I was wrong about this.

Thanks,

Steve
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PH
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 05, 2004 3:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You never really perfect any of these exercises. Therefore, after a period you should move on to a new set of demands. Most of the studies are either reviewed or return to your practice in some slightly altered form later in the curriculum anyway.

In almost evry case, I would spend one to two weeks on each of the lessons Charly has outlined and then move on.
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_bugleboy
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 05, 2004 3:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You're right, Steve.

In most cases, the exercises are more exposure based than achievement based. An exception might be when the student gets to 6ths and 7ths. If there isn't any success beyond the first interval of a 6th or 7th, then that interval study could be put on hold until range improved enough for the exercises to make sense. Total beginners might spend more time before moving to the next lesson, but all of this assumes a live Caruso teacher being part of the mix.

The "achievement" on the calisthenics always revolves around the how well the Four Rules are being implemented.

It's all timing and conditioning through exposure to the regimen that gets things working.
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musicemt
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 07, 2004 5:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks, guys.
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PH
Bill Adam/Carmine Caruso Forum Moderator


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 07, 2004 10:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

musicemt-

If you hit any major snags I am only 2 hours drive from you and my mother (who I visit regularly) lives very close to Louisville.
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derekph
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 07, 2004 10:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have one little question involving the time of rest (10-15 seconds) in the middle of the interval studies. How should I rest? Should I just let my lips sit there and wait for 10-15 sec. or can I flutter my lips and stretch my corners?
One other related question. What is the suggested activity for the 15 minutes of rest in between exercises?
Thanks to anyone who can answer these.
Am I the only one who feels that this website is the best thing to ever happen?
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_bugleboy
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 07, 2004 8:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't recall Carmine ever commenting on the 10 to 15 second rest between first and second blows other than to take the mpc off your lips. I guess it would be OK if you want to stretch or flutter. The only aversion I would have to doing that is if you come to rely on it in some way as a necessary activity that you would need to engage in prior to having the right "feel" in your lips in order to play. But a little stretch or flutter isn't going to hurt anything that I'm aware of.

I used to practice piano during the 20 minute breaks between sets.
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