Re: Carmine Caruso

#3791
tutuku
Członek

to od razu dla wszystkich troche wiedzy od tych co rozumieja to co chcial przekazac caruso. niestety po angielsku ale proponuje sie z tym zapoznac. pamietam raz zagralem sobie jedno z poczatkowych cwiczen ze szkoly caruso tylko po swojemu, robiac wiele rzeczy nie tak jak on zalecal i nie podzialalo to cwiczenie zbawiennie na moja gre, wrecz przeciwnie – zmeczylo mnie bardzo. natomiast innym razem juz rozumiejac to w miare zauwazylem ze jest w tym cos dobrego. zalaczam kilkadziesiat rad ktore nalezy stosowac nietylko podczas grania cwiczen caruso, oraz informacje o tym jak zaczac i czego ile grac.

1) Start your foot tapping before you play. This sets up the timing. Even the first sound…even 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 don’t disturb the embouchure.

4) Don’t apply these procedures to other playing. These are only for doing your calisthenics.

5) These exercises are a complement to your regular practice. Don’t abandon other exercises you already do.

6) When you do these exercises, try not to be music conscious. You don’t 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) Don’t stop as long as there is even a piece of the note. Where there’s smoke there is fire. Little notes will grow.

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

10) Don’t make an issue over a mistake. It is already in the past.

11) You learn from frequent repetition. Don’t consciously “fix” 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 isn’t 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 can’t overdo any aspect or you will miss the note. Repetition and synchronization end bad habits without conscious fixing.

21) Don’t 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 (“who”) 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. Don’t 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. Don’t 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 can’t overdo this.

41) Don’t 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.

The most important thing a player must have when practicing Caruso material is the right attitude: a clear understanding of what is being attempted and what is hoped to be accomplished. The wrong attitude can make the whole Caruso experience unpleasant, confusing and counter productive.

Caruso exercises are calisthenic. This means that they are muscle training and conditioning activities that have one goal in mind: to prepare the muscles to play music. They usually don’t sound like music nor are they supposed to, necessarily. This is not always an easy mind set for a lot of players who have been exposed to most teaching methods that insist on using the sound of the student as a yardstick of success and correctness of embouchure. Not so with the Caruso method. The first things that you throw out are intonation, sound quality, accuracy of attack, etc., all musical attributes are disregarded. All the things that you have tried to accomplish in the past. I know it sounds weird. And at this point a lot of people might say, „Well, I can’t see how it can help to make you a better player if you disregard all the things that make you a better player.” And this is a good point. This also explains why Carmine had so many trumpet players come to him whose playing had become crippled (for any number of reasons), had tried EVERYTHING and were coming to Carmine as a last resort. At this point in their careers they didn’t care how crazy something sounded, they had no place else to go. A great example of this kind of training was shown in the movie „The Karate Kid.” Pat Moriaty had his young protege painting a car and doing other menial chores that were seemingly totally unrelated to Karate and hand to hand combat. But the repetition of the brush strokes was the beginning of the muscular conditioning that he wanted his young student to acquire (At least this is the way I interpreted it). Carmine used to use the example of football players jumping through tires during practice. And then asked, „Where are the tires during the game?” Jumping thru the tires prepared the athletes to play the game. Caruso exercises prepare the student to play music.

Many other teachers have incorporated calisthenic type exercises into their teaching, but have usually watered them down by requiring the student to be music conscious of tone, intonation, attack, etc. The Caruso approach sees calisthenic activity for what it is: muscular conditioning. If you want to practice music you work on etudes or exerpts. If you want to train muscles, you employ calisthenics. Of course, if you believe that the instrument is somehow played by means other than the muscles of the respiratory system and the face, then Caruso is not for you.

What you strive for is following a regimen and a practice modus operandi as expounded in the book, „Musical Calisthenics For Brass.”

Once you have decided to operate with this mind set, you are ready to begin the exercises.

The following exercise schedule is the manner in which it was given to me by Carmine starting in June, 1973. It was assigned to me (basically) in two week intervals, as I was taking every-other-week lessons from ’73′ – ’76.' The assignment of a new lesson every week (or every two weeks for that matter) should definitely NOT be viewed as the correct or even desirable manner in which to approach these exercises. I guess Carmine felt comfortable doing it this way with me. OTOH, he told me of one student who flew up from South America for a week to get six months worth of lessons. Each day was a different lesson, but the intent was for the student to wait a much longer time than one day before adding new material to his practice schedule after he returned to SA. It should never be felt that there is any kind of urgency to add new stuff or progress through the book. It is far more important that the muscles become familiar with each new demand than it is for new lessons to be assigned. With beginning students I have often limited the intervals to not going beyond 4ths or 5ths for the first year. But each student is different. If you are using MCFB without a Caruso teacher, give yourself more time before moving to new exercises. Remember, with these drills there is no rush.

The first exercise is called Exercise 1 in the book „Musical Calisthenics For Brass” (MCFB) but is universally referred to as The Six Notes. (Prior to MCFB Carmine had a publication called „Caruso On Breath Control.” That book is now out of print, but in it Carmine referred to the first exercise as The Six Notes.) After acquainting yourself with the four rules, you are ready to begin.
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

It is important to continue practicing all the normal non Caruso type studies from whatever general method book you happen to be using. Carmine used many other books and adapted them to suit his own purposes in conjunction with MCFB. Those books are:

1.) Technical Studies For The Cornet – Herbert L. Clarke
2.) Scales and Chords For Clarinet – Carl Baermann
3.) Daily Drills And Technical Studies – Max Schlossberg
4.) Rhythms Complete – Vol 1 and Vol 2 – Bugs Bower
5.) Enseignemant de la Trompette – Vol 1,2,3 – René Laurent

These books were all adapted in some way or another to function as purely calisthenic exercises. So, with this huge regimen of calisthenics, for me, musical practice has become mostly exerpts and specific solo material. At this time, I have little inclination to pursue further etude or method books, although recently I picked up a copy of the the W. Smith Top Tones book and took a look at some of those etudes. A beginning student would surely need a basic method book to be used in conjunction with a Caruso schedule.

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