Caruso

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by HoosierDaddy, Mar 2, 2008.

  1. HoosierDaddy

    HoosierDaddy Pianissimo User

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    Andrew (Alex)

    Do you use the Caruso method currently or have you at anytime? If not what do you do for strength building?
     
  2. amtrpt

    amtrpt Pianissimo User

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    Hi Hoosier,
    I have never used the Caruso book. The Principal Horn in my orchestra however has used it a lot and from the way he sounds it really works. I try to focus more on playing correctly than any particular stength drills. By correctly I mean focussing on breathing, air release and getting everything into proper balance so that I am not working too hard.

    When I do feel like I need a little extra I will play a lot of lyrical studies and long flexibility drills. For instance I like the Concone book for lyrical and the Arban for flexibility.
    Try them like this--
    Do the Concones for ten minutes without stopping. Stop only long enough to turn the page and play a new one. Be aware of keeping tension out of your body and releasing the air toward the lips in a easy relaxed way. Also watch out for mouthpiece pressure. If you feel you are causing yourself pain, please stop and try again another day.
    With the Arban try doing that page of lip trills straight through with out a break. (I'm sorry I can't remember the page number.) See if it makes you tired. If it doesn't do it a few times. Maybe twice every five minutes.

    Here is the last thing I will say about strength building. From what I understand about weight lifting the idea is to tear down the muscles and let them re-build better than before. That's probably a very simplified way of saying it. However the same is roughly true with trumpet. In order to build we have to first tear down a bit. And then to build back we will need rest. I don't like to do strength more than three days a week and only when I need it. Never two days in a row. If I do that I don't have time for the muscle to build back.

    Wow, that was a lot longer than I thought it would be. I hope it helped answer your question. Please let me know if there is anything that you find unclear.

    Best,
    Andrew

    ps. Please say hi to Manny for me when you see him next.
     
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  3. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    We need to be careful about the tearing down side of practicing. Great trumpet chops are a mixture of strength AND sensitivity. Too much chop building will limit the soft sensitive side of our playing.
    Andrew as a pro gets a steady workout from his job. That gives him more margin during his practice routine. For those of us with only an hour or two per day, three days of intense chop building may not be healthy. We have a lot of examples here at TM of amateurs (semi pros too) beating their faces up and running into brick walls.
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2008
  4. amtrpt

    amtrpt Pianissimo User

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    Rowuk,
    Thank god you cleared that up for us. Now that I have re-read what I wrote last night I'm surprised that we haven't had an outbreak of trumpet players flocking to the chop doctor because they tried to practice twenty minutes three times a week with good fundamentals while be aware of how much mouthpiece pressure they were using. It's lucky that we have you to clarify things for us.
    Thanks,
    Andrew
     
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  5. HoosierDaddy

    HoosierDaddy Pianissimo User

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    Thanks Andrew
    Great reponseS. I will try to put some of that in the mix.
     
  6. amtrpt

    amtrpt Pianissimo User

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    Hoosier,
    Great. Let me know how it goes.
    Andrew
     
  7. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    No Andrew,
    we are the lucky ones that get YOUR first hand experience! I know many of us have had trouble sometimes that was based on practicing TOO HARD, TOO OFTEN. There are many posts here at TM with exactly this issue. You clarified it with the 3 times a week for a player of your standing.
     
  8. Fluffy615

    Fluffy615 Piano User

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    I am definitely among those that have overworked my chops with too much chop building practice. I've since found that I need a mixture of chop building and just playing some music. Whether it be my Herring etude book or the like, or a band rehearsal of some kind. Look at the great jazz players, for example, that just played tunes and improvised over them on a daily basis. Some of them had great chops. If you're playing correctly the more the horn is on your face the stronger you'll get. IMO of course. Everyone is different. Thank you Andrew and Robin, I always enjoy your posts.
    Bob
     
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  9. Slavoie

    Slavoie New Friend

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    I have been studying with Andrew for the past two years and am not a naturally strong player. Andrew's ideas for strength building a couple of times a week while always focusing on the fundamentals of playing with proper balance have helped me so much. I think Andrew made it clear that you have to gage your limits and always plan for rest afterwards.
    Steph
     
  10. amtrpt

    amtrpt Pianissimo User

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    Hi all,
    So just to be clear. When you are practicing strength, or for that matter any thing that is challenging chops wise you need to be careful. In one of my first threads I talked about teaching yourself and this is a perfect example. Make sure that you are paying attention to not only how you sound, but also how you feel. Are you tight? Are you forcing the air? Are you using to much MP pressure? You need to be very aware of your body when you play. And it's not only for the bad things. When I am having one of those rare days where everything is working great I try to feel what is different in my body. Am I more relaxed? What does that feel like? How do I get back to that feeling? What did I do differently that day that may have helped me get there? I think too often we focus simply on results and not enough on the process that goes into getting the results. Now before I am told to be careful you don't do this too much let me just say, Don't Do This Too Much. The most important thing is always the result. I'm just saying be aware of how you get results, both good and bad and let that information lead to the best results you can possibly achieve.
    Hope everyone is doing well. I'm off to attempt Shostakovich 7.
    Yes I am excited, yes I am nervous. Crap I forgot to take my steroids.
    Best,
    Andrew
     
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2008

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