"How should I practice Carmine Caruso's Six Notes exercise?" An answer.

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Sabutin, Sep 9, 2009.

  1. Sabutin

    Sabutin Pianissimo User

    Aug 7, 2009
    New York City
    (I just posted an answer to this sort of question...which if I have been asked once I have been asked a thousand times over the years...on my own brass discussion site, The Open Horn. It seems to me to be a pretty good overview of my own approach to the idea, so I thought that I would post it here as well. In it I recommend that the questioner purchase my book for a more thorough answer, but since I have not yet managed to finish a treble clef/valved instruments edition of that book I cannot yet recommend the same thing to any but the most advanced trumpet players, people who will be easily able to translate trombone concepts to their own instruments. Nevertheless, the links to several of my articles on Carmine's ideas might come in useful to people here, so read on if you are interested.)


    The "goal" of the Six Notes exercise?

    I could write a book.

    In fact...I already have.

    Time, Balance And Connections.

    Achieving a good balance between you and your equipment through the use of time-based exercises to provide the possibility of good connections through all registers of the instrument. A pretty good survey of everything that Carmine taught.

    For starters, read my article Carmine Caruso-A Brief Overview. Then read this one, which I have not yet gotten around to updating and posting on my own site-Carmine Caruso and the Six Notes.

    How should you practice the exercise and how will it help me you?

    Well, the very basic version that I present in that second article...if done right, something that I have literally never heard from any student who told me that they "knew" the Six Notes but had not either studied with Carmine or with one of his better students...is the single best prelude to warming up that I have ever found. Bar none. I often say that all I have essentially done is throw a grenade into Carmine's exercises, picked up the pieces and found that all of them function the same way as did the originals. Read the short article Carmine Caruso, Mandelbrot sets, and me for more on that idea.

    I use it...highly individualized... as a prelude to every examination of any particular set of ranges in which I am about to practice.

    So the best long-story-short answer to your question that I can offer would probably be "Buy my book and find out." There are 265 pages in it and almost every one of them is in some way "about" the ideas behind that one masterfully simple exercise of Carmine's.

    Sorry, Peter. That is about the best answer that I can offer. If you were sitting here in front of me I could show you what I mean in about 20 minutes. But you are not, so...there it is.

    Read the articles and get back to me if you have any more questions.


    Last edited: Sep 12, 2009
  2. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    Here is what a trumpet player that studied with a Caruso student has to say:
    "The Basic Caruso"

    Reinhold Friedrich is as good as they get and he has been teaching and preaching this at the music school in Karlsruhe Germany as well as in his master classes for many years. It is also where I first heard about it. The guy that he got this from Markus Stockhausen, studied with Caruso and his playing is absolute magic. There are several references in Ed Carrolls' forum about Markus.

    What I got out of this was the insight that if you are humble enough to make those 6 notes "routine" that significant and believable, you have what it takes to be a REAL trumpet player.
  3. Kang-Ling

    Kang-Ling Mezzo Piano User

    Oct 8, 2009
    " what i got out of this was the insight that if you are humble enough to make those 6 notes "routine" that significant and believable, you have what it takes to be a real trumpet player. "

    right !!!!
  4. stumac

    stumac Fortissimo User

    Oct 19, 2008
    Flinders Vic Australia
    I found a copy of Carmine Caruso's book "Musical Calisthenics for Brass" in the music shop on friday, promptly bought it, started work on lesson 1, half an hour and a real workout for the chops. I intend to spend 1 week on each lesson then progress to the next. I do not have a teacher at the moment, it is a 200 km round trip to see him.

    The book has 48 exercises spread over 15 lessons with an explanation of each lesson.

    At US$14.95 it is very good value.

    Regards, Stuart.

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