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Carmine Caruso Exercises

Carusos teaching has been very influential. At one time his ideas were very
controversial; today they are part of the mainstream of brass pedagogy. Perform
the exercises standing up. Do all exercises involving long setting in private,
whenever possible, in order to minimize distractions and interruptions.
1. Long Setting Keep the same mouthpiece placement from the beginning until
the end of an exercise.
2. Nose Breathing Its necessary to accomplish the above.
3. Foot Tapping This will help synchronize moving/changing parts. Tap four
preparatory beats. Use toe tapping if foot tapping is too disruptive.
4. Breath Attacks This is simply beginning a note without the tongue. Use the
syllable, hah.
For the sls and lsl exercises, notes last twelve beats and rests last four or six.
Perform the loudest and softest parts of the exercises with complete abandon.
Increase air velocity to crescendo; decrease it to diminuendo.

Intervals
The intervals of the Carmine Caruso system wont be assigned the same way
to every student. The concept of balance is important. How many intervals you
do a day, or how many days you wait before doing another, depends on a
number of factors. After a few lessons, Ill suggest a prescription for you.
Week
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13

Regular
2nds
3rds
4ths
5ths
6ths
m7ths
M7ths
8vas
daily review
daily review
daily review
daily review
begin daily chart

SLS

LSL

6 notes
2nds
3rds
4ths
5ths
6ths
m7ths
M7ths
8vas
daily review
daily review
begin daily chart

6 notes
2nds
3rds
4ths
5ths
6ths
m7ths
M7ths
8vas
begin daily chart

Notes on Caruso Cycles


Carmine Caruso suggested that eight intervals (seconds, thirds, fourths, fifths,
sixths, minor sevenths, major sevenths, and octaves) be practiced three ways
regular, soft-loud-soft, and loud-soft-loud. After spending about three months
practicing each version for a week, he would have the student progress to a cycle
that took one week to complete (see Seven Day Caruso Chart). I felt that the
seventh day, Sunday, was too strenuous, with six intervals all three versions of
major sevenths and all three versions of octaves. So, I developed an eight-day
cycle, never doing more than three intervals (one regular, one soft-loud-soft, and
one loud-soft-loud) each day. The first day of this cycle is an A day, the second
is a B day, etc. Since Im very methodical and I notate the exercises that I
practice in a daily log, keeping track of cycles, which arent seven days in length,
is not a problem.

Carusos Original Seven Day Chart


Day
Monday
Tuesday
Wednesday
Thursday
Friday
Saturday
Sunday

Reg
2
4
6
3
5
m7
M7& 8

SLS
4
6
2
5
m7
3
M7&8

LSL
6
2
4
m7
2
5
M7&8

Heims Eight Day Chart


Day
A
B
C
D
E
F
G
H

Reg
2
5
M7
3
6
8
4
m7

SLS
5
M7
3
6
8
4
m7
2

LSL
M7
3
6
8
4
m7
2
5

Caruso Studies for Horn


Lips - Mouthpiece - Play

6 Magic Notes

repeat

14 Notes: play #2 once then continue...

Spider Web (breath attack)

Seconds (also may be articulated as #2)

Thirds

continue as high
as possible

continue as
high as possible

Caruso Studies (cont.)


Low Range Work

Extra control:
2 - 8 may be done with p < FF > p

slurred and articulated as #2

Power & Volume:

Range Extension:

- don't move mouthpiece off lips - don't relax lips


- keep lip configuration & pressure constant
- jaw motion should be minimal
- breathe through the nose

RULES FOR CARUSO STUDIES


1. steady tempo (quarter=60) tap foot/use metronome; subdivide last beat into sixteenth notes before
changing notes or rearticulating
2. keep mouthpiece in contact with lips through entire study. Mouthpiece pressure is consitant as well
as your muscular embouchure setting during the duration of the exercise.
3. keep the blow steady (think 'solid tubes of air')
4. breathe only through the nose
* Do not be concerned with pitch, control or tone. These are specialty strengthening exercises. The
benefits will automatically seep into your playing. Benefits include:
-more power
-increased depth of tone
-more resonance of sound
-increased endurance
-improved range

- extremely slow (quarter=60)


-breath gone at the end of each measure/ loud as possible/ move air!
-slur, tongue on repeat (over articulate, crisp)
-go through exercises again (quarter=120+)
-breath as needed
-slur, tongue on repeat (very crisp articulation)
-pp 2st time, then FF on repeat. vary as desired
-play backward
-slur, tongue

Thirteen Notes (Eight Beat Cycle)


&c

br.

& b

br.

t.

& #

br.

& b

br.

&

t.

t.

br.

t.

br.

br.

t.

t.

t.

t.

t.

t.

t.

br.

br.

t.

t.

t.

t.

t.

br.

br.

t.

t.

t.

t.

br.

t.

t.

br.

t.

t.

Thirteen Notes (Twelve Beat Cycle)

br.

&

&

w
#w

& #
&

b
#

t.

t.

t.

sim.

t.

#w

bw

#w

bw

&c

Seconds

t.

br.

br.

&

br.

&

br.

br.

&
&

sim.

br.

Here is an alternative rhythm for any of the interval exercises (note that it also starts higher):

&

t.

&

t.

br.

Thirds

br.

br.

&

&

br.

br.

&
&

br.

sim.

br.

Lips/Mouthpiece/Horn

&c

Do the exercise in this sequence:


1) Buzz all pitches without the mouthpiece (free buzz).
2) Buzz all pitches with the mouthpiece.
3) Play all of the notes on the horn.

br.

&

&

br.

br.

&

&

br.

&

br.

? 68

br.

br.

Do not change fingering for middle note.

br.

br.

br.

br.

br.

br.

&

If comfortable, continue the exercise lower.

# #

# # # #

Repeat as many times as necessary.

&

b b b

b b b b
b b b

Recovery Aid

.. b b U .. 34
# .

br.

Bends

br.

br.

b b b

b b .