Date: Mon, 14 Apr 1997 03:38:44 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Re: Carmine Caruso

Dave Johnson writes:
>Is there anyone out there who has used, or is currently using Carmine Caruso's
>unique approach to the physical part of playing the trumpet?

I began practicing what was taught to me as the Caruso Six Note Study when I was in highschool. Later, about nine years ago, I bought the book and developed some of my own things from it. One thing that I do is play his exercises on lip buzz instead of the trumpet. I've always been afraid to have the MP on the lips for extended amounts of time as he prescribes in the book. Blood circulation is a very important thing to me. By doing the exercises on lip buzz instead, there is less of a chance of killing the nerves in your lip.
But be forewarned, Doing those exercises on lip buzz is several times more taxing than with the instrument. I would limit it to once or twice a month.

>I have run into many players over the years who studied with Carmine, and they
>seem to fall into two groups; those who claim Carmine saved their careers, and those
>who say it hurt their playing and they had to stop. I think Marvin Stamm is a
>Caruso advocate, and I believe Faddis said somewhere that it didn't work for him.

John Faddis has a very unique embouchure. If you see him perform, you'll notice that he really stretches his lips out after he places the MP on them. This obviously works very well for him and what I say next should in no way be considered as a criticism but is intended as a classification in order to explain my answer to your question. John Faddis' embouchure is not what I call a muscle based embouchure. He's using some other sorts of manipulation to play the way he does.
What ever it is that he's doing, it works wonders for him. But something as extremely muscle oriented as the Caruso method is going to be counter productive to his playing. So it's only natural that he wouldn't like that approach.

>I know Laurie Frink is carrying on and extending Carmine's work. I
>studied with Carmine briefly in the late 60's and have had very mixed results
>with his methods.

>I'd love to hear some more opinions, either success stories or horror stories.<>

You can benefit from books like the Caruso book, but it is very important to balance your trumpet diet and not lean to heavily on the physical stuff. That's another example of a good method having bad results and that's when the studies from that method are taken out of context. There are several books out there that focus ONLY on physical strength. I think it's okay to use these methods as long as you limit your time and effort spent on them to no more than 25% of your trumpet work.

Eddie Lewis