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> Music Grades - Opinions?, Has anyone done any?
David.C.Bond
post Dec 1 2007, 01:25 AM
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Thought I would strike up an interesting thread about music grades. What are peoples opinions regarding them? Are they useful or a waste of time? Which do you think is the best board?

Its also an oppurtunity for those who have done grades to showcase their achievements, so I'll start it off, I have achieved up to the following grades:
  • Electric Guitar - Grade 8 Distinction - Rockschool
  • Electric Guitar - Grade 8 Merit - London College
  • Music Theory - Grade 8 Pass - ABRSM
  • Piano - Grade 3 Merit - ABRSM

I personally think they are quite useful and its nice to have a qualification and a certificate! However I don't they're any substitute for band experience and real performance. The theory grades however are very useful in the lower grades as the theory is widely applicable, however at higher grades i.e 7 and above, the theory is so complex that it is only specific to classical and serious academic music.


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Chris Evans
post Dec 1 2007, 01:41 AM
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No not done any grades here m8, little old to be worrying about things like that now too wink.gif

I agree with you that its nice to have some qualifications under your belt, but really unless your going to be using them to gain a college/Uni place to go on and teach profesionally etc then I cant see what difference it makes, maybe as a personal goal/acheivement? Fair play to you for what you have done smile.gif

For many playing guitar is a hobby/enjoyment thing I guess, at the end of the day its how you play, what you play for as to whether or not these are important or not, same as in life I guess, its all about experience, just my opinion smile.gif


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David.C.Bond
post Dec 1 2007, 01:52 AM
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QUOTE (Smells @ Dec 1 2007, 12:41 AM) *
little old to be worrying about things like that now too wink.gif


Haha, you can never be too old for education!
But yeah I guess for me it has always been just a personal aim thing, means you achieve something concrete rather than abstract goals such as 'to get better'. But yeah nothing beats experience, but then I suppose you need some degree of experience to do grades, it took me some 6 years to get to Grade 8.


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Chris Evans
post Dec 1 2007, 02:00 AM
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Sorry, meant to add, good topic btw, be interesting to see what others come up with smile.gif

Yea I agree, not saying that you have no experience in my post there, in case ya mis read it wink.gif a friends daughter is taking those grades I believe in electric guitar, not 100% but I`m sure he said shes doing grade 5 soon, saying that although its for electric guitar its got to be done on an acoustic?? is that right?

When I said too old I`m only 37, maybe if I`d have given it more thought in my late teens it may have been something I went for, bit hungrier then if ya know what i mean.


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David Wallimann
post Dec 1 2007, 06:00 AM
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Never heard about those grades...
What are they?


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mattacuk
post Dec 1 2007, 10:14 AM
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I am working thought the ABRSM Theory Grades. Not because I feel I have too, but because I want to acheive a solid grounding in Theory.

When I study anything, be that Guitar, IT or whatever I like to do things methodically. So with Guitar I want to know everything, Technique, Theory, Pitches etc I will learn the lot ! smile.gif



[quote name='Smells' date='Dec 1 2007, 12:41 AM' post='93003']
No not done any grades here m8, little old to be worrying about things like that now too wink.gif


There is a guy who goes to the same music teacher as me who is 40 and he is doing pretty well at these grades smile.gif wink.gif


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Chris Evans
post Dec 1 2007, 11:25 PM
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Perhaps, I didnt put that right about too old to worry, what I meant is this is just personal to me, I `m certainly not going to knock anyone of any age that persues a goal but also wants a certificate/qualification to prove it, if thats what they need to acheive their goals then fair play and good luck smile.gif everyones different, was just saying that for me at my age now, just cant see the point, the "burning" desire to do something like that isnt there for me anymore, I`d rather concentrate my time and efforts into my playing, for me thats far more important and its what I enjoy the most smile.gif the end result is there for people to hear thats all, which makes it my goal. lol did that make sense that time? laugh.gif smile.gif


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mattacuk
post Dec 2 2007, 01:49 AM
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Dont worry you made perfect sense! smile.gif I can appreciate where you are comeing from totally.

Im not doing it so much for a certificate, but because it forces me to study the subject to a certain level! smile.gif

Of course it is best for everyone to what suits them, it just this way of studying works well for me. Some people belive that theoryist dont work so hard on practice, but me I work very hard on my techniques. biggrin.gif I belive that you can do both at the same time, that just works well for me personaly ! But its also great the way you work it wink.gif


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"The Fundimental Difference between Paul Gilbert and Buckethead is that Paul Explores the Good side of the force, while Buckethead Explores the Dark Side of the Force" :)
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Chris Evans
post Dec 2 2007, 10:58 AM
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QUOTE (mattacuk @ Dec 2 2007, 12:49 AM) *
Dont worry you made perfect sense! smile.gif I can appreciate where you are comeing from totally.

Im not doing it so much for a certificate, but because it forces me to study the subject to a certain level! smile.gif


laugh.gif thanks m8, yea meant to add that in there that it does of course kick you into gear to actually do it, I guess if I had more time I would, time is precious and balancing playing with family/work etc makes it harder smile.gif


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mattacuk
post Dec 2 2007, 10:59 AM
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QUOTE (Smells @ Dec 2 2007, 09:58 AM) *
time is precious and balancing playing with family/work etc makes it harder smile.gif


I hear that !! smile.gif


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"The Fundimental Difference between Paul Gilbert and Buckethead is that Paul Explores the Good side of the force, while Buckethead Explores the Dark Side of the Force" :)
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Ivan Milenkovic
post Dec 2 2007, 05:47 PM
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THe grades are nice, but not mandatory. If someone wants to get their knowlegde in a condensed and easy-to-understand form, than this is surely the right way to go. ANd off course if he CAN pursue this. Lot f people just can`t worry for music grades because they have no time etc. I generally think that grades are good but they learn all people the same things. Not any musician will become original author by just going to these grades. SO some form of self-practise, high level IQ, and theory&technique virtuosity are crussial in developimng your own style as a well rounded musician.

This post has been edited by Milenkovic Ivan: Dec 2 2007, 05:47 PM


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Saoirse O'Shea
post Dec 2 2007, 06:10 PM
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QUOTE (Milenkovic Ivan @ Dec 2 2007, 05:47 PM) *
... high level IQ, ... are crussial in developimng your own style as a well rounded musician.


Oh well that's me stuffed then sad.gif tongue.gif . Nice whilst it lasted biggrin.gif


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mattacuk
post Dec 2 2007, 06:11 PM
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Tony is just being Modest me thinks wink.gif smile.gif


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"The Fundimental Difference between Paul Gilbert and Buckethead is that Paul Explores the Good side of the force, while Buckethead Explores the Dark Side of the Force" :)
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Andrew Cockburn
post Dec 2 2007, 06:31 PM
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QUOTE (Wallimann @ Dec 1 2007, 12:00 AM) *
Never heard about those grades...
What are they?


They are independent theory and practical music exams in the UK - pretty much the standard for musical grading.


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shellshock1911
post Dec 2 2007, 10:36 PM
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QUOTE (Andrew Cockburn @ Dec 2 2007, 06:31 PM) *
They are independent theory and practical music exams in the UK - pretty much the standard for musical grading.


Can you do them in the US?


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mattacuk
post Dec 2 2007, 10:56 PM
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QUOTE (shellshock1911 @ Dec 2 2007, 09:36 PM) *
Can you do them in the US?


Hi Shellshock smile.gif

As far as im aware the ABRSM currently only operate in the UK. But I would have thought such a large country as the US would have had something similair. What says you andrew? laugh.gif smile.gif


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"The Fundimental Difference between Paul Gilbert and Buckethead is that Paul Explores the Good side of the force, while Buckethead Explores the Dark Side of the Force" :)
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Andrew Cockburn
post Dec 3 2007, 12:16 AM
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QUOTE (mattacuk @ Dec 2 2007, 04:56 PM) *
Hi Shellshock smile.gif

As far as I'm aware the ABRSM currently only operate in the UK. But I would have thought such a large country as the US would have had something similair. What says you andrew? laugh.gif smile.gif


Dunno - I only ever took one grade exam when I was 12 - Grade 3 guitar (distinction). Since then I haven't done any formal qualifications (oh, apart from an 'O' Level in music) and haven't looked into it since I've been over here - but I imagine you are right, theres bound to be some equivalent.


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Saoirse O'Shea
post Dec 3 2007, 12:25 AM
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Andrew must be right as Julliard and the other big conservatories and colleges need some sort of 'objective' standard just to narrow down the field of applicants prior to interview/audition.

Cheers,
Tony


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