So i just started doing my A levels, and i found out that being " grade 8 " would help me out with my personal statements to get into my favorite uni's ( not going to study music ) im planning just to do a practicle exam just so i can get a cert to put on my PS. Im not sure what grade im up to/ what grade should i take, this is a practicle exam so would i need any theory at all? i'm probably grade 4-5 in theory... ive been playing bass for 6 years and some of the harder songs i can play:
Portrait of tracy - Jaco Pastorius
Donna Lee - Jaco Pastorius
The Vision - Victor wooten
Classical Thump - Victor wooten ( most of it atleast :S )
I can play a lot of other stuff and i usually practice by improvising while i put my ipod on shuffle but these are some of the harder songs i guess so you know my skill level. so what grade do u think i can take?
Here's a link to the RGT exam body bass handbook:
It gives you a good idea of what's required for each grade for these particular exams. There are a few other providers (you're in the UK I'm guessing) but in my experience the RGT crowd seem to be the best bass exam body on these fair isles.
As you can see it's not so much based around playing difficult songs/pieces, indeed at grade 8 you can choose to be examined on sight reading OR solo performance.
I've yet to sit one of these myself, but as far as I know you don't need to be a certain grade at theory to attempt any of these bass grades. Likewise you can begin at grade 1 or jump straight to 8 if you like. This differs slightly from many other instruments such as piano (at least in the ABRSM system) where you need grade 6 theory before attempting any piano grades above, I think, grade 5.
I hope this helps!
Grade 5 theory is where the serious background stuff commences. When we first started music technology at A Level - over 15 years ago now - wow! - many schools and colleges insisted students MUST be at least grade 5 theory standard, because so much of that early course revolved around written music. So for grade 8 (in traditional and Rock School varieties) great emphasis is on your reading. I'm a fair reader, but lazy, so I think that I've dipped below the standard. If you look at the types of music you've said you can play, consider if you could read it, in real time, in an exam? Rock School, for example, have really pushed the technical level of background knowledge, and their examiners have to take a stiff test to become one. I guess these kinds of exam system are directed at session guys, pit musicians and entertainment centre/cruise ship musicians, where you turn up, open the pad and play. When I do this, it's VERY hard - because I'm out of practice. The reason you can now include these music exams on educational applications is because they're tough enough and scrutinised enough to be considered educationally valid. It's probably harder to get your grade 8 in a chosen instrument that get an A Level, because Music grades are essentially pass/fail - nobody cares how well you passed, while A Levels give you a pass as long as you are not truly dire. Many people consider the grade 8 Pass to be at least a B grade at A Level, others C, which isn't to be sneezed at.
Look at the people on this forum who talk about practice scales - Greek scales - Mixolydian, Lydian, Phrygian, Hypolydian, Hypophrygian, Locrian. If the examiner asks you to play a Lydian scale starting on B, could you? It's not just a quick play - there are many components.
The Grade 8 people understand modes, harmony and all the clever stuff. Some of this still makes me shudder!
sorry, maybe i didnt make it clear, basically i've been playing bass for 6 years, and i can play so and so ( songs above ) would i be able to play grade 8 difficulty songs, im only intrested in getting a certificate so it can help with my personal statement for when im applying to universities , im planning to just take a bass performance exam. not that im not intrested in theory but i kinda would like the certificate, without that much trouble :)
anything else i need to know? im in malaysia and will be applying to universities abroad, and apparently being grade 8 at an instrument is a huge bonus.
and @paulears, yes im not totally clueless about theory, its just i need a certificate of proof that i am decent and my instrument. performance exams need sight reading?
Sight reading has been in nearly all grade exams for years. It's common for people to ask for grade 8 ability, often without the grade 8 certificate - but if it is to carry worth with the universities, it must be an approved exam with points value. However - you can always buy mock type exams to test yourself, and the various boards always give examples of what is in them - so you can 'take the exam' yourself and then decide if you would have passed. I'd suggest a couple of lessons with a suitable teacher who can find out of you have weak areas that will let you down.
donna lee is by Charlie Parker ... get your fact straight ... how can you be taken seriously otherwise ... unless you play note for note Jaco's solo interpretation
also your grade doesn't matter to go to university, you have to pass their audition, you have to at least be at the level they are asking and well ... if you are better you just add to your chance to be accepted. so I would contact the university you want and ask for what they expect you to know and be able to pull off.
I did 3 auditions and none of them asked th same thing. At some places I had to play a walking bass line out of the blue with the chords provided 3 seconds ago then a theory exam, a reading exam, singing exam ... otherplaces they expected that I could read in Treble, Tenor and Bass clef well enough with 3 pieces of music of various style etc...
The Rockschool stuff counts for UCAS points
As does the Trinity College London stuff
They've got some Jaco in their syllabus so might be your best bet.
EDIT; you've just started your A-levels so you've got 2 years. I'd maybe look through the trinity syllabus and start at a lower grade and build up to grade 8, but it's your call. Start where you're comfortable.
So I would suggest to buy a Real Book and play Donna Lee from the real book. You'll show you know the head, you can walk the changes and if you dare, you'll show you can solo bebop.
I'm not from the USA but it sounds wierd to me that you want to show your good at music when your goal is to study architecture ...
It make sense to me if you are a "natural" bass player and this talent is used to get you into what you really want.
I agree with clef de fa in some points.
If you can play note for note donna lee by jaco,you are copying HIS interpretation of the Charlie Parker tune.
Nothing wrong with it.
But clef de fa is noting there is a bag of knowledge in the song,and studying the song implies you understand the harmony,the chord changes,and can produce new melodies and improvise of your own.
For some,THIS can make a deeper impression in an audition than merely copying the excellent technique jaco uses in his interpretation.
Nothing wrong in what you are trying to do,is like knowing you are good at futbol,and get a scholarship for it at a university where they teach what you want to learn.
im not that great of a bassist either, i can play some difficult stuff the reason i stated what i can play is to find out if i am on par with the songs i would need to play to get that grade 8 certificate, if you could answer that question. and maybe if i do have time ill study some charlie parker :) i actually do have his omni book in bass clef and a lot of real books.
|All times are GMT -6. The time now is 12:55 PM.|
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.6.12
Copyright ©2000 - 2013, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.