Skip to main content

Home Alt Forums Music Theory grades

Viewing 8 posts - 1 through 8 (of 8 total)
  • Author
  • #21197

      bumped into a relative of mine i hadn’t seen in years, who did music in college and plays guitars/sings in clubs in his spare time.

      I was telling him i started learning the sax 18 months ago, the 1st thing he asked me was what grade i was?
      In his oppinion if you didn’t have grade 8, he wouldn’t even look at you!
      So another 5 years for me! lol

      Michael Bishop

        I don’t agree with relative’s viewpoint JB…what exactly does he mean that he won’t look at you? Is it because he doesn’t feel that you’re quote, “not good enough”? All too often, folks tend to forget where they come from, what it was like the first time we ever even tried picking up a Saxophone, etc.. You’re doing something that most people wouldn’t even REMOTELY consider doing…that alone makes you way cool! How much better it would be for your relative, with his experience, to open his hand and wanna help you get better v.s. saying he wouldn’t even look at you–to me that’s kind of sad to hear.


          in his line of work, he wants experienced players to play along side, so by picking grade 8 as a minimum, he hopes to expect a better standard! Would you employ a qualified electrician or trainee electrician?

          i can understand his point, if you are making a record, and you need to employ someone for a couple of hours to play a specific instrument on a track – you can cut down the number of interviews, as grade 8 players are practically pro standard players who can play most sheet music to a high standard of playing.

          Perhaps my relation has been let down in the past by time wasters and dreamers?

          Michael Bishop

            That’s why I asked, what exactly does he mean, or where is he coming from when he says that. If he actually does that for work and is making a record; of course you’re not going to take just anybody.
            What grade level of player are you at right now? Did I remember you saying something about having passed the Grade 3 exam? I have no idea what level of playing I’m at, I just practice, play and have fun. I don’t even know if here where I live I can a Grade Exam–don’t know who to ask or where to look. Could be something good for me to look into.


              i’ve passed grade 2, but i’m grade 3 standard now, just waiting for the grade 3 exam (they only have grade exams 3 times a year in my country).
              From listening to your playing, and comparing you to other grade players in sax, clarinet & flute i would rate you between grade 3 & 4.
              I’ve heard/watched grade 5 players – they are further ahead than you in terms of playing ability (not trying to insult you in anyway).

              The grade system is a good measure of a players ability, its not an exam
              where you can cram the night before and get good marks! The only reason
              i’m doing grades – i needed grade 2 to get in a starter jazz band, some jazz groups want grade 5 and above, orchestras usually want grade 5.

              bands are more relaxed, if you sound good ure in! some bands only want you cause you have some quality gear – depends on how desperate they are and what bar they set their standard at.


                right, they let Bill Wyman join the Rolling Stones because he had a van.

                Michael Bishop

                  LOL Johnny–that’s funny about Bill Wyman there, good point too. Those are good points JB; I have so far to go and sometimes it feels like I’ll never get to that very high level of playing. I’ve made made many mistakes and have yet to make many mistakes, but it’s all part of learning.


                    our grade 5 is equivalent to an exam a teenager would take at age 16 and use as a certificate in a job application, and grade 8 would be equivalent to an exam a teenager would take at age 18 and use as a certificate in a job application, or applying to get into a university.

                    I know someone who got into university to do music, they hated grades, and only did grade 8 exam, passed it with a distinction, just to get into uni. But they still did all the lessons through the various grades up to level 9.

                    grades aren’t for everyone, they can be very focused, and take the joy out of playing music, the enthusiasm of a good teacher makes a difference. But i look at it from the view if you love music, and you play it a lot, why not just have a go at one of the grades. its mainly People higher up the education ladder in music usually look at you in a different light.

                    The school i went to in my teens didn’t do any music, my parents couldn’t really afford to send me to music lessons, like most of their generation they didn’t see music as a career for a steady job, to settle down and have kids etc.. So even though i’ve only got grade 2 certificate – i’m very proud of it, thats like mr crab framing the first dollar he earnt!

                  Viewing 8 posts - 1 through 8 (of 8 total)
                  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.