All profit supporting special needs music education and Help Musicians
SYOS

Exams ABRSM Exam Scales Speed

QWales

Senior Member
Messages
730
Hi All,

I've been playing a couple of years now and due to lack of direction with my practicing, I have decided to have a go at some of the ABRSM exams. After reading the blurb I was thinking of starting on Grade 3. Anyway, my question is:

Do you have to stick to Exactly the speed of ; Q = 66 (scales) and e = 92 (arpeggios) or can you go quicker? Are you penalised if you do the scales at 80 or say if you go up at 80 and come back down at 70?

Cheers,
Mark
 

BigMartin

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,922
Long time (36 years or so!) since I did any of these, but I think the suggested speeds are a minimum. However, it's more important to be smooth and even than fast. The scales for grade 3 are not too long so running out of breath at slow speeds shouldn't be a problem. I think slowing down for the descent would probably cost you a few points.
 

TomMapfumo

Well-Known Member
Messages
5,219
As someone who has done such exams since WWII I can confirm the above. Are you doing the classical or jazz ABRSM grades?

Kind rtegards
Tom
 

Young Col

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,419
Indeed, they are recommended minima, but consistency of speed is important as is good intonation throughout the scale/arp. Also ABRSM have tightened up on examinees responding correctly to requests to play scales/arps tongued or slurred.
YC
 

BUMNOTE

Senior Member
Messages
586
Good idea to do some grades,i had same problem lack of direction in my playing and practice,the grades will give you focus,i did 3-4 abrsm classical and am now going for the jazz exams,but finding the improvisation parts difficult buy hopefully it will get better:confused:Agree with above comments.Keep practicing.Bumnote.
 

Young Col

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,419
Q
The thing you have to remember is that if you do classical (well it's biassed towards classical but there are lots of jazzy and other pieces to choose from, but no impro) and then go to the jazz grades, you will have to learn to learn scales in modal form, pentatonics and blues. Nothing wrong with that but different from the straight scales (major, harmonic and melodic minors) in classical. ABRSM jazz grades only go to grade 5 and above that its classical, so you'd need to revert. Having done grade 5 jazz does exempt you from the need to do grade 5 theory as a pre-requisite to doing grade 6, but I've found the theory immensely useful (and my prime interest is actually jazz).
An alternative is to start and stick with a jazz syllabus that goes to higher grades, likeTrinity.
YC
 
Top Bottom