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Grade 3 Jazz passed :-)


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I'm a bit late posting this as I received the result a little while ago, but back in December 2011 I took my first ever Jazz exam, Grade 3 Jazz ABRSM. I passed with distinction, 140 out of 150 marks. Very happy with that :)

Previous to this I took my Grade 6 Classical ABRSM exam in March 2011.

It was March last year that I first went on a Jazz course (well any course actually) and saw what playing Jazz meant for the first time, being able to improvise, following the chord symbols etc. I have to say this whole Jazz thing is difficult, a very different skill set needed to the playing of classical music where you play as written, but it's something I am improving in slowly. Challenging but also rewarding. To be able to look back 8 months after being introduced to the "playing" of Jazz for the first time and pass the Grade 3 exam has been a very positive journey.

Onwards and upwards...studying for the Grade 4 exam now.
Cograts Andy well done wish you future success:welldone..

Well done Andy, congratulations :welldone :D :sax:
Another hearty congratualtions.

My new year's resolution for 2011 was to take (and pass) ABRSM Jazz grade 3, which would be my first ever music exam. I got as far as choosing the three pieces and working at them, as well as trying to work at the scales and aural tests. I found that quite difficult without a teacher.

I didn't take the exam in 2011, but I have started going to improvisation workshops and have one tomorrow evening with flautist Gareth Lockrane,

Can you tell us what pieces you did in your grade exam and what pieces you have chosen for grade 4 ?

Well done again.

Many thanks everyone, means a lot! Thanks for the support.

Rhys - The jazz exams are different to the classical exams in that the more you improvise on anything at all directly helps you on any piece you choose for the exam. My tutor made me work through all 15 pieces for Grades 1,2 and 3 which expanded the amount of standard tunes I could play, and also gave me time to think about which ones I connected with. Due to me already passing Grade 6 classical and how he felt I could already improvise he said I should go for the Grade 3 exam. With the grade 4 and 5 exams I plan on going a bit slower and taking my time over all 15 pieces, really understanding the chord progressions more, rather than just sticking for example to G Blues throughout the whole improv, in fact my tutor said this is essential.

Having a tutor I think is important - I had a lesson earlier and the points he raises on phrasing, articulation etc vary from piece to piece. I'm working through two pieces a week and at the moment don't know which pieces I'm playing. However if this is impossible the CD available of the tunes including someone playing really helps you get a feel for the music.

For my Grade 3 exam I did Cold Duck Time, Mercy Mercy Mercy and Sara's Touch.

I would buy the scales book for Grades 1 to 5 - learn all of them starting at the beginning of the book, and then try and apply them to the improv for the pieces, the scales relate to the chords used for each grade.

Hope this helps!
Well done, that man!

Back in the old days I did the same apart from Sara's Touch (Going Home - Mark Lockheart). There are some good tunes in Grades 4 & 5 too!
Well done Andy, congratulations :welldone
Following on from this I've just passed my Grade 4 Jazz ABRSM exam. I passed with distinction, 138 out of 150 marks. Now onto Grade 5! :)
Well done, that man!

A very solid achievement indeed. Now you can play "Five Spot after Dark", "Nutty" and "Entering" and you'll be there!
Kind regards


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