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Passed my grade 3 exam...


Hi can i just say very well done .can youi explain the set up of the exam eg what happens , how many examiners, and have you played in front of people before the exam . awold just be nice to know for us guys that are to scared to try thanks and once again well done mate.
Nick Cook

Nick Cook

Hi Tom,

The exam only takes about 12 minutes. Scales, 3 tunes, sight reading and aural tests. You can do these in any order. There's only one examiner. I do the jazz syllabus 'cos you can use the CD for the backing, rather than have to organise an accompanist.

I start off with the scales. The examiner will ask you to do various scales and arpeggios from the syllabus for the grade you're doing. I then do my three chosen pieces. The examiner will tell you when to start each one.

Sight reading. The examiner will come and plonk a book in front of you and tell you which piece to play. For grade 3, it's 4 bars of music and you have to improvise 4 bars after playing those 4 bars. You get half a minute to read and practise that. If you don't wan't to sight read, you can choose to play by ear. I've never done that, but I think the examiner will play the piece 2 or 3 times and you have to repeat it.

Aural test. The examiner will tell you about a piece he's about to play and ask you to clap the beat. He'll then ask you to clap on a particular beat for that piece. ie every third beat. He'll then play another couple of bars and ask you to lalalala the tune back to him. He'll then tell you about a piece of music he's going to play. He'll pay 2 bars intro and then for every bar he plays, you have play a bars response back to him. I think there's about 4 bars of that.

And that's it - all over!!!

I think before I did my grade 1, I played my tunes in front of some friends to get a bit of practise playing in front of other people, but didn't bother for grades 2 and 3.

I hope that enlightens you a bit!

Saxholder Pro

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