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Your situation
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thomasross20



Joined: 27 Aug 2006
Posts: 139
Location: Edinburgh

PostPosted: Tue Sep 05, 2006 12:17 pm    Post subject: Your situation Reply with quote

I'm just wondering what your current musical situation is... Here's mine:

Started guitar about 5 and a half years ago when in 5th year at high school. Got classical lessons for a couple months, but learnt rock at night. I was clocking about 9-10 hours a day, and managed to get my grade 8 electric out of the way in a year. I quit the lessons and classical after about 2-3 months, as I was getting more out of my own time, teaching myself. The practice hours gradually wore down as exams came around, and Iuckily got into university to do Electronics. I always wondered about doing music though... Anyway, about 5 years later, here I am. Some songs written, CD on the way, new to jazz and taking up flamenco. I don't 'do' music for a living, though part of me wants to take my material and gig gig gig!! The flamenco and jazz will take years.. Right now, I'm nearly finished a summer job, back to uni in 2 weeks, and VERY little time to play guitar. Especially since I've been going out a lot, enjoying life... and losing a lot of time and money to a girl I can't figure out! (Perhaps I should stick to guitar!).

You?

Smile
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!Mark!



Joined: 27 Aug 2006
Posts: 24

PostPosted: Tue Sep 05, 2006 8:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

14 years old. Been playing guitar for about 2 - 2.5 years started formal teaching about a year ago and did my grade 8 electric in june, passed with 98%. Picked up classical guitar about 6 months ago and about grade 8 level now. (doing that in nov) Now decided that i want to play jazz and started learning that as well. Been in a band for about two years but recently broke up (musical differences aka they cant play) started writing some instrumentals with a rock/metal/funk stlye and tring to fuse in some jazz.

Goals for the coming year:
Get out of my current creative rut
Record some instrumentals
Be able to improvise over 5 standards without the chord sheet
Pass grade 8 classical guitar
prepare for teachers diploma for next nov (if i'm aloud, your meant to be 16)

Mark
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JakeJew



Joined: 30 Jul 2005
Posts: 2190
Location: Boston, MA

PostPosted: Tue Sep 05, 2006 8:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

22, been playing for 9 years

I teach private lessons as a full time gig.

Over the past year+ I've been spending many hours a day practicing bop, being pretty disciplined about it. I got addicted to practicing and wound up feeling like shit and hurting my hands - basically had to take two months away from any practicing, now I'm back in it but taking a much more relaxed approach.

Lately I've been getting back into the songwriting thing, I'm in a band where I'm singing and writing songs, it's very fun and rewarding, hopefully we'll start playing shows soon.

In the past I've done a lot of different stuff, different bands and projects. Now it's just the one band, the bop practice, and some experimental messings around I sometimes do with minimalist type of stuff.
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pickula



Joined: 13 Feb 2006
Posts: 78
Location: Scotland

PostPosted: Tue Sep 05, 2006 11:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ancient - been playing for 43 years, 32 as a pro.

Got my classical guitar diploma a loooooooooooong time ago, and was a consultant for two different music colleges in designing jazz courses. Done more gigs than I've had hot dinners, given more lessons than there are grains of sand on the beach, played on numerous recordings and broadcasts. Mainly teaching these days, and messing around with home recordings for the fun of it. Several of my pupils have entered the music profession, with varying degrees of success.

I also compose a lot, had lots of commissions, and had some of my compositions recorded at the professional level.

I could expand a lot on the above but I'm not into name dropping so I'll leave it at that.

!Mark! - in spite of the fact that I've taught jazz and classical guitar for decades, and had a fair number of outstanding pupils, I have never heard of anyone, far less a 14 year old, who could reach classical guitar grade 8 with only six months of lessons - you are either a genius in in the making
or you are grossly exaggerating your achievements - I hope its the former. Any chance of posting some of your playing for us to hear? Also, 98% in your electric guitar Grade 8? I've been an examiner for two different exam boards for both electric and classical guitar, and I've examined a large number of both styles of guitarists, and I have never heard of anyone anywhere achieving that high a mark. According to the criteria which I've been trained to use when examining, I wouldn't give even John McLaughlin or Pat Martino 98% for a Grade 8. Which exam board did you use for that? and what pieces did you play? Also, what pieces do you intend playing for your classical exam in November? And which exam board are you using? I'm not saying you are lying, because world class players obviously do exist and you may be one, but I do find your claims extremely hard to believe - I would genuinely like to believe you however, a player who could actually do what you claim you can do would be worth listening to and I'd love to hear it.
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rudi



Joined: 21 Aug 2006
Posts: 7
Location: Portsmouth England

PostPosted: Wed Sep 06, 2006 6:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

lgiro wrote:
OK lads. what does this "grade 8 electric" mean anyway? do ya'll UKers have a grading or certification sysem for electric geetar players over there?

what does it entail?

what would Julian Bream get in the classical exam?


Its news to me too. Whatever next? (I better not let my bandmates know Im unqualified Huh? )
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pickula



Joined: 13 Feb 2006
Posts: 78
Location: Scotland

PostPosted: Wed Sep 06, 2006 3:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Grade exams in music have been around in the UK for over a hundred years. They go from beginner level exams at Grade 1 up to Grade 8. A good grade 8 player is roughly of the required standard to enter music college as a full time student who intends having a career in the music profession. To have a look at the Grade 8 classical syllabus used by the main examining board, have a look at http://www.abrsm.org/resources/guitarGr8_0506.pdf
This will give you some idea of what's involved. Julian Bream would breeze it of course, but even he wouldn't get 98%. I passed mine in 1967 and got 139 out of 150, which was the third highest mark in guitar for that year; I was 17 at the time and had played for six years. There are in fact several different exam boards whose grades are recognised by the education authorities, and some of them use a percentage system rather than a mark out of 150, which is why I asked Mark which exam board he was using.

Once grade 8 has been passed there are further exams available, which give full professional qualifications; I got mine in 1971.

Exams in electric guitar haven't been around for that long of course, and are technically less advanced but still fairly tough. It's quite feasible for a talented and dedicated person to pass the electric guitar Grade 8 after two and a half years of playing, but it would be extremely unusual to say the least. Again there are a few different exam boards, the main one being Trinity Rock School - their syllabus is currently being rewritten and will be published at some point within the next couple of weeks.

The reason I raise my eyebrows at the score of 98% is this - most exam boards have a requirement that candidates play three pieces as part of the exam, and as an experienced examiner myself, I can tell you that examiners are strongly discouraged from giving full marks for the performance of a piece - the rationale behind this is that if you give full marks, what do you do if somebody better comes along? You have to leave some leeway to allow for that. This means that since three pieces are played and none of them get full marks, the top possible mark is 97%. It is however true that very very rarely an examiner will give full marks for a performance, so it's not actually impossible that someone could get 98%, but in my decades of examining candidates and entering my own students for exams, I have never ever come across such a mark.

Again I repeat - I hesitate to say that !Mark! is being untruthful, but if indeed he is telling the truth then he is a truly outstanding talent who could have a glittering career in music ahead of him. If he cares to tell us which exam board he was tested by and at which exam centre he entered his exam, it may be possible to check up on what he says since most exam boards publish their results.

As regards sitting a classical guitar Grade 8 after two and a half years playing and six months of lessons, I've never heard of anyone achieving that standard so quickly unless they were already extremely accomplished at another instrument, and I've never come across a 14 year old player who had done all of that. It would be a fantastic achievement to say the least!! I would love it if !Mark! was telling the absolute truth, a player of that calibre at such an age would be an asset to a board like this and he would be someone whose career we could watch with interest and pleasure.
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user45



Joined: 21 Feb 2006
Posts: 72
Location: Richmond, VA

PostPosted: Wed Sep 06, 2006 4:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've been "playing" guitar for over 20 years but I just started "learning" about 8 months ago when I decided to start private lessons from a local teacher and professor of Jazz Guitar at the University here in town. He is great BTW, excellent teacher and the right sense of humor to put up with middle aged wannabe's.
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!Mark!



Joined: 27 Aug 2006
Posts: 24

PostPosted: Wed Sep 06, 2006 8:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

pickula wrote:

!Mark! - in spite of the fact that I've taught jazz and classical guitar for decades, and had a fair number of outstanding pupils, I have never heard of anyone, far less a 14 year old, who could reach classical guitar grade 8 with only six months of lessons - you are either a genius in in the making
or you are grossly exaggerating your achievements - I hope its the former. Any chance of posting some of your playing for us to hear? Also, 98% in your electric guitar Grade 8? I've been an examiner for two different exam boards for both electric and classical guitar, and I've examined a large number of both styles of guitarists, and I have never heard of anyone anywhere achieving that high a mark. According to the criteria which I've been trained to use when examining, I wouldn't give even John McLaughlin or Pat Martino 98% for a Grade 8. Which exam board did you use for that? and what pieces did you play? Also, what pieces do you intend playing for your classical exam in November? And which exam board are you using? I'm not saying you are lying, because world class players obviously do exist and you may be one, but I do find your claims extremely hard to believe - I would genuinely like to believe you however, a player who could actually do what you claim you can do would be worth listening to and I'd love to hear it.


I did my grade 8 guitar with the ICMA, i can scan in the certificate if you would to see, not sure if it has my DOB on it. I played under the bridge (RHCP) run to the hills and the trooper (iron Maiden). Apparently under the bridge is only grade 8 because it's finger stlye, something most rock guitarists cant do for toffee.

On my myspace i have an mp3 of me playing the first movement of winter from the four seasons with a programmed piano backing, this was about 8 months ago and i have since ironed out all the mistakes!
http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewprofile&friendid=103183202
Feel free to add me and please comment, i need a few more!

for my classical guitar exam i am playing something called Etruscan preludes quite flamencoy sounding with an annoying bit where you tune down the A to an Ab and something called the Watermill with the name Ronald Binge on the front, not sure if thats the composer or the arranger or what but nice name nontheless! My third piece is as yet undecided but i would like to do some Bach as i have previously arranged some of his preludes (D major, C minor, C major) for electric guitar and still play them to warm up often. i have also studied his inventions in C major and A minor and attempted some writing of inventions and fugues ad although i can handle the mechanics of it the creativity is where im lacking!

I doubt i could be classed as a world class player as i seem to lack in the two most important areas, creativity and self-discipline. i have had phases of sitting and practicing paul gilbert licks for hours on end but i cant really be arsed most of the time!

wow, long post, Mark
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pickula



Joined: 13 Feb 2006
Posts: 78
Location: Scotland

PostPosted: Wed Sep 06, 2006 8:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'll get back to you with a full reply in the next two or three days Mark, in the meantime this is just a quick post as I don't have much time and your post deserves a fuller answer than I can give you right now.

I just want, in the short term, to say a few things to you. First, thanks for answering my posts in a reasonable and polite manner, and for appreciating my points and responding to them with clarity.

Secondly, in spite of my long professional experience in the field of education and exams, I had never until you mentioned them ever heard of the ICMA. I googled them and read what they had to say - I'm not too impressed to be honest, and I suspect (but I don't know for sure) that their qualifications are not generally recognised by the educational establishment. I'll check up on that very point and get back to you on it.

What I can say for certain is that the pieces you named, both in your electric guitar exam and in the classical exam you cited, are not anywhere near the level of difficulty of the equivalent grade 8 exams of any of the established exam boards. I know the Etruscan Preludes and the Watermill well, I'd put the Preludes at around Grade 5 standard of the three exam boards with which I'm familiar.

I'll find time to investigate this over the next few days and get back to you
with more information about the whole issue, and with some recommendations for you to have a look at and a think about.

I'll finish for now by saying that while you may not be a world class player (but keep at it and you never know what may happen) you are a mature and polite person for age 14, and your post has earned my respect.
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!Mark!



Joined: 27 Aug 2006
Posts: 24

PostPosted: Wed Sep 06, 2006 9:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

could you perhaps point me in the direction of a grade 8 difficulty electric guitar piece as i would like to have a pop at one and see if i could play it. To be honest the pieces i played for grade 8 were all rather easy, i can play mr crowley with all the solos as it was on the original record and i can play the first solo from judas priests painkiller those are probably the most technically advanced things i can play although winter is not exactly easy!

Thanks, Mark
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JakeJew



Joined: 30 Jul 2005
Posts: 2190
Location: Boston, MA

PostPosted: Wed Sep 06, 2006 9:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

yeah props to mark, at 14 my internet guitar demeanor was a LOT more crude
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jokron



Joined: 23 Aug 2005
Posts: 656
Location: Skelleftea, Sweden

PostPosted: Thu Sep 07, 2006 12:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, I'm turning 51 in october and have played for some years in my youth, no lessons and no music reading, just by ear and learning from pals...not very good either...

I had a musical time-out for about 20+ years and started playing again in the summer 2003. In the autumn last year (2005) I started to really think about what I wanted to do with my music hobby, and it's becoming more and more clear that I want to play jazz guitar. I play piano at beginners level as well and have learned to read music. I have also written some 50+ tunes in the ballad/pop/folksong/blues styles during theese three years.

But now my longterm goal is to become a descent guitarplayer. My shortterm goal until next summer is to get about 20+ standards under my fingers and in my heart and mind. Maybe participate in a summer course here in Sweden 2007. I'm also dreaming about playing in a traditional jazz group in the future. I spend about two hours in average a day weekdays and some more houres in the weekends playing.

I work as a full time organisation developer in the health care area so I have to use my practising time effectively and focus on what I really want to achieve.

/Jan Olof
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jazznote



Joined: 10 May 2006
Posts: 82
Location: Switzerland

PostPosted: Thu Sep 07, 2006 7:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

turning 50 in october, been playing for 35 years, 20 years teaching and playing as a professional. giggin' mainly in small jazz combos, but ocasionally also in big bands and theater shows.
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ed norton



Joined: 03 Nov 2005
Posts: 762

PostPosted: Thu Sep 07, 2006 8:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

43, Philadelphia. Open to jamming. Especially with people my age or older. I don't mind get smoked by young phenoms, but I get along with older people better; and I'd probably bore a young phenom anyway. Old phenoms would probably like me if we met in person. I know lots of tunes, and I comp allot better than I solo.
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pickula



Joined: 13 Feb 2006
Posts: 78
Location: Scotland

PostPosted: Thu Sep 07, 2006 8:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

!Mark! - I've started a new thread with info about grade exams, I thought we should take it elsewhere, since this thread is about something else entirely and I didn't want to hi-jack it any more than I've done already.

thomasross20 - sorry to go on about this subject, I didn't mean it to take your thread over so I've moved it elsewhere.

igiro - you said "If Juliam Bream couldn't earn a 98% on a classical guitar exam that is designed to be a barrier exam to starting music studies in college, then the earth is flat." The grade 8 exam under discussion is designed, like most exams in any artistic subject, in such a way that a score of 100% should be impossible to attain by anybody, including Julian Bream. He would undoubtedly get the highest possible mark in such an exam, which is to say he would get 97%. There are sound reasons why a score of any more than that is educationally undesirable.

If you know the classical repertoire at all, check out some of the music in the grade 8 syllabus that I posted a link for - you may be surprised how difficult it is, it contains a lot of music from the concert repertoire including several pieces which have been recorded by the likes of Bream, John Williams, Segovia etc etc - the standard of playing required for entry to UK music colleges is high.

Oh yes...btw....don't walk too far in any one direction or you might fall off the edge of the world.

Very Happy
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