Music Theory - where to start?!

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by bandcampgal, Sep 18, 2006.

  1. bandcampgal

    bandcampgal Member

    Inspired by my little sisters who are working through the Grade 2 theory book, I have decided finally that I would like to get some grades!

    I did Grade 4 practical many moons ago (10 years?), but never did any theory exams. I just wanted to know which grade it is possible to start theory exams from - do you have to start at grade 1 or is it possible to go in straight away for grade 5 (for example)? I would like to do the theory side 1st so that I could then work through the practical side.

    Would it make a difference that I have Music AS level? or would this just give me a clue at what level I'm at? and now I've told you this, which Grade would you recommend I should start at?

    Thanking anyone for any help and advice they can give :)
  2. yonhee

    yonhee Active Member

    You don't have to start at grade one. I'm currently on grade 4 but I'm only going to sit the grade 5 and hopefully pass it...
  3. trumpetplayer

    trumpetplayer New Member

    I wouldn't start on the early grades - you will lose the will to live long before you get to Grade V. I started on Grade V, worked through the Grade 5 book and was taught to pass the papers. They are very similiar every year - you just need to practice the past papers until you get the hang of them. Just think of it as a ticky box you need to complete so you can move on.
  4. Flutey

    Flutey Active Member

    I just went straight in at grade 5. Don't do what I did though- I was meant to have been working on it for ages before my exam but I didn't- a week before the exam I realised how badly I would fail and pulled my socks up. I managed to pass with 85%... I feel I could have done much better had I taken the time to learn theory. Work hard at it and good luck!
  5. Daisy Duck

    Daisy Duck Member

    Just leap straight in with Grade 5. Work through some of the books you can get that help you with it. You'll probably be fine if you've got Music AS-Level, especially if you did well at musical analysis / composition side of things.
    Good luck!
  6. I went straight in at Grade 5 practical + theory (many years ago!). You have to take Grade 5 theory before you can take the later ones. Now I'm making a leap directly to Grade 8. That's probably the most efficient way to get from 1 to 8 without dying of boredom.
  7. Bryan_sop

    Bryan_sop Active Member

    That's what I did, got lazy and took ages to do Grade 5 theory then went straight to grade 8 practical. Didn't bother with any of the others. I do know of someone who did G8 theory for a bet without even studying for it and got distinction!! How annoying :eek:
  8. vonny

    vonny Member

    I did my grade 3 practical at age 10 but then never did another grade until 5 years ago when I did my grade v theory and passed :D
    I think I would have opted to do music theory from grade 1.... I feel my theory isn't that good sometimes, i'm still reading the books though!
  9. horn-girlie

    horn-girlie Member

    for gradeV you dont really need GCSE etc. I hated theory, and only took it because i wanted to do the higher ABRSM exams. i did the gradeV when i was 12, and so had no experience with GCSE/AS music etc. worked ok for me!
  10. Jay

    Jay Member

    Start with the easy grades - if you suddenly start on like grade 5 you're facing things like the alto/tenor clef etc...have a look at your sister's grade 2 book, and if thats a bit easy then start with grade 3 or 4. I never actually took the exams and got the certificates, but I learnt all my theory from the books.
  11. Aidan Geary

    Aidan Geary Member

    Remember that a GCSE pass (C or above) counts as an equivalent to grade 5 theory for taking higher grade practical exams - ABRSM grade 6+ / TrinityGuildhall and London College grade 8.

    Aidan Geary
    London College examiner.
  12. th2_custard

    th2_custard New Member

    yeah i only took theory coz i wanted to do higher grades. it is the only thing i have ever hated about music. n u dont have 2 have had any gcse experience at all coz i took it when i was bout 12/13. i think you can go straight into any grade grade you want i worked through the books and then just sat grades 4 n 5. i only took grade 4 to see what it was like.
  13. bandcampgal

    bandcampgal Member

    thanks for everyones views on this.

    back when i did my practical exams i never had an interest in the theory side i think now im jus having a bit of sibling jealousy/rivalry :biggrin: im waitin 4 my grade 5 and 6 theory books to cum thru the post now - dont no if end up doing the exams cos im so unorganised!
  14. mikelyons

    mikelyons Supporting Member

    Rhiannon, as you have already done A level, you could pass Grade V with both eyes shut, one arm tied behind your back and one leg missing!

    Start at Gd V theory - as most people have suggested. it's what I did oh so many moons ago.
  15. bandcampgal

    bandcampgal Member

    hey mike thought ud fallen off the edge of the earth! iv bin tryin 2 do grade 5 book but im gettin sooooooo miffed off with tenor clefs! if i was doing these 3/4 years ago when I had your expert tution I'm sure I'd b doing fine :D its been a long time since I did composition etc., i think its just gonna take me a while 2get back into it! i'l keep at it!

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