Practicing for grade 8...

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by Jay, Aug 17, 2006.

  1. Jay

    Jay Member

    I'm teaching myself everything cuz I don't have a teacher anymore lol and I'll be fine with the pieces (doing 3rd mvt from vaughan williams concerto, love it! 1st mvt from Viola's conerto for tuba & piano, and the Prelude from Glass' Prelude, Waltz and Finale), but I don't know what my best option would be between scales, brass band excerpts, orchestral excerpts or a technical study from the arban. My teacher always used to get me to do a technical study and for my grade 6 I did brass band excerpts..but what do you think would benefit me most?

    The scales look really scary lol...I never had to do any of these kind of scales in my piano grades...I don't know what a triadic major scale is or what augmented arpeggios are! And what does it mean by broken octave? Is it (take C major for example) like jumping from C to C an octave higher, and going like that up the scale? The technical study from the arban is okay (nos 4, 2 and 3 from exercises on the diminished seventh). But I'm really not sure which option I should choose. I'd like to have a go at orchestral excerpts but I've never done anything orchestral with tuba before lol :p

    Any tips or anything? Cheers x x
  2. BeatTheSheep

    BeatTheSheep Member

    I'd have said you should concentrate on passing the exam with as many marks as possible. If that means sticking to what you know, then so be it. When they give you the certificate, they don't put on what you picked and whether it enhanced your musical experience, but they do sometimes put the word 'distinction' which is nice to have.

    The amount of practice you would (presumably) have to do would enhance your musical life though.
  3. BeatTheSheep

    BeatTheSheep Member

    p.s., for the scales, buy the recommended book, and repeat them constantly. You don't actually have to understand it, but you do have to play it from memory.
  4. Jay

    Jay Member

    lol I'm practising like a few hours every day at the moment...I get so bored in the holidays I've been doing like 7 hours of music practice a day! (Not all on tuba lol! My lips would be dead :p)

    But yeh if I was guna choose the easiest option it would probably be the stuff from the arban because I was practicing that stuff before I decided I wanted to do grade 8 lol...its nice to have a challenge sometimes though!

    Thanks! x x
  5. BeatTheSheep

    BeatTheSheep Member

    could be right there. It's like a driving test, you learn to pass the test, then you learn to drive afterwards.
  6. Jay

    Jay Member

    Haha lol! :p I wouldn't know cuz I can't drive but I see what you mean ^_^

    Ha guna go bug my mum for driving lessons for my 17th now ^_^
  7. Richard_Brigg

    Richard_Brigg Member

    Not meaning to counter any advice given by BeattheSheep, but i always find something easier to learn when i understand it. Learning the scales parrot fashion as it were is all very well - but if you don't actually understand the scale, does that not defeat the object?
  8. Anno Draconis

    Anno Draconis Well-Known Member

    No. Scales, although unspeakably dull, are a neccesary evil. It's only as I've got older (and bizarrely, as I've done more conducting) that I realise how many times a scale or part of a scale appears in everyday music. Training your fingers to do them automatically will pay dividends. They are also good for getting your ear trained to pick out notes that are a bit out of tune and adjust them "on the fly" - otherwise known as intonation. Arpeggios do this as well, plus when slurred they are good for lip flexibility.

    So it depends why you're doing grade 8. If you just need the piece of paper in order to get to college or something, I suggest you do something you know and enjoy to increase your chance of success. If you are doing it to be a better player (technically speaking), bite the bullet and do the scales.

    Good luck!
  9. Jay

    Jay Member

    Lol I learnt that from my piano grades...I used to hate doing scales and always left them until like a week before the exam to learn them :p always ended up okay lol but it used to drive my teacher crazy! But now every time we come across part of scale etc in a piece she always mocks me :p "Scales in thirds are so POINTLESS" "I'll NEVER need these stupid things again!" Lol!

    Yeh I supposed it would be a good idea to do the scales...they're not too difficult actually cuz I just sort of picture the notes on the piano in my head then play it on my bass lol. I don't need grade 8 for anything in particular, it would just be nice to do it, and having to learn all the technical stuff would do me good lol.

    Thanks :) Xx
  10. Jay - thanks for this thread. I'm doing the same thing, for the same reason. I took G5 + theory in my youth and probably got up to G7 ish (without taking the exam, though), so I've decided to take G8 now as a way of directing my studies, so that I keep improving. I'm doing the scales, by the way - I think it will come in handy for improvised music, and all kinds of sight reading, arranging etc.

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