Grade or linear?

my drum teacher said to me that I am doing well in grade 3.he said that since my lessons last 30 mins that we could spend 15 mins doing grade 3 and 15 mins doing grade 4 so Im ahead when it comes around to doing grade 4. he should said i could do that or do 15 mins of grade 3 and 15 mins of things like rudiments and linear drumming and fills. i know i should make the choice myself but what do u guys think??

thanks.
 

Ian Ballard

Silver Member
Where do these "grades" come from? We don't do anything like this in the US.
I think it's a UK/Euro thing. Some places like "School of Rock" will do grading systems. I have to say, we have a local "Drum School" which goes way overboard on how regimented the program is, to the point of turning a lot of kids away. I mean, not every kid is into marimbas and marching band stuff. Some kids just wanna rock.
 

BacteriumFendYoke

Platinum Member
Where do these "grades" come from? We don't do anything like this in the US.
Complex system but there is essentially a series of different exams for a variety of instruments in the UK. There are different exam boards (ABRSM tends to be the 'Classical' board for most people) and the grades are 1-8 (eight being a high standard) and then working up through various diplomas. Somebody studying an instrument seriously at University is usually required to be a grade 8 standard on application (although this can vary and assessment can be made in different ways).

It's a standardising system. It's flawed when it comes to modern instruments but with instruments like the piano, it's actually a very good system when it comes to assessing somebody's progress through the standard repertoire.
 

Dr_Watso

Platinum Member
Interesting. Thanks for the replies. Is each grade typically about a years worth of study?
 

BacteriumFendYoke

Platinum Member
Interesting. Thanks for the replies. Is each grade typically about a years worth of study?
It very much depends on the student. I have grades in a couple of things and it's not necessarily a year but it's more about application. If you practice hard, you can advance a grade in a very short time but by the time you get to grade 6-8, you're probably on around a year to develop technically with regular practice. Diplomas are a lot harder and by that point you're probably approaching 'professional' standard in a 'Classical' instrument.

My brother got to grade 8 piano by the time he was 10 (prodigy - very rare, especially with a 'distinction' rating) so my experience is a little warped by that. Generally, you select several pieces from within a standard repertoire (so a recital) followed by technical exercises and ear exercises. These are performed in front of a board of examiners and can be absolutely terrifying.

I have to stress though, that I think grades for 'modern' instruments (bass, guitars, drums, etc.) where the repertoire isn't necessarily standardised is flawed. It makes a lot more sense with 'academic' instruments where the learning pathway is more established.

This is an example of a grade 8 piano piece. Admittedly, this guy is playing it a little faster than necessary for the exam but it's one I'm familiar with from my childhood!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lJpSqC86vaw
 

Duracell

Senior Member
Do whatever you feel is good for you. Think about what kind of stuff you like playing, and what techniques you need to learn to be able to play them. There's no rush. Take it easy and have fun. Don't think too much about the grades, if you do, you'll likely suck a lot of enjoyment out of your playing.
 

Magenta

Platinum Member
I covered the grade syllabus but didn't take any exams; I did the whole lot in two years (but i already had a fairly solid background in music theory). I'd have been bored to death if I'd had to spend a year or so only doing grade stuff, so if I were you I'd be inclined to stick with Grade 3 and get it as good as you possibly can, whilst learning other complementary things that can only benefit you as a well-rounded drummer. Grade pieces bear very little resemblance to real drumming, I've found, not least because they're often unnecessarily difficult, but that's precisely why I'm glad I did them.
 
Top