I'm a blues guitarist mostly, and I'll be a applying to colleges in a year or so. The one I'm looking to attend is Berklee in Boston. What level should I be at when I apply? Would being able to play Lenny by SRV be a decent skill level? I know there's also improv and sight reading required. Thanks
I suggest you bone up on jazz and/or classical. Those are really the only two genre's studied the university level.

I don't know much other than that.
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You also have to do Aural test, they play a note on a piano or something and you have to play it back on your instrument and my friend told me he had to sing scales for berklee. there's a thread here i think that talks about a berklee audition
Lenny is a great tune. You should check out John Mayer's version from "Any Given Thursday" DVD.

Mayer attended that Berklee as well.
Hope you get it in, man. We are pulling for you.
It's not really about technical prowess as much as you think - it's more about theory application and knowledge. Check out the audition requirements for whichever university/s you are thinking of applying to.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
Remember, since you're playing music, you might want to be... you know... musical. You wouldn't believe how much more impressed music professors will be with someone who can make a relatively simple piece sound interesting and beautiful than with a piece that's complicated and performed mechanically.
I'm attending Berklee right now.
AlanHB is mostly correct. It isn't about technical skill or really reading skill. It's about aural knowledge, what can you hear? That's what will get you in. It is easier to teach someone the technicalities and the theory if they can already hear what's going on.

I actually did a blues medley to get in based on Lenny but also including; Wind Cries Mary, Time Makes Two, Castles Made of Sand with a small solo thrown in between. So yes, Lenny will get you in.

Here is a VERY useful website. Anyone not looking into universities should also use this:
Let me know if that link is dead. But otherwise, click Lesson Info, Final Test Requirements, then open the .pdf of "All Levels 1-8"
If you can play most the things in level 1/2, you have a great shot. If you can read music, you have a good shot. If you can hear a melody then play it back within 30 seconds, you're in.

Post again if you have more questions, this is my 2nd university and 3rd year studying music.

Edit: don't forget, Mayer attended 2 semesters. Music school is great to learn what you need to learn, but don't forget that getting a degree in it doesn't mean you get a job or a band. If you're that serious about it, think about learning it on your own then going out and getting the experience.
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The world is a fucked up place.


"Oh I'll play the blues for you"
Last edited by Blurry 505 at Jul 3, 2010,
It differs between countries and colleges I think. But from what I gather, it's usualy highly competetive between the people getting admitted and allowed to stay. So I guess there's not realy a 'good enough amount of skill'. You always could do better.

But at the very least you should be able to read notition, being able to sightread is even better, have some skill in a secondary instrument (prefferable if it's piano) and to have some skill in pitch / interval recognition with your ears.

Those things should be prioritised, because it's not as important to have knowledge and skills and more important how easy and fast you learn new knowledge and skills
Most universities require a solid jazz or classical audition. Berklee requires you be very proficient musically and at your instrument, but does not require anything extraordinary in musical prowess (if you can read, improvise ok and have a solid ear you should have no trouble getting in). Berklees audition feels more like a test then most others, going quickly from one thing to another (play your song/piece, improvise, do theory stuff, do an ear test, sight read) and then getting out the door. Other auditions will often just require a few prepared pieces, with maybe some scales and arpeggios and sight reading requested.
Thanks for all the responses! I do have a couple of years until I have to audition but I wanted to get an idea for the requirements. So from what it seems like, its less about technical ability and more musical ability. Intervals, and improvising I should be fine on, its just the sight reading part that I need work on. Thanks again!
Don't JUST apply to Berklee. Make it your top school, yes, don't DON'T make it your only choice. Learn some classical and jazz guitar between now and when you have to audition (and start working now; the better you are, the more likely you're to get scholarships). Apply to other schools, IE your local public college (for me that would be University of Maine [which no longer has a performance major, only music ed] or University of Southern Maine), a few small private schools, and (if you do really well in school) some big name universities, some other music schools. Which also means, make music a priority, but keep your regular academics for your high school years just as important. Most Universities and colleges academically accept you first (apply, send in letters of recommendation, essays, money, transcripts, etc), then you set up an audition date, where you'll demonstrate your skills on your primary instrument (some schools allow multiple instruments), probably do a written theory test, an aural test (matching pitch with your voice), sometimes interviews, and other stuff. The better you do, the better chance you have of getting in/getting scholarships.

by the way...Berklee is an expensive school. I visited it during their open house last fall and they said the average student pays around $52,000 a year with indirect costs (deodorant, toothpaste, strings, etc). Also, they don't have the greatest financial aid programs/scholarships. I'm not saying don't apply; don't EVER let money stop you from applying ANYWHERE. You never know what's going to happen. Also, your school probably gives out local scholarships. If you're going to a small high school, that makes your chances even better. I got two scholarships for "a student studying music" because I was the only one in my class who was going to study music.

Best of luck with your musical endeavors. /wall of text
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Berklee is extremely expensive. If you don't get scholarships, it's even more expensive. I am attending for only a short amount of time, just to get the experience and atmosphere to take in and figure out what I am lacking at (might as well learn that from the top people than someone at some music store). Apply for every scholarship possible and fill out the FAFSA

buuuuut: this should be done no matter what school you are attending..
Quote by Guitardude19
The world is a fucked up place.


"Oh I'll play the blues for you"