#1
Hey,

It's our GCSE music performances on March 17th, and I was just wondering what songs you played to get a good A/A* grade? I'm looking to get high in this hehe

Was thinking of doing maybe Purple Haze also, but that's all that has come to mind really, so any help would be great! Cheers.
#2
I got an A* in mine earlier this school year .
I played:
Parisienne Walkways - Gary Moore.

Its a very good song to show what you've got as the solo's are very good to improvise on.
#3
I played Beer by Reel Big Fish in a practice exam, and got 14/15, so either an A or an A*. You're marked out of ten for performance and out of five for difficulty.
#5
I played Altitudes by Jason Becker.

But, perfectly played easier piece will get higher marks than a ridiculously hard piece with a few mistakes.
#6
i played stranglehold - ted nugent its an 8 minute guitar solo, and got full marks..
#7
If you can do Purple Haze that'd be perfect (even better if you can sing it as well). I did as one of my AS performances and got somewhere around full marks for it.
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#8
Don't do sunshine of your love...I got a crap mark for it and played it flawlessly >.<
I say play a jazz guitar piece because that way you can improvise and say it was part of the piece, you get marks for that.
For the joint piece I reccomend finding a vocalist and playing an acoustic song, doesn't take all that much practice :P
#9
To the guy that played RBF, marks are out of 25, noob.
and medium dificulty only goes to 20 or so.
#10
Quote by filthandfury
I played Beer by Reel Big Fish in a practice exam, and got 14/15, so either an A or an A*. You're marked out of ten for performance and out of five for difficulty.

I wasn't. I was marked out of 30 and 6 marks were for difficulty. There were different categories that you had to reach to. I got 29/30.
#11
Quote by Ben Wright
I wasn't. I was marked out of 30 and 6 marks were for difficulty. There were different categories that you had to reach to. I got 29/30.

Mine was marked out of 30.

5 for Melodic Accuracy
5 for Rhythmic Accuracy
5 for Keeping tempo/flow
5 for use of dynamics
5 for mood and character
5 for tone

The last one is where I lost my 1 mark
#12
sorry to be annoying

but don't you need sheet music to play from, so they can mark your accuracy?
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#13
Quote by _Tim_
To the guy that played RBF, marks are out of 25, noob.
and medium dificulty only goes to 20 or so.


I have to correct you on that, for GCSE there are three grading boudaries, easy (which means you can get a maximum of 21 marks), required level (where all 25 marks are available) or more difficult (where you get three marks added on to the marks you would've got at the required level).

So if you can play Purple Haze (which my guitar teacher rated at the required level for AS - so long as you do an improvised solo, the exam boards love them) then you want to be looking at stuff that takes you into the more difficult bracket, because that way playing them with a few mistakes will still get you full marks. Worked for me.
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#14
Thanks for suggestions so far guys.

Also - do you know if you are allowed pedals? I.e. Distortion and wah?
#15
Quote by SG-Jack
sorry to be annoying

but don't you need sheet music to play from, so they can mark your accuracy?


Yeah you do, or you write out exactly what you're playing so they can make sure you didnt just make it up.

We did a piece by Grover Washington Jr called 'Make me a memory (sad samba)' It went pretty well but tbh you can play anything that is slightly challenging and you have the music of.
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#16
Quote by SG-Jack
sorry to be annoying

but don't you need sheet music to play from, so they can mark your accuracy?

I just had to print my teacher the tab off.
Quote by BlackMist
Also - do you know if you are allowed pedals? I.e. Distortion and wah?

Yes you are. I used distortion and one of my friends, who played Sweet Child O' Mine, used a wah pedal. He got 25/30
Last edited by Ben Wright at Feb 26, 2008,
#17
I got an A* (full marks I think), I played my own arrangement of Hey Joe (for solo guitar), Always by Satch to a backing track and then Black magic woman by Santana (own arrangement.
I wanted to at least show a little diversity.

EDIT: You can use effects, I used wah and dist.
#18
Quote by _Tim_
To the guy that played RBF, marks are out of 25, noob.
and medium dificulty only goes to 20 or so.


Maybe for you, but not for me. Alright? So don't assume.
#19
Cheers for answering my question guys

Think I'm gonna do Purple Haze then and try and getting it nailed for practical time. Thanks for the help!
#20
Quote by BlackMist
Cheers for answering my question guys

Think I'm gonna do Purple Haze then and try and getting it nailed for practical time. Thanks for the help!

No problem. Tell us how you do when you have the exam.
#21
So.. if you get marked for accuracy from the tab... say if you missed out a few notes here or there... you'd get ass raped on points?
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#22
I'm doing Message in a Bottle by The Police on thursday with the drum teach and my guitar teacher. You just need to play the piece accurately and have a reasonable difficulty to get a high grade.
NOPE.
#23
I did performance for GCSE last week, just a blues improv over a backing track, lost one mark because they couldnt compare it to the real version because i made it x)
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#24
Quote by bucketbot
So.. if you get marked for accuracy from the tab... say if you missed out a few notes here or there... you'd get ass raped on points?

Depends on how strict the examiner is, but generally, yeah.
#25
Quote by buckethead_jr
Depends on how strict the examiner is, but generally, yeah.

When i say 'ass raped' i mean, marking an A grade piece down to a D.
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Haha! You are awesome Bucketbotman!! Lolz!!

+100


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Marshall 1960's A slant cab
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#26
I think you can gain marks for interpretation on certain exam boards like AQA if you add bits and take some of the original out. That's what my teacher said anyway.

:/
NOPE.
#27
Quote by bucketbot
When i say 'ass raped' i mean, marking an A grade piece down to a D.

Oh, well no then.

Could be the difference between an A and a B for example though.
#28
I got an A playing Miles Davis' "So What?" as my solo (well, I was accompanied by a pianist) and improvising a walking bass line to "Alice In Wonderland". The examiners like jazz, clearly.
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#29
I did mine at the start of year 10 and did a grade 6 song and got full marks, basically do something that you can play flawlessly.
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#30
Quote by buckethead_jr
Oh, well no then.

Could be the difference between an A and a B for example though.

Ah fair enough... what about improvising a solo then? say if there were two solos in a song, i knew the first one and made up the second?
Quote by Jonjy2
Haha! You are awesome Bucketbotman!! Lolz!!

+100


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Gear
Ibanez RG370DX special edition!
Tanglewood Oddessy Acoustic
Marshall TSL100
Marshall 1960's A slant cab
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Dunlop Crybaby
#31
Quote by bucketbot
Ah fair enough... what about improvising a solo then? say if there were two solos in a song, i knew the first one and made up the second?

Well, you could do that, as an easy way out I guess

Just make sure that, on the sheet music you hand in to the examiner that the second solo isn't written in, and just print 'Improvise' above where it starts with empty bars for however long the solo goes on.
#32
Quote by buckethead_jr
Well, you could do that, as an easy way out I guess

Just make sure that, on the sheet music you hand in to the examiner that the second solo isn't written in, and just print 'Improvise' above where it starts with empty bars for however long the solo goes on.

Ah, thanks alot mate, helped me out alot there.
Quote by Jonjy2
Haha! You are awesome Bucketbotman!! Lolz!!

+100


I CAN PUT MY FOOT BEHIND MY HEAD!

Gear
Ibanez RG370DX special edition!
Tanglewood Oddessy Acoustic
Marshall TSL100
Marshall 1960's A slant cab
Fender 40W amp
Dunlop Crybaby
#33
Hey, sorry to drag up such an old thread, but I know a few of you were interested on how I did, so -

29 / 30 For solo performance - Played Purple Haze by Jimi Hendrix

27 / 30 For group performance - Played She Builds Quick Machines by Velvet Revolver.

25 is the boundry for an A* so I'm pleased! Thank you for all your help and suggestions etc.