How capable is a grade 8 pianist?

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barnisaurusrex
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In the grand scheme of things.

For instance, if you can play grade 8 piano, would you be able to play Beethoven Emperor? What proportion of classical pieces are much more difficult than grade 8 standard? I know it's a kind of wishy-washy question but any insight would be appreciated.
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matinthehat
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Doesn't grade 8 mean you can play pretty much anything
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dbmag9
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I'm technically a grade 8 pianist, but I wouldn't rate myself as particularly capable. But a large part of determining what pieces you can play is how much effort you put in, which isn't really shown by grades. If I practiced constantly, I'm sure I could play plenty of pieces eventually, but I doubt that's what you're getting at.
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alex_hk90
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(Original post by matinthehat)
Doesn't grade 8 mean you can play pretty much anything
No, from what I've seen the (ABRSM) Grade 8 Piano pieces aren't actually that difficult.
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speedfreak2007
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There are a hell of a lot of pieces higher than grade 8 standard. I passed (with merit ) my grade 8 2 years ago I have since tried many pieces which are in a completely different league. That said, I find that it is a good thing as it keeps things interesting, and you can always aim for something harder.
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sexygenocide
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As a grade 8 pianist my fingering skills are without parallel. I mean that in both in by my ability seamlessly move up and down the piano and my ability to correctly stimulate a woman's

labia.

Hope this helps.
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speedfreak2007
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(Original post by matinthehat)
Doesn't grade 8 mean you can play pretty much anything
Not by any means. I'm not trying to make out like grade 8 was a walk in the park, but they certainly don't pick the most challenging pieces.
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speedfreak2007
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(Original post by matinthehat)
Doesn't grade 8 mean you can play pretty much anything
Not by any means. I'm not trying to make out like grade 8 was a walk in the park, but they certainly don't pick the most challenging pieces.
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Pedrobear
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(Original post by matinthehat)
Doesn't grade 8 mean you can play pretty much anything
Not even close.
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cantstop-x
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It depends on the player and how committed they are. I've done grade 8 and there is no way that I am capable of anything... I focused mainly on my exam pieces - just because I can gain enough marks in an exam doesn't mean I can play anything sadly
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ArchedEdge
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Once you've done your grade 8, all it does it just open up a whole new world of pieces which you wouldn't have even considered before.

Besides I'd take grades with a pinch of salt, someone could pass grade 8 by only a few marks and be far less capable than someone who just stopped at grade 5 but still continued playing.
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foolsihboy
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There are FAR harder pieces out there than grade 8. There are three levels of diploma after grade 8 to begin with, and then after that there are still pieces. As with any instrument there will always be a vast number of pieces you can't play without a LOAD of practice, and the piano is the worst of these unfortunately.

I still find some grade 7/8 pieces hard and I got a distinction over a year ago (clarinet).
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cantstop-x
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(Original post by ArchedEdge)
Once you've done your grade 8, all it does it just open up a whole new world of pieces which you wouldn't have even considered before.

Besides I'd take grades with a pinch of salt, someone could pass grade 8 by only a few marks and be far less capable than someone who just stopped at grade 5 but still continued playing.
I like your way of explaining it
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scherzi
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Beethoven's Emperor is a long way away from grade 8 (if it's a piano concerto you're looking to start on, Mozart would be better). A large proportion of the classical repertoire performed in concerts by far surpasses grade 8 in difficulty. That's not to say a pianist who's just finished grade 8 wouldn't be able to play some of the more difficult pieces - get some books from the library and see how far your technique can take you.
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shepstar1
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I personally believe the whole grade system is a bit ridiculous. All it gives you is an insight into a small area of a person's technical ability, certainly not their musicianship as a whole. I know a few people who have Grade 8's that struggle to construct their own musical ideas or communicate with other members.

Can Grade 8 players play anything? They might be more technically proficient than a Grade 1 pianist but if you put them in a band situation, if the Grade 1 player has endless creativity and the Grade 8 pianist just reiterates things from other pieces then who's the most capable of the two?
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popdrops
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Being Grade 8 definitely doesn't mean you can play anything. For me I usually have 3 pieces to perfect in a whole year-- that hardly means I'm particularly able.
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alex_hk90
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(Original post by shepstar1)
Can Grade 8 players play anything? They might be more technically proficient than a Grade 1 pianist but if you put them in a band situation, if the Grade 1 player has endless creativity and the Grade 8 pianist just reiterates things from other pieces then who's the most capable of the two?
The Grade 8 one is more 'capable', the other is more 'creative'. Grades aren't about creativity, but rather minimum technical proficiency (as you've so eloquently put it).
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Awesomesauce
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People that boast about their grades are losers.
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LukethePianoMan
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i have grade 8 piano but i am absolutely terrible
i got grade 8 merit with LCM in December 2008 and have kept playing since then getting ready for the DipLCM, but I can't play a lot
and my sight reading skills are terrible
I was forced to play for a whole mass on Sunday because there were no other pianists and it was terrible, I managed to sight read the tune melody line most of the time and one of the basslines at best but the congregation were going basically acapella for most of it
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Planto
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(Original post by matinthehat)
Doesn't grade 8 mean you can play pretty much anything
Absolutely not. If anything, passing grade 8 implies that you're competent with the fundamentals of the instrument. Closer to the bottom end of the musical ability scale than the top. The fact that so many people see grade 8 as an unreachable peak of excellence says something about the lack of importance of talent in musical success, to be honest.
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