The entrance exam consists of a practical and a theoretical part. You will have to be successful in both parts in order to secure a place.

Practical section entrance exam
You should be able to show an affinity with jazz and have a certain amount of historical awareness. After the practical exam there will be an interview in which your musical background and motivation, as filled in on the application form, will be discussed. Additional questions may be asked, about your attitude towards studying, your experience as a player, your musical interests and future perspectives. Much use will be made of the piano during the course, both in the theoretical as well as the practical lessons. Basic knowledge and abilities at the piano are expected of you.

Entry requirements

Repertoire:

  • three differing pieces from the jazz repertoire, the bass plays at least one of the melodies and improvises in all pieces
  • Etudes: at least one etude (bowed) e.g. Simandl Etude no. 10
  • Technical abilities: all major and minor scales, the basic chord forms
  • Harmonic abilities: understanding of keys and progressions
  • Rhythmic abilities: solid time feel in walking and in even eight comping
  • Sight reading: basic reading abilities in treble and bass clefs (notes, chords, solo playing, bowing)
  • Hearing: repeating phrases by ear, playing over chords
  • General: affinity with jazz, sound instrumental technique, abilities in improvisation, musicality, good sense of timing

Assessment:

The committee will use the above criteria to assess whether the candidate will be capable of completing a course in the main subject at the Royal Conservatoire. Candidates who possesses the necessary aptitude, but do not yet meet the required standard in some respects, might be allowed to follow a year-long preparatory course.


The aim of the programme is to train bass guitarists with a sound and creative musicians. The course is deeply rooted in the jazz tradition, but expands from it. Today’s bass guitarist must have the versatility to play every form musical genre for this this relatively new instrument is used today: jazz, pop, rock and even contemporary classical music.

Pieces to be prepared:

· 3 Jazz standards in different tempos and modes

· 1 straight piece (Bossa, Latin, Pop, Rock...)

In all of the pieces, the bass must play at least one of the melodies.

• Technical ability: all the major and minor scales, the basic chord forms

• Harmonic skills: understanding of keys and progressions

• Phrasing: playing a melody well, using the instrument’s high register.

• Rhythmic ability: a sound feel for time in both swing and straight rhythms

• Reading: basic reading abilities in keys of g and f. Ability to improvise both bass lines and solos over chord progressions

• Hearing: repeating phrases by ear, playing over chords

• General: Good basic technique, affinity with jazz, physical aptitude for the instrument, improvisational skills, musicality, good sense of timing.

Assessment:

The committee will use the above criteria to assess whether the candidate will be capable of completing a course in the main subject at the Royal Conservatoire. Candidates who possesses the necessary aptitude, but do not yet meet the required standard in some respects, might be allowed to follow a year-long preparatory course.

Theory section entrance exam
The theory section consists of:

  • a written hearing test
  • a written test in general music theory
  • an individual practical solfège test

Click here for theory exam examples