Rockschool

Learn Electric Guitar

Your path to becoming an outstanding electric guitarist starts here! A Rockschool Electric Guitar grade will not only improve your playing ability, but expand your technical proficiency and give you a solid grasp of music theory – all whilst learning some of the most iconic tracks from the world of popular music.

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Hand-Picked Popular Repertoire

For Electric Guitar we’ve hand-picked tunes from some of the world’s biggest artists across a diverse range of genres to provide students with an expansive song choice to use in their exam and for their own enjoyment.

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Group Performance

Select Rockschool Originals repertoire at Grades 3, 5 and 8 allow candidates studying Electric Guitar, Bass and Drums to perform specially arranged pieces together, supporting their development of ensemble performance.

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UCAS Points

Electric Guitar Grades carry huge rewards. For Grades 6, 7 and 8, you can enhance your university application, with up to 30 UCAS points awarded at Grade 8.

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Unrivalled Industry Relevance

As with every syllabus, Electric Guitar combines unrivalled industry relevance with academic credibility, giving students a wealth of technical, and theoretical knowledge that’s second to none.

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Free Choice Pieces

In addition to the 12 pieces on offer in each of our grade books, students are also able to choose two Free Choice Pieces for their exam. The criteria for each grade can be found on our website.

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Digital Downloads

Instantly download your Electric Guitar book, individual tracks or supporting tests. The RSL shop allows student and instructor to use their favourite titles on their desktop, tablet or smartphone.

Learn the Electric Guitar with Rockschool

Ready to discover the world of Rockschool Electric Guitar? Check out the video below to find out how this syllabus has come to life and what makes Rockschool the best option for you.

Rockschool Video Electric Guitar

How it works

Whether you’re learning the electric guitar independently or with a music teacher, it’s easy to get started learning with Rockschool.

01

Download the syllabus and buy your grade book

Our publications provide you with everything you need: professionally arranged and produced repertoire alongside innovative technical exercises and supporting tests.

02

Start practicing with our innovative resources

From our physical publications to our interactive e-books and Learning Platform app, our teaching and learning resources are here to support you become a better musician.

03

Sit the exam and reap your rewards

If you’re ready and want to take a Graded Music Exam, achieve your very own Rockschool qualification after putting in the hours of dedication towards mastering your instrument.

Electric Guitar
Premiere

Rockschool Electric Guitar Premiere is the ideal starting point if you’ve just picked up the electric guitar for the first time. Learn the fundamentals of electric guitar in our easy-to-use Rockschool Guitar Method books, then perform five of them in a 10-minute exam to earn a Performance Certificate.

Estimated Examination Time:

  • Performance Certificate: 10 minutes (approx.)
Rockschool Electric Guitar

Purchase Your Book & Exam Entry

The Rockschool Guitar Method book has everything you need to know to master the key skills every guitarist needs. With over 100 audio tracks, quick-start videos and 12 lessons in six different styles, you’ll start learning chords, licks and riffs straight away.

Guitar Method

Guitar Method

The Rockschool Guitar Method (formerly titled as Let’s Rock) has everything you need to know to m...
Graded Music Exam Premier

Graded Music Exam: Premiere

General guidance: How to book an exam UK / Republic of Ireland information links: Exam Periods Wh...

Performance Pieces

The Premiere exam lasts 10 minutes, during which you will play five Performance Pieces. There is a choice of six pieces in the Rockschool Guitar Method book and an additional three ensemble pieces at the back of the book. Candidates should choose five out of these nine pieces to play in the examination.

Exam Structure

There is one type of exam available at Premiere, a Performance Certificate.

Performance Certificate

5 performance pieces only. These account for 20% of the exam mark each.

Assessment Criteria

Performance Certificate

Attainment Band Distinction Merit Pass Below Pass Below Pass 2
Mark Range 18-20 15-17 12-14 6-11 0-5
Command of Instrument Consistently clear production of sound and even tone quality throughout Mostly clear production of sound and even tone quality overall Some clear production of sound and generally even tone quality Sound produced is unclear with uneven quality of tone produced No attempt and/or incomplete performance
Sync or Pulse Performance consistently synchronised to the music, or an internal pulse maintained Performance mostly synchronised to the music, or an internal pulse maintained Performance sometimes synchronised to the music, or an internal pulse maintained Performance not synchronised to the music, or an internal pulse not maintained No attempt and/or incomplete performance
Accuracy & Understanding All of the written music accurately performed or equivalent skills demonstrated throughout. Understanding of musical structure shown all of the time. Most of the written music accurately performed or equivalent skills demonstrated overall. Understanding of musical structure shown most of the time. Some of the written music accurately performed or equivalent skills generally demonstrated. Understanding of musical structure shown some of the time. Written music not accurately performed or equivalent skills not demonstrated. Understanding of musical structure not evidenced. No attempt and/or incomplete performance
Style & Expression Consistently convincing projection of the music. Mostly convincing projection of the music. Some convincing projection of the music. Music not convincingly projected. No attempt and/or incomplete performance

Electric Guitar
Debut

The Debut Guitar exam is for candidates who have been learning for a short time and have learnt the basic skills. There are two types of exams available at Debut, Grade Exam or Performance Certificate. Please see the Examinations section for an explanation of the differences.

Estimated Examination Time:

  • Grade Exam: 15 minutes (approx.)
  • Performance Certificate: 12 minutes (approx.)
Rockschool Electric Guitar

Purchase Your Book & Exam Entry

The Guitar Debut book contains everything you need to sit your Debut exam – in one essential book. It’s packed with essential techniques and theory for beginners picking up the fundamentals of guitar.

1

Electric Guitar Debut

The Guitar Debut book contains everything you need to sit your Debut exam - in one essential book...
Graded Music Exam Debut

Graded Music Exam: Debut

General guidance: How to book an exam UK / Republic of Ireland information links: Exam Periods Wh...

Performance Pieces

At Debut the performance pieces last up to a maximum of 1 minute. This is so the candidate can remain focused and concentrate on the basic requirements of notation, values, sound, control and sync. The pieces contain simple position work and work across strings is simple and paced.

Featured Repertoire:

Rockschool Guitar ’18

  • Jimi Hendrix – Hey Joe
  • Bill Withers – Ain’t No Sunshine
  • Ben E. King – Stand By Me
  • Adele – Hello
  • Muddy Waters – Hoochie Coochie Man
  • Sam Smith – Stay With Me

Rockschool Originals

  • Another Dime
  • 101
  • Beat the Mersey
  • Helicopter
  • Cashville
  • Spike

Technical Exercises

At Debut there are three groups of technical work. The examiner will ask for a selection from each group, and before starting this section candidates will be asked whether they would like to play the exercises along with the click or hear a single bar of click before commencing the test.

 

GROUP A – Scales

Tempo: 70 bpm

  • Major: C
  • Minor pentatonic: A, E

 

GROUP B – Chords

Open position chords. Individual chords will be strummed once as directed by the examiner.

  • Major: A, D, C, G
  • Minor: A, E

 

GROUP C – Riff

In the exam, candidates will be asked to play the riff from the Grade Debut book to a backing track. The riff shown in bar 1 should be played in the same shape in bars 2–4. The root note of the pattern to be played is shown in the music in each of the subsequent three bars.

Supporting Tests

Sight Reading

Tempo: 70 bpm

At Debut candidates will be offered a previously unseen sight reading test that is in the form of a four-bar rhythm played on the lowest-sounding E string. An example is shown in the Debut grade book.

The test is made up of half and quarter notes and will be in 4/4. The examiner will allow 90 seconds of preparation and practice time and will offer the option of practising with or without a metronome. The candidate will then perform the test for the examination.

Ear Tests

There are two tests: Melodic Recall and Rhythmic Recall.

Melodic Recall

Tempo: 85bpm

The examiner will play two half notes one after the other. Candidates will tell the examiner whether the second note is higher or lower in pitch than the first note. Candidates will hear the test twice. Each time the test is played it is preceded by a one-bar vocal count-in. Answers can be ‘higher/lower’ or ‘up/down’.

Rhythmic Recall

Tempo: 80 bpm

Key: Low E string

The examiner will play a two-bar rhythm played to a drum backing on the lowest-sounding E string. Candidates will hear the test twice, and will then be asked to play the rhythm back. Candidates will then be asked to identify the rhythm from two examples shown. Each time the test is played it is preceded by a one-bar count-in. There will be a short gap to practise. Next candidates will hear a vocal count-in and will then be required to play the rhythm to the drum backing, before identifying the rhythm from the examples shown.

General Musicianship Questions

In this part of the exam, candidates will be asked five questions. Four of these questions will be about general music knowledge and the fifth question will be asked about the candidate’s instrument. For this section of the exam, candidates choose the piece on which to be tested.

Music Knowledge

In Debut candidates will be asked to identify:

  • The music stave and the TAB
  • The treble clef
  • Half and quarter note values

Instrument Knowledge

In Debut candidates will be asked to identify:

  • One of the following parts of their guitar: neck, body, tuning-pegs or bridge

Exam Structure

There are two types of exam available, a Grade Exam or Performance Certificate.

Grade Exam

3 Performance Pieces (two of which may be Free Choice Pieces) Candidates choose to play either Performance Pieces or Technical Exercises first These account for 60% of the exam mark
Technical Exercises (Section A, B, C and D for Level 3 qualifications) Candidates choose to play either Performance Pieces or Technical Exercises first These account for 15% of the exam mark
Sight Reading or Improvisation & Interpretation (Debut to Grade 5); Quick Study Pieces (Grade 6 to Grade 8) Candidates are given an unseen test to prepare and perform This accounts for 10% of the exam marks
2 Ear Tests Candidates respond to 2 aural tests. These account for 10% of the exam marks
5 General Musicianship Questions Candidates answer 5 questions based on one of the pieces performed These account for 5% of the exam marks

Performance Certificate

5 Performance Pieces only (three of these can be Free Choice Pieces) These account for 20% of the exam mark each.

Assessment Criteria

Performance Pieces

Attainment Band Distinction Merit Pass Below Pass Below Pass 2
Mark Range 18-20 15-17 12-14 6-11 0-5
Command of Instrument Consistently clear production of sound and even tone quality throughout Mostly clear production of sound and even tone quality overall Some clear production of sound and generally even tone quality Sound produced is unclear with uneven quality of tone produced No attempt and/or incomplete performance
Sync or Pulse Performance consistently synchronised to the music, or an internal pulse maintained Performance mostly synchronised to the music, or an internal pulse maintained Performance sometimes synchronised to the music, or an internal pulse maintained Performance not synchronised to the music, or an internal pulse not maintained No attempt and/or incomplete performance
Accuracy & Understanding all of the written music accurately performed or equivalent skills demonstrated throughout. Understanding of musical structure shown all of the time. Most of the written music accurately performed or equivalent skills demonstrated overall. Understanding of musical structure shown most of the time. Some of the written music accurately performed or equivalent skills generally demonstrated. Understanding of musical structure shown some of the time. Written music not accurately performed or equivalent skills not demonstrated. Understanding of musical structure not evidenced. No attempt and/or incomplete performance
Style & Expression Consistently convincing projection of the music. Mostly convincing projection of the music. Some convincing projection of the music. Music not convincingly projected. No attempt and/or incomplete performance

Technical Exercises

Attainment Band Distinction Merit Pass Below Pass Below Pass 2
Mark Range 13–15 11–12 9–10 4–8 0–3
Command of Instrument Consistently clear production of sound and even tone quality throughout Mostly clear production of sound and even tone quality overall Some clear production of sound and generally even tone quality Sound produced is unclear with uneven quality of tone produced No attempt and/or incomplete performance
Sync or Pulse Performance consistently synchronised to the music, or an internal pulse maintained Performance mostly synchronised to the music, or an internal pulse maintained Performance sometimes synchronised to the music, or an internal pulse maintained Performance not synchronised to the music, or an internal pulse not maintained No attempt and/or incomplete performance
Accuracy & Understanding all of the written music accurately performed or equivalent skills demonstrated throughout. Understanding of musical structure shown all of the time. Most of the written music accurately performed or equivalent skills demonstrated overall. Understanding of musical structure shown most of the time. Some of the written music accurately performed or equivalent skills generally demonstrated. Understanding of musical structure shown some of the time. Written music not accurately performed or equivalent skills not demonstrated. Understanding of musical structure not evidenced. No attempt and/or incomplete performance

Ear Tests

Attainment Band Distinction Merit Pass Below Pass Below Pass 2
Mark Range 9-10 7-8 6 3-5 0-2
Accuracy & Understanding All of the written music accurately performed or equivalent skills demonstrated throughout. Understanding of musical structure shown all of the time. Most of the written music accurately performed or equivalent skills demonstrated overall. Understanding of musical structure shown most of the time. Some of the written music accurately performed or equivalent skills generally demonstrated. Understanding of musical structure shown some of the time. Written music not accurately performed or equivalent skills not demonstrated. Understanding of musical structure not evidenced. No attempt and/or incomplete performance

Supporting Tests

Attainment Band Distinction Merit Pass Below Pass Below Pass 2
Mark Range 9-10 7-8 6 3-5 0-2
Command of Instrument Consistently clear production of sound and even tone quality throughout Mostly clear production of sound and even tone quality overall Some clear production of sound and generally even tone quality Sound produced is unclear with uneven quality of tone produced No attempt and/or incomplete performance
Sync or Pulse Performance consistently synchronised to the music, or an internal pulse maintained Performance mostly synchronised to the music, or an internal pulse maintained Performance sometimes synchronised to the music, or an internal pulse maintained Performance not synchronised to the music, or an internal pulse not maintained No attempt and/or incomplete performance
Accuracy & Understanding All of the written music accurately performed or equivalent skills demonstrated throughout. Understanding of musical structure shown all of the time. Most of the written music accurately performed or equivalent skills demonstrated overall. Understanding of musical structure shown most of the time. Some of the written music accurately performed or equivalent skills generally demonstrated. Understanding of musical structure shown some of the time. Written music not accurately performed or equivalent skills not demonstrated. Understanding of musical structure not evidenced. No attempt and/or incomplete performance

General Musicianship Questions

Attainment Band Distinction Merit Pass Below Pass Below Pass 2
Mark Range 5 correct responses 4 correct responses 3 correct responses 2 correct responses 0-1 correct responses

Performance Certificate

Attainment Band Distinction Merit Pass Below Pass Below Pass 2
Mark Range 18-20 15-17 12-14 6-11 0-5
Command of Instrument Consistently clear production of sound and even tone quality throughout Mostly clear production of sound and even tone quality overall Some clear production of sound and generally even tone quality Sound produced is unclear with uneven quality of tone produced No attempt and/or incomplete performance
Sync or Pulse Performance consistently synchronised to the music, or an internal pulse maintained Performance mostly synchronised to the music, or an internal pulse maintained Performance sometimes synchronised to the music, or an internal pulse maintained Performance not synchronised to the music, or an internal pulse not maintained No attempt and/or incomplete performance
Accuracy & Understanding All of the written music accurately performed or equivalent skills demonstrated throughout. Understanding of musical structure shown all of the time. Most of the written music accurately performed or equivalent skills demonstrated overall. Understanding of musical structure shown most of the time. Some of the written music accurately performed or equivalent skills generally demonstrated. Understanding of musical structure shown some of the time. Written music not accurately performed or equivalent skills not demonstrated. Understanding of musical structure not evidenced. No attempt and/or incomplete performance
Style & Expression Consistently convincing projection of the music. Mostly convincing projection of the music. Some convincing projection of the music. Music not convincingly projected. No attempt and/or incomplete performance

Electric Guitar
Grade 1

The Grade 1 Guitar exam is for candidates who have been learning between six months – one year and have mastered the key basic skills. There are two types of exams available at Grade 1, Grade Exam or Performance Certificate.

Estimated Examination Time:

  • Grade Exam: 20 minutes (approx.)
  • Performance Certificate: 15 minutes (approx.)
Rockschool Electric Guitar

Purchase Your Book & Exam Entry

The Guitar Grade 1 book contains everything you need to sit your Grade 1 exam – in one essential book. It’s packed with essential techniques and theory for beginners picking up the fundamentals of guitar.

1

Electric Guitar Grade 1

The Guitar Grade 1 book contains everything you need to sit your Grade 1 exam - in one essential ...
Graded Music Exam Grade 1

Graded Music Exam: Grade 1

General guidance: How to book an exam UK / Republic of Ireland information links: Exam Periods Wh...

Performance Pieces

At Grade 1 the performance pieces last up to a maximum of 1 minute 15 seconds. This is so the candidate can remain focused and concentrate on the basic requirements of notation, values, sound, control and sync. The pieces contain simple position work and work across strings is simple and paced.

Featured Repertoire:

Rockschool Guitar ’18

  • Adele – Rolling In The Deep
  • The Script – The Man Who Can’t Be Moved
  • The Temptations – My Girl
  • Booker T & the M.G.’s – Green Onions
  • Green Day – Basket Case
  • Stereophonics – Dakota

Rockschool Originals

  • Get Off
  • Umbra Bella
  • Just Don’t Know
  • Krauss Country
  • ICAUFO
  • Fab Stomp

Technical Exercises

At Grade 1 there are three groups of technical work. The examiner will ask for a selection from each group, and before starting this section candidates will be asked whether they would like to play the exercises along with the click or hear a single bar of click before commencing the test.

 

GROUP A – Scales

Tempo: 70 bpm

  • Major: C
  • Natural minor: A
  • Minor pentatonic: A, E
  • Major pentatonic: G

 

GROUP B – Chords

  • Powerchords: two-note chords to be played in a continuous sequence.
  • Major: A, D, E, C, G: individual chords will be strummed once as directed by the examiner.
  • Minor: A, D, E individual chords will be strummed once as directed by the examiner.

 

GROUP C – Riff

Tempo: 70 bpm

In the exam candidates will be asked to play the riff from the Grade 1 book to a backing track. The riff shown in bar 1 should be played in the same shape in bars 2–4. The root note of the pattern to be played is shown in the music in each of the subsequent three bars

Supporting Tests

At Grade 1, candidates will be offered the choice between Sight Reading or Improvisation & Interpretation. This is a previously unseen test. An example is shown in the Grade 1 book.

Sight Reading

Key: A minor

Tempo: 70 bpm

At Grade 1 the sight reading test is in the form of a melody consisting of half and quarter notes in 4/4. The test is four bars long. The examiner will allow 90 seconds preparation and practice time and will offer the option of practising with or without a metronome. Candidates will then perform the test for the examination.

Improvisation & Interpretation

Key: C major or A minor

Tempo: 70–80 bpm

At Grade 1, candidates have the choice of playing a lead line or rhythm (chord) line. The test is four bars long and candidates will have 30 seconds preparation time. The examiner will offer the metronome as a guide throughout this time. Candidates will then have a complete practice run through with the backing track, and then on the repeat the test will be examined.

Ear Tests

There are two tests: Melodic Recall and Rhythmic Recall.

Melodic Recall

Tempo: 85 bpm

The examiner will play three notes in sequence. Candidates will tell the examiner whether the second note is higher or lower in pitch than the first note and whether the third note is higher or lower than the second. The test will be played twice. Each time the test is played it is preceded by a one-bar vocal count-in. Answers can be ‘higher then lower’ or ‘up then down’ (as appropriate).

Rhythmic Recall

Key: Low E string

Tempo: 90 bpm

The examiner will play a two-bar rhythm played to a drum backing on the lowest-sounding E string. Candidates will hear the test twice and will then be asked to play the rhythm back. Candidates will then be asked to identify the rhythm from two examples shown to them by the examiner. The test is made up of quarter and eighth notes and quarter-note rests. Each time the test is played it is preceded by a one-bar count-in. There will be a short gap to practise. Next, candidates will hear a vocal count-in and will then play the rhythm to the drum backing, before identifying the rhythm from the examples shown.

General Musicianship Questions

In this part of the exam candidates will be asked five questions. Four of these questions will be about general music knowledge and the fifth question will be asked about their instrument. For this section of the exam candidates choose the piece about which the five questions will be asked. The examiner will ask four music knowledge questions and one instrument knowledge question.

Music Knowledge

In Grade 1, candidates will be asked to identify:

  • The treble clef
  • The time signature
  • Whole, half, quarter and eighth note values
  • The difference between a major and minor chord

Instrument Knowledge

In Grade 1, candidates will be asked to identify:

  • One of the following parts of their guitar: neck, fretboard, body, tuning-pegs, nut pickups or bridge
  • One main guitar brand other than the brand they are playing
  • Names of the open strings

Exam Structure

There are two types of exam available, a Grade Exam or Performance Certificate.

Grade Exam

3 Performance Pieces (two of which may be Free Choice Pieces) Candidates choose to play either Performance Pieces or Technical Exercises first These account for 60% of the exam mark
Technical Exercises (Section A, B, C and D for Level 3 qualifications) Candidates choose to play either Performance Pieces or Technical Exercises first These account for 15% of the exam mark
Sight Reading or Improvisation & Interpretation (Debut to Grade 5); Quick Study Pieces (Grade 6 to Grade 8) Candidates are given an unseen test to prepare and perform This accounts for 10% of the exam marks
2 Ear Tests Candidates respond to 2 aural tests. These account for 10% of the exam marks
5 General Musicianship Questions Candidates answer 5 questions based on one of the pieces performed These account for 5% of the exam marks

Performance Certificate

5 Performance Pieces only (three of these can be Free Choice Pieces) These account for 20% of the exam mark each.

Assessment Criteria

Performance Pieces

Attainment Band Distinction Merit Pass Below Pass Below Pass 2
Mark Range 18-20 15-17 12-14 6-11 0-5
Command of Instrument Consistently clear production of sound and even tone quality throughout Mostly clear production of sound and even tone quality overall Some clear production of sound and generally even tone quality Sound produced is unclear with uneven quality of tone produced No attempt and/or incomplete performance
Sync or Pulse Performance consistently synchronised to the music, or an internal pulse maintained Performance mostly synchronised to the music, or an internal pulse maintained Performance sometimes synchronised to the music, or an internal pulse maintained Performance not synchronised to the music, or an internal pulse not maintained No attempt and/or incomplete performance
Accuracy & Understanding all of the written music accurately performed or equivalent skills demonstrated throughout. Understanding of musical structure shown all of the time. Most of the written music accurately performed or equivalent skills demonstrated overall. Understanding of musical structure shown most of the time. Some of the written music accurately performed or equivalent skills generally demonstrated. Understanding of musical structure shown some of the time. Written music not accurately performed or equivalent skills not demonstrated. Understanding of musical structure not evidenced. No attempt and/or incomplete performance
Style & Expression Consistently convincing projection of the music. Mostly convincing projection of the music. Some convincing projection of the music. Music not convincingly projected. No attempt and/or incomplete performance

Technical Exercises

Attainment Band Distinction Merit Pass Below Pass Below Pass 2
Mark Range 13–15 11–12 9–10 4–8 0–3
Command of Instrument Consistently clear production of sound and even tone quality throughout Mostly clear production of sound and even tone quality overall Some clear production of sound and generally even tone quality Sound produced is unclear with uneven quality of tone produced No attempt and/or incomplete performance
Sync or Pulse Performance consistently synchronised to the music, or an internal pulse maintained Performance mostly synchronised to the music, or an internal pulse maintained Performance sometimes synchronised to the music, or an internal pulse maintained Performance not synchronised to the music, or an internal pulse not maintained No attempt and/or incomplete performance
Accuracy & Understanding all of the written music accurately performed or equivalent skills demonstrated throughout. Understanding of musical structure shown all of the time. Most of the written music accurately performed or equivalent skills demonstrated overall. Understanding of musical structure shown most of the time. Some of the written music accurately performed or equivalent skills generally demonstrated. Understanding of musical structure shown some of the time. Written music not accurately performed or equivalent skills not demonstrated. Understanding of musical structure not evidenced. No attempt and/or incomplete performance

Ear Tests

Attainment Band Distinction Merit Pass Below Pass Below Pass 2
Mark Range 9-10 7-8 6 3-5 0-2
Accuracy & Understanding All of the written music accurately performed or equivalent skills demonstrated throughout. Understanding of musical structure shown all of the time. Most of the written music accurately performed or equivalent skills demonstrated overall. Understanding of musical structure shown most of the time. Some of the written music accurately performed or equivalent skills generally demonstrated. Understanding of musical structure shown some of the time. Written music not accurately performed or equivalent skills not demonstrated. Understanding of musical structure not evidenced. No attempt and/or incomplete performance

Supporting Tests

Attainment Band Distinction Merit Pass Below Pass Below Pass 2
Mark Range 9-10 7-8 6 3-5 0-2
Command of Instrument Consistently clear production of sound and even tone quality throughout Mostly clear production of sound and even tone quality overall Some clear production of sound and generally even tone quality Sound produced is unclear with uneven quality of tone produced No attempt and/or incomplete performance
Sync or Pulse Performance consistently synchronised to the music, or an internal pulse maintained Performance mostly synchronised to the music, or an internal pulse maintained Performance sometimes synchronised to the music, or an internal pulse maintained Performance not synchronised to the music, or an internal pulse not maintained No attempt and/or incomplete performance
Accuracy & Understanding All of the written music accurately performed or equivalent skills demonstrated throughout. Understanding of musical structure shown all of the time. Most of the written music accurately performed or equivalent skills demonstrated overall. Understanding of musical structure shown most of the time. Some of the written music accurately performed or equivalent skills generally demonstrated. Understanding of musical structure shown some of the time. Written music not accurately performed or equivalent skills not demonstrated. Understanding of musical structure not evidenced. No attempt and/or incomplete performance

General Musicianship Questions

Attainment Band Distinction Merit Pass Below Pass Below Pass 2
Mark Range 5 correct responses 4 correct responses 3 correct responses 2 correct responses 0-1 correct responses

Performance Certificate

Attainment Band Distinction Merit Pass Below Pass Below Pass 2
Mark Range 18-20 15-17 12-14 6-11 0-5
Command of Instrument Consistently clear production of sound and even tone quality throughout Mostly clear production of sound and even tone quality overall Some clear production of sound and generally even tone quality Sound produced is unclear with uneven quality of tone produced No attempt and/or incomplete performance
Sync or Pulse Performance consistently synchronised to the music, or an internal pulse maintained Performance mostly synchronised to the music, or an internal pulse maintained Performance sometimes synchronised to the music, or an internal pulse maintained Performance not synchronised to the music, or an internal pulse not maintained No attempt and/or incomplete performance
Accuracy & Understanding All of the written music accurately performed or equivalent skills demonstrated throughout. Understanding of musical structure shown all of the time. Most of the written music accurately performed or equivalent skills demonstrated overall. Understanding of musical structure shown most of the time. Some of the written music accurately performed or equivalent skills generally demonstrated. Understanding of musical structure shown some of the time. Written music not accurately performed or equivalent skills not demonstrated. Understanding of musical structure not evidenced. No attempt and/or incomplete performance
Style & Expression Consistently convincing projection of the music. Mostly convincing projection of the music. Some convincing projection of the music. Music not convincingly projected. No attempt and/or incomplete performance

Electric Guitar
Grade 2

The Grade 2 Guitar exam is for candidates who have been learning for approximately one year to eighteen months and have established the key basic skills along with solid basic techniques. There are two types of exams available at Grade 2, Grade Exam or Performance Certificate. Please see the Examinations section for an explanation of the differences.

Estimated Examination Time:

  • Grade Exam: 20 minutes (approx.)
  • Performance Certificate: 15 minutes (approx.)
Rockschool Electric Guitar

Purchase Your Book & Exam Entry

The Guitar Grade 2 book is the essential companion to taking Guitar Grade 2, with all the info you need to techniques for the exam: palm muting, alternate picking, arpeggiated chords, new scales and more.

1

Electric Guitar Grade 2

The Guitar Grade 2 book is the essential companion to taking Guitar Grade 2, with all the info yo...
Graded Music Exam Grade 2

Graded Music Exam: Grade 2

General guidance: How to book an exam UK / Republic of Ireland information links: Exam Periods Wh...

Performance Pieces

At Grade 2 the pieces last up to a maximum of 1 minute 30 seconds. The length of the piece is designed so the candidate can remain focused and concentrate on the requirements of notation accuracy, basic technical control, articulation, sound and sync.

Featured Repertoire:

Rockschool Guitar ’18

  • Arthur Conley – Sweet Soul Music
  • One Direction – What Makes You Beautiful
  • Jessie J – Domino
  • AC/DC – Rock ‘N’ Roll Train
  • The Meters – Cissy Strutt
  • The Beatles – Helter Skelter

Rockschool Originals

  • Cranked
  • Ska’d For Life
  • Bonecrusher
  • Hit It Harder
  • The Faith Divide
  • Buzz Saw

Technical Exercises

At Grade 2 there are three groups of technical work. The examiner will ask for a selection from each group, and before starting this section candidates will be asked whether they would like to play the exercises along with the click or hear a single bar of click before commencing the test.

 

GROUP A – Scales

Tempo: 80 bpm

  • Major: C, G
  • Natural minor: A, E
  • Minor pentatonic: C, G Q Major pentatonic: C, G

 

GROUP B – Chords

  • Powerchords: three-note chords to be played in a continuous sequence.
  • Major: C,F,G individual chords will be strummed once as directed by the examiner.
  • Minor 7th: A, D, E individual chords will be strummed once as directed by the examiner. Q Major 7th: A, C, D individual chords will be strummed once as directed by the examiner.

 

GROUP C – Riff

Tempo: 80 bpm

In the exam, candidates will be asked to play the riff from the Grade 2 book to a backing track. The riff shown in bars 1 and 2 should be played in the same shape in bars 3–8. The root note of the pattern to be played is shown in the music in each of the subsequent bars.

Supporting Tests

At Grade 2, candidates will be offered the choice between Sight Reading or Improvisation & Interpretation. This is a previously unseen test. An example is shown in the Grade 2 book.

Sight  Reading

Key: C or G major

Tempo: 70 bpm

At Grade 2 the sight reading test is in the form of a melody consisting of half, quarter eighth notes and quarter-note rests in 4/4. The test is four bars long. The examiner will allow 90 seconds preparation and practice time and will offer the option of practising with or without a metronome. Candidates will then perform the test for the examination.

Improvisation & Interpretation

Key: G major or E minor

Tempo: 80–90 bpm

At Grade 2, candidates have the choice of playing a lead line or rhythm (chord) line. The test is four bars long and candidates will have 30 seconds preparation time. The examiner will offer the metronome as a guide throughout this time. Candidates will then have a complete practice run through with the backing track and then on the repeat, the test will be examined.

Ear Tests

There are two tests:, Melodic Recall and Rhythmic Recall.

Melodic Recall

Key: C Minor pentatonic

Tempo: 85 bpm

The examiner will play a two-bar melody with a drum backing. The first note of the melody will be the root note and the first interval will be ascending. Candidates will be required to play the melody back on their instrument. The test will be played twice. Each time the test is played it is preceded by a one-bar count-in. There will be a short gap for practise, followed by a vocal count-in after which candidates will play the melody to the drum backing.

Rhythmic Recall

Key: E string

Tempo: 90 bpm

The examiner will play a two-bar rhythm played to a drum backing on the lowest-sounding E string. Candidates will hear the test twice and will then be asked to play the rhythm back. Candidates will then be asked to identify the rhythm from two examples shown to them by the examiner. The test is made up of quarter and eighth notes and quarter-note rests. Each time the test is played it is preceded by a one-bar count-in. There will be a short gap to practise. Next, candidates will hear a vocal count-in and will then play the rhythm to the drum backing, before identifying the rhythm from the examples shown.

General Musicianship Questions

In this part of the exam candidates will be asked five questions. Four of these questions will be about general music knowledge and the fifth question will be asked about their instrument. For this section of the exam candidates choose the piece about which the five questions will be asked.

Music Knowledge 

In Grade 2, candidates will be asked to identify:

  • The pitch name of notes
  • The meaning of the time signature marking
  • Whole, half, quarter, eighth and 16th note values Q Rest values
  • The construction of a major or minor chord

Instrument Knowledge

In Grade 2, candidates will be asked to identify:

  • One of the following parts of their guitar: neck, fretboard, body, tuning-pegs, scratch plate, nut, pickups, jack socket or bridge
  • The location of the volume and tone controls on their guitar
  • Names of all open strings

Assessment Criteria

Performance Pieces

Attainment Band Distinction Merit Pass Below Pass Below Pass 2
Mark Range 18-20 15-17 12-14 6-11 0-5
Command of Instrument Consistently clear production of sound and even tone quality throughout Mostly clear production of sound and even tone quality overall Some clear production of sound and generally even tone quality Sound produced is unclear with uneven quality of tone produced No attempt and/or incomplete performance
Sync or Pulse Performance consistently synchronised to the music, or an internal pulse maintained Performance mostly synchronised to the music, or an internal pulse maintained Performance sometimes synchronised to the music, or an internal pulse maintained Performance not synchronised to the music, or an internal pulse not maintained No attempt and/or incomplete performance
Accuracy & Understanding all of the written music accurately performed or equivalent skills demonstrated throughout. Understanding of musical structure shown all of the time. Most of the written music accurately performed or equivalent skills demonstrated overall. Understanding of musical structure shown most of the time. Some of the written music accurately performed or equivalent skills generally demonstrated. Understanding of musical structure shown some of the time. Written music not accurately performed or equivalent skills not demonstrated. Understanding of musical structure not evidenced. No attempt and/or incomplete performance
Style & Expression Consistently convincing projection of the music. Mostly convincing projection of the music. Some convincing projection of the music. Music not convincingly projected. No attempt and/or incomplete performance

Technical Exercises

Attainment Band Distinction Merit Pass Below Pass Below Pass 2
Mark Range 13–15 11–12 9–10 4–8 0–3
Command of Instrument Consistently clear production of sound and even tone quality throughout Mostly clear production of sound and even tone quality overall Some clear production of sound and generally even tone quality Sound produced is unclear with uneven quality of tone produced No attempt and/or incomplete performance
Sync or Pulse Performance consistently synchronised to the music, or an internal pulse maintained Performance mostly synchronised to the music, or an internal pulse maintained Performance sometimes synchronised to the music, or an internal pulse maintained Performance not synchronised to the music, or an internal pulse not maintained No attempt and/or incomplete performance
Accuracy & Understanding all of the written music accurately performed or equivalent skills demonstrated throughout. Understanding of musical structure shown all of the time. Most of the written music accurately performed or equivalent skills demonstrated overall. Understanding of musical structure shown most of the time. Some of the written music accurately performed or equivalent skills generally demonstrated. Understanding of musical structure shown some of the time. Written music not accurately performed or equivalent skills not demonstrated. Understanding of musical structure not evidenced. No attempt and/or incomplete performance

Ear Tests

Attainment Band Distinction Merit Pass Below Pass Below Pass 2
Mark Range 9-10 7-8 6 3-5 0-2
Accuracy & Understanding All of the written music accurately performed or equivalent skills demonstrated throughout. Understanding of musical structure shown all of the time. Most of the written music accurately performed or equivalent skills demonstrated overall. Understanding of musical structure shown most of the time. Some of the written music accurately performed or equivalent skills generally demonstrated. Understanding of musical structure shown some of the time. Written music not accurately performed or equivalent skills not demonstrated. Understanding of musical structure not evidenced. No attempt and/or incomplete performance

Supporting Tests

Attainment Band Distinction Merit Pass Below Pass Below Pass 2
Mark Range 9-10 7-8 6 3-5 0-2
Command of Instrument Consistently clear production of sound and even tone quality throughout Mostly clear production of sound and even tone quality overall Some clear production of sound and generally even tone quality Sound produced is unclear with uneven quality of tone produced No attempt and/or incomplete performance
Sync or Pulse Performance consistently synchronised to the music, or an internal pulse maintained Performance mostly synchronised to the music, or an internal pulse maintained Performance sometimes synchronised to the music, or an internal pulse maintained Performance not synchronised to the music, or an internal pulse not maintained No attempt and/or incomplete performance
Accuracy & Understanding All of the written music accurately performed or equivalent skills demonstrated throughout. Understanding of musical structure shown all of the time. Most of the written music accurately performed or equivalent skills demonstrated overall. Understanding of musical structure shown most of the time. Some of the written music accurately performed or equivalent skills generally demonstrated. Understanding of musical structure shown some of the time. Written music not accurately performed or equivalent skills not demonstrated. Understanding of musical structure not evidenced. No attempt and/or incomplete performance

General Musicianship Questions

Attainment Band Distinction Merit Pass Below Pass Below Pass 2
Mark Range 5 correct responses 4 correct responses 3 correct responses 2 correct responses 0-1 correct responses

Performance Certificate

Attainment Band Distinction Merit Pass Below Pass Below Pass 2
Mark Range 18-20 15-17 12-14 6-11 0-5
Command of Instrument Consistently clear production of sound and even tone quality throughout Mostly clear production of sound and even tone quality overall Some clear production of sound and generally even tone quality Sound produced is unclear with uneven quality of tone produced No attempt and/or incomplete performance
Sync or Pulse Performance consistently synchronised to the music, or an internal pulse maintained Performance mostly synchronised to the music, or an internal pulse maintained Performance sometimes synchronised to the music, or an internal pulse maintained Performance not synchronised to the music, or an internal pulse not maintained No attempt and/or incomplete performance
Accuracy & Understanding All of the written music accurately performed or equivalent skills demonstrated throughout. Understanding of musical structure shown all of the time. Most of the written music accurately performed or equivalent skills demonstrated overall. Understanding of musical structure shown most of the time. Some of the written music accurately performed or equivalent skills generally demonstrated. Understanding of musical structure shown some of the time. Written music not accurately performed or equivalent skills not demonstrated. Understanding of musical structure not evidenced. No attempt and/or incomplete performance
Style & Expression Consistently convincing projection of the music. Mostly convincing projection of the music. Some convincing projection of the music. Music not convincingly projected. No attempt and/or incomplete performance

Assessment Criteria

Performance Pieces

Attainment Band Distinction Merit Pass Below Pass Below Pass 2
Mark Range 18-20 15-17 12-14 6-11 0-5
Command of Instrument Consistently clear production of sound and even tone quality throughout Mostly clear production of sound and even tone quality overall Some clear production of sound and generally even tone quality Sound produced is unclear with uneven quality of tone produced No attempt and/or incomplete performance
Sync or Pulse Performance consistently synchronised to the music, or an internal pulse maintained Performance mostly synchronised to the music, or an internal pulse maintained Performance sometimes synchronised to the music, or an internal pulse maintained Performance not synchronised to the music, or an internal pulse not maintained No attempt and/or incomplete performance
Accuracy & Understanding all of the written music accurately performed or equivalent skills demonstrated throughout. Understanding of musical structure shown all of the time. Most of the written music accurately performed or equivalent skills demonstrated overall. Understanding of musical structure shown most of the time. Some of the written music accurately performed or equivalent skills generally demonstrated. Understanding of musical structure shown some of the time. Written music not accurately performed or equivalent skills not demonstrated. Understanding of musical structure not evidenced. No attempt and/or incomplete performance
Style & Expression Consistently convincing projection of the music. Mostly convincing projection of the music. Some convincing projection of the music. Music not convincingly projected. No attempt and/or incomplete performance

Technical Exercises

Attainment Band Distinction Merit Pass Below Pass Below Pass 2
Mark Range 13–15 11–12 9–10 4–8 0–3
Command of Instrument Consistently clear production of sound and even tone quality throughout Mostly clear production of sound and even tone quality overall Some clear production of sound and generally even tone quality Sound produced is unclear with uneven quality of tone produced No attempt and/or incomplete performance
Sync or Pulse Performance consistently synchronised to the music, or an internal pulse maintained Performance mostly synchronised to the music, or an internal pulse maintained Performance sometimes synchronised to the music, or an internal pulse maintained Performance not synchronised to the music, or an internal pulse not maintained No attempt and/or incomplete performance
Accuracy & Understanding all of the written music accurately performed or equivalent skills demonstrated throughout. Understanding of musical structure shown all of the time. Most of the written music accurately performed or equivalent skills demonstrated overall. Understanding of musical structure shown most of the time. Some of the written music accurately performed or equivalent skills generally demonstrated. Understanding of musical structure shown some of the time. Written music not accurately performed or equivalent skills not demonstrated. Understanding of musical structure not evidenced. No attempt and/or incomplete performance

Ear Tests

Attainment Band Distinction Merit Pass Below Pass Below Pass 2
Mark Range 9-10 7-8 6 3-5 0-2
Accuracy & Understanding All of the written music accurately performed or equivalent skills demonstrated throughout. Understanding of musical structure shown all of the time. Most of the written music accurately performed or equivalent skills demonstrated overall. Understanding of musical structure shown most of the time. Some of the written music accurately performed or equivalent skills generally demonstrated. Understanding of musical structure shown some of the time. Written music not accurately performed or equivalent skills not demonstrated. Understanding of musical structure not evidenced. No attempt and/or incomplete performance

Supporting Tests

Attainment Band Distinction Merit Pass Below Pass Below Pass 2
Mark Range 9-10 7-8 6 3-5 0-2
Command of Instrument Consistently clear production of sound and even tone quality throughout Mostly clear production of sound and even tone quality overall Some clear production of sound and generally even tone quality Sound produced is unclear with uneven quality of tone produced No attempt and/or incomplete performance
Sync or Pulse Performance consistently synchronised to the music, or an internal pulse maintained Performance mostly synchronised to the music, or an internal pulse maintained Performance sometimes synchronised to the music, or an internal pulse maintained Performance not synchronised to the music, or an internal pulse not maintained No attempt and/or incomplete performance
Accuracy & Understanding All of the written music accurately performed or equivalent skills demonstrated throughout. Understanding of musical structure shown all of the time. Most of the written music accurately performed or equivalent skills demonstrated overall. Understanding of musical structure shown most of the time. Some of the written music accurately performed or equivalent skills generally demonstrated. Understanding of musical structure shown some of the time. Written music not accurately performed or equivalent skills not demonstrated. Understanding of musical structure not evidenced. No attempt and/or incomplete performance

General Musicianship Questions

Attainment Band Distinction Merit Pass Below Pass Below Pass 2
Mark Range 5 correct responses 4 correct responses 3 correct responses 2 correct responses 0-1 correct responses

Performance Certificate

Attainment Band Distinction Merit Pass Below Pass Below Pass 2
Mark Range 18-20 15-17 12-14 6-11 0-5
Command of Instrument Consistently clear production of sound and even tone quality throughout Mostly clear production of sound and even tone quality overall Some clear production of sound and generally even tone quality Sound produced is unclear with uneven quality of tone produced No attempt and/or incomplete performance
Sync or Pulse Performance consistently synchronised to the music, or an internal pulse maintained Performance mostly synchronised to the music, or an internal pulse maintained Performance sometimes synchronised to the music, or an internal pulse maintained Performance not synchronised to the music, or an internal pulse not maintained No attempt and/or incomplete performance
Accuracy & Understanding All of the written music accurately performed or equivalent skills demonstrated throughout. Understanding of musical structure shown all of the time. Most of the written music accurately performed or equivalent skills demonstrated overall. Understanding of musical structure shown most of the time. Some of the written music accurately performed or equivalent skills generally demonstrated. Understanding of musical structure shown some of the time. Written music not accurately performed or equivalent skills not demonstrated. Understanding of musical structure not evidenced. No attempt and/or incomplete performance
Style & Expression Consistently convincing projection of the music. Mostly convincing projection of the music. Some convincing projection of the music. Music not convincingly projected. No attempt and/or incomplete performance

Electric Guitar
Grade 3

The Grade 3 Guitar exam is for candidates who have been learning approximately eighteen months to two years and have established the basic skills, preliminary techniques and the beginnings of stylistic awareness through articulation and the introduction of solo and improvisation work. There are two types of exams available at Grade 3, Grade Exam or Performance Certificate. Please see the Examinations section for an explanation of the differences.

Estimated Examination Time:

  • Grade Exam: 25 minutes (approx.)
  • Performance Certificate: 20 minutes (approx.)
Rockschool Electric Guitar

Purchase Your Book & Exam Entry

The Guitar Grade 3 book is the go-to guide for all the theory and info needed to pass your Grade 3 exam, focusing in-depth on pedal tones, bends, arpeggios, and other expressive guitar techniques.

1

Electric Guitar Grade 3

The Guitar Grade 3 book is the go-to guide for all the theory and info you'll need to pass your G...
Graded Music Exam Grade 3

Graded Music Exam: Grade 3

General guidance: How to book an exam UK / Republic of Ireland information links: Exam Periods Wh...

Performance Pieces

At Grade 3 the pieces last up to a maximum of 2 minutes. The length of the piece is designed so the candidate can remain focused and concentrate on the requirements of notation accuracy, quality of sound, stylistic techniques and articulation, control, preliminary solo and improvisation elements and sync.

Featured Repertoire:

Rockschool Guitar ’18

  • Nirvana – Smells Like Teen Spirit
  • Ike & Tina Turner – Proud Mary
  • Taylor Swift – I Knew You Were Trouble
  • Ed Sheeran – Thinking Out Loud
  • Bryan Adams – Summer of ’69
  • Otis Redding – (Sittin’ On) The Dock Of The Bay

Rockschool Originals

  • Overrated
  • Old Bones Blues
  • Indecisive
  • Maiden Voyage
  • Reggae Island
  • Fallout

Technical Exercises

At Grade 3 there are four groups of technical work. The examiner will ask for a selection from each group, and before starting this section candidates will be asked whether they would like to play the exercises along with the click or hear a single bar of click before commencing the test.

 

GROUP A – Scales (two octaves in quarter notes)

Tempo: 90 bpm

  • Major: G, A, B
  • Natural minor: G, A, B
  • Minor pentatonic: G, A, B
  • Major pentatonic: G, A, B
  • Blues: G,A, B

 

GROUP B – Arpeggios (one octave in quarter notes)

Tempo: 90 bpm

  • Major: G, A, B
  • Minor: G, A, B

 

GROUP C – Chords

Major and minor barre chords: To be played in a continuous sequence

Dominant 7th: A, C, D, E Individual chords will be strummed once and then picked (arpeggiated)

 

GROUP D – Riff

Tempo: 90 bpm

In the exam candidates will be asked to play the riff from the Grade 3 book to a backing track. The riff shown in bars 1 and 2 should be played in the same shape in bars 3–8. The root note of the pattern to be played is shown in the music in each of the subsequent bars.

Supporting Tests

At Grade 3, candidates will be offered a choice between Sight Reading or Improvisation & Interpretation. This is a previously unseen test. An example is shown in the Grade 3 book.

Sight Reading

Key: G major or A minor

Tempo: 75–85 bpm

At Grade 3 the sight reading test is in the form of a melody consisting of half, quarter eighth notes and quarter-note rests in 4/4. The test is four bars long. The examiner will allow 90 seconds of preparation and practice time and will offer the option of practising with or without a metronome. Candidates will then perform the test for the examination.

Improvisation & Interpretation

Key: G major or A minor

Tempo: 80–90 bpm

At Grade 3, candidates have the choice of playing a lead line or rhythm (chord) line. The test is four bars long. Candidates will have 30 seconds of preparation time and the examiner will offer the metronome as a guide throughout this time. Candidates will then have a complete practice run through with the backing track and then on the repeat, the test will be examined.

Ear Tests

There are two tests: Melodic Recall and Rhythmic Recall.

Melodic Recall

Key: G minor pentatonic

Tempo: 85 bpm

The examiner will play a two-bar melody with a drum backing. The first note of the melody will be the root note and the first interval will be ascending. Candidates will be required to play the melody back on their instrument. The test will be played twice. Each time the test is played it is preceded by a one-bar count-in. There will be a short gap for practise, followed by a vocal count-in after which candidates will play the melody to the drum backing.

Rhythmic Recall

Key: E string

Tempo: 90 bpm

The examiner will play a two-bar rhythm played to a drum backing on the lowest-sounding E string. Candidates will hear the test twice and will then be asked to play the rhythm back. Candidates will then be asked to identify the rhythm from two examples shown to them by the examiner. The test is made up of quarter notes, eighth notes, quarter-note rests and eighth-note rests. Each time the test is played it is preceded by a one-bar count-in. There will be a short gap to practise. Next, candidates will hear a vocal count-in and will then play the rhythm to the drum backing, before identifying the rhythm from the examples shown.

General Musicianship Questions

In this part of the exam, candidates will be asked five questions. Four of these questions will be about general music knowledge and the fifth question will be asked about their instrument. For this section of the exam, candidates choose the piece about which the five questions will be asked.

Music Knowledge

In Grade 3, candidates will be asked to identify:

  • The pitch name of notes
  • The meaning of the time signature marking
  • Whole, half, quarter, eighth and 16th note values Q Rest values
  • The construction of a major or minor chord

Instrument Knowledge

In Grade 3, candidates will be asked to identify:

  • One of the following parts of their guitar: neck, fretboard, body, tuning-pegs, scratch plate, nut, pickups, jack socket or bridge
  • The location of the volume and tone controls on their guitar
  • The location of the volume/gain controls on the amp

Exam Structure

There are two types of exam available, a Grade Exam or Performance Certificate.

Grade Exam

3 Performance Pieces (two of which may be Free Choice Pieces) Candidates choose to play either Performance Pieces or Technical Exercises first These account for 60% of the exam mark
Technical Exercises (Section A, B, C and D for Level 3 qualifications) Candidates choose to play either Performance Pieces or Technical Exercises first These account for 15% of the exam mark
Sight Reading or Improvisation & Interpretation (Debut to Grade 5); Quick Study Pieces (Grade 6 to Grade 8) Candidates are given an unseen test to prepare and perform This accounts for 10% of the exam marks
2 Ear Tests Candidates respond to 2 aural tests. These account for 10% of the exam marks
5 General Musicianship Questions Candidates answer 5 questions based on one of the pieces performed These account for 5% of the exam marks

Performance Certificate

5 Performance Pieces only (three of these can be Free Choice Pieces) These account for 20% of the exam mark each.

Assessment Criteria

Performance Pieces

Attainment Band Distinction Merit Pass Below Pass Below Pass 2
Mark Range 18-20 15-17 12-14 6-11 0-5
Command of Instrument Consistently clear production of sound and even tone quality throughout Mostly clear production of sound and even tone quality overall Some clear production of sound and generally even tone quality Sound produced is unclear with uneven quality of tone produced No attempt and/or incomplete performance
Sync or Pulse Performance consistently synchronised to the music, or an internal pulse maintained Performance mostly synchronised to the music, or an internal pulse maintained Performance sometimes synchronised to the music, or an internal pulse maintained Performance not synchronised to the music, or an internal pulse not maintained No attempt and/or incomplete performance
Accuracy & Understanding all of the written music accurately performed or equivalent skills demonstrated throughout. Understanding of musical structure shown all of the time. Most of the written music accurately performed or equivalent skills demonstrated overall. Understanding of musical structure shown most of the time. Some of the written music accurately performed or equivalent skills generally demonstrated. Understanding of musical structure shown some of the time. Written music not accurately performed or equivalent skills not demonstrated. Understanding of musical structure not evidenced. No attempt and/or incomplete performance
Style & Expression Consistently convincing projection of the music. Mostly convincing projection of the music. Some convincing projection of the music. Music not convincingly projected. No attempt and/or incomplete performance

Technical Exercises

Attainment Band Distinction Merit Pass Below Pass