Rockschool

Learn to Play Ukulele

Master the ukulele with Rockschool’s first fully regulated suite of ukulele grades. The ukulele is in a unique group of instruments with re-entrant tuning, the Rockschool Ukulele syllabus develops instrument-specific techniques through digestible benchmarked topics guaranteed to equip you with the practical skill and theoretical knowledge to perform at the highest possible level, across a range of contemporary styles.

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Featured Repertoire

Meticulously researched and specifically benchmarked, the Rockschool Ukulele Grades feature a collection of tracks from some of the world’s greatest artists, films and musicals, immersing each student to an array of genres, styles and instrument-specific techniques.

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Ukulele Mastery

Each grade includes four session-style songs featuring recorded vocals, and two instrument-specific solo ukulele arrangements (these are duets at Debut – Grade 3). Rockschool Ukulele’s technical requirements mirror Rockschool’s well-loved Electric and Acoustic Guitar syllabuses.

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Academically Rigorous

Rockschool Ukulele has been designed with industry relevance, student engagement, and academic rigour in mind. Every practical, theoretical and aural test has been written and developed by industry professionals to give students an unrivalled level of academic assurance.

Learning Platform Teacher Access

Internationally Recognised

Upon completion of a Rockschool Ukulele exam, every candidate will have earned a globally recognised qualification, which has been designed to improve opportunities into higher education or the creative industries.

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UCAS Points

Grades 6 to 8 are UCAS recognised for aiding higher education applications. Upon successful completion of a Grade 8 exam, students can earn up to 30 UCAS Points.

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Digital Downloads

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

How it works

Whether you’re learning the Ukulele 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.

Ukulele
Premiere

Start on the right note with Rockschool! The Rockschool Ukulele Method books have been designed to guide an absolute beginner through the first steps of their musical journey on the fun, four-stringed instrument.

Complete with newly composed exercises, games and pieces, the Ukulele Method books are the perfect entry point for young players to use with their piano teachers.

The Rockschool Ukulele Method Book 1 takes students from the beginnings of learning to play the instrument, through to being able to perform songs for a Rockschool Premiere grade exam.

Estimated Examination Time:

  • Performance Certificate: 10 minutes (approx.)
Rockschool Ukulele

Purchase Your Book & Exam Entry

Rockschool Ukulele Method Book 1 has everything you need to start learning to play the ukulele, through to being able to perform songs for a Rockschool Premiere grade exam.

  • 6 progressive topics
  • Newly composed exercises, games & pieces
  • Five specially composed songs arranged for Premiere level ukulele students
  • Accompanying parts for group learning/duets/teachers
  • Downloadable audio
Ukulele Method Book 1

Ukulele Method Book 1

The Rockschool Ukulele Method books are the ideal introduction to Ukulele playing, designed with ...
Graded Music Exam Premier

Graded Music Exam: Premiere

All Instruments - General guidance: Graded Music Exams Overview - How to book an exam UK / Republ...

Performance Pieces

In Rockschool Ukulele Method Book 1, there are five specially composed songs arranged for Premiere level ukulele students.

Rockschool Originals

  • Leaping Around
  • Out of Town
  • Rockin’ and a Rollin’
  • The Hawker
  • I C U

Candidates are NOT permitted to submit Free Choice Pieces for the Premiere exam.

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

Ukulele
Debut

The Debut Ukulele exam is for candidates who have been learning a short time and have developed elementary skills, techniques, coordination and musical understanding. There are two types of exam available at Debut, either a Grade Exam or Performance Certificate.

Estimated Examination Time:

  • Grade Exam: 15 minutes (approx.)
  • Performance Certificate: 15 minutes (approx.)
Rockschool Ukulele

Purchase Your Book & Exam Entry

The Rockschool Ukulele Debut book contains everything you need to pass your Debut exam in one essential book. Featuring a truly diverse range of contemporary repertoire from some of the world’s most iconic artists, including Taylor Swift, Bruno Mars & Bob Dylan.

1

Ukulele Debut

The essential syllabus for the aspiring, contemporary Ukulele players. This book will provide you...
Graded Music Exam Debut

Graded Music Exam: Debut

All Instruments - General guidance: Graded Music Exams Overview - How to book an exam UK / Republ...

Performance Pieces

The pieces in the grade book can be used for both the Grade Exam and Performance Certificate. At Debut, they are short, typically up to one minute in duration. The expectation and length of pieces are designed so candidates can concentrate on the requirements of notation accuracy, values, evenness of sound, tone quality/consistency, technical control and sync at a beginner level.

Featured Repertoire:

  • Marry You – Bruno Mars
  • Rolling in the Deep – Adele
  • Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door – Bob Dylan
  • Shake it Off – Taylor Swift
  • Lean On Me – Bill Withers
  • Demons – Imagine Dragons

Technical Exercises

At Debut there are three groups of technical work: Scales, Arpeggios and Chord Voicings.

All exercises need to be played in straight feel, in the keys, octaves and tempos shown. Candidates may use their book during the exam for all groups.

Groups A & B need to be played to a click. The examiner will play the click at the given tempo and candidates should begin to play after four clicks.

Group C is played as announced by the examiner.

 

GROUP A – Scales

Tempo = 65bpm
Rhythms: Quarter notes Range: As shown in grade book

  • C major
  • C major pentatonic
  • A minor pentatonic
  • G major

 

GROUP B – Arpeggios

Tempo = 65bpm
Rhythms: Quarter notes Range: As shown in grade book

  • C major
  • A minor

 

GROUP C – Chord Voicings

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

  • Major Chords: C, F, G & D
  • Minor Chords: Am, Dm

Supporting Tests

Sight Reading or Improvisation & Interpretation

In this section, candidates can choose between a Sight Reading test or an Improvisation & Interpretation test. The examiner will ask which the candidate has chosen before then showing the test. Once the candidate has chosen, they cannot change their mind.

Sight Reading

  • Duration: 4 bars
  • Rhythms: Whole, half and quarter notes
  • Key: C major
  • Pitches and instrumental compass: Open/first position > C&D on the 3rd string; E on the 2nd string
  • Tempo = 65

Candidates will have 90 seconds to practise after which the examiner will play the backing track twice. The first time is to practise and the second time is to perform the final version for the exam. During the practice time, candidates will be given the option of a metronome click throughout or a one bar count-in at the beginning.

The backing track is continuous so once the first playthrough has finished the count-in of the second playing will start immediately.

Improvisation & Interpretation

  • Duration: 4 bars
  • Key: C major
  • Improvisation & interpretation requirement: Single-note melodies only
  • Tempo = 65

Candidates will have 90 seconds to practise after which the examiner will play the backing track twice. The first time is to practise and the second time is to perform the final version for the exam. During the practice time, candidates will be given the option of a metronome click throughout or a one bar count-in at the beginning.

The backing track is continuous so once the first playthrough has finished the count-in of the second playing will start immediately.

Ear Tests

There are two tests: Melodic Recall and Rhythmic Recall. The examiner will play each test twice.

Melodic Recall

Tempo: 85bpm

Candidates will hear two half notes one after the other and will be asked whether the second note is higher or lower in pitch than the first note.

The test will be played twice. Each time the test is played it is preceded by a one bar vocal count-in.

Rhythmic Recall

Tempo: 85bpm

Candidates will hear a two-bar rhythm played to a drum backing on the high A (1st) string.

The test will be played twice. Candidates will be asked to play the rhythm back, before identifying the rhythm from two printed examples shown to them by the examiner.

Each time the test is played it is preceded by a one bar count-in. There will be a short gap for candidates to practise. Next candidates will hear a vocal count-in and will then need to play the rhythm to the drum backing.

General Musicianship Questions

Candidates will be asked five questions. Four of these questions will be about general music knowledge relating to the candidate’s choice of performance piece, and the fifth question asked will be about the candidate’s instrument.

Music Knowledge

The examiner will ask the candidate four music knowledge questions based on a piece of music performed in the exam. Candidates will nominate the piece of music about which the questions will be asked.

In Debut candidates will be asked to identify:

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

Instrument Knowledge

The examiner will also ask candidates one question regarding their instrument.

In Debut candidates will be asked to identify one of the following parts of the ukulele:

  • 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

Ukulele
Grade 1

The Grade 1 Ukulele exam is for candidates who have been typically learning for six months to one year. They have mastered the key basic debut level skills and have since acquired greater use of technique, rhythms, co-ordination and musical understanding.

There is also an opportunity to build on basic improvisation.

There are two types of exam available at Grade 1, either a Grade Exam or Performance Certificate.

Estimated Examination Time:

  • Grade Exam: 20 minutes (approx.)
  • Performance Certificate: 20 minutes (approx.)
Rockschool Ukulele

Purchase Your Book & Exam Entry

The Rockschool Ukulele Grade 1 book contains everything you need to pass your Grade 1 exam in one essential book. Featuring a truly diverse range of contemporary repertoire from some of the world’s most iconic artists, including Adele, Israel Kamakawiwoʻole and Jason Mraz.

1

Ukulele Grade 1

The essential syllabus for the aspiring, contemporary Ukulele players. This book will provide you...
Graded Music Exam Grade 1

Graded Music Exam: Grade 1

All Instruments - General guidance: Graded Music Exams Overview - How to book an exam UK / Republ...

Performance Pieces

The pieces in the grade book can be used for both the Grade Exam and Performance Certificate. At Grade 1 they are short, typically one to one and a half minutes in duration. The expectation and length of pieces are designed so candidates can concentrate on the requirements of notation accuracy, values, evenness of sound, tone quality/consistency, technical control and sync at a beginner level.

Featured Repertoire:

  • Send My Love (To Your New Lover) – Adele
  • Somewhere Over the Rainbow – Israel Kamakawiwoʻole
  • Stand By Me – Ben E. King
  • Take Me Home – Jess Glynne
  • I’m Yours – Jason Mraz
  • Wild World – Cat Stevens

Technical Exercises

At Grade 1 there are three groups of technical work: Scales, Arpeggios and Chords.

All exercises need to be played in straight feel, in the keys, octaves and tempos shown. Candidates may use their book during the exam for all groups.

Groups A & B need to be played to a click. The examiner will play the click at the given tempo and candidates should begin to play after four clicks.

Group C is played as announced by the examiner.

 

GROUP A – Scales

Tempo = 70bpm
Rhythms: Quarter notes
Range: As shown in grade book

  • C major
  • A natural minor
  • G major
  • F major
  • C major pentatonic on 3rd and 4th strings

 

GROUP B – Arpeggios

Tempo = 70bpm
Rhythms: Quarter notes
Range: As shown in grade book

  • G major
  • F major
  • D minor

 

GROUP C – Chord Voicings

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

  • Major: A, D & E
  • Minor: Dm, Em & Bm
  • Dominant 7: G7 & D7 (root omitted)

Supporting Tests

Sight Reading or Improvisation & Interpretation

In this section, candidates can choose between a Sight Reading test or an Improvisation & Interpretation test. The examiner will ask which the candidate has chosen before then showing the test. Once the candidate has chosen, they cannot change their mind.

Sight Reading

  • Duration: 4 bars
  • Rhythms: Half notes and quarter notes
  • Key: G major or A minor
  • Pitches and instrumental compass: Open position > E–G on the 2nd string; A, B & C on the first string
  • Tempo = 70

Candidates will have 90 seconds to practise after which the examiner will play the backing track twice. The first time is to practise and the second time is to perform the final version for the exam. During the practice time, candidates will be given the option of a metronome click throughout or a one bar count-in at the beginning.

The backing track is continuous so once the first playthrough has finished the count-in of the second playing will start immediately.

Improvisation & Interpretation

  • Duration: 4 bars
  • Key: G major or A minor
  • Improvisation & interpretation requirement: Single-note melodies only
  • Tempo = 70

Candidates will have 90 seconds to practise after which the examiner will play the backing track twice. The first time is to practise and the second time is to perform the final version for the exam. During the practice time, candidates will be given the option of a metronome click throughout or a one bar count-in at the beginning.

The backing track is continuous so once the first playthrough has finished the count-in of the second playing will start immediately.

Ear Tests

There are two tests: Melodic Recall and Rhythmic Recall. The examiner will play each test twice.

Melodic Recall

Tempo: 85bpm

The examiner will play three notes in sequence. Candidates will need to tell the examiner whether the notes are higher or lower (up or down) in sequence. The test will be played twice.

Each time the test is played it is preceded by a one bar vocal count-in.

Please note: candidates may answer “higher/lower” or “up/down”.

Rhythmic Recall

Tempo: 90bpm

The examiner will play a two bar rhythm played to a drum backing on the high A string. Candidates will hear the test twice before being to play the rhythm back. Candidates will then be asked to identify the rhythm from two printed examples shown. The test will contain a combination of quarter notes, quarter-note rests, and eighth notes.

Each time the test is played it is preceded by four clicks. There will be a short gap to practise. Next, candidates will hear a vocal count-in and will then need to play the rhythm to the drum backing.

General Musicianship Questions

Candidates will be asked five questions. Four of these questions will be about general music knowledge and the fifth question asked will be about the candidate’s instrument.

Music Knowledge

The examiner will ask the candidate four music knowledge questions based on a piece of music performed in the exam. Candidates will nominate the piece of music about which the questions will be asked.

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 a minor chord

Instrument Knowledge

The examiner will also ask candidates one question regarding their instrument.

In Grade 1 candidates will be asked to identify one of the following parts of the ukulele:

  • Two of the following parts of the ukulele: neck, fretboard, body, tuning-pegs, nut or bridge, sound hole
  • Pitch 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

Ukulele
Grade 2

The Grade 2 Ukulele exam is for candidates who have been typically learning for one year to eighteen months. They have mastered the key basic skills up to Grade 1 and since acquired greater use of technique, rhythms, coordination and musical understanding. There is also the continuing opportunity to develop improvisation skills.

There are two types of exams available at Grade 2, either a Grade Exam or Performance Certificate.

Estimated Examination Time:

  • Grade Exam: 20 minutes (approx.)
  • Performance Certificate: 20 minutes (approx.)
Rockschool Ukulele

Purchase Your Book & Exam Entry

The Rockschool Ukulele Grade 2 book contains everything you need to pass your Grade 2 exam in one essential book. Featuring a truly diverse range of contemporary repertoire from some of the world’s most iconic artists, including Pharrell Williams, The Killers and David Bowie.

1

Ukulele Grade 2

The essential syllabus for the aspiring, contemporary Ukulele players. This book will provide you...
Graded Music Exam Grade 2

Graded Music Exam: Grade 2

All Instruments - General guidance: Graded Music Exams Overview - How to book an exam UK / Repub...

Performance Pieces

The pieces in the grade book can be used for both the Grade Exam and Performance Certificate. At Grade 2 they are short, typically one to one and a half minutes in duration. The expectation and length of pieces are designed so candidates can concentrate on the requirements of notation accuracy, values, evenness of sound, tone quality/consistency, technical control and sync at a beginner level.

Featured Repertoire:

  • David Bowie – Ziggy Stardust
  • Coldplay – Trouble
  • The Killers – Mr. Brightside
  • How Far I’ll Go – From Disney’s Moana
  • James Bay – Hold Back the River
  • Pharrell Williams – Happy

Technical Exercises

At Grade 2 there are three groups of technical work: Scales, Arpeggios and Chord Voicings.

All exercises need to be played in straight feel, in the keys, octaves and tempos shown. Candidates may use their book during the exam for all groups.

Groups A & B need to be played to a click. The examiner will play the click at the given tempo and candidates should begin to play after four clicks.

Group C is played as indicated below.

 

GROUP A – Scales

Tempo = 80bpm
Rhythms: Quarter notes
Range: As shown in the grade book

  • D major
  • Bb major
  • C minor pentatonic
  • C blues
  • C major on strings 3 & 4

 

GROUP B – Arpeggios

Tempo = 80bpm
Rhythms: Quarter notes
Range: As shown in the grade book

  • D major
  • B minor
  • Bb major (candidates can prepare either fingering shown in the grade book)
  • G minor (candidates can prepare either fingering shown in the grade book)

 

GROUP C – Chord Voicings

1. Major & Minor Chords

Each chord to be strummed as directed by the examiner. Note: for each chord type, candidates must demonstrate both fingerings

  • B major
  • G minor

2. 7th Chords

Each chord to be strummed once as directed by the examiner.

  • Gmaj7
  • G7
  • Gm7

3. Suspended Chords

Tempo = 80bpm
Candidates must play the given suspended chord exercise in the grade book as a continuous exercise to a click.

Supporting Tests

Sight Reading or Improvisation & Interpretation

In this section, candidates can choose between a Sight Reading test or an Improvisation & Interpretation test. The examiner will ask which the candidate has chosen before then showing the test. Once the candidate has chosen, they cannot change their mind.

Sight Reading

  • Duration: 4 bars
  • Rhythms: Quarter notes and quarter-note rests, eighth notes
  • Key: D major or Bb minor
  • Pitches and instrumental compass: Open–4th fret, any diatonic notes in D or Bb major on 1st, 2nd or 3rd string
  • Tempo = 80

Candidates will have 90 seconds to practise after which the examiner will play the backing track twice. The first time is to practise and the second time is to perform the final version for the exam. During the practice time, candidates will be given the option of a metronome click throughout or a one bar count-in at the beginning.

The backing track is continuous so once the first playthrough has finished the count-in of the second playing will start immediately.

Improvisation & Interpretation

  • Duration: 4 bars
  • Key: D major or Bb minor
  • Improvisation & interpretation requirement: Single-note melodies only
  • Tempo = 85

Candidates will have 90 seconds to practise after which the examiner will play the backing track twice. The first time is to practise and the second time is to perform the final version for the exam. During the practice time, candidates will be given the option of a metronome click throughout or a one bar count-in at the beginning.

The backing track is continuous so once the first playthrough has finished the count-in of the second playing will start immediately.

Ear Tests

There are two tests: Melodic Recall and Rhythmic Recall. The examiner will play each test twice.

Melodic Recall

Tempo: 85bpm

The examiner will play a two bar melody with a drum backing using the C minor pentatonic scale. The first note of the melody will be the root note and the first interval will be ascending. The candidate must then play the melody back on their instrument. The test will be played twice.

Each time the test is played it is preceded by four clicks. There will be a short gap for practise. Next, candidates will hear a vocal count-in, after which they must play the melody to the drum backing.

Rhythmic Recall

Tempo: 90bpm

The examiner will play a two bar rhythm played to a drum backing on the high A string. The candidate will hear the test twice, then will be asked to play the rhythm back. The candidate will then be asked to identify the rhythm from two printed examples shown.

Each time the test is played it is preceded by four clicks. There will be a short gap for practise. Next, the candidate will hear a vocal count-in, after which they must play the rhythm to the drum backing.

General Musicianship Questions

Candidates will be asked five questions. Four of these questions will be about general music knowledge relating to a performance piece of the candidate’s choosing, and the fifth question asked will be about the candidate’s instrument.

Music Knowledge

The examiner will ask the candidate four music knowledge questions based on a piece of music performed in the exam. Candidates will nominate the piece of music about which the questions will be asked.

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
  • Rest values
  • The construction of a major or minor chord

Instrument Knowledge

The examiner will also ask candidates one question regarding their instrument.

In Grade 2 candidates will be asked to identify one of the following parts of the ukulele:

  • Three of the following parts of the ukulele: Neck, fretboard, body, tuning-pegs, nut, soundhole, or bridge
  • Names of all 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

Ukulele
Grade 3

The Grade 3 Ukulele exam is for candidates who have been typically learning for eighteen months to two years and who are ready to consolidate their final stage as beginner player. They have mastered the key skills up to Grade 2 and since acquired greater use of technique, rhythms, coordination and musical understanding. Improvisation phrasing is now confident and articulate and candidates have started to develop the beginnings of stylistic awareness.

There are two types of exams available at Grade 3, either a Grade Exam or Performance Certificate.

Estimated Examination Time:

  • Grade Exam: 25 minutes (approx.)
  • Performance Certificate: 25 minutes (approx.)
Rockschool Ukulele

Purchase Your Book & Exam Entry

The Rockschool Ukulele Grade 3 book contains everything you need to pass your Grade 3 exam in one essential book. Featuring a truly diverse range of contemporary repertoire from some of the world’s most iconic artists, including The Mamas and The Papas, Imelda May and Bob Marley.

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Ukulele Grade 3

The Rockschool Ukulele Grade 3 book contains everything you need to pass your Grade 3 exam in one...
Graded Music Exam Grade 3

Graded Music Exam: Grade 3

All Instruments - General guidance: Graded Music Exams Overview - How to book an exam UK / Republ...

Performance Pieces

The pieces in the grade book can be used for both the Grade Exam and Performance Certificate. At Grade 3 they are becoming longer, typically in the region of two minutes in duration. The expectation and length of pieces are designed so candidates can continue their understanding and execution of notation accuracy, values, evenness of sound, tone quality/consistency, technical control, expression, articulation and sync at a high beginner level. At Grade 3, pieces also introduce the need for stylistic awareness as part of the assessment.

Featured Repertoire:

  • Perfect – Ed Sheeran
  • Viva la Vida – Coldplay
  • California Dreamin’ – The Mamas and The Papas
  • Jamming – Bob Marley
  • Golden Touch – Razorlight
  • Dreaming – Imelda May

Technical Exercises

At Grade 3 there are three groups of technical work: Scales, Arpeggios and Chords.

All exercises need to be played as directed below. Candidates may use their book during the exam for all groups.

 

GROUP A – Scales

Tempo = 90bpm
Rhythms: Quarter notes
Range: As shown in the grade book

The following scales need to be prepared from the root notes D, E b and E:

  • Major
  • Natural minor
  • Major pentatonic
  • Minor pentatonic

The following scales need to be performed in the keys shown only, with the given fingering:

  • C major pentatonic (campanella style)
  • C major (linear pattern on 3rd string)

 

GROUP B – Arpeggios

Tempo = 90bpm
Rhythms: Quarter notes
Range: As shown in the grade book

The following arpeggios need to be prepared from the root notes D, E b and E:

  • Major
  • Minor
  • Diminished

The following arpeggios need to be performed in the keys shown only, with the given fingering:

  • D major arpeggio on four strings
  • E major arpeggio on four strings

 

GROUP C – Chord Voicings

1. Diminished Triads

Candidates must play both the root position and first inversion triads from the following chords as stated by the examiner

  • D diminished
  • Eb diminished
  • E diminished

2. Barre Chords in the key of D, Eb or E major

Candidates must play the barre chords shown in the key stated by the examiner, as a continuous sequence to click. Tempo = 90.

The chords in sequence are I, IV, IIm, V7 and VIm.

3. Strumming exercise in B minor

Candidates must play the chordal muting and groove exercise to continuous click.

Tempo = 90. Please note, this exercise should be played with a swung eighth-note feel.

Supporting Tests

Sight Reading or Improvisation & Interpretation

In this section, candidates can choose between a Sight Reading test or an Improvisation & Interpretation test. The examiner will ask which the candidate has chosen before then showing the test. Once the candidate has chosen, they cannot change their mind.

Sight Reading

  • Duration: 4 bars
  • Rhythms: Quarter notes and quarter-note rests, eighth notes and eighth-note rests
  • Key: Eb major or E minor
  • Tempo = 80bpm

Candidates will have 90 seconds to practise after which the examiner will play the backing track twice. The first time is to practise and the second time is to perform the final version for the exam. During the practice time, candidates will be given the option of a metronome click throughout or a one bar count-in at the beginning.

The backing track is continuous so once the first playthrough has finished the count-in of the second playing will start immediately.

Improvisation & Interpretation

  • Duration: 4 bars
  • Key: Eb major or minor
  • Improvisation & interpretation requirement: Single-note melodies only
  • Tempo = 80–90bpm

Candidates will have 90 seconds to practise after which the examiner will play the backing track twice. The first time is to practise and the second time is to perform the final version for the exam. During the practice time, candidates will be given the option of a metronome click throughout or a one bar count-in at the beginning.

The backing track is continuous so once the first playthrough has finished the count-in of the second playing will start immediately.

Ear Tests

There are two tests: Melodic Recall and Rhythmic Recall. The examiner will play each test twice.

Melodic Recall

Tempo: 85bpm

The examiner will play a two bar melody with a drum backing using the D minor pentatonic scale. The first note of the melody will be the root note and the first interval will be ascending. The candidate must then play the melody back on their instrument. The test will be played twice.

Each time the test is played it is preceded by four clicks. There will be a short gap for practise. Next, candidates will hear a vocal count-in, after which they must play the melody to the drum backing.

Rhythmic Recall

The examiner will play a two bar rhythm played to a drum backing on the high A string. The candidate will hear the test twice, then will be asked to play the rhythm back. The candidate will then be asked to identify the rhythm from two printed examples shown.

Each time the test is played it is preceded by four clicks. There will be a short gap for practise. Next, the candidate will hear a vocal count-in, after which they must play the rhythm to the drum backing.

General Musicianship Questions

Candidates will be asked five questions. Four of these questions will be about general music knowledge relating to a performance piece of the candidate’s choosing, and the fifth question asked will be about the candidate’s instrument.

Music Knowledge

The examiner will ask the candidate four music knowledge questions based on a piece performed in the exam. Candidates will nominate the piece of music about which the questions will be asked.

In Grade 3 candidates will be asked to identify:

  • The pitch name of notes
  • The meaning of the time signature marking
  • Whole, half, dotted half, quarter, dotted quarter, eighth and 16th note and rest values
  • The construction of any chord found within the piece from the following types: Major,  minor,  sus4,  dominant7,  minor7
  • The meaning of any dynamic or articulation markings shown on the score

Instrument Knowledge

The examiner will also ask candidates one question regarding their instrument.

In Grade 3 candidates will be asked to identify one of the following parts of the ukulele:

  • Identify three of the following parts of the ukulele: neck, fretboard, body, tuning-pegs, nut, soundhole, or bridge
  • Identify names of all 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

Ukulele
Grade 4

The Grade 4 Ukulele exam is for candidates who have been typically learning for two to three years and who are ready for intermediate level playing. They have mastered the key skills up to Grade 3 and since acquired greater use of technique, more complex rhythms, coordination and musical understanding. Candidates will be developing a sense of expression and continuing to broaden their stylistic awareness, and there is also the opportunity to improvise which will be growing in assurance and articulation.

There are two types of exams available at Grade 4, either a Grade Exam or Performance Certificate.

Estimated Examination Time:

  • Grade Exam: 27 minutes (approx.)
  • Performance Certificate: 24 minutes (approx.)
Rockschool Ukulele

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The Rockschool Ukulele Grade 4 book contains everything you need to pass your Grade 4 exam in one essential book. Featuring a truly diverse range of contemporary repertoire from some of the world’s most iconic artists, including The Specials, Paul Simon and The Red Hot Chili Peppers.

1

Ukulele Grade 4

The essential syllabus for the aspiring, contemporary Ukulele players. This book will provide you...
Graded Music Exam Grade 4

Graded Music Exam: Grade 4

All Instruments - General guidance: Graded Music Exams Overview - How to book an exam UK / Republ...

Performance Pieces

The pieces in the grade book can be used for both the Grade Exam and Performance Certificate. At Grade 4 they are typically in the region of two to two and a half minutes in duration. The expectation and length of pieces are designed so candidates can demonstrate the required assessment criteria.

Featured Repertoire:

  • Use Me – Bill Withers
  • Let Her Go – Passenger
  • Havana – Camila Cabello
  • Under the Bridge – Red Hot Chili Peppers
  • Ghost Town – The Specials
  • Me & Julio Down by the Schoolyard – Paul Simon

Technical Exercises

At Grade 4 there are three groups of technical work: Scales, Arpeggios and Chords.

All exercises need to be played in straight feel, in the keys, octaves and tempos shown. Candidates may use their book during the exam for all groups.

 

GROUP A – Scales

Tempo = 80bpm
Rhythms: Eighth notes
Range: As shown in the grade book

The following scales need to be prepared from the root notes Eb, E and F:

  • Major
  • Natural minor
  • Harmonic minor

The following scales need to be prepared from the root notes shown only, with the given fingering:

  • C# minor pentatonic across two positions
  • E major pentatonic across two positions
  • D blues scale on strings 3 & 4
  • G major | linear pattern on one string
  • C natural minor | linear pattern on one string

 

GROUP B – Arpeggios

Tempo = 80bpm
Rhythms: Eighth notes
Range: As shown in the grade book

The following arpeggios need to be prepared from the root notes Eb, E and F:

  • Major
  • Minor
  • Dominant 7
  • Minor 7

The following arpeggios need to be performed in the keys shown only, with the given fingering:

  • Eb dominant 7 arpeggio on four strings
  • C minor 7 arpeggio on four strings

 

GROUP C – Chord Voicings

The tempo for this group is q = 80 bpm.

1. Harmonised scale

Barre chord shapes in the key of Eb, E or F major, to be played in sequence to continuous click.
The chord types (in sequence) are I, IIm, IIIm, IV, V, VIm, VII dim, I.
Tempo = 80.

Please note, candidates can choose between exercise 2 or exercise 3 below:

Either:

2. Muted chords and 16th note strumming

To be played to continuous click. Note candidates must play with a swung 16th note groove.

Or:

3. TripleStrokes

To be played to continuous click.

Supporting Tests

Sight Reading or Improvisation & Interpretation

In this section, candidates can choose between a Sight Reading test or an Improvisation & Interpretation test. The examiner will ask which the candidate has chosen before then showing the test. Once the candidate has chosen, they cannot change their mind.

Sight Reading

  • Duration: 8 bars
  • Rhythms: Quarter notes and quarter-note rests, eighth notes and eighth-note rests, ties
  • Key: E major or F minor
  • Tempo = 80-90bpm

Candidates will have 90 seconds to practise after which the examiner will play the backing track twice. The first time is to practise and the second time is to perform the final version for the exam. During the practice time, candidates will be given the option of a metronome click throughout or a one bar count-in at the beginning.

The backing track is continuous so once the first playthrough has finished the count-in of the second playing will start immediately.

Improvisation & Interpretation

  • Duration: 8 bars
  • Key: E major or F minor
  • Improvisation & interpretation requirement: Single-note melodies only
  • Tempo = 80–90bpm

Candidates will have 90 seconds to practise after which the examiner will play the backing track twice. The first time is to practise and the second time is to perform the final version for the exam. During the pra