Enter for your bass exam in four quick steps

The February to March deadline is 14 December

Bass Debut

At Debut you'll be tested on your skills as a beginner bassist by performing a series of short performance pieces. Your exam will mix Rockschool's dedicated pieces or songs of your own choosing*.

Key Skills at Debut

What you'll learn at Debut:

  • Values, string crossing and rests
  • Major scale and Minor Pentatonic major and minor arpeggios, riff playing
  • Playback and performance skills

What You're Marked On

Your Bass Debut exam lasts 15 minutes and is split into five key sections.

Performance Pieces

At Debut:

  • Pieces last up to one minute. There is simple position work and basic rhythm reading
  • Candidates must prepare a total of three pieces for a Grade Exam and five pieces for a Performance Certificate
  • *There is an option of two Free Choice Pieces for a Grade Exam and three Free Choice Pieces for a Performance Certificate

Learn more about Free Choice Pieces...

Technical Exercises

A selection will be asked from three sections:

  • Scales
  • Chords
  • Riff

Sight Reading

At Debut you will be offered Sight Reading only.

Sight Reading
  • Four bars
  • ½ and ¼ notes in 4/4
  • 90 seconds' preparation and practice

Ear Tests

There are two ear tests at Debut: Melodic and Rhythmic Recall. These help develop the two key vocals skills of lead and rhythm playback.

Melodic Recall
  • You will hear two notes and will be asked to identify if the second and third are higher or lower
  • Answers can be "higher/lower" or "up/down"
Rhythmic Recall
  • You will hear a two-bar rhythm played with a drum backing on the fourth (low E) string of your bass
  • You will then have a period of practice
  • You will be asked to play the rhythm along with the drum backing
  • You will then be asked to identify the test from a set of two examples

General Musicianship Questions

General Musician Questions are included to test your musical understanding and further instrumental knowledge. The five questions are broken down as follows:

  • Four questions on the piece, including clef, stave and TAB, ½ and ¼-note values
  • One question on your instrument and parts of the bass

These files are extracts from Rockschool's Companion Guides for Bass Book.

Bass GMQ Sample (137KB, .pdf)


Your Debut exam lasts 15 minutes for a Grade Exam or 12 minutes for a Performance Certificate. Candidates are asked to arrive at least 15 minutes before their exam starts.

Get Started Today!

You can start working towards your Debut exam now! Simply buy or download the Bass Debut book and start preparing alongside your vocals teacher.

If you don't have a vocals teacher, you can quickly find the nearest teacher to you with our handy find a music teacher map.

Books for Bass Debut

  • Bass Debut Book Cover Bass Debut

    The Debut book contains everything you need to sit your Debut exam.

  • Bass Companion Guide Book Cover Bass Companion Guide

    The Bass Companion Guide book features over 200 "unseen" test examples.

  • Bass Technical Handbook Book Cover Bass Technical Handbook

    Brush up on every riff, scale and arpeggio you'll need to know to pass all of your Grade Exams.

  • Workbook Debut Book Cover Workbook Debut

    The Rockschool Debut Theory Workbook is the ideal preparation for your Debut theory exam.