Enter for your Acoustic Guitar exam in four quick steps

The February to March deadline is 14 December

Acoustic Guitar Grade 1

At Acoustic Guitar Grade 1, you'll begin learning the fundamental techniques you'll need to develop a career as a skilled rock and pop guitarist. Your exam will involve performance pieces from artists such as The Beatles, Adele and Metallica.

Key Features at Grade 1

What you'll learn at Grade 1:

  • Performance Pieces
  • Sight-Reading or Improvisation
  • Ear Tests: Melodic Recall and Chord Recognition

What You're Marked On

Performance Pieces

At Grade 1:

  • The Beatles - Let It Be
  • Metallica - The Unforgiven
  • Adele - Someone Like You
  • Tom Petty - Free Fallin'
  • Christina Aguilera - Beautiful
  • Ray Charles - Stella By Starlight

Learn more about Free Choice Pieces...

Technical Exercises

Candidates will be given three technical exercises:

  • F major/D natural minor scale
  • G major scale/E natural minor
  • C diminished broken chord
  • C augmented broken chord

Sight Reading or Improvisation & Interpretation

At Grade 1 you will be offered either Sight Reading or Improvisation & Interpretation.

Sight Reading
  • 4-8 bars in the keys of F major and G major
Improvisation & Interpretation
  • 4-8 bars in the keys of F major and G major

Ear Tests

There are two ear tests at Grade 1: Melodic Recall and Chord Recognition. Learn to hear major, minor, augmented and diminished triads

General Musicianship Questions

Candidates will be asked five questions relating to your choice of one of your performance pieces. Topics covered will include: Harmony, Melody, Rhythm, Technique and Genre.

Download Acoustic GMQs (559KB, .pdf)


Your Grade 1 exam lasts 20 minutes for a Grade Exam or 17 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 Acoustic Guitar Grade 1 exam now! Simply buy or download the Acoustic Guitar Grade 1 book, and start preparing alongside your acoustic guitar teacher.

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

Books for Acoustic Guitar Grade 1