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The May to July deadline is 8 April

Electric Guitar Grade 4

You'll add further sophistication to your lead and rhythm repertoire at Electric Guitar Grade 4. Fretboard and theory skills will be tested by a series of longer performances, combining Rockschool pieces with your own compositions*.

Key Skills at Grade 4

What you'll learn at Grade 4:

  • Wide stretches, Double stop fills, string bends
  • Major and Natural Minor. Major and Minor Pentatonic scales. Blues scales in two fingering positions, Major, Minor and Dominant 7th arpeggios and chords
  • Playback and performance skills

What You're Marked On

Your Electric Guitar Grade 4 exam lasts 25 minutes and is split into five key sections.

Performance Pieces

At Grade 4:

  • Pieces last up to two minutes 15 seconds. They focus on further developing stylistic techniques and sounds
  • Candidates must prepare a total of three pieces for a Grade Exam and five pieces for a Performance Certificate
  • Pieces are over two pages
  • *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 four sections:

  • Scales
  • Arpeggios
  • Chords
  • Riff

Sight Reading or Improvisation

At Grade 4 you will be offered either Sight Reading or Improvisation.

Sight Reading
  • Eight bars in D major or G major, D minor or A minor at 80–90bpm
  • ½ and ¼ and 1/8 notes with ¼ note rests in 4/4
  • Two bars of melodic improvisation at the end using chord symbols within the piece
  • 90 seconds' preparation and practice
  • Eight bars in G major, D major, A minor or D minor at 90–100bpm
  • Begins with two bars of chord sight reading
  • 30 seconds' preparation
  • One practice play through, with backing

Ear Tests

There are two ear tests at Grade 4: Melodic and Rhythmic Recall. These help develop the two key electric guitar skills of lead and rhythm playback.

Melodic Recall
  • You will hear a two-bar melody in C Major Pentatonic or B Minor pentatonic, played twice with a drum backing track
  • You will then have a period of practice
  • You will then be asked to play the melody along with the drum backing. The first note will be the tonic, and the first interval will be descending
Rhythmic Recall
  • You will hear a tonic chord of C major and then two further chords made up from chords I, IV or V in a given rhythm shown in the Electric Guitar Grade 4 Book
  • The test is heard twice with a drum backing track
  • You will then have a period of practice
  • You will then be asked to play the chords in the given rhythm to the drum backing track

General Musicianship Questions

General Musicianship 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, time signature, note and rest values and the construction of a major and minor chord
  • One question on your instrument, including parts of the electric guitar, location of volume and tone controls on the electric guitar and the volume/gain controls on the amp

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

Guitar GMQ Sample (137KB, .pdf)


Your Grade 4 exam lasts 25 minutes for a Grade Exam or 22 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 Electric Guitar Grade 4 exam now! Simply buy or download the Electric Guitar Grade 4 book, and start preparing alongside your electric guitar teacher.

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

Books for Electric Guitar Grade 4