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Electric Guitar Grade 6

Take Grade 6 and you're well on your way to becoming a skilled and well-rounded electric guitarist. Session work, advanced scales and sophisticated rock licks will all be tested in your three-to-five exam pieces – once again, a mixture of Free Choice* and Rockschool compositions.

Key Skills at Grade 6

What you'll learn at Grade 6:

  • Natural and pinched harmonics, two-handed tapping
  • All five shapes of the Minor Pentatonic scale. Dorian mode, Major 7th, Minor 7th and Dominant 7th arpeggios and chords
  • Stylistic study
  • Session work

What You're Marked On

Your Electric Guitar Grade 6 exam lasts 30 minutes and is split into five key sections.

Performance Pieces

At Grade 6:

  • Pieces last up to two minutes 45 seconds. The focus is on developing advanced stylistic techniques and use of stylistic sounds
  • Candidates must prepare a total of three pieces for a Grade Exam and five pieces for a Performance Certificate
  • Pieces are over four 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 three sections:

  • Scales
  • Modes
  • Arpeggios
  • Chords
  • Stylistic Study (chosen from Rock/Metal, Funk or Jazz/Latin/Blues)

Quick Study Piece

At Grade 6, you will be offered a Quick Study Piece with a backing track in the style of the Stylistic Study chosen in the technical work:

Sight Reading
  • Combination of Sight Reading and Improvisation
  • Full version heard once (with electric guitar playing notated parts)
  • Three minutes' preparation/practice time
  • One practise play-through, with backing

Ear Tests

There are two ear tests at Grade 6: 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 D Major Pentatonic, D Minor Pentatonic or G Natural Minor scale, played twice with a drum and bass 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 or fifth, and the first interval will either be ascending or descending
Rhythmic Recall
  • You will hear a tonic chord of D major followed by a four bar chord sequence played to a bass and drum backing made up of the chords I, ii, iii, IV, V and vi chords and will incorporate a V7 chord in a given rhythm shown in the Electric Guitar Grade 6 Book
  • You will hear the test twice and then have a period to practice
  • You will then be asked to play the chord sequence to the bass and drum backing in the rhythm
  • You will then be asked to identify the sequence you have played to the examiner, including any chord extensions

General Musicianship Questions

General Musician Questions are included to test your musical understanding and further instrumental knowledge. You choose the piece to answer five questions on, broken down as follows:

  • Four questions on the piece, including all notation, dynamic and stylistic markings as well as the knowledge of one scale/mode used in the solo of the piece and the relationship to the harmonic progression
  • One question on your instrument, including change of sound, how it is achieved and the location of the same pitch on two different strings

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

Guitar GMQ Sample (137KB, .pdf)


Your Grade 6 exam lasts 30 minutes for a Grade Exam or 25 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 6 exam now! Simply buy or download the Electric Guitar Grade 6 book, and start preparing alongside your electric guitar teacher.

If you don't have an 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 6