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The February to March deadline is 14 December

Piano Grade 3

At Piano Grade 3, you'll develop both your stylistic awareness, and a range of crucial techniques. In addition to repertoire from Rihanna, Skyfall, Otis Redding and Rockschool, there are also Sight Reading and Improvisation Tests, Ear Tests and Technical Exercises.

Key Features at Grade 3

What you'll learn at Grade 3:

  • Major 7th chords
  • The Lydian mode
  • Left-hand bass lines

What You're Marked On

Performance Pieces

At Grade 3:

  • Unfaithful
  • Skyfall
  • Sittin' On The Dock Of The Bay

Learn more about Free Choice Pieces...

Technical Exercises

  • A and Eb major scales and their relative minors
  • Major 7th and major 9#11 arpeggios
  • Major 7 and dom9 sus4 voicings

Sight Reading or Improvisation & Interpretation

At Grade 3 you will be offered either Sight Reading or Improvisation & Interpretation.

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

Ear Tests

There are two ear tests at Grade 3: Melodic Recall and Chord Recognition.

General Musicianship Questions

Candidates will be asked five questions relating to Harmony, Melody, Rhythm, Technique and Genre.

Download Piano GMQs (545KB, .pdf)


Your Grade 3 exam lasts 27 minutes for a Grade Exam or 18 minutes for a Performance Certificate. Candidates are asked to arrive at least 15 minutes before their exam starts.

Instruments That Can Be Examined

The following instruments are accepted for exams in piano, at all grades:

  • Acoustic Piano
  • Electronic Keyboard

Specified Rockschool examination centres will each contain either an acoustic piano or an electronic keyboard. Candidates may bring their own keyboards for their performances, which must fit the following criteria:

  • Entry Level–Grade 4: A minimum of five octaves, touch sensitive and with a sustain pedal
  • Grades 5, 6 and 8: A touch-sensitive 88-note keyboard with a sustain pedal
  • Candidates must use a 'realistic' piano sound for their exam
  • Candidates should not use either backing tracks or internally generated, pre-programmed rhythms

Get Started Today!

You can start working towards your Piano Grade 3 exam now! Simply buy or download the Piano Grade 3 book, and start preparing alongside your piano teacher.

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

Books for Piano Grade 3

  • Piano Grade 3 Book Cover Piano Grade 3

    The Piano Grade 3 book contains everything you need to sit your Grade 3 exam.

  • Guidebook Debut - Grade 5 Book Cover Guidebook Debut - Grade 5

    Rockschool's Guidebooks are the ideal introduction to music theory for musicians, composers, students and teachers.

  • Workbook Grade 3 Book Cover Workbook Grade 3

    The Rockschool Grade 3 Theory Workbook is the ideal preparation for your Grade 3 theory exam.