Vocals Grade 4
Internationally recognised Vocals Grades for rock, pop and R&B vocalists
Enter for your Vocals exam in four quick steps
The February to March deadline is 14 December
Vocals Grade 4
At Vocals Grade 4, it's time to harmonise and sing backing vocals. You'll also improve transitions between registers and expand your music theory before being testing your new skills in a series of performance pieces in your exam.
Key Skills at Grade 4
What you'll learn at Grade 4:
What You're Marked On
Your Vocals Grade 4 exam lasts 30 minutes and is split into five key sections. Refer to the Vocals Syllabus for in-depth information and guidance on Vocals Grade 4.
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.
Info: As of October 2016, the 'Improvisation Requirements' for 'Performance Pieces', as published in older editions of the 2014 Vocal syllabus, are no longer a mandatory requirement for Rockschool Vocal candidates. While we encourage individual musical interpretation and candidates are free to improvise, the previous 'Improvisation Requirements' are no longer mandatory. Download our 2016 Vocals Syllabus Specification (2.2MB, .pdf) for more details.
At Grade 4 there are five groups of Technical Exercises. The examiner will ask for a selection from each group.
Sight Reading/Improvisation and Interpretation
At Grade 4 a choice between Sight Reading OR Improvisation and Interpretation will be offered. A previously unseen test will be used in the exam and an example of this can be found in the Vocals Grade 4 Female book or Vocals Grade 4 Male book.
At Grade 4 the Sight Reading test will feature lyrics and cover a range of up to an octave. The test will be in one of the above keys (the examiner will decide which) and will start with the root note.
Improvisation and Interpretation
At Grade 4 the examiner will give the candidate a chord sequence in one of the above keys (the examiner will decide which) and the candidate must improvise a melody over the backing track.
There are two Ear Tests at Grade 4; Melodic Recall and Harmony Vocals.
The examiner will play a two-bar melody played to a drum backing. It will use up to the first six notes of one of the above scales (the examiner will decide which) and the first note will be the root note.
The examiner will play a three-bar melody in one of the above keys (the examiner will decide which) and this will be based on the I–IV chords
General Musicianship Questions
General Musicianship Questions are included to test further musical understanding and voice knowledge. At Grade 4 you will be asked five questions, four on general music knowledge, and the fifth will be about voice.
You can find an expansive list of general musicianship questions in the Vocals Companion Guide.
Your Grade 4 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.
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