Vocals Grade 3
Internationally recognised Vocals Grades for rock, pop and R&B vocalists
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The February to March deadline is 14 December
Vocals Grade 3
Vocals Grade 3 adds improvisation elements and concentrates on fundamental areas of technique, such as perfect intervals, bends, small leaps and arpeggios. At exam time, you'll be tested across a series of three or five performances, depending on the exam you choose.
Key Skills at Grade 3
What you'll learn at Grade 3:
What You're Marked On
Your Vocals Grade 3 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 3.
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 3 there are four groups of Technical Exercises. The examiner will ask for a selection from each group.
Sight Reading/Improvisation and Interpretation
At Grade 3 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 3 Female book or Vocals Grade 3 Male book.
At Grade 3 the Sight Reading test consists of whole notes (semibreves), half notes (minims), quarter notes (crotchets), eighth notes (quavers) and quarter note rests in 4/4. The test is four-bars long, starts with the root note and is in one of the above keys (the examiner will decide which).
Improvisation and Interpretation
At Grade 3 the examiner will give the candidate a chord sequence in the key of G major or E minor (the examiner will decide which). The candidate must improvise a melody over the backing track and the chord sequence will be heard three times.
There are two Ear Tests at Grade 3; Melodic Recall and Rhythmic Recall.
The examiner will play a two-bar melody played to a drum backing. It will use a range of up to the first five notes of the above scales (the examiner will decide which) and the first note will be the root note.
Part 1: Rhythmic Recall
The examiner will play a two-bar rhythm played on a single note to a drum backing. The test will be heard twice and each time the test is played it is preceded by the root note and a fourbeat count-in.
Part 2: Identification
The candidate will then be asked to identify the rhythm heard in part 1 from two printed examples shown by the examiner.
General Musicianship Questions
General Musicianship Questions are included to test further musical understanding and voice knowledge. At Grade 3 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 3 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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