Rockschool electric guitar grade 1 information and videos 2012-2018


The grade 1 exam is designed for people who have been learning guitar for about 6 months. The exam lasts for about 20 minutes. The pieces last for a maximum of 1 minute 15 seconds to enable candidates to keep focused. It builds on the skills from the debut grade with a focus on:

  • reading the notation.
  • playing notes for the correct time values.
  • keeping the sound even.
  • technical control.
  • staying in sync with the backing track.

Scales

There are five scales to play at this grade, adding two scales to the three that are in the debut grade. All are played at 70bpm, playing one note for every beat of the metronome.

C major scaleA natural minor scale

A minor pentatonic scaleE minor pentatonic scale

G major pentatonic scale

 

Remember to practice your scales whenever you pick up your guitar to practice! It’s best to use them as a warm up. That way you will know them off by heart for your exam which will make you play much more fluently. This means you will get higher marks! Always start slowly and gradually build up the speed.

Chords

The are eight open chords to learn for this grade. Each chord is to be strummed once in the exam as directed by the examiner.

A major chordD major chordE major chordC major chordG major chordA minor chordD minor chordE minor chord

Power Chords

There is a chord sequence in the grade book that uses the following three power chords.

B5 chordA5 chordG5 chord

 

Pieces

Below are videos of the pieces for grade 1. You need to choose 3 to perform for the exam

Get Off

In this YouTube online video lesson is the first piece from the Rockschool 2012-2018 grade 1 electric guitar syllabus. This is an indie piece in the style of bands such as The Arctic Monkeys and The Strokes. It’s main focus is on accents, staccato notes and syncopation. Make sure you use alternate picking and make the staccato notes and the rests clean.

For the recording I used my 2007 Fender HSS Strat through a Boss ME-70 effects pedal straight into my iMac via a Focusrite Saffire 6 USB interface.

Get Off was written by James Uings. Backing track used with permission of Rockschool.

 

Umbra Bella

In this YouTube online video lesson is the second piece from the Rockschool 2012-2018 grade 1 electric guitar syllabus. This is a guitar instrumental piece paying homage to The Shadows. It’s main focus is on open chords, lead melody playing and wide stretches. Keep the rhythm nice and even watch for the arpeggiated chord with ringing over notes at the end.

For the recording I used my 2007 Fender HSS Strat through a Boss ME-70 effects pedal straight into my iMac via a Focusrite Saffire 6 USB interface.

Umbra Bella was written by Simon Troup. Backing track used with permission of Rockschool.

 

Just Don’t Know

In this YouTube online video lesson is the third piece from the Rockschool 2012-2018 grade 1 electric guitar syllabus. This is a classic rock piece in the style of groups such as Les Zepplin and AC/DC . It’s main focus is on power chords, slides notes and tied rhythms. Make sure tied notes last their full length and watch your attack and precision on the power chords.

For the recording I used my 1979 Gibson Les Paul Deluxe through a Boss ME-70 effects pedal straight into my iMac via a Focusrite Saffire 6 USB interface.

Just Don’t Know was written by Kit Morgan. Backing track used with permission of Rockschool.

 

Krauss Country 

In this YouTube online video lesson is the fourth piece from the Rockschool 2012-2018 grade 1 electric guitar syllabus. This is a country piece in the style of American bluegrass/country singer Alison Krauss. It’s main focus is on open chords, double stops notes and lead melody playing. Watch out for rests and make sure your double stops are clean.

For the recording I used my 2007 Fender HSS Strat through a Boss ME-70 effects pedal straight into my iMac via a Focusrite Saffire 6 USB interface.

Krauss Country was written by Deirdre Cartwright. Backing track used with permission of Rockschool.

 

ICAUFO

In this YouTube online video lesson is the fifth piece from the Rockschool 2012-2018 grade 1 electric guitar syllabus. This is a melodic rock piece influenced by bands like Foo Fighters and Biffy Clyro. It’s main focus is on cross-picking, double stops and counting rhythms. Make sure the notes of the arpeggiated chords ring through and watch your picking accuracy on the double stops

For the recording I used my 1979 Gibson Les Paul Deluxe through a Boss ME-70 effects pedal straight into my iMac via a Focusrite Saffire 6 USB interface.

ICAUFO was written by Joe Bennett. Backing track used with permission of Rockschool.

 

Fab Stomp

In this YouTube online video lesson is the final piece from the Rockschool 2012-2018 grade 1 electric guitar syllabus. This is a 60s pop piece in the style of groups such as The Dave Clark 5 and The Hollies. It’s main focus is on strummed chords, double stops and simple syncopation. Watch those rhythms and make sure your fretting is clean!

For the recording I used my 2007 Fender HSS Strat through a Boss ME-70 effects pedal straight into my iMac via a Focusrite Saffire 6 USB interface.

Fab Stomp was written by Dierdre Cartwright. Backing track used with permission of Rockschool.

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