Rockschool electric guitar grade 4 information and videos 2012-2018 3


The grade 4 exam is designed for people who have been playing for approximately 2 to 2 1/2 years. The exam lasts for 25 minutes. The pieces last for a maximum of 2 minutes 15 seconds. The skills required are:

  • fretting hand damping techniques.
  • slides.
  • accented notes.
  • trills.
  • use of dynamics: very soft (pp) to very loud (ff).
  • accurate reading of tied semi-breves (whole notes), crotchet (quarter note) triplets and associated rests.

Scales

There are 5 types of scale required for grade 4. Each type is played with 2 different fingerings. Thankfully, the first fingering is the one you learned for grade 3 so there is only one more fingering for each scale to learn. All the scales are played in the keys of A, B, C and D with the root notes on the 6th string. Below is a fretboard showing the location of the root notes and the new fingerings for the 5 different scale types. The original fingerings can be found in the Rockschool guitar grade 3 lesson.

Rockschool grade 4 root notes

A major scale A natural minor scale

A minor pentatonic scaleA major pentatonic scale

A blues scale

 

Arpeggios

A major 7 arpeggioA minor 7 arpeggioA dominant 7 arpeggio

Chords

Each chord has to be played 2 with two different fingerings. One starting with the root note on the 6th string and the other starting on the 5th string. These are played in the keys of B, C and D.

Chord root notes grade 4

Bmaj7 chordBmaj7 chordBm7 chordBm7 chord

B7 chordB7 chord

Pieces

Base Jumper

Here is the first piece from the Rockschool 2012-2018 grade 4 electric guitar syllabus. This is an pop punk piece in the style of groups like Blink-182 and Green Day. It’s main focus is on heavy palm muting, octaves and wide stretches. Remember to keep the palm of your picking hand near the bridge when palm muting. Too far over the strings and it changes the pitch of the notes. Try and mute any unwanted strings when playing the octaves this means you can use a wider strum motion and hopefully strum both strings and not just the lowest!

For the recording I used my 2011 Ibanez RG2550Z through a Boss ME-70 effects pedal straight into my Macbook Pro via a M-Audio Fast Track C600 USB interface.

Base Jumper was written by Bob Gradeful. Copyright 2012 Rockschool Ltd. Backing track used with permission of Rockschool.

 

Crop Duster

Here is the second piece from the Rockschool 2012-2018 grade 4 electric guitar syllabus. This is a soul piece in the style of Steve Cropper. It’s main focus is on triads and double stop fills. Watch out for the double stop triplets in bars 21 and 22. Take your time with them. They can be tricky to play accurately at speed!

For the recording I used my 2007 Fender HSS Strat with my Blackstar HT5RW straight into my Macbook Pro through the emulated out via a Apogee Duet 2.

Crop Duster was written by Kit Morgan. Copyright 2012 Rockschool Ltd. Backing track used with permission of Rockschool.

 

Circus Experience

Here is the third piece from the Rockschool 2012-2018 grade 4 electric guitar syllabus. This is an classic rock piece in the style of Jimi Hendrix. It’s main focus is on triads, hammer on’s and pull off’s. Watch the rhythm in section A as it can be difficult to play in time with the backing track at a slow tempo. Practice the position changes in bars 9, 13 and the final bar separately. Also, watch for the staccato notes and chords in section C.

For the recording I used my 2007 Fender HSS Strat through a Boss ME-70 effects pedal straight into my Macbook Pro via a M-Audio Fast Track C600 USB interface.

Circus Experience was written by Joe Bennett. Copyright 2012 Rockschool Ltd. Backing track used with permission of Rockschool.

 

Dirt Wizard

Here is the fourth piece from the Rockschool 2012-2018 grade 4 electric guitar syllabus. This is a blues rock piece in the style of Eric Clapton and Led Zeppelin. It’s main focus is on string bends, slides and hammer-ons. Watch out for the double stop slide in bar 18. Look before you move!

For the recording I used my 2016 Gibson Les Paul Standard Traditional with my Blackstar HT5RW mic’d up with a Sure SM75 into my Macbook through an Pro Apogee Duet 2.

Dirt Wizard was written by James Uings. Copyright 2012 Rockschool Ltd. Backing track used with permission of Rockschool.

Hot Rock pieces

Don’t Look Back In Anger

Here is the third piece from the Rockschool 2012-2018 Hot Rock grade 4 electric guitar book. Take your time with the barre chords. Practice the changes separately and use a metronome to gradually increase the speed. Remember the first strum of the next chord is more important than the last strum of the chord before. If the last strum is a bit muffled it’s ok.

For the recording I used my 2007 Fender HSS Strat with my Blackstar HT5RW recorded with my Shure SM57 mic and Apogee Duet 2.

Don’t Look Back In Anger was written by Noel Gallagher. Copyright 1995 Creation Songs Limited/Oasis Music (GB). Backing track used with permission of Rockschool.


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