At Grade 1, you can learn to play a groove and how to use the ride cymbal. You’ll perform three songs and build on your Initial Session skills.
Choose your songs from our song list, including one of the Technical focus songs that develop particular skills. There’s an option for you to play your own cover version of a song or, if you’re a songwriter, one of your own songs.
You’ll find more information about how the exam works in the syllabus.
The Grade 1 Drums songbook includes everything you need for the exam – sheet music for six songs, performance tips, technical support and guidance on Session skills, together with a CD of demo and backing tracks. If you want to buy individual songs, choose them from the list below.
An alternative song for Drums Grade 1 is available now - Teenage Kicks by The Undertones
Working with the floor tom and snare drum
Establishing rhythmic control in the intro
Playing a crescendo
Players choose Playback or Improvising.
You’ll perform some music you haven’t seen or heard – you can sight-read from a song chart or play by ear from an audio track, or both.
You’ll be given a song chart with chord symbols and song style and will improvise over a backing track.
Songs: Freight Train, Green River, I Believe I'll Dust My Broom, Jump Into The Fog, Road To Nowhere, Sheena Is A Punk Rocker
Real songs. Real skills. Real progress.
'Imagine you’ve just walked on stage [with] 20,000 people screaming your name.'
Improvisation is a key skill for contemporary musicians. Many of the best tracks you hear came from studio improvisation sessions.