Grade 1

At Grade 1, you can learn about strumming patterns and how to play a shuffle accompaniment. 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.


Grade 1 Guitar song list

The Grade 1 Guitar 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 Guitar Grade 1 is available now - Teenage Kicks by The Undertones

Grade 1 Guitar demo video

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Learn a guitar pattern – alternate bass and strummed notes

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Moving smoothly between chords and notes

Session Skills

Players choose Playback or Improvising.


You’ll perform some music you haven’t seen or heard before – 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, I Believe I'll Dust My Broom, I Walk The Line, I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles), Sheena Is A Punk Rocker, These Boots Are Made For Walkin'


2015-17 SYLLABUS