At the Initial exam, you can learn to play power chords and blue notes. You’ll perform three songs and choose your Session skill – Improvising or Playback.
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 Initial 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.
Learn two first-position power chords – E5 and A5
Playing a syncopated rhythm in the right hand
Players choose Improvising or Playback.
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: Black Betty, Breakdown, Dirty Old Town, I Am The Music Man, I Wanna Be Like You, Rhinestone Cowboy Glen Campbell
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.