At the Initial exam, you can learn about breathing and singing slurred 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 sing 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 downloadable syllabus.
The Initial Vocals 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 Technical Focus song for Initial Vocals is available now - Lean On Me by Bill Withers
How to use a song to tell a story
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 sing 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, Da Doo Ron Ron, Great DJ, I Am The Music Man, New York Mining Disaster 1941, Seasons In The Sun
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.