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By Rhys Lett

Grade 1 ANZCA Guitar Exam

Here is the required work for the ANZCA guitar exam grade 1. There are five sections to the exam. Here is the material we teach to prepare our students. Included is a breakdown for the marks for each section.

Technical Work – Grade 1 – 20 marks

Technical work will include skills that will improve the students performance of the required songs.

Scales – C major, G major, F major, A harmonic minor played as alternate or double picking. All scales are only one octave in length.

Here is a series of scale videos for students to study.

Chords – C, G, F, G7, D7, Am and Em.

Students need to play these chords as asked by the examiner. They need to strum the chord once. I recommend once students are comfortable where to put their fingers for each chord shape to play the chord one string at a time. This will identify any dead strings that are in the chord.

Turnaround Progression – students will strum one of two rhythm patterns. The turnaround (chord progression) will be in G major.

Songs – Grade 1 – 18 marks each

These are the songs selected from the grade 1 ANZCA exam list that we teach our students. These songs are found in the ANZCA Preliminary-Grade 1 guitar exam book and the Gary Turner written Progressive Guitar Method book 1.

List A – Hall of the Mountain King.

List B – We Three Kings.

List C – Waltzing Matilda.

Sight Reading –  Grade 1 – 10 marks

Students are required to read eight bars of music notation. The piece will be in either 4/4 or 3/4 time. It will only be notes from the key of C or G major.

I recommend students focus on the rhythm of the task first. This will establish the sound and feel and begin to create a melody in their head. Too many students focus on the note names to be played first. This does not start to establish the musical tune.

General Knowledge – Grade 1 – 8 marks

Students will be asked questions about the musical notation seen in the songs performed. They will be required to understand all notes, rests and markings. Questions might be about:

  • Knowledge of all notes, rests and markings from songs.
  • Function of a dot after the note.
  • Name of composer of tune if indicated.
  • Full description of time signatures.
  • Knowledge of the key of each piece.
  • Knowledge of the names of the open strings lowest to highest.

Aural Test – Grade 1 – 8 marks

Students will be asked to provide answers in response to listening to musical examples.

  • Clap a 4 bar rhythm pattern in 4/4 or ¾ time. Note values of semibreve, minim, dotted minim, crotchet, quaver.
  • Examiner plays a 4 bar passage, student claps the rhythm in 4/4 or 3/4.
  • Student states the interval of major 3rd, perfect 5th or octave played by examiner. Intervals measure the distance between two notes.
  • Student states whether two bar melody starts and ends on tonic played by examiner.