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By Rhys Lett

Preliminary Grade ANZCA Guitar Exam

Here is the required work for the ANZCA guitar exam preliminary level. Students can choose to participate in the exams as a challenge of their skill level. To learn more about the ANZCA guitar exam program visit our post here.

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 – Preliminary Grade – 20 marks

Students are required to learn and memorise a set of scales and chords. These will assist in learning the songs required for the preliminary level.

Scales – C major, G major, A natural minor

These scales are played from the open position. They will cover one octave. Students will pick the notes as downstrokes or double picking (the same note twice picked down then up). Here is a series of videos to teach students these scales.

Chords – C, G, D7, Am and Em

Students need to play these chords with one single down strum. In practice have students play the chords one string at a time to discover any dead sounding strings. Here are a series of videos to help students learn and remember the chords for preliminary grade.

Songs – Preliminary Grade – 18 marks each

At the Eastern Suburbs School of Music we select these songs for students to perform in the preliminary exam. Songs can be found in the Gary Turner written Progressive Guitar Method book 1 and the Mel Bay Guitar Method 1 books.

List A – Aura Lee.

List B – Amazing Grace.

List C – Three String Blues.

Sight Reading – Preliminary Grade – 10 marks

Sight Reading is testing the students ability to read music. The passage will be four bars in length in 4/4 time. Notes will only be from the key of C major.

It is important that students first look at the rhythm of the reading piece. I feel students concentrate too much on what the letter names of the notes are rather than starting to create the sound of the reading in the head. Also know the rules and guidelines of the preliminary grade reading level. Notes will only jump between the C and G note. The rest of the time it will go in alphabetical order either ascending or descending. It will only use natural notes from the first three strings.

General Knowledge – Preliminary Grade – 8 marks

  • Knowledge of all notes, rests and markings seen in the songs played.
  • 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.

Aural Test – 8 marks

  • Clap a 4 bar rhythm pattern in 4/4 time. Note values of semibreve, minim, crotchet and dotted crotchet can be included.
  • Examiner plays a 2 bar passage, student claps the rhythm.
  • Student states the higher or lower note played by examiner from C major triad.
  • Student states if four notes played by examiner move by step or leap through the scale.