Tens of thousands of students every year take Rockschool exams and on the 1st May 2012, Rockschool launches the eagerly awaited new Syllabus for guitar, bass and drums. Building on the global success of its current exams, Rockschool talked to students and teachers, listened to what they had to say and used their comments as a guide to develop the all-new fourth Syllabus. The new material for the exams features Grammy award winning legendary guitarist Larry Carlton and session great percussionist Nir Z whose credits include Genesis, Chris Cornell and John Mayer to name a few!
This new Syllabus represents an accumulation of over twenty years experience in the design and delivery of graded examinations in popular music all around the world. The format of the new curriculum will be very familiar to students with a number of new features and refinements that will enhance the total learning experience.
Rockschool has recognised that performers often want to concentrate on a particular musical genre and the new Syllabus has been built to allow a high degree of flexibility in musical choice. All the supporting tests and exercises will support your musical skills enabling you to approach the performance pieces with confidence as well as providing many of the tools needed for improvisation. As you move through the grades, a greater degree of choice and specialism is available now, reflecting the realities of how musicians learn, perform and progress.
To recognise and support this choice of musical paths, Rockschool has commissioned bespoke pieces, from specialist writers that allow you to demonstrate your mastery of a particular style as you advance. In addition, great care has been taken in the recording of the grade pieces to ensure they are of album quality. The services of eminent producer Nick Davis (Genesis, XTC, Deep Purple, Bjork) were employed at Farm Studios (Genesis’ own studios). Nick’s experience and pedigree helped achieve stylistic authenticity using top session musician’s including horn sections and other instrumentation. The overall final result is commercial quality recordings that deliver the best production values and tracks to learn and play along to.
Rockschool has used top musicians to record the tracks and these include drummers Noam Lederman (Corinne Bailey Rae) and Jason Bowld (Pitchshifter, Bullet For My Valentine), guitarists Charlie Griffiths (Haken), Stuart Ryan (Guitar Techniques, Total Guitar, Guitarist) and bass players Henry Thomas (Paul Weller) and Dave Marks (Carl Palmer Band). Other contributors include guitarist Kit Morgan (Curved Air), Peter Huntingdon (occasional drummer with the Who), sound designer and hip hop drum specialist, Neel Dhorajiwala who’s film credits include the smash hit Mamma Mia! Drumsense’s Colin Wollway and long-term contributor Deirdre Cartwright.
The new version 4 Syllabus represents a milestone in the development of Rockschool’s graded exams making them more accessible, more appealing and more straightforward to learn. Looking forward Rockschool can also announce they will be making the arrangements of the Debut, 1, 2, 4, 6 and 7 grade tunes available digitally in due course.