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Grade 3 Piano Exam

Play rock & pop songs on the piano the way that you want to.

Ofqual Accredited (EQF Level 2) Award £49.00 GBP

GCSE Grades D-G Equivalent

Rockschool equivalent costs £74.00 GBP (£25.00 GBP saving)

Grade 3 Popular Piano Exam

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Grade 3 Popular Piano Songs

For this exam you need to play three pieces

  • One Traditional Rock & Pop from the syllabus list (one verse and chorus),
  • One from after 2000 from the syllabus list (one verse and chorus),
  • One of your choice.
 
Video Game and Movie themes are also included.
Songs can be transposed during the purchase process to utilise an appropriate key for this grade.
Candidates are welcome to improvise their own introductions and endings.  
They may also embellish the piece as they choose.
Piano Syllabus

Own Choice

Own choice pieces should be of a similar level of difficult. The Grade Parameters can be found below. It's not expected that your piece will meet every aspect within the table, but it serves as a general guide as to the standard required.

Trad Rock & Pop Playlist

2000 Onwards Playlist

How to choose your Own Choice Piece

Grade 3 Piano Exam Marking

How Your Pieces are Marked

Grade 1 Popular Piano Marking Objectives

Learn piano, refine & shine

Excel with Our
Celebrity Grade 3
Piano Practice Toolkit

We want all pianists who love popular music to progress and achieve and be recognised by offering access to high quality and affordable music exams with international level supporting materials on our innovative online platform.

In order to really succeed in piano exams, we need to practice.  Practising can seem boring, but NOT HERE!  Here you will find a range of resources that will help you become the pop musician that you’ve always wanted to be.  

Rhythm Tracks for your Piano Groove
Rhythm Tracks to Find Your Groove

Rhythm Backing Tracks 

Support your fluency, improvise in time in 3/4 and 4/4 with tracks created by our Masterclass Tutors Marcus Brown (Madonna and more) and Nicky Brown (legendary producer & BBC).

Tracks:

  • 4/4 Rock
  • 3/4 Time
  • 6/8 Time
  • New York Loop
  • Slow Funky Loop
  • Slow Drive Loop
  • Pop Loop
  • Detroit Loop
  • Ballad Loop
 
Bonus: Establishing 4 beats per bar Masterclass Lesson by Nicky Brown.
Piano Scales Step by Step
Learn Your Keys & Scales Step by Step

Scale & Key Fun

Scales are not a requirement in the exam, but they are great for understanding keys and improvisation.  We do them in a really fun way!

At Debut level C, F and G Majors were your priority.  At Grade 1 level, D and Bb Majors are also a key focus.  At Grade 2, A and Eb Majors are added, along with relative minor keys too.

Grade 3, E and Ab Majors are added, along with their relative minors.

These tracks have been created exclusively by Andrew Sparham, our Guitar Tutor.

The Maestro Online “We Will Rock You” scale method.

Interactive step-by-step tracks in C, F, G, D, A Bb, Eb, E and Ab Majors helping you start with just one note per key, then 2 notes, “add it and nail it” without feeling overwhelmed.

Bonus Masterclass – Add it and Nail It method by Mick Donnelly (Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, Robbie Williams & more)

Multi-style backing tracks in C, F, G, D, A, Bb, Eb, E and Ab Majors (plus Mixolydian, and relative natural minors and harmonic minor in Am, Dm, Em, Bm, F#m, Gm, Cm, C#m and Fm) in different styles to support your concept of key and improvisation.  There are also tracks with the bass removed so that you can develop your LH and RH separately:

  • Pop (Pentatonic/Major)
  • Soft Rock (Mixolydian)
  • Reggae (harmonic minor)
  • Funk (natural minor)
 
Pentatonic and Major are very common in pop songs.
Mixolydian is really common in rock guitar solos.
Natural minor is also particular common in guitar solos.
Free Piano Courses
Song Style Backing Tracks

Song Style Backing Tracks 

These are chord progression tracks inspired by songs from the Grade 3 syllabus to help develop your improvisation. 

  • Man I Feel Like a Woman
  • Hit the Road Jack
  • Can’t Stop the Feeling
  • Knock on Wood
  • Whole Lotta Love
 
These tracks have been created exclusively by Andrew Sparham, our Guitar Tutor.
Improv tips for the Pop Art improv
Pro Tips: Pop Art of Improv on the Piano

Exclusive Pro Tips

EXCLUSIVE Improvisation lessons, tips, tracks, teaching techniques from World-Class Masterclass Tutors, including pianists who played on some of the original pop songs, interesting anecdotes, professional piano player insights, and session musician perspectives.  For Grade 3 tracks by international level pianists include:

  • Move to the Groove
  • 1 Note Improv
  • 1 Chord Improv
  • Establishing 4/4 time
  • Beats 1 & 3
  • The 3 Note Groove
  • What Goes Up Must Go Down
  • Shift the Lick
  • Same Progression, Different Grooves
  • Rhythm as Your Hook
  • Additional “Can’t Stop The Feeling” short improv tutorial tracks on counterpoint, added 6th chords, chord progression and sample improvisation from The Maestro Online Piano Courses.
  • Extract from “Knock On Wood” Maestro Online course to support your learning riffs and the pentatonic scale with interactive score.

£29.99 GBP one-off payment

All Grade 3 Toolkit Areas

£29.99 pcm including 

All Courses & Masterclasses

Self-Study piano curriculum

Pop Piano Courses & Masterclasses

There’s a wide range of supporting resources on The Maestro Online platform to help you learn and polish your performances.

PIano grades Pop Songs

What to expect

Grade 3 Popular Piano Exam

 There is no requirement to play from the notation, but links are provided as an indication of the level of difficulty required. 

All Piano Students

At Grade 3 the full natural minor and major scales will often occur. There might be more complex rhythms including quaver 3s against 2s, emerging syncopations. There will be increased RH/LH independence. Players are encouraged to create their own introductions and endings as well as embellishing the piece in order to gain extra marks. 

There are likely to be more chord inversions and a wider range of dynamics.

Players might even consider a small section of improvisation should they wish. At least one main chorus and verse need to be performed; multiple verses can be cut as necessary because candidates are encouraged to ensure that pieces stay within the grade duration length specified. 

Piano Students who Read Notation

Scores will typically include up to three sharps or flats in the key signature. Pieces will demonstrate a range of note lengths up to sixteenth notes and equivalent rests and more frequent elementary left hand syncopation, typical of rock-pop styles, will occur.

Songs may be performed in any key and can be transposed during the purchase process to be appropriate for a learner at this grade.  

Piano Students who Play by Ear

There are many students who will find that notation is not for them. They may find it too difficult, be dyslexic or neurodivergent. That’s totally okay! The links to scores of pieces on the syllabus give you a good idea of the standard and technique required.

Ready to Shine?

Time to Take Your
Pop Piano Exam

Relax, breathe and let it all flow!

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