What the examiner will say and do

Here is a chord sequence you will use as the basis for your improvisation.

I will now play it through twice. 

You now have 30 seconds to prepare your improvisation. You may practise aloud if you wish.

You may now begin.


What you need to do

Look at the music carefully and follow it as the examiner plays it

Use the 30 seconds preparation time to practice and prepare your improvisation

When the examiner asks you to begin, perform your improvisation


Hints and tips

Look at the chord sequence carefully:

  • The key signature will be:

(if you play recorder, violin, viola, cello or double bass these will be different – check the syllabus)

  • These are the chords to use:

  • Follow the music as the examiner plays it 

In the 30 second preparation time:

  • Practice out loud. Don’t worry – you are not being marked
  • Play through the chord sequence first.
  • Create a melody from the notes of each chord
  • 4-time is probably best – always keep a steady pulse.
  • Repeat the sequence to make a melody 8 bars long
  • If you are playing a keyboard instrument you can use both hands if you wish

When you perform your improvisation:

  • keep a steady pulse with one chord in each bar
  • Play through the chord sequence twice to make a total of 8 bars
  • Bring your improvisation to a suitable finish at the end
  • play confidently, fluently and without hesitations


Example Responses

Here are some possible responses to this test. You can see many others on the Harmonic tests and sample responses page.



Very Good


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