Grade 5

At Grade 5, you can learn to play drum breaks and ghost notes. You’ll perform three songs and build on your Grade 4 Session skills.

Choose your songs from our song list, including one of the Technical focus songs that develop particular skills. There’s an option for you to play your own cover version of a song or, if you’re a songwriter, one of your own songs.

You’ll find more information about how the exam works in the syllabus.


Grade 5 Drums song list

The Grade 5 Drums songbook includes everything you need for the exam – sheet music for six songs, performance tips, technical support and guidance on Session skills, together with a CD of demo and backing tracks. If you want to buy individual songs, choose them from the list below.

An alternative song for Grade 5 Drums is available now - Going Underground by The Jam

Grade 5 Drums demo video

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Bringing the groove to life with ghosted notes

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Preparing the 16th note pattern between the hands and the feet

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Ideas for a drum fill based on the main groove

Session skills

Players choose Playback or Improvising.


You’ll perform some music you haven’t seen or heard – you can sight-read from a song chart or play by ear from an audio track, or both.


You’ll be given a song chart with chord symbols and song style and will improvise over a backing track.

Songs:  Airbag, My Generation, Primitive Notion, The Raggle Taggle Gypsies, White Room, Would?