The Piping and Drumming Qualifications Board (PDQB) has made changes to the drumming syllabus for both snare and bass/tenor examinations. The changes relate mainly to the performance element of the examination and was implemented to align with the performance requirements of the piping examinations. This work was carried out by the PDQB Drumming Sub Group which consists of experienced drummers.

The PDQB has introduced a new entry level examination for snare drumming, SCQF Level 2. The syllabus for this and other examinations can be found at The main change is with Level 6 snare drumming where the performance requirements have significantly increased with the student requiring to submit two Marches, Strathspeys, Reels, Hornpipes and Jigs, of which,  they will be required to play one of each. This mirrors the Level 6 piping requirements. The required drumming exercises have also been amended and streamlined to better reflect this level of examination.

The PDQB has also introduced an additional two levels for the bass/tenor drum and now offers Levels 2-6 which again mirrors both piping and snare drumming. The main change is the introduction of a legend (see below) that identifies the required visual movements with their respective names. There will also be visual exercise sheets that will be required for Levels 3-6.

Wilson Brown

Wilson Brown (pictured), PDQB Training Co-ordinator for the National Piping Centre, said: “These are significant changes to the drumming syllabus and a tremendous amount of work has been carried out by the drumming sub group to develop these changes. All our assessors have and will be fully trained in the new format and it is essential that we raise awareness with both teachers and students with regards to the new qualifications available and also the changes to existing examinations.”

The details of all examinations can be found at and for any additional information please contact the National Piping Centre or any of the other member organisations.

Bass/tenor legend: