Rock ‘n Roll Music Theory Quiz: Test Your Knowledge!

June 10, 2024

Rock ‘n Roll Music Theory Quiz: Test Your Knowledge!

Are you ready to rock? Whether you’re a budding guitarist or a seasoned drummer, a solid understanding of music theory can elevate your skills and take your performances to the next level. Test your knowledge with our fun Rock ‘n Roll Music Theory Quiz and see how you stack up against the legends of rock! Grab your pick, sticks, or microphone, and let’s get started! (answer key at the bottom)

'n Roll Music Theory Quiz - STL Rock School 1305 Baur Blvd Olivette 63132

1. What is the most common time signature in rock music?

A) 3/4

B) 5/4

C) 4/4

D) 7/8

2. Which scale is the foundation of many rock ‘n roll riffs?

A) Major Scale

B) Minor Scale

C) Pentatonic Scale

D) Blues Scale

3. Which chord progression is known as the “Axis of Awesome” in rock music?

A) I – IV – V

B) ii – V – I

C) I – V – vi – IV

D) vi – IV – I – V

4. What is a “power chord,” often used in rock and punk music?

A) A chord consisting of three notes

B) A chord with only the root and fifth notes

C) A chord played with distortion

D) A chord played on the bass guitar

5. Which mode is often associated with the darker, more intense sound of rock music?

A) Ionian

B) Dorian

C) Mixolydian

D) Phrygian

6. In rock music, what term describes playing notes that aren’t part of the key signature to add tension?

A) Chromaticism

B) Harmonics

C) Dynamics

D) Syncopation

7. What is the term for a short, repeated musical phrase, often used in rock music to create hooks?

A) Ostinato

B) Arpeggio

C) Glissando

D) Tremolo

8. Which of the following intervals is known as a “tritone,” often used to create a sense of tension in rock music?

A) Perfect Fourth

B) Minor Third

C) Augmented Fourth/Diminished Fifth

D) Major Sixth

9. What rock subgenre is known for its use of fast tempos, short song durations, and aggressive guitar riffs?

A) Blues Rock

B) Punk Rock

C) Glam Rock

D) Progressive Rock

10. Which rock band is famous for pioneering the use of the “galloping” rhythm, often played in triplets?

A) The Beatles

B) Led Zeppelin

C) Iron Maiden

D) The Rolling Stones


  1. C) 4/4 – This is the most common time signature in rock music, providing a solid, steady beat.
  2. C) Pentatonic Scale – The pentatonic scale is a favorite for rock riffs due to its simplicity and strong sound.
  3. C) I – V – vi – IV – This progression is famously versatile and used in countless rock songs.
  4. B) A chord with only the root and fifth notes – Power chords are a staple in rock music for their powerful and straightforward sound.
  5. D) Phrygian – The Phrygian mode adds a dark, exotic flair to rock music.
  6. A) Chromaticism – Using chromatic notes can add tension and interest to rock solos and riffs.
  7. A) Ostinato – An ostinato is a repeated musical phrase that creates a memorable hook.
  8. C) Augmented Fourth/Diminished Fifth – The tritone, also known as the “devil’s interval,” adds a sense of tension and dissonance.
  9. B) Punk Rock – Punk rock is characterized by its fast tempos, short songs, and raw energy.
  10. C) Iron Maiden – Iron Maiden is known for their iconic galloping rhythm, often played in triplet patterns.

How did you do? Whether you aced it or discovered some areas for improvement, keep rocking and learning! If you’re ready to take your skills to the next level, consider signing up for music lessons or joining a rock band class at STL Rock School. Let’s make some noise!

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