#1
Self taught guitarist here. Apart from a book that i had (that is very old from when my dad used to play), I have never had a proper lesson or grading etc. The book took me through so apparently im grade 1. Because i have never had a lesson or done gradings, technically I am still grade 1. Does anyone know some songs/tabs that can be classed as different grades? I just want to see where about my ability is at the moment.

tl;dr tell me some tabs i can learn to see what level/grade im at.

Many thanks in advanced for any help!
#2
There are books with music for each grade for classical guitar, not too sure about electric. Just go to a music store and ask for the grade 4 guitar book, or whatever level you're looking for.
#4
I've taken no examinations. So i suppose you are right. But im not looking to do a test or anything, i just wondered what 'level' I was at. Thanks for the responses people.
#6
I've never quite understood the point of grading or levelling. The more complex stuff you can play - the better you are, that's the way I look at it.
#7
Quote by AlphaBlackheart
I've never quite understood the point of grading or levelling. The more complex stuff you can play - the better you are, that's the way I look at it.


Grading was designed to allow other people (mostly schools and business people ect.) to be able to judge how good you are from just looking at your certificate.
Saying you are "good", or playing a couple of difficult songs won't get you the place in the job/school, because anyone can say they are good at what they do, or play a couple of fancy sounding songs. However, a nice and shiny grade certificate of an appropriate level will (Or at least help) PROVE you are an all round good guitar player with good performing skills and music theory knowledge with no BS.
#8
Depends. http://www.registryofguitartutors.com are pretty much the standard in the uk for contemporary guitar playing ability.

Up to grade 2 you use basic scales and open chords, basic time keeping and whatnot. The grade you need to put your name down and be considered for a registered tutor is grade 5 i believe.

Grade 5 scales and arps: pent minor, blues in 5 different positions, maj in 3 positions, harmonic minor, minor 7, sus4, maj7, maj6, min6, dom6..

Also;

maj/min 6th, sus 4th, min/dom/maj 7th, minor and minor barre chords with the root on the E and A strings.
You then have to play rhythm charts with these chords, using various dynamic markings, strumming techniques and damping.

You then get shown a chord chart, have 30 seconds to look over it and have to select an appropriate scale to perform a completely improvised solo over. You have to use trills, slurs, vibrato, whole and 1/2tone bends. You must be accurate and fluent, whilst phrasing as compliments the music.

You've got to be able to recall any not anywhere in an instant without 'working it out'. You have to know enharmonic spelling for any major or minor key.

You'll be testing on time keeping, tone production, your intrument etc.

If you think you're up to this you'll probably be grade 5, but i'd get a tutor or take the test or something, because they really do critique your playing in the exams.

As far as songs or whatever go i'd say it's too hard to compare because of different styles.

As far as metal goes i'd say Necrophagist, Cannibal Corpse, Opeth, Decapitated are quite hard. In Flames or Slayer are about 'grade 4 of metal' if that makes sense.
Last edited by Ikonoklast at Jul 25, 2009,
#9
Quote by osXtiger
Grading was designed to allow other people (mostly schools and business people ect.) to be able to judge how good you are from just looking at your certificate.
Saying you are "good", or playing a couple of difficult songs won't get you the place in the job/school, because anyone can say they are good at what they do, or play a couple of fancy sounding songs. However, a nice and shiny grade certificate of an appropriate level will (Or at least help) PROVE you are an all round good guitar player with good performing skills and music theory knowledge with no BS.


I see. So it's more of a career thing.

I guess as a hobbyist it's something I'll never need to worry about.
#10
Slayer grade 4? In Flames grade 4? Interesting.... I'd have to go with the rhythms being played, they are a hell of a lot higher than that. Necro is mechanical BS, along with the noise of CC... now Opeth I wouldn't rate too highly, the dude doesn't always know what he's playing nor does he practice a tossed salad... their music is cool, don't get me wrong. Decapitated is also mechanical BS.

From going thru the RockSchool gr8 book, it doesn't touch anything Yngwie or Vinnie Moore does, let alone Gary Moore. Their take on Led Zeppelin is disgusting... not even close to what Jimmy plays like, let alone anywhere near Bonzo. Their time sig changes are ridiculous in that it was a waste of paper.
Relating bands to grades is a bad idea I think, as there are so many inflections you have to take into account. Classical grading is different and very strict, the only way you can sometimes tell the players apart is in their vibrato hence the stagnation of the style. Where would Randy Rhoads fit into the picture? Steve Lukather? Scott Mishoe is super fast, will make necrophagist and Nile look like choirboys strapped to an altar, but its also mechanical BS. He has a lick that will take about 5 years to get perfect. His words, not mine... now who would wanna spend 5 years on that technique and miss out on all the other good stuff guitar has to offer (a video of his slap and pop technique.... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f51JgjBZTI4 ) (Another scott slap and pop with a tapping piece after it http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6MOVbaIjZy0 ). Where would the cold heartless playing of DragonForce fit into the grading system? Or would that be left for Masters or Doctorate?
Last edited by evolucian at Jul 25, 2009,
#11
are you talking about how good your theory is for guitar? or just your playing ability?

if it's your playing ability, there are numerous ways to judge yourself. simply put, are you playing the best stuff you've heard yet? use that to get a good measure.
I don't mean what I write in my posts.So don't argue back on it,and don't check me..Because,though I don't mean them,they are the only way I can increase my post count.
#12
Quote by evolucian

From going thru the RockSchool gr8 book, it doesn't touch anything Yngwie or Vinnie Moore does, let alone Gary Moore. Their take on Led Zeppelin is disgusting... not even close to what Jimmy plays like, let alone anywhere near Bonzo. Their time sig changes are ridiculous in that it was a waste of paper.

Gary Moore's Still Got the Blues (yes the whole thing) is in my grade 3 (out of for) AMEB contempory book.
So is Sweet child of mine.
#13
Quote by evolucian
Slayer grade 4? In Flames grade 4? Interesting.... I'd have to go with the rhythms being played, they are a hell of a lot higher than that. Necro is mechanical BS, along with the noise of CC... now Opeth I wouldn't rate too highly, the dude doesn't always know what he's playing nor does he practice a tossed salad... their music is cool, don't get me wrong. Decapitated is also mechanical BS.


I love it. Good old UG. Just attack my opinion?

Decapitated is mechanical bs? Maybe so, but because it's fast and hard and played low on the bass strings you need a hell of a lot of stamina to play it properly .

Opeth's songs are technically challenging because they use strange fingerings. But i supposed cause Akerfeldt doesn't know theory that means it's not too good?

Slayer and In Flames are scalic riffs and generic thrash rhythm work, i could teach anyone to play it in 2 months. Opeth i could not.

In future please don't base your response around negating my opinion.
#14
And I should base my response to? Maybe teaching all of Slayer and all of In Flames to someone in the span of two months is pushing it a bit, don't you think?

What I disagreed with was "putting a band in a grade"... all their repertoire into one grade. That is what I had a prob with. I never said that cos Opeth doesn't know theory that its crap, look after the few little dots. It says "their music is cool, don't get me wrong", I think Opeth is awesome and you can learn from it definitely (now this I didn't mention in my post, but the one in the inverted commas is, in case there is any more confusion).

mdwallin, thats cool that the songs are in there and would help the TS, and I don't disagree with it at all. My problem was with the statement of saying that a band as a whole is a particular grade. "Still got the blues" is an awesome track to learn.

"In future please don't base your response around negating my opinion." Works both ways man...
#15
Haha yes ok. Just thought maybe you coulda given your own opinion on the subject rather than responding to me, as i was trying to give Ts some advice. Thanks for not actually mentioning the majority of my post though - just the footnote.
#16
hehe, not a problem man. Besides, mdwallin gave two song choices for grade 3, we don't have any of that here in my country so I can't suggest any song titles. The way I see it, is if you can go through some challenging pieces and come out alive on the other end, you are good enough to be a musician.

The only effective grading system I've seen is the ABRSM, but its classical. An old doc I got from them had the pieces you could play (a choice of 12 to 15 in each category, 3 categories) and all the theoretical knowledge you need to know per grade.

Ikono, the reason I never mentioned the rest of yr post is because it was info that the ts could use and was useful.

I'd like to suggest that if you would like a theory degree, try unisa (only correspondence, no campus or classes at all) here in south africa. I saw a few of their music books and quickly soiled myself. And I've also heard that they are much harder degrees than the rest of the world.
#17
Hmm yeah the ABRSM's are good for classical although i don't really know anything about them, but most uni's etc accept 'suitable equivalents'..the 'popular music theory' test is bollocks though. You've got to write essays on Hendrix or The Beatles....so if you know all your theory but can't write an essay you lose marks!
#18
Yo Evolucian, nice rant lol

I agree and disagree with a few points;


I agree that it isn't complete, but like mentioned, it's an overall guideline of someone's ability, and not a true measurement.


I disagree with the Opeth fact. (Though I'm not sure if you meant the following).

It doesn't matter if he can theoretically name everything he writes.

I find it a bit stupid, because music is an art of sound and the chord name has no effect on the sound it produces.

To TS


You are not on "a grade".

There are many aspects to the guitar, and no book can tell how good you are, only music can.

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#19
Quote by eastern_riffs
are you talking about how good your theory is for guitar? or just your playing ability?

if it's your playing ability, there are numerous ways to judge yourself. simply put, are you playing the best stuff you've heard yet? use that to get a good measure.


Just my playing ability. Tbh, apart from things like time signatures and other basics (like half note, quarter note. also effects like bends n stuff), I lack a lot of theory knowledge. I don't want to be a music teacher or anything though, I just enjoy playing.

Quote by mdwallin
Gary Moore's Still Got the Blues (yes the whole thing) is in my grade 3 (out of for) AMEB contempory book.
So is Sweet child of mine.


I can play both of those (only just though), so i suppose im at 'level 3' ( i say level instead of grade because from the conversations gone on here, I def not 'grade' 3).

Thanks for the messages everyone, very helpful and in some cases entertaining
#20
Quote by AlphaBlackheart
I've never quite understood the point of grading or levelling. The more complex stuff you can play - the better you are, that's the way I look at it.

Complexity does not necessarily = greatness.
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