#1
I plan on doing grades to help me get into uni next year. I know one guitar teacher who teaches the RGT/LCM grades and another who teaches the Rockschool guitar grades. The one who teaches the Rockschool grades lives a lot closer to me and charges a bit less for the lessons. I know that you play pieces of music in the Rockschool ones but in the RGT ones you do not. I was wondering if there would be any advantage of having the RGT/LCM grades over the Rockschool ones?

Thanks
#2
Remember that the Rockschool ones are easier, yet worth the same to the Universities. I have my grade 8 in both Electric Guitar and Bass Guitar in Rockschool (both Distinctions ) and it really wasnt as hard as it could have been.

I did a custom choice song on my guitar exam (Under a Glass Moon - Dream Theater) and the examiner said it may have even been a too difficult a piece for Grade 8, its more Diploma level! So I' recommend Rockschool, because while their songs are dire, they're easy.
Last edited by mishax92 at Sep 9, 2010,
#4
I'd say the RGT (the ones i have) will make you a better player. The only experience of Rockschool i have is from watching vids on youtube and some vids from their site.

To Distinction the RGT grades, especially past grade 4, you will have to know your fretboard like the back of your hand, and pretty much all types of barre chords. Your aural training, playing of chord progressions, improvisation and knowledge of keys would have to be pretty spot on.

Having said that, take whichever one suits you if it facilitates getting into uni.

But, i'd take a look at the RGT books, as there's a load of useful stuff in them that is guaranteed to expand your knowledge of guitar.
#5
Quote by GilbertsPinky
I'd say the RGT (the ones i have) will make you a better player. The only experience of Rockschool i have is from watching vids on youtube and some vids from their site.

To Distinction the RGT grades, especially past grade 4, you will have to know your fretboard like the back of your hand, and pretty much all types of barre chords. Your aural training, playing of chord progressions, improvisation and knowledge of keys would have to be pretty spot on.

Having said that, take whichever one suits you if it facilitates getting into uni.

But, i'd take a look at the RGT books, as there's a load of useful stuff in them that is guaranteed to expand your knowledge of guitar.


Thanks, I have looked a little at both. I just want to do whichever will get me into uni the easiest really. I think I would be doing grade 4 at the RGT ones and grade 5 at the Rockschool ones.
#6
^ Ah right, well i think without academic qualifications as well you'd need Distinctions on music theory AND Grades 6, 7 and 8 from RGT to get enough UCAS points. Do whichever one you think will get you there quickest, but seriously give the RGT series a good look as being good enough to pass the Grade 8 at Distinction would pretty much mean you'd have all the tools to be a very good functioning musician.
#7
Quote by GilbertsPinky
^ Ah right, well i think without academic qualifications as well you'd need Distinctions on music theory AND Grades 6, 7 and 8 from RGT to get enough UCAS points. Do whichever one you think will get you there quickest, but seriously give the RGT series a good look as being good enough to pass the Grade 8 at Distinction would pretty much mean you'd have all the tools to be a very good functioning musician.


I'm doing a BTEC National Diploma in Music at the minute so I will get UCAS points from it too. I'm not sure how well I'll need to do in it though but I got 1 distinction and 7 merits last year and then there's another unit that runs into this year. The distinction was in theory but I'm not sure what grade that would be. As far as I know a pass is 6 UCAS points, merit is 12 and a distinction is 18.

I have a friend who got into uni and played Canon in D for his audition. Any idea what grade that would be?
#8
Nah sorry. I'm doing music at uni starting in 2 weeks but i didn't have to audition.

It depends on which version of Canon you play and how well you play it. Aside from the fast runs, the 'rock' version isn't incredibly difficult, but there are a lot of bad renditions out there so i don't know what grade it could be considered.

Basically at Grades 7/8 RGT you have to do the following: (and this is straight out of the book, and to get a distinction you have to play it all extremely well, comfortably, fluidly and instantly, any hesitation loses you marks. You don't necessarily have to play it fast though, the book gives a guide tempo of 160 bpm 8th notes) You have to be able to play everything in ANY key the examiner wishes to give you.

Scales
1 Octave Pentatonic Major Scale, in 5 different fingerboard positions.
2 Octave Dorian + Mixolydian Scales, in 2 different fingerboard positions.
2 Octave Phrygian + Lydian Scales
1 Octave Natural Minor Scale, harmonised in 8ths.
2 Octave Whole-Tone Scale
3 Octave Pentatonic Minor + Blues Scales
3 Octave Chromatic Scale
1 Octave Dorian + Mixolydian Scales, in 3 different fingerboard positions.
1 Octave Phrygian + Lydian Scales, in 2 different fingerboard positions.
3 Octave Major Scale
3 Octave Natural Minor Scale
2 Octave Lydian Scale

Arpeggios
Minor 7th and Dom 7th, inclusive of # or b 5ths, and/or # or b 9ths:
m7b5, m7#5, m7b9, m7b5b9, m7#5b9
7b5, 7#5, 7b9, 7#9, 7b5b9, 7#5b9, 7b5#9, 7#5#9

And dom11 + dom13's.

Chords
ALL Major and Minor Chords using altered bass (inversions)
This includes all the chordal equivalents of the arpeggios required in the arpeggio section.
Dom11th and Dom13th Chords, in 2 different fingerboard positions.
All Major and Dom7th Chords, in 5 different fingerboard positions.

Rhythm
For rhythm you have to be aware of and acknowledge repeat signs, dynamics including crescendo/diminuendo, tempo changes such as accelerando/rallentando/a tempo and pauses. You'll also have to be aware of first/second time endings and the time signatures 4/4, 12/8, 5/4, 6/8, 3/4, 2/2 and 7/8.

Lead Playing
You will be presented with a chord progression utilising any type of chords. You will be expected to choose a main key, but be able to modulate within your solo and apply arpeggios where necessary.

Other Tests
Other tests included will be the expectation for you to name any interval, any chord within major or minor key, transposing a chord progression into another key, repeating melodic phrases given to you by the examiner. You'll also be expected to identify cadences.

You then have to choose a specialist technique to display unaccompanied, from flat picking, fingerstyle, tapping or slide/bottleneck.

This is what RGT requires at Grade 8, and it's a HELL of a lot. Just to give you some kind of idea what Grade 8 equivalency in another awarding body would be

Sorry for being so long-winded.
#9
Quote by GilbertsPinky
Nah sorry. I'm doing music at uni starting in 2 weeks but i didn't have to audition.

It depends on which version of Canon you play and how well you play it. Aside from the fast runs, the 'rock' version isn't incredibly difficult, but there are a lot of bad renditions out there so i don't know what grade it could be considered.

Basically at Grades 7/8 RGT you have to do the following: (and this is straight out of the book, and to get a distinction you have to play it all extremely well, comfortably, fluidly and instantly, any hesitation loses you marks. You don't necessarily have to play it fast though, the book gives a guide tempo of 160 bpm 8th notes) You have to be able to play everything in ANY key the examiner wishes to give you.

Scales
1 Octave Pentatonic Major Scale, in 5 different fingerboard positions.
2 Octave Dorian + Mixolydian Scales, in 2 different fingerboard positions.
2 Octave Phrygian + Lydian Scales
1 Octave Natural Minor Scale, harmonised in 8ths.
2 Octave Whole-Tone Scale
3 Octave Pentatonic Minor + Blues Scales
3 Octave Chromatic Scale
1 Octave Dorian + Mixolydian Scales, in 3 different fingerboard positions.
1 Octave Phrygian + Lydian Scales, in 2 different fingerboard positions.
3 Octave Major Scale
3 Octave Natural Minor Scale
2 Octave Lydian Scale

Arpeggios
Minor 7th and Dom 7th, inclusive of # or b 5ths, and/or # or b 9ths:
m7b5, m7#5, m7b9, m7b5b9, m7#5b9
7b5, 7#5, 7b9, 7#9, 7b5b9, 7#5b9, 7b5#9, 7#5#9

And dom11 + dom13's.

Chords
ALL Major and Minor Chords using altered bass (inversions)
This includes all the chordal equivalents of the arpeggios required in the arpeggio section.
Dom11th and Dom13th Chords, in 2 different fingerboard positions.
All Major and Dom7th Chords, in 5 different fingerboard positions.

Rhythm
For rhythm you have to be aware of and acknowledge repeat signs, dynamics including crescendo/diminuendo, tempo changes such as accelerando/rallentando/a tempo and pauses. You'll also have to be aware of first/second time endings and the time signatures 4/4, 12/8, 5/4, 6/8, 3/4, 2/2 and 7/8.

Lead Playing
You will be presented with a chord progression utilising any type of chords. You will be expected to choose a main key, but be able to modulate within your solo and apply arpeggios where necessary.

Other Tests
Other tests included will be the expectation for you to name any interval, any chord within major or minor key, transposing a chord progression into another key, repeating melodic phrases given to you by the examiner. You'll also be expected to identify cadences.

You then have to choose a specialist technique to display unaccompanied, from flat picking, fingerstyle, tapping or slide/bottleneck.

This is what RGT requires at Grade 8, and it's a HELL of a lot. Just to give you some kind of idea what Grade 8 equivalency in another awarding body would be

Sorry for being so long-winded.


Wow, that is a lot of stuff

How long do you think it would take to get from grade 4 to grade 7 in the RGT? I know everyone progresses at different speeds and it depends on the amount of practice ect but could you give me some idea?
#10
If you studied nothing but RGT i'd say a couple of years of 1 or 2 hours practising a day. By Grade 7 you're expected to be able to basically construct chords on the fly which is pretty difficult!
#12
No worries, i have all the grade books for RGT and the Popular Music series from London College of Music so if you need any extra info on their requirements or whatever (whether you decide to sit the official exams or not) drop me a PM and i'll be glad to help.