What do you guys think of guitar grades? Are they worth doing? Is it better to be self-taught? I have taught myself how to play however my friend has been taking lessons and is approaching grade 8 at bass. Is it worth following the grading system to get a idea of what to learn next to progress. (Sorry for the bombardment of questions)
You will typically progress at a much faster pace
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Wow. Sorry I didn't realize there was a "grading system". Never heard about this before. Oh well, learn something new every day. Who or what decides what "grade" you are at? (Seriously I'm not trolling. Never heard of this.)
Yes I am guitarded also, nice to meet you.
I don't know the ins and outs. But there are books with music and scales which are graded at different levels. If you can play all the songs from grade 5 and the scales then you are at a grade 5. Then you must take a exam to get your certificate. The grades go from 1 (easiest) to 8 (hardest). I know they provide ucas points if you are applying for university similar to the points you get from grades in academic subjects.
It can be helpful if you're motivated in that way - gives you something to aim for. However for me, I found that it can take a lot of the fun out of playing as you're constantly trying to aim for these marks which can be totally dependent on the mood of the examiner on the day.

Also, the UCAS points thing isn't worth a great deal in the scheme of things. If you want to do music at university, then it can be handy to have a grade to have something to show them how good you are... but otherwise, it's probably not worth it.

Also, being able to learn a few pieces and some scales does not a musician make. Just because someone has grade 8, it doesn't mean they're better than someone who has no grades at all.
Pretty sure he's referring to the Rockschool grades, they are taught in some schools in the UK for various instruments.

As far as the UCAS thing goes, I actually did the same thing. I got 20 points for completing grade 6, which if I hadn't done I would not have got into university as my A-levels weren't great. I only did grade 6 because my theory wasn't up to scratch so I wouldn't have passed grade 8.

I found them useful when I was a kid, doing like grades 1 and 2, but I didn't bother after then because I had no need for them and I only took the exam for grade 6 to get UCAS points.