im a self taught guitarist, and was just wondering if there was anywhere online that i could find a rundown of the syllabus for guitar gradings.

just interested for myself really. would be kinda nice to compare to some sort of scale where i am skill wise. cheers
--------------------i'm definitely the alphaest male here--------------------
How long you been playing? I'm doing my grade four and five in the next couple of months (sent the application and waiting for my exam dates). I've not done grades before so I'm doing both just in case I fail the grade 5.

I know a fair amount of what you need to be able to do for RGT grades up to grade five. What kind of grade level do you think you're at right now? Let me know and I can give you an idea of what you need to be able to do for the grade you think you're at.

You can look here for some information:

Last edited by C_Turton at Oct 8, 2007,
nice one, cheers.

i've been playing for about 8 years now, and just never looked into the possibility of grades til recently.
One of the guitarists in my band says he is going for his grade 5 and i KNOW im technically better than he is.
couldnt guess what level i was at though, as i havent a clue of the criteria. if you could give me a rundown of the syllabus you have done so far, i would really appreciate it.

--------------------i'm definitely the alphaest male here--------------------
Ok, grade five requires the ability to play the following:

Scales -

Pentatonic minor scale and blues scale in any key through one octave in five different fingerboard positions.

Major scale and natural minor scale in any key through two octaves in two fingerboard positions.

Harmonic minor scale in any key through two octaves in one position.

Pentatonic major through two octaves in three positions.

Pentatonic minor through one octave in 5ths (yeah, a scale of power chords).

Arpeggios (all in any key through one octave in two fingerboard positions) -

Dominant seventh
Major seventh
Minor seventh
Major sixth
Minor sixth

Also, you need to be able to play the arpeggios from previous grades, so (through two octaves in one position, in any key) -

Dominant seventh
Major seventh
Minor seventh.

Chords (in any key and in two positions) -

Dominant seventh
Major seventh
Minor seventh
Major sixth
Minor sixth

Rhythm playing -

You'll be given a chord chart that can have various repeats, del signo al coda etc.
You get 30 seconds to look at it, then you have to play it through (still with the sheet in front of you). Stuff like |C | Cmaj7| G |D |... you get the picture. Strumming pattern is up to you but there will be musical directions present such as f/mf/pp etc. It may also say things like "slow and soulful" for which you'd be expected to know that you should use the neck pickup (for a more soulful sound).

Lead playing -

You'll see another chord chart. From this you must work out the key of the song (at grade five the key is always taken from the first chord).
The examiner will play the chord progression 4 times. The first time you listen and the next three times you improvise over the top.

Spoken test:

Explain the techniques for vibrato, left hand technique (fretting etc.), right hand technique.
Explain how you can alter tone (using different thickness picks, picking in different areas on the string, different pickups etc.)
Explain how you change strings on your guitar.
Name various parts of the guitar as directed (nut, bridge, saddle etc.)
Explain concepts such as action and intonation and the effect they have on playing.
You must name any note on any string without playing the guitar to work it out.
Name notes that make up an arpeggio as directed by examiner - without playing to work it out.
Enharmonic spelling and scale intervals - the examiner will ask something like "what's the major seventh interval in the scale of G major?". You must answer "F#". If you say "G flat" you will be marked wrong - even though the notes sound the same the key of G major really contains an F#, and not a G flat.

Aural assessment:

While you look away the examiner will play a chord. You must tell by ear whether this chord is a dominant seventh, major seventh, minor seventh, major sixth, minor sixth.
Also, I think they will play two notes from a scale (while you look away). The first will be the root of the scale and you must say what the next note was (minor 3rd/major 3rd/ perfect 5th etc.)
The examiner will play a short, simple lead lick twice while you look away. You have to work it out and play it back.
The examiner will play a short piece twice. The first time you just listen and work out the time signature and the pulse (main beat). Second time you have to tap/clap the main beat as he plays it.
The examiner will tap/clap/play a 4 bar rhythm twice. You must then tap/clap it back exactly as you heard it.

I'm pretty sure that's everything. What do you think? Can you manage grade five?
Last edited by C_Turton at Oct 8, 2007,
fuuucking hell, quality post.
ta very much mate.

i reckon i could just about pip level 5, with a bit of revision.

i might actually go for it, whats the pricing like on gradings?
--------------------i'm definitely the alphaest male here--------------------
Last edited by FunkasPuck at Oct 8, 2007,
Quote by FunkasPuck
whats the pricing like on gradings?

It's on the website. UK Prices:

Preliminary Grade £29.00 
Grade 1 £32.00 
Grade 2 £35.00 
Grade 3 £39.00 
Grade 4 £43.00 
Grade 5 £49.00 
Grade 6 £52.00 
Grade 7 £55.00 
Grade 8 £65.00

I took Grade 7 two years ago now and it's a lot of hard work. I failed grade 6 when i was at college because i thought i was God and that all guitar exams were easy, but they aren't. Put in the work and you'll get the rewards.
The prices have just gone up! I paid about £44.50 for my grade 5 entry - sent the cheque 2 weeks ago.

The only way to enter is by sending an original official form from the RGT grade handbook.

Do a search on amazon.co.uk for "electric guitar grade" and you'll get a list of books for all the grades. The book gives you all the infor you'll need on the exam and gives examples of scale positions, which is very handy for the five position pentatonics and blues scales.

Most of the books are cheaper on amazon than they are through the RGT website.

The next deadline is somewhere around 1st February for March/April exams (exact details will be on the website).

Let us know how you get on!
Just follow the links to the registry of guitar tutors website above. They have pages for all the countries in which they work - Canada being one of them. You can't take the tests online. You have to turn up to the exam, with your guitar.
Last edited by C_Turton at Oct 9, 2007,