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RGT exams - any opinions?

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I'm thinking of sitting one of these out of curiosity. Reckon I'll start with grade 5 as I could probably cover the syllabus without having to woodshed.

The chords, scales and arpeggios are fine, but the rythym playing and the improvisation bits I'm unclear about (in terms of what the exam demmands).

Has anyone taken these exams, and If so, do you think they're worthwhile, and what's involved?

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never taken them, but im vaguelly familiar with the sylabus. personally i think they're a pile of shite, merely designed to sell handbooks.

the improvisation section basically involves you playing an improvised solo over a chord progression played by examiner. the idea i guess is that you use the scales/arpeggios you've been taught. so for example, if you decided to throw in some some lydian dominant, instead of 'mixolydian in two octave fingering in 3 fretboard positions' or whatever bullshit is stipulated, they'd probably frown on it.

rythm section i think involves you playing a progression, from some sort of chart, in time.

theres also aural tests: e.g. playing back a simple lick the examiner plays, and naming chord types that the examiner will play.

also stuff regarding instrument care etc

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I did Grade 8 Rockschool.

I have RGT book for Teacher's Diploma.

Very raw. Lots of scales, arpegios chords etc. It is useful to learn all that stuff but it would take up an awful lot of the exam and practice. I think you have to write some essays as well and suchlike (for teaching diploma, i don't think you have to do that for graded exams). I would also be doubtful they would care if you didn't play all the extensions, providing it sounds good, but I could be wrong.

In the diploma book, there is a huge number of chords written out. I think they give you a chord progression which could involve any of those chords and you are meant to be able to play rhythm guitar parts over it. You also have to improvise a solo.

The chords wont be as hard as you think once you get into it. Many of them are only one or two notes differnet from each other and you just have to get used to playing them on the fly. There are also many recurring chord progressions in music generally so it will be easier from that point of view.

Up to Grade 8, I think you have to play pieces and pick a 'specialist' technique such as tapping.

I don't know much more about it.

It is worth doing a guitar exam if you are going to study music anywhere or to gain browny points on CV or university entry (even in unrelated area).

Rockschool has a fair few disadvantages as well and I reckon the exams are overall harder than they were before, since they changed them last year. Still might be more fun and less 'raw' than RGT though.

Trinity do Classical Guitar exams. I am thinking of working on one of them (maybe grade 5) once I get myself a classical guitar.

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I'm thinking of sitting one of these out of curiosity. Reckon I'll start with grade 5 as I could probably cover the syllabus without having to woodshed.

The chords, scales and arpeggios are fine, but the rythym playing and the improvisation bits I'm unclear about (in terms of what the exam demmands).

Has anyone taken these exams, and If so, do you think they're worthwhile, and what's involved?

Have you looked in the book? Doesn't it say there? In terms of rhythm, you just have to play through a few chords that they give you.

To practice this, just get yourself really adept at flicking through various types of chords required, then just start sight-reading equivalent-to-grade-five tunes. The main point is to never lose the beat of the piece you're playing; you're better to make mistakes and carry on than lose the song (but if you know your chords this shouldn't be a problem!)

Improvising - pretty similar: know all the scales that fit over all the chords (in the exam you will be given a chord chart to play along with). For both sections the scales and chords are (I think) pretty much the ones you need to learn for the other sections of the exam anyway, so just perfect eveything.

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I'm thinking of sitting one of these out of curiosity. Reckon I'll start with grade 5 as I could probably cover the syllabus without having to woodshed.

The chords, scales and arpeggios are fine, but the rythym playing and the improvisation bits I'm unclear about (in terms of what the exam demmands).

Has anyone taken these exams, and If so, do you think they're worthwhile, and what's involved?

Hey, I did up to grade 8 RGT and I'd say they're worth it. The improvising gets tough the higher you go as theirs lots of changes. You don't have to use the scale shapes given in the book, I didn't for the improvisation. It's really helpful for chord construction and knowledge on how to build them and what modes fit over them etc. Having a good teacher helps as well to explain things in more depth.

You don't really have to sit the exams, as long as you get the knowledge.

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RGT Grade Exams

I was curious too and have just done RGT grades 5,6 & 7. I say go for it. Any knowledge is good knowledge. I have been playing semi-pro for many years and was surprised to find how useful these grades have been to my playing.

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When I initially started this thread, I had no idea about The RGT or Rockschool syllabuses, but have now worked through both up to grade 8 level. I think RGT in particular offers a reasonably well structured system for progressive learning. Likewise, I'd been playing for years before coming across these : I've used the teaching diploma handbook rather than the grade books, but found it a useful checklist for my own playing and knowledge...

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