There is a sister site to this one. www.rockguitargrades.uk. On this site and the related Facebook and Youtube channels I am/have put together all the pieces that are used for the RGT / Rockschool and Trinity Rock guitar grades. This in itself has been quite an undertaking. Over 100 tunes all learnt and performed to Distinction level and then dissected and explained for teaching purposes.
I teach the grade system, I think it is a worthwhile system with good things to offer.
The question I am often asked is why should someone take grades? How will qualifications help them?
This is merely my take on it and I'm sure the various boards will have other reasons that would put forward. I am speaking purely from my view point as someone who has taken them and teaches them,
Will grades ensure you a job in music? No. I'm afraid they won't. Most bands will not care if you have a grade or not. In fact most bands will probably find you mentioning you have a grade annoying.
Why on earth would I take one then? Most people would like some kind of validation as to where they rate as a guitarist. I have been constantly asked by students over 25 years as to " what grade am I? " " Am I better than .....insert name" The easiest way to answer that is, "well take a grade and find out what level you are". This answers the question definitively and conclusively. By the end of the process the student will have had to learn pieces thoroughly. No skipping over bits. Learnt scales, arpeggios and chords. Done ear training, answered questions about the instrument. Learnt how to improvise. These are all fantastically useful skills. Being put through these scenarios will improve them as a player for various scenarios in the real world. Even just learning the pieces for the performance awards will enforce how well and in-depth a piece needs to be learnt in order to play it to the required level.
I said it won't guarantee you a job in music. To be fair, a degree in a subject won't guarantee you a job in that field either. How many law graduates work in coffee shops post graduation? However, if you want to study guitar to a higher level, you are going to find it almost impossible to gain entry to a suitable course without having taken a grade of some description. Having been to music college and university to study guitar, I can first hand tell you that grades are essential. Firstly as entry requirements and secondly as an understanding of the level of work you need to produce.
In addition to this, Grades 6, 7,8 also carry UCAS points. Which you may or may not know are what are totalled up to see if you can gain entry to University. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/UCAS_Tariff
Anyone considering a career as professional guitarist would be wise to consider an in-depth course of study. These days a degree is the norm. Will it mean you are a great guitar player by the time of graduation? No. Will it mean you have a good understanding of the instrument, yes it will.
Back to the grades. Why would you want to take them?
You just want to know the level you are currently at
You want a career as guitarist
You like certificates
You want to fill in the gaps in your musical education
You want a new challenge on the guitar, something to strive for, focus your study.
I believe they are a good thing. I've taken Rock guitar, Electric guitar, Acoustic guitar and Ukulele grades and all have improved me as a player.
I believe they will improve you too.
Get in contact and start yours today.