I want to take a guitar exam

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BranshenBranshen Frets: 1067
edited January 2014 in Technique
SHOCK HORROR!

But, in all seriousness. I want to push myself. I think my theory is decent, having attempted to play jazz for the past 3 years. and my technique is not incredibly flawed as far as I know. I've still got way more to learn and this is something I want to be able to say I have done.

What exam boards are the best? Rock school, RGT, Trinity? I'm clueless and would appreciate opinions from people with first hand experience. 
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  • BranshenBranshen Frets: 1067
    Also, information on jumping grades would be appreciated. I'm pretty sure I'd breeze through grade 1 at least and don't want to waste time and money.
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  • The first exam I went for was Grade 5 Royal Conservatory of Music, Classical Guitar.  I was already playing music from their grade 7 and 8 books, and I sought out a local teacher who had Grade 10 and took a a few lessons from him just before.  I was nervous playing in front of the exam admin person but I got a pretty good mark.  Whichever academy you go with I recommend finding someone like I did to give you some pointers, it's not like cheating or bypassing, they'll just spot any problems in your playing before you go in and help you with things you may not be aware of.  Just being able to ask someone who has been there a few questions can be a big help.  

    Turns out “you’re so beautiful when you’re sleeping” is only considered a compliment if she knows who you are.

    Dulcet Jones Creepy Music Blog    http://dulcetjones.blogspot.com/

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  • mike_lmike_l Frets: 5672

    My ex-teacher was one of the RGT examiners. I didn't take the exams, but did go over quite a lot of the work. I'd go with this if it was me. It seemed to cover everything.

    The Rock School stuff looks (Ive only briefly seen it) mostly rock/pop centred.

    Ringleader of the Cambridge cartel, pedal champ and king of the dirt boxes (down to 21) 

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  • CatthanCatthan Frets: 196
    edited January 2014
    I took the RGT exams. Went straight into gr. 6 and got gr. 8 in one year.

    Keep in mind this was the only gtr tuition and accreditation I've had, but I liked that you can apply the syllabus in any context you like.

    I chose Jazz-prog. And it's the type of skill you get by doing. The exam has 1 (or 2) impro sections and the more time you spend practicing impro using the concepts, the better you'll do. Marking is in such ways as everyone get's smth for everything the do right. So the more experienced candidate plays better but not marked better necessarily. But you do this to get better and not just score good marks. 

    The syllabus up to grade 8 was a bit basic.. I'd guess good enough for an all-round guitarist who may end up recording, gigging, teaching or playing in West End musicals. But not anywhere as deep or demanding as a Jazz syllabus (since you like Jazz) that you may find in a Jazz conservatory. I'd guess grade 8 RGT would be a good starting point tho' if you wanted to get into LCM or any modern gtr Uni courses. Not really sure how the shortlisting process works for those Uni courses.

    RGT introduced a Jazz diploma iirc 2 years ago and if you look at the syllabus, the repertoire is quite demanding and modern (Mike Stern, R. Ford etc). With more scales etc etc.. It's still smth you learn by doing so the more you put into it the better. I might go for that some time in the future. iirc it's recital based. For part-time gtr tuition imho nothing beats a good Uni program like the ones offered by Berklee. Hope LCM will do one. 

    Generally If you aim high in gtr accreditation outside of a Uni course with dedicated staff, you're gone need a trully good teacher imho. I didn't have one at the time and stopped gtr lessons and studies completely and focused on transcribing jazz stuff. Not as good but better than what I would get with that teacher at the time. 

    Check the RGT website, they have details and syllabi for all grades, degrees etc.

    Good luck

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  • I've taken some RGT Exams. You can choose to take whichever Grade you want - you do not have to start with Preliminary or Grade 1 and then work upwards. I started with Grade 4 Electric, and Grade 3 Acoustic.
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  • BranshenBranshen Frets: 1067
    Thanks everyone, especially @catthan for the input. Looks like RGT is the way to go for me. I've had a look at the syllabus, the material from grade 5 onwards looks challenging without being impossible. I'm not sure that it is required yet but does anyone have the books for the course they would like to unload (would probably be interested in Grade 7-8)?
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  • BranshenBranshen Frets: 1067
    I've had a look at teachers in my area (Nottingham), there are quite alot around here. Anyone have any particular recommendations?
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