Electric Guitar Exams

These officially accredited and internationally recognised exams offer a formal recognition of the specific talents of electric guitar players.

Exam Levels

Nine exam grades are available, ranging from Step (for beginners) up to Grade 8 (for aspiring professional musicians). Find out more from the Exam Information Booklet.

A range of Electric Guitar Teaching Diplomas and Electric Guitar Performance Diplomas are also available.

Exam Content

The exams are designed to develop the skills an electric guitarist needs to play in a rock band or pop group. Topics covered in the grade exams include: scales, improvisation and lead playing; chords and rhythm playing; specialist techniques; popular music theory and aural abilities. There is no requirement to read traditionally notated music.

Download an Exam Information Booklet to see the requirements of each grade.

Electric Guitar Performance Awards

Candidates who prefer not to take a full grade exam can instead opt for an Electric Guitar Performance Award, which focuses entirely on the performance of rhythm and lead guitar. Performance Awards can be performed at an exam centre, or alternatively candidates can submit a video recording of themselves playing the pieces.


What Happens During An Exam?

The examiner will begin by asking you to play a selection of scales and (from Grade 3 onwards) arpeggios. He will then request a selection of chords. The examiner will then show you a chord chart and ask you to play through it using an appropriate rhythm.

Next the examiner will show you another chord chart - but this time he will play through it once whilst you listen, then you should improvise some lead guitar over further playings. After this, the examiner will ask you a few spoken questions to test your knowledge of the instrument.

The exam will conclude with the examiner testing your 'ear for music' by giving you a selection of aural assessments. At Grades 6-8, you will be asked to perform your specialism.

Exam Handbooks

RGT@LCM publishes a course handbook to accompany each exam which provides full explanations and examples of all the information required for each grade. These are available from many good music/book stores or online at the LCM online shop.

Benefits of Taking an RGT@LCM Exam

  • Gain a useful and internationally recognised qualification.
  • Find out, via a reliable and independent assessment, what standard your playing is.
  • Achieve your playing potential by setting yourself a clear target to aspire to.
  • Preparing for the exam will help you develop all aspects of your playing in a structured way, increase your knowledge of guitar techniques and music theory.


Exam Accreditation

RGT@LCM electric guitar exams are organised by London College of Music Exams (one of the world's most respected music examination boards, established since 1887) and certificated by University Of West London, resulting in a recognised standard by which the skills and abilities of electric guitarists can be assessed.

RGT@LCM graded exams, from Grade One onwards, are regulated by Ofqual and have been placed on the Qualifications and Credit Framework. UCAS points towards university entrance are awarded from Grade 6 onwards.

The RGT@LCM electric guitar exams are endorsed by a range of eminent guitarists from the fields of rock, pop, jazz, & blues including Sir Paul McCartney, David Gilmour, Hank Marvin, Ronnie Wood, John Etheridge, Mick Green, Glenn Tilbrook, Dave Kelly and Gordon Giltrap.


General Enquiries: 020 8231 2751 - rgt.lcm@uwl.ac.uk
Membership Enquiries: 020 8231 2055 - membership@rgt.org

RGT@LCM, University of West London, St Mary's Road, London W5 5RF


Honorary Patrons

Sir Paul McCartney, David Gilmour, Hank Marvin, Ronnie Wood, Suzi Quatro, Carlos Bonell, Neil Murray, Gordon Giltrap, John Etheridge, John Illsley, Glenn Tilbrook, Dave Kelly

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