RGT Aural Assessments
This section of my site is dedicated to helping students who are preparing to take the RGT Electric guitar syllabus graded exams. Even the examiners admit that this is often the hardest part of the exam (assuming you're prepared for the rest that is).
Part of these exams is the Aural Assessment section, this consists of the following sections:
Each of these sections gets progressively more complex with each grade, comprehensive information on the requirements for each section are included in the relevant grade exam handbook available from the RGT booksforguitar website.
As the title of the section suggests, all these assessments are aural, i.e. you hear and then either repeat what you've heard or give a verbal answer based on what you've heard. In no circumstances will there be any tab or notation for you to view during the exam.
Below is a brief outline of what each section is about, but included in this section of the site are a number of audio files for you to listen to from each section and (eventually at least) at each grade so that you can practise this before your exam.
Repetition of Rhythms
This section is about you, the student, being able to reproduce a given rhythm. This is NOT the same as clapping a beat. You will be asked to listen to a given rhythm and then play or clap it back to the examiner. There will be some examples of what to expect at each grade given over the following pages in this section of the site (link to the relevant page in the sidebar to the right).
You might wonder why this is important. Well being able to identify and reproduce a rhythm is an extremely important skill for a musician, irrespective of their instrument. Beginner students always find it amazing when they ask to learn to play a song I've never heard of before, which I then look up on youtube or spotify and soon after am able to strum along.
Repetition of Melodic Phrases
This is about listening to a melody and having been given the relevant information about what scale the melody is derived from, being able to reproduce that melody by ear. Generally this is something that guitarists end up being very good at because we traditionally don't go down the sight reading route, but pick things up by ear.
Both this and the Repetition of Rhythms section are essential skills if you wish to transcribe what you hear. As an aside, if you don't already do this, give it a go, it makes you really listen to music properly and identify what's going on where and by what instrument.
Bizarrely this is often harder that people think. Just keeping the beat. There is an old joke. How do you know there's a drummer at the door with the answer being that the knocking speeds up. Apologies to drummers as I know a few and they're great, but it highlights that often when we play music the tempo(beat) speeds up and slows down depending on how excited we are by what we're playing and how the rest of the band can keep time.
This section is about making sure you can identify the main beat in a piece of music and then play accordingly.
This section is purely with listening and deciding whether the second note you hear is higher or lower than the first and after the preliminary grade also how far away the second note is from the first. (i.e. major 2nd or minor 6th etc). Again all the relevant information is in the appropriate grade books.
This is about listening to, and identifying, the quality and type of the sound you're hearing. Examples of this include listening to a chord progression and deciding if the chords used are major or minor (Preliminary grade), hearing a chord being strummed by the examiner and deciding if it's, minor 7th, dominant 7th or major 7th (Grade 4) or hearing a chord progression and deciding which type of cadence is being used (Grade 8).
So let's get on with it. Clicking next will take you to the Preliminary Grade Repetition of Rhythms section , or you can skip straight to the grade and section you're interested in from the links on the right of the page.