RGT Electric Guitar Grade 1 Performance Award – Rhythm Lesson

In this video lesson, you will work through a chord progression from the rhythm guitar section of the RGT Grade 1 Performance Award exam.

The difference between Performance Awards and Playing Grades is that you are only assessed on your performance for these awards.

There are no chords, scales, improvisation or theory tests, and you can pre-prepare everything you play for the performance exam.

You can also submit either a video or audio performance for any level of Performance Awards, or you can attend a live exam session if you prefer.

For more information on these exams, please visit the RGT Electric Guitar Performance Award Information Page.

Musical Notation

There are a number of musical notation symbols used in this chord progression. If these symbols are new to you, here is a brief description of each to check out.


  1. Repeat Sign – The double dotted, double line at the start of bar one and the end of bar 4. This means to play that section again.
  2. Forte – Indicated by the “f” in the music, means to play loud.
  3. Piano – Indicated by the “p” in the music, means to play soft.
  4. Crescendo – The first set of two lines under the E and E7 chords, this means to get louder.
  5. Decrescendo – The second set of two lines under the Am chord, this means to get softer.


Grade 1 Performance Award Rhythm Tips

To help you get started with this chord progression in the practice room, here are some tips to follow when working out this section of the exam in your studies.


  1. Strum each string clearly
  2. Fret each note so it rings clearly when strummed
  3. Only strum the strings you need for each chord, so 6 for G, 5 for C and 4 for D for example.
  4. Practice addressing the dynamic markings as they can mean the difference between achieving a merit or a distinction, for example, on an exam.
  5. Strumming can be basic, all down strums for example, as long as it’s even, clear and in tempo.


RGT Grade 1 Chord Progression

Here is the chord progression that is used in the video lesson below.

Start by learning each chord shape, reference the grids in the next section if needed, as well as working on addressing the various score markings such as repeat signs and dynamic indicators.

To begin, try strumming with all down strokes.

Once the chords and progression are secure, you can begin to experiment with more advanced strumming patterns in your practice.


RGT Grade 1 Performance Rhythm 1


RGT Grade 1 Performance Award Chords

Here are the chord shapes from the video lesson below, written out in the order they appear in the progression.

Go slow when learning these chord shapes, some use all 6 strings while others have their own challenges that will need to be addressed in the practice room, therefore slow and steady will win this race.


rgt performance grade 1 rhythm 2

RGT Grade 1 Performance Award Video


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RGT Grade 1 Performance Award Book

To find out more about the Rhythm Playing at the Grade 1 level, and the RGT Grade 1 Performance Award in general, please download the RGT Performance Award Booklet.


Not a Registered RGT Teacher yet? Visit the Join the RGT Page to find out the great benefits that membership has to offer.

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