RGT Performance Award Rhythm Lesson – Preliminary Grade

In this video lesson, we are looking at the Preliminary Level Performance Award from RGT, in particular the rhythm performance section of this exam.

The difference between Performance Awards and the 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.

As well, you can 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.


Key Elements and Terminology

There are three key elements and two important musical terms/symbols presented in the video lesson below. Here is a brief breakdown of each of those items so that you can reference them in your practising sessions when working on this, and similar, rhythm guitar exercises.

Strumming Pattern – Start with all down strokes, one per beat and four per bar, though you can add in a few up strokes on the off beats if you like, as long as the rhythm and flow of the performance is not interrupted.

Clean Chords – It is important to remember to play each chord shape cleanly so that all notes in the chord shape ring out and are even when strummed during the progression.

Chord Change Technique – Moving between chords with a smooth and clean movement is something that should be focused on when playing this progression. If you are having trouble moving between one or two chords, you can isolate those shapes and just practise them back and forth on their own until you get the hang of it and can return to working on the progression as a whole.

Repeat Sign – Notice the double line with two dots right before the Em chord, at the end of bar 4 in the progression. This is a repeat sign and it indicates that you should return to the beginning of the song, where you see the other repeat sign. After you have followed the repeat sign, you continue through it on the second time through and go right to the Em chord on that second playing.

4/4 Time Signature – This means that there are four beats in each bar. For now, know that this means there are four down strums. one per beat, in each bar of the progression.


RGT Performance Award Rhythm Chart

Here is the chord chart presented in the video lesson below so that you can follow along as you practise this chart with the video, or on your own, in the practise room.


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RGT Performance Award Rhythm Chords

To help you play the chords correctly, in case you missed them in the video, here are the shapes used for each chord in the chord chart presented above.

You can use these chord shapes to practise the progression, as well as apply them to other songs you are learning as they are commonly used and important shapes for any guitarist to have under their fingers.


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RGT Performance Award Rhythm Video


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RGT Performance Award Preliminary Book

To find out more about the Rhythm Playing at the Preliminary Grade level, and the RGT Preliminary Grade Performance Award, 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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