Learning resources

Music to play, learning guides and information

About music grade exams

There are many ways to progress with guitar practice. One method that thousands of guitar students and teachers find useful is to study graded material and this can be used for learning at your own pace. Books & audio with technical exercises and original music are available for acoustic, electric, classical & bass guitar plus ukulele.

You can also take a music exam to get feedback from an independent music professional on your progress. This is optional, however. Some students are happy to just work with the grade books and never take an exam.

Below is a brief guide to the various options for music grade exams, with links to websites. I have helped students to success with all of these exam options. See examples of exam certificates from successful students.


Guitar grade exams for: classical guitar, music theory

The world's largest organisation for music exams. Music exams for contemporary rock & pop music are being developed.


Guitar grade exams for: classical guitar, electric guitar, bass guitar, plectrum guitar, music theory

Another large music exam organisation, offering classical & contemporary music qualifications.



Guitar grade exams for: electric guitar, acoustic guitar, bass guitar, ukulele, music theory.

A music exam board specialising in contemporary rock & pop music.

London College of Music

Guitar grade exams for: electric guitar, acoustic guitar, classical guitar, ukulele, music theory.

This exam organisation offers a broad range of classical & contemporary guitar exams.

Free resources to get started with playing guitar