By: Merv Young
If you’re looking for additional material to help you prepare for the accompaniment section of your Grade One, Two or Three RGT Acoustic Guitar exam, or you want to improve your skills in this important area of accompanying then these books are ideal.
The role of an accompanist is to bring rhythm and harmony to a performance whether they are accompanying someone singing (either themselves or another vocalist) or accompanying another instrumentalist.
The harmony will come from the chords themselves so this series of books focuses on the rhythmic elements and contains a range of ideas and approaches that will improve your rhythm playing and make you more confident in the decisions you make regarding what to do with your strumming hand.
In this article we’ll have a quick look at what each of the three books contain. In subsequent articles we’ll take a look in more detail at each of the three books – so keep your eye out for the future articles.
Book one in this series looks at the requirements for the Grade One accompaniment section and explores a range of rhythm playing ideas that are attainable for this level of playing.
The chords that are used are those that you need for Grade One so this provides a structured approach to move your accompaniment playing forward at a manageable pace.
In book two the focus moves to the requirements for the Grade Two exam and you’ll find a wealth of ideas to get the best out of the chords needed for this level.
You’ll learn about playing some syncopated rhythms here as well as fingerstyle ideas and accenting different parts of the rhythm pattern – all great ways to move your playing onwards and upwards.
Book three is then all about what you need for the accompaniment section at Grade Three. As well as having to learn quite a number of new chords at this grade there is also the challenge of playing in a new time signature: 3/4.
The use of rhythmic variation and dynamics becomes a little more significant at this level so there are plenty of tips and suggestions to develop these aspects of your playing
What’s in These Books?
Each book contains 10 different melodies that have been notated along with the appropriate chord chart for each one so you can practise and improve your accompaniment skills at you own pace.
There is a CD with each book that contains two versions of each melody.
The first version features the melody being played with an example chord accompaniment – a great way of listening to some new ideas and hearing what everything should sound like.
The second version is then the melody on its own so it’s over to you to practise your ideas.
The following is an example of one of the pages from book one with an example chord chart and melody that is typical of Grade One:
Click to view a sample page from the Grade One Book.
The chords that you need to know for each book and grade are included in a separate reference section with clearly presented chord boxes and fingering suggestions so you know exactly where you are.
In addition there are hints and tips all the way to give you plenty of ideas for how to improve your rhythm playing skills and techniques.
Why Buy These Acoustic Guitar Books?
As well as providing you with loads of additional charts to practise with as you prepare for your Grade One, Two or Three Acoustic Guitar Exam, these are also an essential aid to improving your guitar accompaniment skills.
Even if you are not intending to take an RGT acoustic guitar exam using these books will improve your rhythm playing skills.
Where Can I Buy Them?
All the Acoustic Guitar Accompaniment books are available from www.booksforguitar.com