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Here is where the magic happens: the REC board turns bedroom guitarists into real pros. Remember - it doesn't matter if you fail or pass, as long as you keep posting REC takes you will progress.

The entries will be graded by a number of instructors. After grading, members will be accredited with the appropriate points if they pass, and adjustments will be made to their REC level.
Passing grade is 6 or higher.

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Grading Guidelines, For Instructors
Andrew Cockburn
Mar 17 2009, 06:52 PM
Moderation Policy Director
Posts: 10.459
Joined: 6-February 07
From: CT, USA
GMC REC Program Grading Guidelines

When grading a REC program entry, simply watch the student video, compare it with the actual lesson if you are unfamiliar with it, then add a post to the thread giving a grade from 1 to 5 for each of the criteria below. Fractional grades such as 4.5 are possible. Optionally, you can leave feedback for the student on what he did well, and what he needs to improve!

The 5 criteria are listed below, along with an explanation of what we are looking for and guidelines on how to score the entry

Thanks go to David Walliman for compiling these guidelines!

Rhythm placement

Overall ability to play in rhythm and keep a steady tempo. This aspect should take into consideration the groove factor of certain lessons such as topics involving a shuffle or swing type of rhythm.

1. The notes are very unorganized rhythmically and don't make much sense.
2. A few notes are on time, but there are still quite a bit of rhythm problems.
3. Student shows understanding of rhythm, but rhythm placement is not precise enough.
4. Good sense of rhythm, a few licks are a bit off tempo, but still close to original.
5. Spot on time, great timing!


The cleanness factor evaluates the student's ability to play something with clarity and precision. This is indicative of the overall level of playing as well as the amount of practice of this particular lesson

1. Sloppy technique, a lot of unwanted strings are heard making it hard to enjoy the music.
2. The slower notes are a bit cleaner, but still a lot of unwanted strings are heard.
3. Ability to mute unwanted strings, but sounds a bit rough on the faster parts.
4. Good clean technique, the guitar work is enjoyable and all notes sound clean.
5. Very good clean technique making use of right and left hand muting.


The feel factor determines if the student shows comfort in the chosen musical piece. Several factors are included in the feel criteria such as rhythm placement, posture and overall lesson execution.

1. Student seems very uncomfortable in that style.
2. Not quite comfortable, but shows effort to play in that style with the right attitude.
3. Good attitude and appropriate feel. Still a little work to do.
4. Very good feel, good attitude.
5. Student is clearly at ease in that style.


Posture determines if the student is holding the instrument correctly and shows comfort while playing. This criteria should of course take into account the difficulty of the lesson.

1. Very unconventional position, student seems to harm himself while playing.
2. Posture seems a little uncomfortable, fingers are too far from the neck.
3. Guitar seems to be in control but still a few problems while playing technical parts.
4. Good posture, student shows ease and a good grip of the guitar.
5. Excellent posture, very natural.


The sound factor will grade the student's tone and ability to play a piece with a similar type of sound. This section will not give advantage to students with more expensive gear, it is more of a general way to see if you can chose an appropriate tone to the lesson you're working on.

1. Student uses a clean sound over a Death Metal lesson...
2. Tone could be appropriate, but effects are burying the sound. Hard to enjoy.
3. Fairly good tone. Nice choice of effect. A little tweaking is necessary.
4. Very nice tone, blends nicely with the backing track.
5. Killer tone, sounds like the backing was created for that sound.

For an example of grading, see this thread.

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