Would-be Bob Dylans and KT Tunstalls will be able to receive formal qualifications to prove their musical worth, following the launch of the first graded exams for acoustic guitarists this month.
Although graded exams for classical and electric guitar are already available, this will be the first time a dedicated acoustic exam has been introduced anywhere in the world.
The exams, developed by the Registry of Guitar Tutors, are intended to develop and enhance acoustic technique. They will cover folk, blues, country, pop and rock, so that pupils can study music by artists such as Eric Clapton, Dolly Parton and the Beatles.
Two entry-level exams are designed specifically for children and beginners. Higher grades will help candidates develop musically. Success in these will also carry university-entrance points.
The exams, available from May, are certified by London College of Music Exams and Thames Valley University. They have been accredited by the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority. A free information booklet, detailing the requirements for every grade, is available online.