Intermediate guitar player

Discussions relating to the classical guitar which don't fit elsewhere.
pasigenyo
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Intermediate guitar player

Post by pasigenyo » Fri Aug 04, 2017 8:53 pm

What does it mean to classify ones' guitar skill-level as intermediate? I see quite a few people use this to describe themselves and yet the difference in guitar abilities/knowledge between them and the masters is quite huge. Is there another level above intermediate before a master? Is it merely a tag to differentiate yourself from a beginner or is there really such a thing as an intermediate level? Some days I wake up and feel like I can play great, but many days, I feel like a total beginner. Thanks.

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Adrian Allan
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Re: Intermediate guitar player

Post by Adrian Allan » Fri Aug 04, 2017 9:09 pm

Totally correct; they are subjective terms and the difference from beginner through all the stages of intermediate to advanced is so vast, the term becomes meaningless.

Thus, people have tried to categorise playing levels by the exam system in the UK, or the various other systems such as those on this website.

I prefer the term advanced at the higher levels, and various diplomas in the UK are used to chart progress at an advanced level - the highest of which is supposed to mark somebody at professional performance level.

If somebody is a true master, then they will have performed many concerts and many concertos in a professional capacity. However, even those folks never really stop practising for the rest of their playing careers. You never really master an instrument (unless your initials are JW).
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Erik Zurcher
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Re: Intermediate guitar player

Post by Erik Zurcher » Fri Aug 04, 2017 9:30 pm

The term 'intermediate guitar player' is misleading. Every time I start on a new piece I consider myself a beginner.
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Andrew Pohlman
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Re: Intermediate guitar player

Post by Andrew Pohlman » Fri Aug 04, 2017 9:58 pm

pasigenyo wrote:
Fri Aug 04, 2017 8:53 pm
What does it mean to classify ones' guitar skill-level as intermediate? I see quite a few people use this to describe themselves and yet the difference in guitar abilities/knowledge between them and the masters is quite huge. Is there another level above intermediate before a master? Is it merely a tag to differentiate yourself from a beginner or is there really such a thing as an intermediate level? Some days I wake up and feel like I can play great, but many days, I feel like a total beginner. Thanks.
In Kung Fu after 8 years, students are considered "advanced-beginners". Yeah, but who can you beat up ? :D

I have a simpler and more pragmatic definition than the formal academic grading systems. An intermediate player should be able to perform live with very cleanly played pieces. You should be utilizing and in control of wide tonal variations. Emotional expression and interpretation should be well on the way, although with guidance from your instructor(s). Ear training should now allow you to hear all things your instructor is revealing to you - although you may not be able to fix the bad stuff, or display the good stuff, without some effort and development. You should be able to read either tab or standard notation, or both. You should know some basic theory like how to construct chords and common structures.

All that, and I didn't mention degree of difficulty which is at the core of the grading systems. I truly feel the only need for the grading systems are as admissions exams for music programs. If you are playing cleanly and expressing emotions, who cares what grade you achieve?
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astro64
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Re: Intermediate guitar player

Post by astro64 » Fri Aug 04, 2017 10:53 pm

This is the division: Beginners: 5%. Advanced players: 3%. All the rest is "intermediate"... :wink:

dory
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Re: Intermediate guitar player

Post by dory » Wed Aug 09, 2017 2:17 pm

I have realized that I have been describing myself as "intermediate" for some time now. It is likely I will describe myself as intermediate forever. It is a vast category. Still there is genuinely something, somewhere between beginner and advanced (which I may reach some day but I have my doubts.) Maybe we need more gradations.
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Pat Dodson
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Re: Intermediate guitar player

Post by Pat Dodson » Wed Aug 09, 2017 3:04 pm

Beginner
Beginnediate
Interbeginnediate
Intermediate
Intermedivanced
Advanceiate
Advanced

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Guitar-ded
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Re: Intermediate guitar player

Post by Guitar-ded » Wed Aug 09, 2017 11:00 pm

Pat Dodson wrote:
Wed Aug 09, 2017 3:04 pm
Beginner
Beginnediate
Interbeginnediate
Intermediate
Intermedivanced
Advanceiate
Advanced
Funny :lol:
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dtoh
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Re: Intermediate guitar player

Post by dtoh » Wed Aug 09, 2017 11:16 pm

I like to think of my skill level as "Not very good but having a good time and still making progress"

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Andrew Fryer
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Re: Intermediate guitar player

Post by Andrew Fryer » Thu Aug 10, 2017 12:14 am

Andrew Pohlman wrote:
Fri Aug 04, 2017 9:58 pm
In Kung Fu after 8 years, students are considered "advanced-beginners". Yeah, but who can you beat up ? :D
And they practise thrusting their hands into red-hot gravel.
Which is an amazing coincidence, as CG payers do the same thing. :?

I used to know, but nowadays I've actually forgotten, what intermediate and advanced mean.
What do I consider myself to be, then?
No idea.
All I know is playing CG works like meditation, and that's good enough for me.
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chrisphattingh
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Re: Intermediate guitar player

Post by chrisphattingh » Fri Aug 11, 2017 6:13 am

If you look at the history of the great and advanced players you will find the common denominator: "borne to perform"

You must have that special passion that will give you the dedication to work at it all the time and just love it.

For the rest of us intermediates: we bow our heads in admiration

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Stephen Kenyon
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Re: Intermediate guitar player

Post by Stephen Kenyon » Fri Aug 11, 2017 1:19 pm

Practically speaking, I would suggest to think of 'intermediate' as starting with a player who can tackle the easier pieces that you might sometimes find major players toying with - Lagrima might be common example, and that category would carry on up to but short of the kind of pieces such major players start having to work a bit, so most of the easier Bach (e.g. Allemande to BWV 996); from this point I would suggest the aspiring player, assuming they can tackle this repertoire with confidence, accuracy, good sound and sense of style, becomes 'advanced'. Being able to play the very major items of repertoire to a very high standard and learn them quickly at that, one would probably be 'professional', quite possibly 'virtuoso'.
Simply being able to play the pieces of an intermediate level through probably isn't quite enough, one would wish for the same qualities as mentioned for the 'advanced'.
And the word I would use for one who is pre-intermediate is 'elementary', I only use 'beginner' for one who has literally recently started. Unless they are making extremely stately progress, after a year or less I would no longer use 'beginner'.
If want to look up grade exam lists such as ABRSM, I would have grades 1-3 as Elementary, 4-7 as Intermediate, 8 - diplomas as Advanced, post-diplomas (e.g. FRSM, FTCL) Professional, whether working as such or not.
In the end it doesn't matter, every small step is an achievement in itself, and the satisfaction for ourselves and anything we can communicate by playing for others is reward enough, compared to arbitrary designations of level, none of which are water-tight.
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