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FDP Forum / The Chop Shop / Transistion Phases of Ability

Contributing Member

Yakima, WA

Jan 18th, 2017 02:39 PM   Edit   Profile  

Curiosity as to what dictates transition from beginner to intermediate to advanced to highly advanced etc.

Contributing Member

The spotlight

looks like a prison break
Jan 18th, 2017 02:59 PM   Edit   Profile  

It's totally subjective. There's no standard.

It depends on the individual instructor's measuring stick, or the criteria contained in a specific tutor/instructional program.

There are plenty of players that know doodly-squat about music theory, and they can neither write nor read music, but they make a career out of it and are even considered guitar heroes. They are somewhere beyond the dictionary definitions of 'beginner' and 'intermediate'.

Contributing Member


Jan 18th, 2017 06:34 PM   Edit   Profile  

When you can windmill a power chord and not drop a cigarette ash, well you've graduated from intermediate.

Te 52

Laws of Physics

strictly enforced
Jan 18th, 2017 07:54 PM   Edit   Profile  

Beginning players make gruesome, contorted faces when they are playing because their tender fingers hurt so bad.

Advanced players make gruesome, contorted faces when they are playing to let you know the intense emotions they are feeling.

(This message was last edited by Te 52 at 06:34 PM, Jan 19th, 2017)

Contributing Member


Axe Victim
Jan 19th, 2017 07:24 AM   Edit   Profile  

The five phases of ability are:

1 - Denial
2 - Anger
3 - Bargaining
4 - Depression
5 - Acceptance


Contributing Member

South Florida

Jan 19th, 2017 04:32 PM   Edit   Profile  

The transitional phases are not bright lines. However I think of it this way.

Beginner--You see the neck but hear nothing until after you hit a string.

Advanced---You see the neck and hear the sound before you hit the string.

Artist--Instead of hearing notes in your head you see a picture in your mind and you use the guitar to paint that picture.

Contributing Member

Back In The UK!

Swinging The Lead
Jan 22nd, 2017 10:31 AM   Edit   Profile  

There are plenty of examples of people with no technical ability being able to conceive music they cannot actually play.

As far as varying stages of ability, the transitions are micro grades so unless you are using some formal grading process you can't really say, and of course even if you can't play more than three chords you may be able to use them to much greater effect than a long time bedroom noodler.


What It Was!

cross-dressing for Rodan
Jan 24th, 2017 06:25 AM   Edit   Profile  


Contributing Member


Jan 24th, 2017 08:54 AM   Edit   Profile  

Striving for something is like climbing to the next plateau. A nice place to stop for a snack while you plan your next climb. Not an ideal place to build a house.


U.S. - Virginia

Feb 3rd, 2017 11:46 PM   Edit   Profile  

"There are plenty of examples of people with no technical ability being able to conceive music they cannot actually play."

Absolutely. I hear stuff I definitely can't play. Frustrating. Practicing to get there can be fun, though. The process is never ending.

Contributing Member


Axe Victim
Feb 4th, 2017 05:49 AM   Edit   Profile  

At times, I struggle to play some of the classical-style songs I've written over the years. The problem is not practicing them very often.

Contributing Member

St. Louis

"Thumbpicks don't slide into soundholes"
Feb 26th, 2018 11:34 AM   Edit   Profile  

It's always gratifying when you try something and cant get it right to save your soul. Then after a few weeks it just pops out in a song you are playing. Riffs ,pinch harmonics ,hammer-ons etc. All are fair game for this occurrence.


Willoughby, OH , USA

I'm arrogant and a moron
Feb 28th, 2018 11:14 AM   Edit   Profile  

Then there are the guys who can play several EVH solos note - for - note, but when you tell them "blues in Bb" they don't have clue.
I think intermediate is when what you play sounds like a song, not just a series of random notes.

super mario
Contributing Member


I am on a quest...just not sure where!
Mar 4th, 2018 02:22 PM   Edit   Profile  

I tend to see it like lg19 in that when you begin to see the notes on the fretboard before you play them you are in the advanced stage. I know on the bass this became my reality when after a number of months learning the songs, it started to click and I could almost close my eyes and my fingers would automatically move to the next notes. I know that is what we call muscle memory but isn't that part of the process as well. You think of the note and your hands seem to know automatically where to go on the fretboard. I know these days I get to play some simple lead riffs in our worship band and the fretboard has opened up to where if I play as series of notes at one position, I know where to mimic those same notes elsewhere. That has become a liberating sense of playing....

FDP Forum / The Chop Shop / Transistion Phases of Ability

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