The Differences Between BEGINNERS, INTERMEDIATE, And ADVANCED Guitar Players

The Differences Between BEGINNERS, INTERMEDIATE, And ADVANCED Guitar Players

Tommaso Zillio

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beginner advanced guitar

Number 153 most frequently asked question I receive from my subscribers:

"How do you know when you’ve successfully gone from an intermediate guitar player to an advanced player? What changes should you look for?"

Like many things in music, the answer is simple... but known only to a few initiates. But fear not, I'm giving you the inside scoop here:

Becoming an advanced guitar player comes at the exact moment that you can play all the way through the album ‘Rust In Peace’ by Megadeth. Only then are you an advanced player - and not a moment before!

After becoming an advanced player, you will start to notice significant changes in your attitude, personality, and physical appearance:

  • You will start to become enamored by the look of denim jackets,

  • Pull-out couches suddenly won’t feel so uncomfortable anymore,

  • And spending 3 straight months living in a van with 5 other people will no longer seem like an inhumane form of medieval torture (you may even enjoy it!)

On full moon nights, you may also feel the sudden urge to prowl the local music scene for open-stage bars so you can play outrageous blindingly-fast shred solos over laid-back blues jams played by unsuspecting musicians...

Notice that the "advanced" level is strictly distinct from the "virtuoso" level, where you have a ray of light pointed at you straight from the heavens, and rose petals spontaneously cover the ground you walk on.

But how do you expedite the process of learning Megadeth’s ‘Rust In Peace’ in its entirety? the process of becoming first an "intermediate" and then an "advanced" player?

Because, seriously, a lot of people get stuck at a certain level and never seem to advance anymore (sounds familiar?)

In the video below, I’ll explain exactly how you can get unstuck from the level you are now, move "up a level" as quickly as possible, and finally become an advanced guitar player, so you can finally look good in a denim jacket, like you’ve always dreamed about!

While it may not instantly make you an advanced guitar player, something that will certainly make you a better guitar player is understanding chords everywhere on your fretboard.

If you want to expand your knowledge of chords on the guitar, check out the Complete Chord Mastery guitar course, and start learning more - and better - today.

Video Transcription

Hello Internet, so nice to see you! People stopped me in the street and asked me who people really stop you in the street. Now, that's another job. Sorry, people stopped me in the street. And they asked me, Tommaso, I can play these that and other things on the guitar and my a beginner player. Am I an advanced player?

Am I an intermediate player? And you may have the exact same question. Are you beginner, advanced or intermediate? Well, let me tell you one thing, I actually hate this question, because there is no way to answer it in a way that is helpful to you. Okay. And it's important that you understand that and why so that first of all, you don't ask this horrible question again.

And second, you understand? Because let's face it, you are asking this question for two reasons. A good one and a bad one. The good reason is that you're asking if you're a beginner, intermediate or advanced, advanced, because you want to know what you need to study. Next, what you need to practice next was to treat and learn next, that's a very good reason.

And the other reason you ask is because you want to know if you are the best guitar player of the city yet, and how long it's going to take to get there. Right? Which is not a great question, because there is no best, okay? Music is about self expression, not just technique, not just performing, okay? And not just competition. So there is really no best there are lots of people who play great music, and they're all different.

The problem here is that you are not anything, you are not a beginner, you are not an intermediate, you are not an advanced player, because this is not something that you are, okay, you may have some skills that you practice, and took it up to advanced level or intermediate level, or you just started to work on them. And so those skills, those skills are at an intermediate level, you have the skills, but you are not a beginner, okay.

And you can be also balanced or imbalanced as a guitar player. And by the way, in balance, it's not a bad thing, usually, okay, it really depends. The thing is that I get those people and they don't need to measure. I know my music theory fairly well. My guitar technique is so so I can play a number of songs. If I go on stage, but when I'm trying to compose and I'm really bad, am I beginner advanced? Gee, Dude, you are a bit all over the place.

That's the thing, okay? There is no single board that express everything you just told me. Okay. And by the way, this could be your situation, you could be completely different, you may be a great technique and not so great theory, you may not have a good repertory, or you can be good at composing or not out in front. Not important.

The important thing is to identify your strong points and your weak points. Okay, so here's the thing, first of all, stop using the words, beginner advancing the intermediate, first of all again, then you cannot use a single word to understand the whole situation. And second, where exactly do you put the threshold? Where, When, if you're a composer, when you go from beginner to intermediate, what is what exactly is the test you need to pass?

At the intermediate level, nobody knows. And honestly, nobody cares. You're not here to pass a test, we're here to make music first. Take stock of your abilities, okay? Take stock of your skills. Okay, so that you know where you are, and your situation. Second thing, okay, you're going to have some skills, where you are strong and some skills where you're weak, at least comparatively speaking, even if you just started, you can have an intuitive feeling. Maybe you have a good ear already, maybe not.

Maybe you have a good technical ability or writing again, maybe you cannot play a chord but you can see it you're learning this thing easier than other people. So let's go take stock of that maybe you don't know anything, maybe you know something already no problem, but take stock of where you are.

Knowing that there is no judgement it's just making the point on the map of where you are. Second and that's the most important thing and people always forget that. The second point it's important as you see a moment because gonna take as two point 3 Is this idea of goals the side your goals because if you want to become a shredder and heavy metal Shredder, or if you want to play a classical guitar, or if you want to play jazz comping, those are three completely different goals and you will need to learn completely different things out okay, it is perfectly possible to have all the skills to do one of these things, and will it have the skills to do one other of these things?

Okay, so you could be a super fast and even super expressive Shredder, and that haven't the faintest idea on how to do just comping. You could be a great jazz concert. Okay, I don't know if comfort and my friend venting compare right now, but you could be great at jazz comping. Okay, so playing chord progressions with jazz and playing kind of the accompaniment of a jazz song, but you may have no idea how to shred.

Again, it's not that one is better, or the other resource is not that one, it's harder than the other, it's easier. It's just two different skills. So first of all, decide what you want. If you want to become a shredder, for instance, it's important to know because if you want to become a shredder, and then go and learn from a classical guitar player in the teacher, fingerpicking, you're wasting your time, you could be the best students, and this person could be the best teacher, but it's just not teaching what you want.

Okay? And this is not taking you any closer to your goals. And if you have no goals, it's a problem. Your goals could even VA just want to play a few campfire songs. That's okay. Not not important. Nobody here is judging your goals. Like nobody here is judging where you are right now. Or at least they shouldn't. Okay, so don't tell them that nobody judges you. Just take stuff for yourself, but decide what you want to do.

Okay. And even if you're thinking, I'll never be a shredder, just write down that you want to this is not a commitment. You're just deciding what you want, okay, not a commitment yet important point. Because these will tell you beside or better ask you what are the relevant skills? Okay, like you were saying, Oh, and if you want to become a jazz conqueror, okay, want to play jazz comping, there is really no point to learn a number of techniques that are typical of shredders when as we picking you're not going to use that.

If you do jazz come pick, I'm not saying is we picking is bad. It's just not what you need right now. You can learn it later. Okay. See, there is one way in which this instrument is different than any other instrument on the face of the planet is that if you learn want to learn to play violin, or piano, or oboe, okay, there is a strong repertoire for those instruments.

And there is an accepted way to play those instrument and it's standard, okay, with maybe the possible exception of the violin, violin and fiddle, okay, which is the same instrument playing as like a different way, or the piano where you can learn to play classical piano and jazz piano. But by and large, the technique in the curriculum is very similar. There's not a lot of interplay for these instruments.

Since this was the rogue instrument of the last century. We invented hundreds of while you're playing, okay, you can fingerpicking you can hybrid picking, you can use only a big, you can play to your thumb, okay, you can play chords you can play with or you can play scales, you can play solo, and you can mix soloing, and chords, you can play chord melodies. Essentially, you can play only double stop, you can play clean, you can play with distortion, you can play with the fact that can play without the fact that it's not one instrument. It's a it's a chameleon. Okay.

So for this specific instrument, you really need to have your ideas clear on what you want to do so that teachers like me, other people can advise you on what you need to study. Okay, it's not one size fits all, especially for guitar. And this is true for electric guitar. But also for acoustic guitar, there are several sites that are different, and they're very different from each other more than sites in other instruments.

Then finally, point four, okay, once you've took stock of all those things, and by the way, the best thing again, is to ask somebody, somebody who's already know what you want to do with somebody who's already doing what you want to do somebody who has proven that they can teach you what you want to do.

Look, don't look just at the teacher, look at their students, they will they will show you if they're learning or not. Anyway, you want to ask somebody and ask them, hey, that's what I can do. That's what I want to do. What are the relevant skills and how do I improve them and then for you want to practice them and finally, point five super important to don't worry if you are in balance don't worry about it.

balance Yes. Why am I saying that? Well, lots of the players you love are very imbalanced player, they may have one skill to skill, a few skills they can have to a very high level and other skills that are completely neglected, because they're just not using them. Okay? There are people who can play a great rhythm track, and they cannot play a solo or maybe they can, but they never really use it. It's not important.

As long as you like what they play who can play a solo, and they never play a rhythm. Maybe they can play it, maybe not. But we never know. Jeff Beck was famous for playing only solos. I'm sure Jeff Beck will play a good rhythm but nobody ever asked him to. Okay, BB King BB King couldn't even imagine playing double stops. BB King never played a chord in his life, apparently. Okay, is that a problem?

Did it make them does make them less musicians? less good, less of a good musician? Honestly, no, they did exactly what they wanted. Okay. They were able to express themselves exactly what they wanted and that everybody who listened to them and like them was able to enjoy what they were doing. So forget about being a balanced musician.

Decide what you want and study that and if you need help, call somebody who knows what they're doing guys if you want to write me an email, you know, you know where I am priming an email I'll totally tell you and if I can help you great otherwise I'm sending you to somebody else who can help you it's not a problem doesn't have to be with me for the love of God and all other Guitar Gods Okay.

Stop thinking of yourself like as I am I'm a beginner Amaya intermediate amendment advanced you are nothing of the sort you are neither of them. You may have some advanced skill you may have some beginning skills and if a certain point decide to study something new or your interests change on those new skills you are a beginner again okay it's not a property of who you are is a property of what to do what you're studying what you want to do find out all those all the answer here as somebody who you trust and again I'm here if you want to practice forget about the imbalance and forget about being a beginner not since I am here I just published a new ebook free completely free ebook that teaches you how to learn the notes on the fretboard that's something that is pretty good for pretty much everybody who's playing guitar because if you don't even need the notes on your fretboard it's gonna be really hard for you to study any more advanced things.

Okay. Larry Nelson the fretboard simsa something impossible slike something impossible but it's not so hard if you know exactly what to practice. You're gonna find the link of these on the top right and in the description of this video. Get it is free, practice it and in five minutes a day for a few weeks.

You're going to know the notes on your fretboard forever permanently with instance recall get that this is the one thing where one size fits all you need to learn the notes on your fretboard is going to make everything else better. For everything else follow this procedure. This is Tommaso Zillio of MusicTheoryForGuitar.com, and until next time, enjoy.

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