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  #31  
Old 03-27-2020, 02:38 PM
C-ville Brent C-ville Brent is offline
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I like lowrider's "basic player." I've been playing for about 40 years and have lived as a basic player for a very long time. I can do some of the things mentioned previously regarding theory, scales, and a few leads, but learned it in sort of a piece meal fashion. A long time ago I realized that the more I know, the more there is to learn and that I'd never be a virtuoso player. I play acoustic to accompany singing songs that I like, mostly from decades ago. I've played out and got paid as a solo performer, but never considered myself a professional by any means. Among the members of this forum, I'm sure to be in the bottom 50 percentile, and I'm ok with that. If people have had at least as much fun playing as I have then we're all happy. When receiving compliments following a performance, I try to do so with justified humility. I know I'm a basic player. Play long and have fun!
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  #32  
Old 03-27-2020, 04:29 PM
spock spock is offline
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So I went back and edited the title of the thread as I began thinking maybe I screwed up in implying I was looking for "your" individual playing skills when what I really wanted to examine was what folks thought about how playing skills are rated in general. Hopefully that might get this thread back to some semblance of good natured discussion.
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  #33  
Old 03-28-2020, 06:14 AM
Su_H. Su_H. is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spock View Post
So I went back and edited the title of the thread as I began thinking maybe I screwed up in implying I was looking for "your" individual playing skills when what I really wanted to examine was what folks thought about how playing skills are rated in general. Hopefully that might get this thread back to some semblance of good natured discussion.
On a scale from 0 to 10, 0 being a novice and 10 being world class:

0 through 3 - Able to play and change chords fluidly. Be able to play easy classical pieces.

4 through 6 - intermediate to early advanced level - Have a solid left hand. Right hand can do just about anything in classical and flamenco, if given ample time to learn and study it.

7 through 9 - Be able to learn and play top notch pieces without much difficulty/struggle.

10 - world class
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  #34  
Old 03-28-2020, 09:44 AM
JonPR JonPR is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Su_H. View Post
On a scale from 0 to 10, 0 being a novice and 10 being world class:

0 through 3 - Able to play and change chords fluidly. Be able to play easy classical pieces.

4 through 6 - intermediate to early advanced level - Have a solid left hand. Right hand can do just about anything in classical and flamenco, if given ample time to learn and study it.

7 through 9 - Be able to learn and play top notch pieces without much difficulty/struggle.

10 - world class
Pretty good summary, in that I guess we could all measure ourselves against that.

Me, I'd put myself at 6, although you might need to define what you mean by "top notch", "ample" time, and "much difficulty/struggle".
After all, given "ample" time, pretty much anyone could learn pretty much anything.
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  #35  
Old 03-28-2020, 09:57 AM
JonPR JonPR is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spock View Post
So I went back and edited the title of the thread as I began thinking maybe I screwed up in implying I was looking for "your" individual playing skills when what I really wanted to examine was what folks thought about how playing skills are rated in general. Hopefully that might get this thread back to some semblance of good natured discussion.
I think I'd come back to the academic grading system.

Certainly for classical guitar it's a widely accepted ranking system, and deals with various aspects of playing, from technique to expression. The pieces get steadily more difficult technically, and each grade also requires complementary studies and tests in things like aural skills, sight reading, theory, even improvisation (optional), which also advance in complexity.

Grades for rock guitar are newer, less well established, and possibly more controversial in the skills they measure, but they would all be appropriate for rock guitar, obviously.

There is also what's common called "plectrum guitar", which seems to relate to jazz-type playing skills, but AFAIK there is no academic way to assess steel-string acoustic skills in relation to folk, country or blues genres. (Classical grades do often include modern pieces influenced by those genres, but you're expected to play them on nylon-string.)

One would not have to have taken any of the grades, one could just look at the syllabus in each one and judge whether we think we could (given a few months to practice) play those pieces, or (in less time) the scales or technical exercises required. Or you could look up performances of the grade pieces on youtube, and decide either "yeah I reckon could do that", or "no way, Josť!!"
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  #36  
Old 03-28-2020, 12:43 PM
Su_H. Su_H. is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JonPR View Post
Pretty good summary, in that I guess we could all measure ourselves against that.

Me, I'd put myself at 6, although you might need to define what you mean by "top notch", "ample" time, and "much difficulty/struggle".
After all, given "ample" time, pretty much anyone could learn pretty much anything.
Even with a chart to go by, we still can't evaluate ourselves accurately lol. I might put you at a 7 and myself, a 5

5 and 6, for me, are guitarists who understand music and have studied enough left and right hand techniques to the point where it is only a matter of putting in the work to get to the next level of playing. IMO, many guitarists are stuck here for a long time due to whatever reasons such as lazy, mental block, and or lack of ambition. Many guitarists can't get over that hurdle or they are simply content with their playing ability.

7, for me, is the start of a great guitarist. No left or right hand techniques are too difficult. Guitarists in levels 7 - 9 are great musicians and they can play just about anything. (When I say top notch pieces, I would be referring to pieces which require atleast one of the following: Endurance, Intricate and difficult movements for both left and right hands, Speed)......Of course, this still does not include or exclude the vast majority of music pieces out there. I can name a few which I think are top notch pieces: Austurias, La catedral, Difficult Bach pieces and pretty much all advanced flamenco pieces. To simply put, it would be pieces you expect to hear from a concert guitarist.

"Ample time" - let's say you want to learn tremolo and your playing level is at a 6 like you said. IMO, it should take you only one month to master it....and speed will come later. For someone with a playing level of 4, he can still learn tremolo but it might take him 6 months.

"Difficulty/struggle" - I'll give an example. I have learned and played La Catedral when I was a music student. From start to finish, it took me 2 years and I still didn't do the piece justice. The piece was a real struggle. I am struggling even more with my current piece, Austurias. The advanced guitarists at levels 7 -9 would not be struggling like I am. Both their left and right hands are superb and it's just a matter of learning it and polishing it.

(I hope I don't offend anyone with my rating and criteria. It's just my opinion. )
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  #37  
Old 03-28-2020, 12:55 PM
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Mr. Jelly Mr. Jelly is offline
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Academics suck the life and passion out of things. Music has shown that passion trumps all else every time. Jazz, blues, boogie woogie, rock and roll, and so on.
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  #38  
Old 03-28-2020, 02:00 PM
jseth jseth is offline
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I still don't see what good would come of this, even the revamped version of the thread... (Being as good-natured as I can be now...)

Seriously, what positive benefits come from "critiquing" another's playing ability (or lack thereof)? Just feels like a waste of time and energy; energy and tie that could be much better spent by actually playing music, however you do that...

I know of NO decent>good>great player who would ever engage in this sort of thing, other than to "poo-poo" it...

"First there was Art... then came the critics..."
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  #39  
Old 03-28-2020, 03:19 PM
rick-slo rick-slo is offline
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My guess is that accomplished instrumentalists do, or at least have in the past, spent a fair amount of time considering
how they "rate" in skills and breadth. Add to that if they perform publicly and/or make a living at it.
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  #40  
Old 03-28-2020, 03:54 PM
LindaW LindaW is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brucebubs View Post
I'm a below average player with some above average guitars.
This is me to a T
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  #41  
Old 03-28-2020, 05:41 PM
JonPR JonPR is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Jelly View Post
Academics suck the life and passion out of things.
They often do, but they don't have to.

The problem is a natural tendency - at least in our culture - to be swayed by the authority of books. "It Is Written", so it must be true. Not only true, but true for all time.
It's true, after all, that published text books usually are authoritative - that's how they get published, and how they remain current.

But this tendency to trust writing is seductive. The information is there in black and white. It doesn't change. We can read it, absorb it, follow it, go back to the same source if we forget.

Once music gets written down, then it can be examined, like any dead creature. It can be taken to pieces, analysed, theorised about - all with the laudable aim of teaching others how to make similar music.

Music itself, however, is something else. Just as there is a limit to how much you can understand about living things by examining them when they're dead, there's a similar limit to understanding music.

Music is nothing but sound, and can only be understood as sound. As sound that changes in real time, in the present.

Most other musical cultures teach music by ear. They don't use any written information. Naturally that limits the kind of music that can be made. You can't have orchestras or symphonies with notation. Sophistication has to come from elsewhere - usually through systems of improvisation.

Much like...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Jelly View Post
Jazz, blues, boogie woogie, rock and roll, and so on.
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  #42  
Old 03-31-2020, 10:49 AM
archerscreek archerscreek is offline
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Classes, camps, and jams are routinely sorted according to ability, from what Iíve seen, so the question has merit. Hereís a link to the Kaufman Kamp page on gauging oneís ability level. I agree with what it says.

http://www.flatpik.com/online-brochu...ur-skill-level

It makes sense to pick a class you fit best in. Thereís nothing wrong with being a beginner, but instruction geared towards an advanced player might fly over the head of a beginner. And thereís no reason to pay money for a class that teaches stuff you already know.
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  #43  
Old 03-31-2020, 11:30 AM
archerscreek archerscreek is offline
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There are other benefits for some in knowing where they stand in relation to other players. Bands place ads looking for players matching their skill level. Pickers sometimes need challenges and inspiration to improve. Maybe someone dreams of becoming a session player and wants to know if they are skilled enough to give it a go.

For some of us, itís a benefit. Just as some enjoy the adrenaline rush of playing in a competition, some want to pack the club more than their buddyís band, some want to sell out 10,000 seat stadiums, etc. Thereís nothing inherently wrong with having different goals, desires, interests, and perspectives.
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  #44  
Old 03-31-2020, 12:15 PM
NormanKliman NormanKliman is offline
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Essential skills:

Playing clean (no flubs, squeaks, etc.) and playing with solid, nuanced rhythm are high on my list. Silence is often overlooked.

Itís also important to have good control of dynamics. For example, reaching peak volume at only a few points in the music and doing so intentionally.

Another one has to do with getting all the notes right in each chord played. Some guitarists either donít realize or are too lazy to care if some of the notes are wrong. Sometimes an open string (for example) that isnít a chord tone will add to the music. Iím talking about unwanted dissonance.
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  #45  
Old 03-31-2020, 04:11 PM
Cobby Cobby is offline
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Well, I do want to know my world guitar player rank, precisely. Unfortunately, the best I can do is estimate. The first thing is to figure out how many guitar players there are in the world. Here's a link to some highly scientific research on that very subject:

https://www.quora.com/How-many-peopl...ld-play-guitar

Although there is some variation in the data, I'm going to go with the average of the high and low estimates and say that there are 434,921,875 guitar players in the world. Now as far as skill level, let's say that they are distributed like the top half of the normal curve. That would mean that there are a lot of barely adequate beginners and only a few exceptional players out there.

I would say that I'm at least 1 standard deviation above an absolute beginner, but probably not two standard deviations. So. Since for half of the curve, one standard deviation would be 68.2% (and two would get me all the way to 95.4%). So, just to be conservative, I'd say that I am currently better than 68.2% of all guitar players, which would make me at least the 138,305,156th best guitar player in the world.

I can use that when introducing myself to an audience: "Hello folks, you're in for a real treat tonight. You will surely be hugely entertained by roughly the 138 millionth best guitar player in the whole world! And some say he's actually the 137 millionth best guitarist in the world!

(unfortunately for the audience, what they don't yet know is that I'm only the 4 billionth best singer in the world, so the experience might not be quite as good as they were hoping)
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