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View Full Version : What makes someone an ‘intermediate’ player?



Kevs-the-name
12-27-2014, 09:47 AM
I am looking at booking on to a residential weekend course. It looks great!

It is for intermediate level players...

how would you define as or consider someone to be an ‘intermediate player’?

janeray1940
12-27-2014, 09:56 AM
It's subjective and there is no real definition - my recommendation is that you contact those who are presenting the course and ask. I've gone to "intermediate" workshops where the only requirement was to know five chords (C, G, F, Emi, and... something else); I've gone to "advanced" workshops where moveable chords were presented as if for the first time. This is all stuff I learned as an absolute beginner.

I play in an advanced/intermediate ukulele ensemble and while again it's subjective, the general expectation is that prospective members know barre chords, scales, and how to read tab.

katysax
12-27-2014, 12:17 PM
Usually any kind of workshop or group that is called intermediate is pretty basic. Sometimes they will give a definition - like that you need to know 5 basic chords or read tab or whatever. If they don't I think it is safe to expect very basic. The suggestion to contact the organizers is a good one, but sometimes it's hard to get a good answer. But usually workshops are designed where "beginner" means "never picked up a uke before" and "intermediate" means "picked up a uke before and knows 3-5 chords).

ukemunga
12-27-2014, 02:06 PM
Purely subjective and based on no reference.

You know the major chords open positions and their 7ths and minors and sharps and flats. Or at least most of them. You can strum and keep time with smooth chord transitions. You can read a chord chart cheat sheet of a song and pretty much play it on sight if you are familiar with the tune.

Anything beyond that, to me, is further up the ladder.

Luke El U
12-27-2014, 02:34 PM
Somewhere between beginner and advanced ;p

But seriously, I think UU member Brad M(?) made up a very helpful critical analysis of what it could mean to be at the different levels.

... I'll go see if I can go find it, unless someone beats me to it...

Brad Bordessa
12-27-2014, 02:42 PM
Yep. It's pretty vague.

Here's the list I made a while back. Doesn't mean anything at all. But it might be useful: http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?100996-Things-You-quot-Should-quot-Know

kohanmike
12-27-2014, 03:44 PM
A short time ago I took an "intermediate" course of 6 classes, but the first 4 were much more basic than I was expecting, only the last 2 had more to offer. It seems that taking private classes has a certain advantage in that you can ask for specifics, like I've been doing with my recent bass classes.

Hippie Dribble
12-27-2014, 06:36 PM
Kinda like the answer to "how high's the sky?" Meaningless concept really as the general way it is applied sets it up as a gradation in ability almost inseparable from someone who would otherwise be classified a beginner. If I were choosing a class and truly felt I was an intermediate player, I would go for the "advanced" option everytime.

IamNoMan
12-27-2014, 07:09 PM
This sounds like a course for indeterminant players to me. Contact the promoters and find out what they are proposing to teach.

Chords: C, D,D7,Em,F, G,G7,A,Am,A7. To this I'll Throw in E7. If you haven't figured out what a fun cord this is your still a beginner. This would pretty much allow you to play in the Keys of C,D,G and A. You should be able to read tabs or at least a fake book or be able to play by ear. Keep the beat. Know how to tune your uke.
Additionally you should be able to lead at least two tunes/songs and play along with others.

I know I ask for a lot of chords but these should get you through a song circle where the is at least one banjo player involved.

consitter
12-27-2014, 07:24 PM
You can look at and listen to me...

After 8 years of playing, I'm still nowhere near an intermediate player.

Kevs-the-name
12-27-2014, 11:36 PM
Thanks for making the time to answer my question.
If Im honest, I think I pretty much knew the answer, I know Im not a beginner!, and can certainly fulfil the criteria suggested by 'IamNoMan' and others.

I guess it is more that I have never been to a group course, so don't really know what is expected.
Unfortunately, due to Xmas holidays, it is very difficult to get in contact with the organisers.
Ill just have to book it and see....
Im sure I can hold my own!!!

PS. thanks also to Hippie Guy, thats a very comprehensive plan/guide. a good read.

consitter
12-28-2014, 12:52 AM
Thanks for making the time to answer my question.
If Im honest, I think I pretty much knew the answer, I know Im not a beginner!, and can certainly fulfil the criteria suggested by 'IamNoMan' and others.

I guess it is more that I have never been to a group course, so don't really know what is expected.
Unfortunately, due to Xmas holidays, it is very difficult to get in contact with the organisers.
Ill just have to book it and see....
Im sure I can hold my own!!!

PS. thanks also to Hippie Guy, thats a very comprehensive plan/guide. a good read.

I looked at Hippie Guy's guide awhile back...I feel like he's spot on.

ohmless
12-28-2014, 06:26 AM
tough to say as there are different skills when playing the ukulele. I consider myself an intermediate player at chording songs and understanding the circle of 5ths, but a beginner still at strumming variety and fingerpicking. I could go my whole life happy if I stayed at this level but I am always picking songs that have one or two things that are more difficult to learn from and interest me.

wickedwahine11
12-28-2014, 06:48 AM
It is tough to say as it is totally subjective. I have a friend that teaches beginning ukulele and I have sat in on his two week course a few times. To me, those folks are beginners - at the end of the two weeks, they know maybe 7 or 8 chords and minimal fingerpicking or tab reading. An advanced player is someone that I could see being paid to perform -- either a professional musician or someone that is capable of flawlessly replicating the songs of professional musicians. Intermediate for me is the folks in the middle of the other two categories...a squishy definition but mine anyway.

Nickie
12-28-2014, 03:09 PM
Sheesh, after 4 years, I feel like I must be at the 1st level of intermediate.....

Kayak Jim
12-28-2014, 03:25 PM
I like Brad's list.

And there is also Uncle Rod's SET-UP http://ukulelebootcamp.weebly.com/ which measures when someone is not a beginner.

Dan Uke
12-28-2014, 03:56 PM
Yeah, I think of myself as a beginner as I hardly know chord names but can play them when I see the shape

kohanmike
12-28-2014, 06:24 PM
Wow Daniel, I think of you as an advanced intermediate at the least, I might know the name of chords, but I can't play many songs without sheets in front of me, and certainly can't do any of the finger picking work you can do without sheets.

Dan Uke
12-28-2014, 06:41 PM
thanks Mike but I can't tell you what chords are in most things I play. I am good at playing off tabs and have a good ear so what we used to play together was pretty easy but knowng why chords are changing in patterns is very helpful. That's why I like Glen Rose because I just look at shapes and move it along the fretboard.

This is subjective so your definition could be different from mine

drbekken
12-28-2014, 10:13 PM
Last time I checked, I was pretty intermediate.

OregonJim
12-28-2014, 10:23 PM
There's no point to classifying a person's level without including the genre of music. Someone could be very advanced at strumming folk tunes, but be a rank beginner at bluegrass or jazz. That's why labels are rather arbitrary until you get specific about the style of music.

philpot
12-29-2014, 03:41 AM
There's no point to classifying a person's level without including the genre of music. Someone could be very advanced at strumming folk tunes, but be a rank beginner at bluegrass or jazz. That's why labels are rather arbitrary until you get specific about the style of music.
^ this is really important. According to Hippie Guy's list, I'm on the high end of intermediate/brushing up against advanced when it comes to strumming techniques and chords that I use for a lot of styles, but I'm clueless when it comes to jazz or any sort of soloing, even though I've been working on scales for awhile. There just seems to be a chasm I haven't been able to leap there. I've got all the techniques I need to start working on solos, I just can't seem to make them happen.

Captain America
12-29-2014, 05:31 AM
I once tried to teach a class for intermediates. It was very difficult to do, since the class had a WIDE range of uke experience, and so everything by necessity went to more advanced basics kinds of stuff. Not everyone is really ready for an intermediate class, and participants can affect what goes on.

Tootler
12-30-2014, 12:25 AM
There's no point to classifying a person's level without including the genre of music. Someone could be very advanced at strumming folk tunes, but be a rank beginner at bluegrass or jazz. That's why labels are rather arbitrary until you get specific about the style of music.

Good point.

Hippie guy and Uncle Rod's criteria show just how different how people's ideas of what constitutes "intermediate" can be.

You do need to take into account what people's needs are and where they have come from. I tend to go with Uncle Rod's criteria. A recent workshop I went on based intermediate on playing skills and particularly on what chords you were capable of. The workshop focussed on right hand techniques and song structure (chord sequences, in particular).