Classes and Levels

Gauging your level – From the Puget Sound Guitar Workshop  (PSGW)


This is a well thought out synopsis for determining your current level.  Though it is somewhat general, this can definitely help you better understand where you are and what could lie ahead!


The level numbers correspond to the following guitar skill levels:



Just learning the first chords and can’t yet change chords without pausing to relocate fingers (level I players are sometimes known as beginners).



Mostly accompaniment styles and designed for a range of skills.

· At the simpler end, gets from one chord to another without pausing on at least three or four chords. Can’t play an F chord. Rhythm is pretty steady as long as the song is familiar. Generally needs chords either written out over the words or else taught to each song.
· At the more advanced end, has met an F chord but shuns its acquaintance; knows a few bass runs or a finger pattern or two; has sometimes played a little with a friend; may be beginning to sort out finger and flatpicking; competent with basic chords: A, Am, B7, C, C7, D, Dm, E, Em, G, and G7. Can sing and strum at the same time easily; learns chords to simple tunes fairly quickly.



No problems with F chord, can hear I, IV, and V chords and usually recognizes a circle of fifths. Fingerpicking: plays a few tunes smoothly; usually learns from friends or tablature. If making own arrangements, they are usually fairly simple, with an alternating bass or a few bass runs. Flatpicking: can play a few melodies smoothly clear through and may be starting to improvise leads. Fancy Chord Styles: knows there is life above the fifth fret and has been there with barre or four finger (partial) chords. Keeps steady rhythm.



Fingerpicking: works out arrangements or learns complex arrangements from recordings, including moving bass lines and treble harmonies. Flatpicking: plays lead and back-up with steady rhythm, some improvisation, and clear tone. Plays skillfully with others. Fancy Chord Styles: knows there is life above the seventh fret and is on a first-name basis with most of the chords; has been known to use 12 chords where one would do.