Theory wise, alot of people say "U shud understand basic theory first" then "get on the advanced stuff". but what is technically considered advanced and waht is considered basic? how fine is the line? what is as advanced as advanced can be? What is as basic as basic can be?

for a basic level, i'd consider knowing your major / minor scales, along with scale degrees, fretboard notes (first thing to learn really), basic chord triads (major, minor, diminished - and diminished because there's pretty much always a diminished degree in any scale.
and finally, knowing how to construct chords, and scales. that will allow you to enter the said 'advanced level'.
anyways, this is just my opinion on what's the most important stuff for a beginner.

oh and of course, sight reading is essential for playing classical, or even jazz music. probably also important in a band situation. who knows. if you like classical, you must learn this.

too bad my teacher doesn't have the lessons on his website in english. they are really helpful.
Last edited by RCalisto at Feb 28, 2009,
circle of 5ths, or 4ths depending on wich way you count and knowing the basic scales(church) is what I consider basic. Also understanding the 2 inversions of triads and 7ths should be easy enough. If you take it beyond that to harmonising I think you're getting into advanced territory since you'll actually have to think instead of memorise.
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I agree there.

Basic is understanding the 'whats' of modern non-jazz music.

Advanced is well... more advanced. I think it's when you understand the 'whats' of jazz and classical music and when you can apply phrasing, melody, and complex harmony to your playing or compositions.
Basic theory are the standard music rules which are not generally for 1 music style.

Like the notes, scale formula's interval etc. which are the pinnacle of all western music regardless of music style..

Advanced is imo more genre related, and builds on all the small/big exceptions that were used in compositions with intentions which are accepted by the majority of musicians.

Example, Harmonic minor conventions in classical music (not harmonic minor as a used by most shredders as a melodic/scale device in it's own right), or chord substitutions in Jazz.

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Last edited by xxdarrenxx at Feb 28, 2009,
I'd say what's basic is simply understanding how to name or describe the essential portions of music theory for guitarists - scales and chords and how to finger them across the neck, basic musical terms (syncopated, dissonant, etc).

As for advanced, I'd say anything that involves proper voice-leading or many chord extensions and modulations comes under that category. Ie - when analysing the why becomes more diffcult than "These chords are in X key/mode and then it moves to X key/mode".