no longer a beginner?

Dusty Turtle
03/16/17 05:55:22PM

How do you know when you are no longer a beginner?  What left-hand or right-hand techniques define an advanced beginner or intermediate player?  Is it a matter of confidence rather than technical ability?   

I ask this for several reasons.  I lead a monthly dulcimer workshop and devote the first hour to a free beginner lesson.  But I have members who have been coming to that free beginner lessons for years.  They still insist they are beginners, but I've had to ask them to not participate in the beginner lesson for the simple reason that they interfere with my ability to teach the real beginners.  Their relative competence discourages the real beginners and fools me into thinking we are all doing well since they drown out the beginners in the pieces we play.

I've also noted that in this Beginners' Group people ask questions that are really those of more advanced players. Questions about what chord to use, for example, is really an arranging question.  If you ask how to organize all your tablature, for example, that means you are actively playing a fairly large repertoire and are using tab relatively easily (something I still can't do). 

According to one criteria I saw recently, the ability to play 2-3 different chords or the ability to play 2-3 different strums was an indication of an intermediate player.  But I bet there are lots of people here who can do one or both of those and still consider themselves beginners.

Any thoughts on what divides beginners from intermediate players?  Any thoughts on why so many of us consider ourselves beginners when we are clearly more competent players than that label would indicate?