Not necessarily advancing it, but making sure it's set right will definitely help. You'll need a timing light to do the job. Basically you just hook up the timing light to the #1 spark plug wire (front left cylinder), plug the vacuum line to the distributor after you remove it (important), and set it with the light, rotating it until the timing marks on the front end cover of the motor line up with the proper timing setting for your engine. I recommend a shop manual if you've never done this before. You can do the timing without the light by trial and error (checking for pinging), but you are best with the light if you're a novice at this. Hope this helps.
'82 J-10 Laredo, 360, T-177, 4" Rusty's
'85 J-10 (parts)
'09 Pontiac G8 GT Sport, '97 Sierra (Vortec 454), '98 Silverado Z71 (5.7 Vortec)