Guitar Status: January 27, 2013

Jan 27 2013 Published by under Uncategorized

There are a lot of pieces I don’t know on the upcoming violin recital that I’m accompanying, so I figured I should get to work on that. Though there’s a bit of a quandary: the list is so long that I don’t actually believe all those pieces will be on there, but that leaves me not knowing which of the new pieces I should work on! I decided to solve that by working on the new pieces that I enjoyed the most, on the theory that I won’t feel that the time is wasted if I end up not needing to perform them. (And they’ll show up in future years even if they don’t show up this year.)

So I decided to not work on the Vivaldi arrangements, and instead to work on the Bach Double. A really nice piece, that, but definitely one that I have to work on: I’m still trying to figure out what fingering works best for me in several of the sections. But that in itself is pleasant to work on, I’m definitely happy with my choice of what to practice.

On Thursday, our VGHVI gaming session was Rock Band 3. Which was the only time I played that game this week (no time for vocals practice); one of these weeks, I won’t play any Rock Band at all, but this was not that week. I played drums, which was a lot of fun, and points out how great Rock Band is—sure, I’m having less fun playing guitar and keys in that game than I used to, but vocals and drums are great! I’m still not planning to immerse myself in the game any more, but there’s an amazing amount of material there.

And then there’s Rocksmith. I played some on Friday evening, and didn’t do a particularly good job: I like listening to parts with arpeggios, and they make sense to me musically, but I’m surprised how hard a time I have getting them into my fingers. This morning’s event wasn’t so bad, though I can see multiple songs getting to levels where they’re tricky for me—I’m frequently telling it to reduce the target score.

I’m also feeling relatively secure with the seven songs I had previously mastered, so I decided to start going for mastery on new songs again. This morning I mastered I Can’t Hear You, which actually was surprisingly dicy: I got 100,000 points exactly, even though as far as I can tell I didn’t miss a single note. I didn’t realize the game ever left no room for error like that; I guess that’s what happens when a song has no bends / sustains / tremolos / chords / etc.? Sheer luck that I got a full combo on it: there’s just enough jumping between strings to be delicate, and it has palm mutes which the game doesn’t detect as reliably. And then later in the afternoon I inadvertently unlocked Master Mode on I Can’t Get No Satisfaction; there’s a few bits there that I’ll definitely have to work on in Riff Repeater mode, though. Hopefully I’ll be able to stick with unlocking Master Mode on one or maybe two songs a week?

There was also other song where the detection seemed a bit off; I can’t remember which one it was, but it seemed to me that I was playing the riff correctly and occasionally one of the notes wouldn’t register. The same things happens to me with Rebel, Rebel; not sure if my timing is off more than I think or if something else is going on.

Then Brad (one of my coworkers) came over and we played through a bunch of songs. That was super fun, and we actually sounded pretty good on several of the songs! On some of the songs, the two parts overlapped a fair amount, but there were several where hearing multiple parts really added something to it. So I’m very glad that we did that, we’ll definitely have to do it again.

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Rock Band Status, September 11, 2011

Sep 15 2011 Published by under Uncategorized

This weekend was an interesting one: I was going through a manic bit, and it expressed itself by making me feel very musical, in a scattered fashion. After the previous weekend, I’d bought some Billy Joel sheet music, so as soon as everybody else was awake I went through that on the piano. (With occasional singing and whistling.) Then, to work off some energy, I switched over to Rock Band drums; I was pleased to be able to make it through the Warmup songs on Expert, and while Killing Loneliness defeated me on the next tier, it has the rhythm pattern that I need to work on (regular yellow notes with red and pedal alternating, the latter on the off-beats). So I’ll probably return to that one the next time I’m in a drumming mood, it’s definitely good practice. Also, inspired by Kirk’s comment on the Experience Points Podcast, I gave Vaseline a try; a pleasant challenge on Hard but not quite as good for me to focus on as Killing Loneliness, and way too hard for me on Expert.

After that, Liesl and I did some vocal harmonies; and I put in my Pro Guitar practice, going through (I think) another four songs there. Also, that evening, we went through some recent DLC (me on non-pro Guitar, Liesl on Bass); mostly Yes, which I wasn’t thrilled by, though I’m hoping I’ll like it more on Pro Keys.

We had friends over on Sunday, so I didn’t play any Rock Band that day; I did find time to bang out some Ghibli music on the piano, though. On which note, later that week the song 風の丘 got stuck in my head via the excellent Brasta Ghibli album; it wasn’t in my piano book, but I found a quite nice guitar version, so I’m trying to learn that now.

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