Pro Guitar Status, March 13, 2011

Mar 15 2011

I spent most of my Rock Band time Sunday playing Pro Keys, but I figured I should put in a little more Pro Guitar time: among other things, my fingers were aching a bit after Saturday’s practice but not actively hurting, so if I’m going to toughen them up, I should keep at it. Maybe I’ll even find time to play some evenings this week; actually, it’s possible a blister is starting to develop on one of them, so I might need to hold off a bit.

I made it through the single-note lessons; pretty straightforward, and nothing else was nearly as painful as the one where I had to slide, though many required multiple attempts. The upstrum one was interesting: I’m not in the habit of upstrumming much on regular Rock Band guitar, but it felt a lot more natural with a pick in my hand. Though the guitar didn’t seem to detect it reliably when I was playing on the highest string, which is unfortunate if it persists. At any rate, I’ll want to work on that when playing.

My hands were pretty lost again today. Both of them felt out of place, and I was constantly moving my head in a triangle between the screen, my right hand, and my left hand. Which is ridiculous, and I really need to learn where various parts of the instrument are: so after a bit I decided to stop looking at my right hand and just guess at where my hand is supposed to be to strum each of the strings. Which worked surprisingly well, so I’ll definitely want to keep that up! Though I am developing a bit of a bad habit of resting my pick against the string while I’m feeling out where the string is: that wouldn’t work if I were playing for real or if I were playing at a normal speed, so I’ll want to break myself of that at some point.

I’m also looking at my left hand more than I’d like. Some of that is inevitable: for now, I’m more or less incapable of making large jumps up or down without looking. (Though I will say, the on-screen feedback is really good, so I might actually be able to correct just by looking at the screen.) I tried to force myself not to look other than that, though, with reasonable success. There are still times where I know that my fingers are in the wrong place but don’t quite know how (generally if my fingers are on a fret and don’t know if I should move my hand up or down), but that should improve soon, I imagine. There are also situations where my ring finger is on one string while my index finger is unintentionally on a different string: I find that somewhat embarrassing, actually, but I’m sure I’ll learn the angle to hold my hand in soon!

I finished the Apprentice songs today, though I ran into a strange bug where the game obstinately refuses to credit me with having finished one of them; I hope that goes away after a reboot! They’re still pretty straightforward. My current plan is to go through them all on Easy before trying any on Medium: certainly I can use a lot more practice in playing individual notes. Though the songs are so stripped down that I sometimes feel that having the context that chords would provide would be useful in understanding the music, so I may start playing through the early songs on Medium while going through the late songs on Easy; who knows. It may also be the case that picking out the notes in the late songs on Easy will be hard enough that I’ll find simple chords to be easier: I haven’t looked ahead to see what the difficulty curve looks like.

3 responses so far

  1. Good luck! I’m following along with your progress on the blog. As I am roughly following the same plan as you in the game.

    Just a quick tip for you regarding the strumming problem you noticed. If your high E string is not registering properly (on the up strum exercises). It’s an easy fix.

    Open the battery cover. To the right of the batteries is a plastic strip with two Phillips screws. Loosen the screws and carefully remove the cover and screws. I say carefully, because there are two tiny red washers on the bottom side of the strip.

    Once the cover is removed, you’ll see six tiny screws. Each one coincides with a string on the guitar. They affect the sensitivity of the pickups. This one adjustment is the single most effective adjustment you can make to the Squier. Moreso than all the other adjustments you can read about online.

    I digress. If you’re having issues with the High E, you’ll want to adjust the bottom screw or “pot” (potentiometer). Counter Clockwise increases sensitivity, and of course Clockwise decreases.

    Leave the cover open, have the game on the tutorial you were using where you noticed the problem. Make a minor tweak, try the tutorial. Wash, rinse, and repeat until you are satisfied the adjustment did what it was supposed to do. When you’re finished. Reassemble. Nice and easy!

    Good luck!

    I look forward to seeing your progress! (Mine as well!)

  2. Thanks for the pointer, I really appreciate it!

  3. […] update on the bug I mentioned last week: according to this forum thread, it looks like songs that have different note charts on the Squier […]