Pro Guitar Status: May 8, 2011

May 08 2011

After last week, I was really frustrated at my guitar’s flaking out. I did have one hypothesis that was easy to test, however, namely that I had a bad MIDI cable. So I went out yesterday, bought a new one, plugged it in, and held my breath.

And it worked! The guitar performed flawlessly yesterday; today there was one instance where it thought that the lower strings were still strumming, but that went away the next time I actually strummed. And I’d seen that happen occasionally even before my old MIDI cable went south, so I’m not worried about that symptom.

And when the guitar works, it really works well: I was messing up fairly often, and it was doing a very nice job of informing me! But I had a great time going through songs this weekend; yesterday, I felt that I was making real progress, and in particular my right hand is noticeably better at finding strings than it was a couple of weeks ago.

Today, I finished off the last few Solid songs and moved on to the Moderate songs: they were quite a bit harder than yesterday’s songs, with faster movements between chords on different strings and with more unusual chords thrown into the mix. (And, alas, I was less disciplined today than I had been about not looking at my hands: too many large leaps for me to make.) When I was playing on Easy, the songs leveled off in difficulty part of the way through, and I was curious if the same thing would happen on Medium; maybe it will, but it hasn’t happened yet.

My fingers felt a little odd yesterday: they weren’t hurting, but my calluses felt strangely soft, to the extent that the strings almost got stuck in them at times. I’m choosing to interpret that as meaning that I haven’t been playing Rock Band enough; I was certainly glad to get in practice both days this weekend. Especially because it’s taking a lot longer to go through each song on Medium than it did on Easy: if I put in enough time, I can barely make it through through a tier over a weekend, but often recently I haven’t managed that. Admittedly, that had as much to do with hardware problems as anything, but still: I need to focus if I’m going to make it to Hard in the first half of the summer. (Which is where, I assume, I’m going to start feeling like I’m really playing music; I’m planning to buy an amp when I get to that level to hear what I sound like.)

Good times.

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