Pro Guitar Status, July 3, 2011

Jul 06 2011

I only got in one Rock Band session this week, but it was a good one. I repeated the hardest of the barre chord lessons and all of the scale lessons, this time trying to use hopos on the chromatic scale one, and they went well. And I managed to make it through the remaining of the Hard lessons, on arpeggiation within chords, which was another fun one. (I’m sure I could have made it through it earlier, I was just tired when I’d tried it before. Though my increased fluency in shifting between chords certainly helped.)

After that, I went back into the songs, continuing through the Warmup songs. Which I was expecting to have to spend a fair amount of time on, but so far that hasn’t materialized: quite to my surprise, I made it through the remaining nine Warmup songs! I’m sure the time I’ve spent on barre chord lessons helped, as did the fact that many of the Warmup songs don’t actually use barre chords (preferring instead power chords or single notes), but for whatever reason, I went through each song at most twice with the mute on and once plugged into the amp (except for one or two songs using an alternate tuning, which I haven’t yet tried to figure out), and felt satisfied enough to move on at the end of that.

I’d been thinking that I’d want to spend a lot of time going through the Hard lessons over and over again. And while I’m still planning to return to them, it’s also looking like the difficulty curve even on Hard might be shallow enough that I can improve my barre chord skills by spending most of my time playing through actual songs. That would be pleasant if it remains true (which may well not be the case!): the lessons are well done, but playing through real songs is more fun.

I still sound pretty bad on the real songs, though. Some of that is because there is (copious!) room for improvement in my skills, but some is that playing a stripped down version of an easy song doesn’t sound that great. We’ll see how that changes when the songs get harder, maybe I’ll get inspired to put in more time on individual songs then.

And there was one song that was a total outlier, namely Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots. When I got to it in the menu, I noted that Dan Bruno‘s score was over 600,000 points, which is extremely high for any song, let alone a warmup song! What turns out to be going on there is that it’s full of chords, and you have to play them pretty quickly; the chords are all easy ones to play (though you shift between five or six different ones, three-chord music it isn’t), but there’s a lot of notes to play (if you’re Dan) or to miss a fair portion of (if you’re me).

It’s also the first song where I haven’t been able to do the training sections accurately. They’re long, they both have multiple chord changes and individual chords that are repeated a lot, and that adds up to something that I am so far unable to hit 100% on. (Or, I seem to recall, get particularly close to.) It’s also a song where I’m feeling more dubious than normal about the strum detection and the string mute; the flip side is that it’s a song that’s relatively rewarding to try to play well plugged in, I think. I’m not currently planning to return to it to try to get better, but that would be worth considering.

One response so far

  1. […] Space was rather interesting: like Yoshimi, it has a lot of chord strumming, with a bit less repetition of individual chords this time but […]