Rock Band Status: November 14, 2011

Nov 14 2011

This weekend was a three-day weekend and Liesl and Miranda were out of town, so I expected to spend quite a bit of time playing Rock Band. In fact, I was thinking I might end up finishing Hard Pro Guitar—going through 15 songs in 3 days wouldn’t be particularly difficult if I decided to focus on that—but, as it turns out, that’s not what I was most in the mood for. Instead, I took advantage of the empty house to sing alone, without worrying how much I was butchering the songs.

So I went through the remaining songs (four tiers) on the disc in Expert Vocals. Which was a lot of fun; one side effect of going through the on-disc content instead of cherry-picking songs is that I spent more time in my chest voice than I had been, and that’s okay. And Expert is proving surprisingly easy; I’m not sure how much I’m getting better and how much is due to having no-fail mode turned on, but it also wouldn’t surprise me if the error bars were noticeably wider than in earlier games in the series.

Of course, difficulty in Vocals is such a different thing than for the instruments proper: so much depends instead on how the song matches my range. The Impossible songs really were noticeably more difficult, but I couldn’t see much of a difference between the other tiers. Getting 5 stars was never a surprise, though it didn’t happen most of the time; gold stars were a surprise, and while I did finally manage to get 100% on one of the songs (25 or 6 to 4), I still haven’t managed that a second time.

After one of those vocal bouts, I took a look at the challenges and decided to give a keyboard challenge a try. It was only after I’d bought the necessary DLC that I realized it was for regular Keys instead of Pro Keys; I’d stayed away from that in the past, but I figured I might as well give it a try this time. Fun enough, I can imagine non-pianists might enjoy it rather more than Pro Keys, but I found the song just as easy and quite a bit more interesting when I took a swing at it on Pro Keys.

Despite my Vocals focus, I did put in my Pro Guitar practice, going through seven songs. Just Like Heaven was super fun, including when I played it plugged in; no idea why it was labeled Nightmare. Light My Fire was good barre chord practice with a pleasant solo, I enjoyed it as well but didn’t feel I did as well as I should have. Cold as Ice was the last of the Nightmare songs; in general, I enjoyed that tier rather more than the Challenging songs, which surprises me somewhat.

And then I did the first four Impossible songs. I don’t know why I wasn’t looking forward to playing Crosstown Traffic, but there were some really fun riffs there. Big Country was pleasantly melodic, centering on finding the correct hand location and then noodling around. Bohemian Rhapsody was quite bare, though what’s there was pleasant enough; it seems like there must be a lot more notes on Expert. And my main takeaway from Dead End Friends was that the Impossible songs are relatively melody-heavy, but that I’m not finding that as off-putting as I found solos in easier tiers. (But I’m also not putting in the effort to learn the melodies!)

So: seven down, eight left to go. I’m pretty sure I’ll split the remaining eight over two weekends: they’re hard enough that going through all eight would take quite a lot of time, and I doubt I’ll choose to do that. Certainly I’m making reliable enough progress that I won’t feel like a slacker if I split the remainder over two weeks. And that will leave me with a bit of time to go through the Vocals Hall of Fame challenge, too.

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