Rock Band Status: January 16, 2012

Jan 16 2012

A three-day weekend, which I took advantage of by putting in quite a bit of Rock Band time. Starting with the Pro Guitar training mode: coming into the weekend, there were only four segments that I hadn’t done, two within Advanced Single Note Runs and two within More Chord Holding and Arpeggiation. And I finished off one of the former (the fifth in that group, with tons of hopos); I still haven’t quite managed the first one (tremolos), though I’m not too far away, certainly I could do it if I get lucky. I didn’t manage either of the arpeggiation ones: I’m not particularly close to being able to finish the second segment in that group (I need to be faster at shifting into barre chords), but I think it’s mostly bad luck that I haven’t yet managed the third segment in that group.

Then I went to songs on Pro Guitar. I first went back to some older songs that had been giving me trouble and where I’d been working on the relevant techniques offline, and my practice definitely helped: on Last Dance, I had a much longer streak in the barre chord section than before, and I finally managed to at least get three stars on Take On Me, and while my streaks were still shockingly short, I fell out of them as often because of the alternating strumming on the D chord as because of jumping to the barred C chord.

As to new songs: Yoshimi was a song that I’d done surprisingly badly on at Hard, so I was worried about it on Expert, but it actually went much better: part of that is because my skills have improved, but a lot of that also has to do with my trying out a thinner pick. So I’ll have to keep my eyes out for other songs where I can use that. It sounded surprisingly good when plugged in, too, and actually I spent a while just playing it outside of game (unplugged and unmuted). Modern Love was easy to the point of being a little boring (so I guess not all DLC is harder than the rating says), but it’s so much fun to sing that I didn’t mind: that made it possible for me to sing while playing guitar. (Though, actually, the vocals at the end demanded enough concentration that I wasn’t able to sing them accurately while playing.) And Midlife Crisis was enough not my style that I didn’t put significant amounts of time into it. Which was the last Warmup song: glad to have successfully navigated that tier! Hopefully I’ll be okay for another tier or two, but I’m certainly going to hit some real challenges at some point, maybe halfway through.

Today I played a bunch of Pro Bass, all in the two-dot tier. (Solid is apparently the official name of that tier.) In general, a fair amount of alternating strumming, without too much moving around but usually with enough to keep me interested; Portions for Foxes was particularly good alternating strumming practice, I Need to Know and Outer Space were straightforward but pleasant, Rock Lobster was similar and easy enough that there was no individual note I should have missed (though I did miss several of them), Get Free was surprisingly pleasant the second time, once I got the notes right.

Viva La Resistance was much much harder than any of the preceding songs: the tremolo section in the beginning is fast enough that it took me a while to realize during training that I was only playing it at half the speed I’m supposed to! Pity, because it’s absolutely one of my favorite songs on disc (and my most surprising favorite on disc); something to work on, I guess? She’s Got the Look had fairly relentless alternating strumming, albeit not as fast; it was good practice on switching strings during alternating strumming. Foolin’ is a song that I don’t like and while I’m usually good at finding something interesting in the technique even on such songs, I didn’t manage that here. Here I Go Again was pleasantly easy; but I was shocked to discover when I finished it that I’d reached #25 on the leaderboard, I’m not usually in the top 10% for Pro Bass. (Makes me wonder how many people have played the song on Pro Bass.) I mean, I did a good job, but I wasn’t perfect or anything, and I would have thought many other people would manage a similarly good job? And Touch Me was pleasant enough, though I don’t have a lot to say other than that.

And then there’s a discovery I made: if you hit down on the D-pad on the screen after finish the song, you see tons of stats: longest streak, a breakdown of accuracy percent on each section of the song, a breakdown of how much of your score is due to accuracy / streaks / overdrive, etc. I would say that I have no idea how I’d been unaware of this for so long, except that the on-screen indicator isn’t very obvious and I’m usually not thinking about the D-pad. Still: very glad I learned about that!

I practiced the Musical Offering a couple of times this weekend; the 6-Part Ricercar is still hard, but I’m getting through it, so hopefully in another month I’ll be able to play the whole thing and not sound dreadful. There will, of course, be a lot of work to do after that, but that’s when it will really get fun, so that’s okay.

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  1. […] a three day weekend, I didn’t play as much Ni No Kuni as I probably should have: I was in a more Rock Band mood instead. (And a little tired on Monday because I was on call for work this weekend.) At least I did […]