Rock Band Status: January 29, 2012

Jan 30 2012

This week, I acquired my first non-CRT TV (yes, I am behind the times), which meant that I had to actually calibrate Rock Band before playing it. Which I was a little nervous about, but the automatic calibration that comes with the current guitar controllers works great, so I can’t tell any timing difference at all. Looks good, too, though you can definitely tell that the game’s not in 1080p.

After which, of course, I sat down to practice. Aside from going through four or five of the older songs, my guitar practice was: Fly Like an Eagle (boring and surprisingly hard); Walking on the Sun (simple, fun, I somehow reached #98 on the leaderboard); Touch Me (meh chord practice, but the hammer-on bit was surprisingly instructive when I played it plugged in, I’m getting to where I rather like hopos though they still don’t sound as good as I’d like); Space Oddity (interesting chord variants in the strummy bits, a bit too long of a solo for me); Get Free (a surprisingly pleasant mix of power chords and single notes, I rather enjoyed it); Antibodies (at least I dislike it on Pro Guitar rather less than on other instruments; and I managed to break a pick on that one); and Du Hast (I suppose it’s good that my two least favorite songs on the disk showed up back to back, because now they’re both out of the way).

A quite solid weekend’s practicing, and now I’m done with Apprentice! On to, uh, Solid? (Two-dot difficulty.)

That’s Pro Guitar. I didn’t do so much Pro Bass, but I did get a few out of the way: My Sharona was quite a bit of fun; Working for the Weekend’s fast triplets were too much for me but it was quite pleasant otherwise (and rhyming “weekend” with “deep end” is lyric genius); Ziggy Stardust was absolutely the best thing to play; I Can See for Miles was fun in training, but in the actual song you play the same note over and over again for most of it (in fact, you can make it to three stars before you have to play a second note), and by the time you get to the interesting bits, it’s been long enough since your training that I for one screwed up; and Spanish Bombs never required you to change your hand position but had enough variation that I had fun nonetheless. (No reason why I should have missed a note on Spanish Bombs, and while of course I did miss three or four, I reached #6 on the leaderboard, though admittedly that doesn’t mean much for DLC.)

On the piano front, I’ve been slacking on my Musical Offering practice, but I did put in a decent hour. The Six-Part Ricercar continues to be extremely thorny; I’ll be done with my first pass at figuring out fingerings and hand placement in a couple of weeks, but I’m pretty sure I’ll need another full second pass before I can start seriously thinking about the musicality. I did at least work more seriously on the Three-Part Ricercar this time, instead of just coasting: it sounds good enough that I enjoy just playing it, but there’s definitely enough room for improvement that I shouldn’t settle for the way it sounds now.

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