Rock Band Status: March 18, 2012

Mar 18 2012

What with GDC, I didn’t play Rock Band at all last weekend, and basically didn’t do anything musical for almost two weeks straight. This weekend was a little busy, but clearly I didn’t want to let that happen again, so I made sure to play some Rock Band on Saturday.

Which was, of course, great! I went through my regular round of practice pieces, and then on to new pieces: only three this week (like I said, I was a little busy), which were:

  • Combat Baby: super fun. Nice single note bits, pleasant chords that were mostly bottom three/four strings but with some interesting seventh fret playing around. Learned something (especially about the latter) from playing it plugged in.
  • Viva La Resistance; great song (one of my favorites to listen to on the disk), though actually not my most favorite to play guitar on. In particular, the alternating strumming is sometimes a bit too fast, especially when playing it muted; it improves significantly when plugged in. But even so I made it through it fine and there are a fair number of non-tremolo parts to enjoy; and it’s a reminder that I should get back to finding five minutes to do tremolo practice every evening. (Easy enough to do while cooking dinner, after all.
  • Ziggy Stardust: the arpeggiations were extremely similar to those in More Than a Feeling, it had nice power chord mixture, single note runs, all around lots of fun.

In fact, tier three guitar has been great all around: More than a Feeling and Working for the Weekend remain two of my favorite songs to play. (I should probably come up with a tier three practice list to return to, and quite possible all three songs that I learned this weekend will go on it.) So maybe that’s my current sweet spot? Which is gratifying: I’m sure I’ll hit a wall at some point, but I’m halfway through the difficulty curve on Expert and I’m still doing more than okay. The flip side is that I’m not coming close to perfect on any of these; but that’s good, too, I imagine I learn the most if I can do well enough on a piece to enjoy it and to motivate me to really learn it while having enough flaws in my playing that I really do need to work to learn the piece.

Liesl and I also started chipping away at the DLC backlog on Saturday (on fake guitar/bass); nothing too striking there, though Call Me was a reminder that I really like singing along with Blondie. (I fear that the high notes there are just enough on the edge of my range that I’d be nervous singing when anybody else is along, alas.) And Liesl and I should go through the Hall and Oates and Heart songs on harmonies, too.

Today I put in my piano practice; felt rusty (and my fingers actually felt sluggish, through a combination of the temperature and being out of practice), and the Three-Part Ricercar sounded as bad as I can remember in a while. The Six-Part Ricercar started bad, too, but eventually got better; I really am getting close to not sounding horribly incompetent at that. And I went through some songs from My Neighbor Totoro at the end, always fun to play through Ghibli music.

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