Rock Band Status: May 13, 2012

May 13 2012

I told Miranda’s violin teacher that I could be the accompanist for his students’ next recital, so I spent most of my music time this weekend going through those songs. Mostly songs that I’ve played before, and in particular the hardest ones are all ones I’ve played before, though there are a few new ones that will require some amount of practice. So I imagine I’ll be somewhat busy going through those until I feel that they are well enough into my fingers that I won’t distract from the students’ playing; the recital isn’t until June 8, so I certainly have more than enough time.

When playing Rock Band, I mostly went through old songs. And, actually, they mostly sounded pretty good, or at least not awful, I’m happier than I have been about the sound that’s coming out of the amp. The newest song that I added to the rotation is Something Bigger, Something Brighter, whose triplets I’d been practicing all week; the practice helped, but it’s still way too fast for me to play at full speed without missing a bunch of notes. Something to work on, definitely: my right hand needs to get better at that kind of stuff.

The one new piece this week was Smoke on the Water. Which I was excited about, and which turned out to be fun enough, but still a bit of a disappointment. Basically, the only part that’s at all difficult is the solo: it’s a tier 4 song, but if you throw away the solo, it’s more like tier 0. (At least that’s how it felt to me, though maybe it’s unusually well-suited to me: I ended up #85 on the leaderboard, which is quite high for me for on-disc content, and it’s a popular enough song that I would think many people would have taken a swing at it?) The solo actually would be a good one for me to work on, if I should so choose: it’s definitely too hard for me, but most of it is noodling around without changing your hand position too much, so if I spent the time to learn the hand position changes, the rest would be good practice. I’m not planning to do that right now, but maybe eventually I’ll make a run through the game trying to get better at solos? The one other thing that I learned was when playing it unmuted: there are arpeggiated chords with a fair amount of space after them. If I just play them normally, then the last note of the chord sounds for a while; so I experimented with lifting up my left hand after playing the last note to mute the chord. Worked pretty well, though there’s definitely room for improvement.

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