Rock Band Status: July 1, 2012

Jul 03 2012

On Saturday, I had a pleasant time at Dan Apczynski‘s place playing games with him, Jorge Albor, Mattie Brice, and Kirk Hamilton. Which was super fun; we played some board games (Pandemic, Betrayal at House on the Hill) and some Rock Band 3, and Dan even gave me some super-useful guitar tips! Just having him show me around his setup was useful, but he also had some suggestions on getting better tone.

On Sunday, my goal was to finish Tier 4. Which I did! Well, sort of: the two songs I had left were Sir Duke and Humanoid, and I only managed two and a half stars on Sir Duke. Which I do think should probably be Tier 5, and has one characteristic that makes the game particularly unforgiving when playing it, namely that it has slowly strummed chords that it represents as a closely spaced arpeggio instead of a chord, and the timing is almost impossible to get right on that. Though the flip side is that I later found a section where it was perfectly happy to let me strum chords extra times; not sure what’s going on there, but I guess I got to cheat the scoring both ways, so it all balances out? Lots of ninths and minor sevenths, though, which I’m not good at; I enjoyed the song, and I can imagine returning to it eventually, but for now, I’m not going to put in the time to get three and a half songs.

That one is just DLC, though; for in-game achievement purposes, though, the one that counts was Humanoid, and that one I did manage to get three stars. Actually, if I’m remembering correctly, I got four stars on it? It’s unpleasant metal, and in particular I didn’t enjoy the fast dropped-D power chord stuff at the start; I did enjoy a later reasonably trick bit involving jumping between medium-high frets on the high strings and then low frets on low strings, that’s something I wouldn’t always have been able to do. Still, ultimately: not something I enjoyed, I went through once and then declared victory.

I’d also downloaded a couple of pieces of DLC this week. Good Girl was Tier 3, and I was surprised how much I enjoyed it: some pleasant power chords, some full barre chords that I was pleased that my hands could jump to with very little problem. And the single-note runs were within reach, too. I’m thinking I might even add that one to the regular practice rotation—not my favorite song overall, but the guitar part is fun and instructive for me right now.

The other was Drops of Jupiter. Which was only Tier 2, but I found it a lot harder than Good Girl: a fair number of slightly unusual bits and some arpeggiation that I didn’t always get right. It was reasonably fun to play, but I don’t think I’ll return to it.

So: Tier 5 next! I’m pretty sure that Sir Duke is only the first of many songs that I won’t get three stars on, and I’m also sure that solos will start to be way beyond me. (I’ve started adding scales to my out-of-game practice in an effort to help with that.) I doubt I’ll push all the way through Tier 5, and certainly not through Devil Horns, but I’ll see what I can do. And when it gets too hard, I’ll probably start over at the beginning and really try to learn stuff.

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  1. […] last week’s experience, I decided to try adding Good Girl to the practice rotation. Which I was pretty rusty on, so I went […]