Guitar Status: January 6, 2013

Jan 07 2013

I played a bit of Rock Band 3 on Saturday, working on my vocals. I’m working on three songs now: Bohemian Rhapsody on Expert, Good Vibrations on Hard, and trying to get 100% on 20th Century Boy. And I didn’t succeed on any of them. I think I improved on all three, but there’s definitely a ways to go; and I’m not going to bang my head for too long on any of those goals. Not that I don’t like singing, but if I’m going to sing, I should probably do that with Liesl.

I did the singing while Liesl and Miranda were out of the house with one of our cars, and while I’d loaned the other car to a friend: otherwise, I would have been out of the house as well, going shopping. Because, as threatened, I wanted to go guitar shopping on Saturday. And, fortunately, Liesl and Miranda weren’t out for very long, so I did head out after them.

And it was a success! I ended up just playing Gibson models; mostly SGs, though I gave one Les Paul a try. (Which was great, but not great enough for me to want to spend $700 more on it.) I was thinking I would give the SG Special Faded a try, since it’s supposed to be a solid SG for a good price. (Ignore the list price on that page, it’s available for a lot less retail.) And they had one (with the Worn Cherry finish, which was really lovely); I liked it a lot, and would have been very happy to walk out with it.

But somebody had put a 2011 50th Anniversary SG Standard 24 for sale up in the consignment section for only $150 more, and that really was a wonderful instrument. I tried out a few different models, but I kept on coming back to those two; I liked the looks of the SG Special Faded maybe a bit more, and actually it had longer sustains, but the Standard had more character in its treble pickup. (The Special had a very clear sound on both the regular and treble pickups, but too little differentiation between the two.) So ultimately I decided I liked the sound more for the Standard, and the price difference was great given the difference in list price (not that I plan to resell it, but still: the difference in value between the two is more than $150), so I went for it.

And I’m super super happy with that. I brought it home, plugged it in, and fiddled around; then I started going through songs on Rocksmith. And songs where I’d been starting to hit my limits all of a sudden were a lot easier, the fingerboard was just easier to move around on, and bending strings was a lot more natural. (And those sustains are ridiculous.)

So: it was the right time for me to buy a new guitar (and the right time in a way that it wouldn’t have been a month and a half ago), and I’m very happy with the choice of instrument.

Not much else to say on the Rocksmith front; basically, I’m just going through the events. I unlocked the last bonus song; I was starting to get a little annoyed at the bonus songs because they’re sometimes focusing on solo techniques that I’m not that interested in, and in fact this week I ran into one of them (Boss) that was the first song that I’ve felt was really too hard for me in ways that I’m not actively interested in struggling with right now. Except that, in the same event, I had to play another bonus song, Six AM Salvation, which is both super fun musically and has very amusing lyrics. So: yay bonus songs after all! (I still wish there were a way to tell it “don’t show me Boss again in the rotation”, though.) I’m still generally seeing the same part over and over again for a given song, I wonder when it’s going to start showing me more parts?

One of my coworkers also started playing Rocksmith over the holiday; and another is interested, and I think might be interested in using it to learn bass. Which could turn out really fun – it could give us access to a common set of songs that we could play with two guitars and a bass. So who knows, maybe this will lead to me playing guitar outside of games!

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  1. […] I mentioned last week, one of my coworkers has started playing Rocksmith as well. We talked about that and decided that […]