Guitar Status: February 18, 2013

Feb 18 2013

A lot of guitar playing this week. I think I played Rocksmith two weekday evenings this week, and I played it either two or three days of the three-day weekend, and I got together with Joan to play guitar as well. And we sounded surprisingly non-horrible! She had me look up “12-bar blues”, so I watched a video about that (and then searched some more and got more confused, so I’m glad I started out with that one); that gave me something to work off of, and she played on top of that up at the twelfth fret. Which was a lot of fun, and something I’m not used to (my music background is classical, so improvisation is pretty foreign to me); good times.

As to Rocksmith, I’ve been going through DLC all week, both the songs I’d downloaded the previous week and the Clash three-pack that came out this week. (I hadn’t intentionally been focusing on DLC, but the game’s leveling up algorithm decided that that was what was appropriate to throw at me.) By now I’ve gone through all of those songs at least once, some of them twice, and I continue to think that they are a good, varied mix: e.g. this morning’s set was This Love, Tom Sawyer, Black Magic Woman, and Paris, and while I won’t claim that that’s the most coherent set of all time, I enjoyed playing each of the songs.

Some of the songs were ones I’d played on Rock Band 3 as well; interesting comparing the different versions. Rock Band 3 puts multiple parts together, and doesn’t expose string bending (or harmonics, as was noticeable in More Than a Feeling), but there are differences beyond that: Rocksmith uses two-note chords in More Than a Feeling while Rock Band 3 uses four-note chords, and some of the chord variants that Rock Band 3 has in London Calling aren’t there in Rocksmith. And I’m sure there are similar differences in the other direction, too. What’s a little more frustrating was finding the arpeggiation part in More Than a Feeling in Rocksmith: it’s there if you choose the appropriate guitar part, but when you’re playing at less than 100%, they don’t just remove notes, they change the timing. So that was pretty annoying: it was a part I knew how to play, yet the game was telling me I was doing the wrong thing when actually it was giving me the wrong notes! Eventually, though, I got good enough at what it was asking me to do to get those sections to 100% difficulty, at which point it gave me the correct notes.

(It would seem that I’m not the only person playing Rock Band less, because they just announced that they’ll stop releasing weekly DLC in a month and a half. No huge surprise—the Blitz rereleases mean that they effectively haven’t been releasing new DLC for much of the last month already—but a bit sad none the less.)

I had a string break today for the first time since I got the SG; I did buy an extra set of strings when I got the guitar, but the store didn’t have Gibson strings around, so they sold me some D’Addario strings instead. Which are fine, but my first reaction is that they’re a bit bright; I think I’ll try Gibson strings the next time I replace the new strings. Which raises the question of which type; I’ll start with the “Special Alloy Humbucker Guitar Strings”, but who knows what actually came on the guitar. (The web page for the guitar I have just says .010–.046, but it doesn’t specify the strings beyond that.)

The other thing I’ve been doing musically is practicing piano for the violin recital. Mostly pleasant enough, though I really am not thrilled with the arrangement for the Vivaldi pieces; I should probably go through those two most days between now and the recital, to at least try to get them sounding good.

One response so far

  1. […] Last week, I alleged that Rock Band 3 throws more chord variations at you during London Calling than Rocksmith does; I played through that song today, and I now no longer think that’s the case, I think it’s actually throwing the same chords at you, just on different strings. Interesting seeing the difference. (There’s definitely a difference in More Than a Feeling, though.) […]