Guitar Status: May 13, 2013

May 13 2013

I’ve hit the Rush portion of my song list in Rocksmith, clearly: the game had me play Subdivisions last week, Tom Sawyer this week, and I see both Red Barchetta and Limelight in the next event. Subdivisions was great because its arpeggio section was good practice for me; the arpeggio section in Tom Sawyer uses some of the same chords but throws in a few more, as it turns out. Which is also great: there’s enough common ground between the two songs for me to be able to start to make sense of Tom Sawyer, but it’s definitely a stretch for my current abilities. So after I’d gotten to where I could play the song well enough to qualify for the event, I went back to that section to work on it in practice mode; I returned to it again on Sunday and even on Monday morning (I took the morning off from work), a good choice.

I can’t remember too much about the events other than that; but I have been playing songs outside of events more and more often these days. Sometimes I’m returning to the same songs, often trying to learn multiple guitar parts from them (More Than a Feeling, Anna Molly, Six AM Salvation); sometimes I’m just dipping into fun stuff. Sometimes I focus on sections in riff repeater mode, sometimes I just play through the whole thing.

This morning I decided to try to unlock all of the pedals, so I went to look at what on-disc songs I hadn’t gotten 70,000 points on. There were a few, and rather than bang my head against them, I decided to try out alternate parts to unlock the pedals that way. And that was an interesting experience on itself: unsurprisingly, it turns out that songs that I’d been having trouble with the main part on are also tricky (but more manageable) on the other parts, so I got some good practice with fairly fast plucking and pull-offs.

After doing that, though, I got to where I’d gotten 70,000 parts on at least one part of all songs except for The Star-Spangled Banner; I started working on the latter and then I realized that it wasn’t showing me a tone to unlock! So I looked more closely and realized that, on some songs, there’s an alternate part that unlocks a different tone than the main part does. So I guess that’s what I’ll work on next week; certainly my experiences with trying out alternate parts have been almost universally positive. Heck, maybe after that I’ll go through all of the alternate parts that I haven’t tried yet.

I like where my practice is going these days: playing through events some to give me randomness, working on a few specific songs to get better at them, working on arpeggios specifically to try to improve my skills there, and also trying to explore more broadly. This adds up to a very pleasant way to spend my weekends.

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