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Old April 11th, 2011, 09:30 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Complete newbie here

I built a Saga Fakecaster a few years ago with aspirations of learning to play . . . and failed miserably.

The guitar worked fine, but my brain and hands didn't.

Fast forward to late last year, and the release of Rock Band 3. I bought the game and after a bit of searching also picked up the Mustang Pro guitar controller.

Yes, a game. Don't laugh. While you could use the old five button guitars that are so familiar with these games, this one adds the ability to play an actual guitar in the game. There are basic lessons for picking notes, simple chords, as well as arpeggios, scales, hammer ons/pull offs, barre chords, etc. Each individual song (if it has a guitar track) also has lessons which break the song up into segments so you can learn each part. Some songs have as few as two segments, and one has forty.

I muddled my way through the Basic lessons set on the game, and started trying the songs out. On Easy Pro mode, it shows only single notes, and I worked for a while trying to get my fingers where they were supposed to go. The game has four difficulty settings for Pro mode. Easy, Medium, Hard, and Expert. On Expert, it supposedly has every note that was in the original song.

After a few weeks, and gaining some proficency (I thought), I went up to Medium, which adds chords to the mix. And did horribly. My hand and arm did *not* like the contortions required to press multiple frets down. Eventually it started to get tolerable. Not easy, but doable with effort. I've done at least one hour of practice every day for four months except for one weekend that I was stuck at work.

Then I picked up the Squier Stratocaster controller the first part of March, which I had to pay full retail for, and deal with a screw up on preorder (curse you Best Buy). I then learned that strings hurt a bit worse than the 100+ buttons n the Mustang controller. Not too badly, since I'd built up some calluses from the Mustang already.

And started learning from the beginning again. Some of the stuff I learned went straight over to the new guitar, but the feel was completely different. After a week or so, I was back to where I was, and I started consistently getting higher scores and percentages on the songs every time I played.

As of today, I'm struggling through some songs on Hard Pro mode, and can get decent scores on the simpler ones. One song (incredibly simple, Linkin Park's In the End) I got 95% on Expert Pro. So far, I'd say this game is the best learning tool I've run across. I've got 90% or better on all the songs on Medium, a few at 100%, and I'm starting to learn them on Hard.

Last week, I finally picked up a 2010 Fender Telecaster Classic '60s RI in black that I've been wanting for quite a while (Joe Strummer and Sharleen Spiteri fan). :)

Also got a Line 6 Spider IV amp and FBV MkII Shortboard, case, etc.

A bit long winded, but hello.

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Old April 11th, 2011, 09:41 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Old April 11th, 2011, 11:43 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Old April 11th, 2011, 03:00 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Old April 11th, 2011, 06:17 PM   #5 (permalink)
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