Sunday, February 19, 2012

The Rocksmith Experiment (Week 1)

Good evening all. After my first week with the game Rocksmith (as stated in my blog last week), I am ready to make my first post about my progress with it. Now, as a quick recap: You use a real guitar to play this game, thanks to the cable that it comes with, allowing any guitar with a 1/4' jack to plug and play. The game throws notes at you the way guitar hero does, but instead of having a set difficulty, adds the notes to the screen as you get better until the point that you're actually hitting all the real notes of the songs. With that, let's get to it.

The first thing to note is that while this game does have tutorials explaining all of the techniques and more, I haven't really tapped into them much as of yet. I admit I've been kind of eager with each new song that came up as I finished the last. There weren't any that I'd say I was too incredibly good at (though Nirvana's "In Bloom" is kind of a cakewalk regardless of your level of experience, especially once the notes change to chords in the game), but I was certainly able to hold my own all the same. The note patterns each song will start you out with are much simpler than the tracks are to play themselves. It's as you get better and better that more notes begin to add on and you learn new techniques in the process, almost whether you want to you or not.

My only gripe is that I need to also be making sure I'm not forming any bad habits, as I'm sure that I can't be doing everything perfectly just yet. Hy hands are a bit small, so stretching them to shifts and such is a bit of a task for me still. This has been causing me to sometimes awkwardly use my pointer and index finger for things it probably shouldn't be, and I need to force myself to come out of that more.

I also have yet to try any of the mini-games thrown in to help with muscle memory and technique, and I'm still wondering how those will actually fare once I try them. They sound like an interesting and possibly useful idea. I'll post my thoughts on that next week if I've given it a try by then.

The last thing I'll point out is that I have noticed my picking ability getting a little bit better overall. My issue was never holding the pick properly or anything like that, but simply controlling it enough to pick up and down at a consistent rate and speed. I am still not quite there with this technique yet, but I feel that once I am, I will likely begin to do quite a bit better, especially for songs like Queens of the Stone Age's "Go With The Flow," where being able to up and down strum is a necessity.

All in all, I would say this has been a good first week in that I've addressed some things I need to work on and now pretty much know my limits as of yet. Hope I can work myself even harder by the end of week two!

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