Saturday, August 1, 2009

Random GH stuff

In Guitar Hero: Metallica: I've now FCed Toxicity on both Guitar and Bass. I've had several annoying -1 runs on The Unforgiven (dropping AFTER the solo rrg). I just got a -4 on Frantic, only missing in the three massive alt-strumming sections (Palms Are Sweaty... and Frenetic Bridge 1 and 2).

Yesterday I started up Guitar Hero: Aerosmith and quickly remembered why I don't play it anymore. For anyone who's played it, you probably saw this coming, but Joe Perry's fretboard is fucking awful. It disguises notes as-is and under star power they're the same color. I got a -1 on Dream On by dropping an easy GY chord in a slow section because I couldn't fucking see the Green. Also I noticed I hadn't sightread most of its bonus tracks (called "The Vault") so I went through and did that. Sucks that Joe Perry's fretboard is so awful because you have to use it for over 60% of the songs. I kinda wanted to get an Expert FC in GH:A too.

If you need to get better at alt-strumming in Guitar Hero, pick up Guitar Hero: Metallica. Seriously. Mine's improved tremendously since I got GH:M. I can handle bursts a bit better now, though I still can't do bursts at the speed of those in The Way It Ends. I've actually found some gallop patterns where if I try to purely alt-strum them I drop, but if I play with the timing windows a bit and start each on a downstrum I can combo them no problem.

Good songs to practice include: (all on Expert)
  • Frantic
    • The bursts of 9 strums + 16th rest + chord at the beginning are great for practice.
    • Palms Are Sweaty... and the Frenetic Bridges are good for alt-strumming with the occasional HO/PO.
    • The rest of the song contains fairly simple bursts of 9, and later bursts of 25 where the first 8 are green, the second 8 are yellow, and the last 9 are green, even leading into one of the slider sections for a little practice whammying star power holds at the end of a burst.
  • War Ensemble Bass
    • Load up Verse 3 + Does It Hurt Yet?, ignore the first few notes, and lay into the purple wall.
    • For practice switching speeds, Verse 2.
    • For fret switching with pauses, Solo 1A + 1B.
  • Toxicity
    • Good for strumming bursts ending in sustains or between HO/PO strings.
    • Actual runs through the song will help you get better at whammying after alt-strumming.
    • Also good for weird alt-strumming rhythms.
The game is full of good songs to practice alt-strumming on, that's just a small selection of what's available.

There's a technique that's key for mastering alt-strumming, called subdivision. You want to subdivide the alt-strumming bursts (on, say, Frantic) into groups where you can easily discern how many times to strum and easily keep track of where you are in the burst so you know when to stop strumming. This will differ between people, but I'll tell you what I do. I subdivide them into groups of 4, and I mentally count "one, two, stop!" as I play each burst of 9. Also handy to know is that on those bursts of 9, if you start on a downstrum, you'll end on a downstrum. On the bursts of 25 it's the same, both are odd numbers.

Sometimes it helps to take musical section boundaries into account when subdividing. This works well on Frantic, which has a long burst of green that spans a section boundary (between Frenetic Bridge 2 and Pre Chorus 3). I still don't know how many notes there are in it, but I hit it without overstrumming the end pretty much every time.

Yeah, I play Frantic a lot. That's because I'm close to an FC of it. The SP path is painfully obvious, which will help overall score, but I'm getting more and more consistent on the alt-strumming.

It'd also be nice if I could FC Fuel, but I have a lot of random inconsistencies to work out first.

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