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Rock Band 3
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 30, 2012 6:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The bass drum is the most difficult part. I think it's partly because we're not used to doing intricate tasks with our feet. But also because bass drum parts often seem to be independent of what you're doing with your arms, weaving in between notes for off-beats, and then accenting notes other times. The typical parts you play with your arms just make sense: set a tempo with your right arm on either ride cymbal or high hat, and then accent the beat with your left arm on the snare. It's intuitive and natural. But the bass is all over the place.

Really quick "bum-bump" hits with the bass drum are still difficult for me for more than one or two at a time, especially if the first note is an off-beat. That's one of the benefits of two pedals: you can use either one any time you want. It doesn't have to be a double bass part. So for those really fast one-two bass notes, you can just "roll" it between both feet. Sometimes when there's a song with three bass drum notes per measure in a 4/4 time signature, I'll go right-left-right, right-left-right, just to give my right leg a break. Most drummers probably don't do it this way, and it might be making me lazy. But I do try to mix it up so it doesn't become a habit. Sometimes I just play exclusively with my left leg, so that if I ever do get a real set, I'll be used to using it (e.g. for high hat).

The times that do call for actual "double bass" are usually similar to what you'd do with your hands if you were doing a drumroll on the snare drum. You don't even have to think about it, as long as your tempo is right.

I believe the drums in Rock Band and Guitar Hero are very similar. I can even play some RB discs on my set. As far as difficulty goes, Expert+ is exactly as hard as it sounds! Smile It took me about three years to get here, and there are still plenty of songs I can't play at that level (most Tool songs, a few Van Halen like Hot For Teacher, Spirit of Radio by Rush, etc.)
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 07, 2012 4:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, I think two pedals would be good for those faster songs, as my foot gets tired. Having a break by switching between the two would be nice.

Hey, Z, you play guitar or bass, right? By which I mean the real instruments, not the 5 fret toys, yeah?
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 07, 2012 6:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I used to play bass and keyboard, but I haven't played either in years. After my band split up, I lost interest. Now I play with my family.
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Remain faithful to the earth, my brothers, with the power of your virtue. Let your gift-giving love and your knowledge serve the meaning of the earth ... Do not let them fly away from earthly things and beat with their wings against eternal walls. Alas, there has always been so much virtue that has flown away. Lead back to the earth the virtue that flew away, as I do–back to the body, back to life, that it may give the earth a meaning, a human meaning. -Nietzsche
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 09, 2012 1:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I mostly play with myself! Wink
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 26, 2013 6:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think with the combination of both Rock Band 3 and Rocksmith, I'm really making progress. I'm improving scores on RB3 just about every time now, and just got 5 stars on the first and easiest Hard I've tried on pro-Guitar, so I'm just so damn pleased.
While I was out of town recently, I brought my travel amp and guitar along and fiddled around and picked out a few songs that I'm trying to master now. I think I'm now going through the honeymoon period, and think I can at least play a little bit of a song for people to at least show people I am learning something.
It's cool, but now I kinda want a bass. Let the "need for more instruments" begin.
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 25, 2013 1:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry about the late reply ... awesome! Good for you. Playing an instrument is so rewarding. I'm very happy that I've picked up the bass again after all these years (nearly 20 ... that's depressing ... trying not to think of lost youth, lol). One of the good things about taking all this time off is that I've unlearned a lot of bad habits from teaching myself how to play. I realize now I was doing a lot of things wrong.

My brother just bought a drum set for the first time in decades, too. He's a badass. He participated in the school band and took lessons since middle school, so he was taught how to play, correctly. I wish we could get our old band back together. I'm writing music now that so much cooler than the songs we wrote back then. Different cities, different lives.
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Meaning is created internally by each individual in each specific life: any attempt at *meaning* which relies on some kind of external superstructure (God, Satan, the Creator, the Worm, whatever) for its substance misses the point (I mean the point of my story). -SRD

Remain faithful to the earth, my brothers, with the power of your virtue. Let your gift-giving love and your knowledge serve the meaning of the earth ... Do not let them fly away from earthly things and beat with their wings against eternal walls. Alas, there has always been so much virtue that has flown away. Lead back to the earth the virtue that flew away, as I do–back to the body, back to life, that it may give the earth a meaning, a human meaning. -Nietzsche
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 18, 2014 2:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's been a while since I have done a status report, so here goes:
I finished all the songs I have for Keys on Medium, so now begins the long slog through Hard difficulty. The few I have played on keys on hard has been a lot of fun and looks like a great new challenge, but I've gotten 5 stars on each I've tried at the easiest section so far. Oh, and by the way, I consider a song "finished" when I get 5 stars - the top score of their scoring system (other than perfect).
Now mind you, this is not "pro-keys" where you play keyboard as one would normally. This is the pared down to 5 keys on the keyboard that you play, just like the difference between playing the Rock Band or Guitar Hero guitars to playing Pro-guitar or even Rocksmith or Bandfuse. Just to show that this acheivement isn't amazing, but I do feel progress being made. I had one song on medium keys that I haven't been able to beat for a while, and I spent the other night pounding away until I did so. As for Pro-keys, I'm doing fairly well on medium, and have "finished" a heap of songs, but as it is a completely different ballgame (actually playing a pared down version of the actual keyboard part, of which Expert is supposed to be the full version), and only having one class on piano over 20 years ago, I feel like I'm doing pretty good. And I keep improving scores and "finishing" songs.
As for the guitar stuff, I keep progressing pretty well. Especially on Pro-Bass. I "finished" several songs on the hardest section of medium last time I played Pro-Bass, ones I have been struggling with since the beginning, as they were songs originally included with the Rock Band 3 game. So I felt really good about that. I don't have a lot of medium pro-bass left, and I do one new song on Hard each run-through, of which I typically finish on the first pass.
I may not have mentioned this, but my method of running through all of this is to run through the entire library and play each song once that I have not "finished" and then do the same for the next instrument. I get a little bored hammering away at a song until I get it, which is probably what I should be doing. This means it is often months before I return to the song on the same instrument if I don't "finish" it. I feel like I'm acquiring skills for whenever I do hit the higher levels that require me to learn the damn song and bang away until I get it. Which is probably why I don't like Rocksmith, as it seems to require this sort of repetition.
Meanwhile, in the non-game front, I've come up with an idea for a band and I'm asking for a four-track for my birthday next month to tinker around and lay down some tracks in case I wish to pursue this. The idea is this: Parent Punk. Parents have angst too. I imagine trying to play gigs that end before midnight or earlier, mainly to play to parents that need to relieve the babysitter and expect to be awoken by children early the next morning. Cater to the audience.
I expect the songs to have titles like, "Called Into the Principal's Office Again," "PTA Sucks," "I'm Not Going To Watch Another F*ing Episode Of Barney (or Dora, etc)," and songs about being 40-something like "Health Scare," and such. I just remember when I was young and going to punk clubs, so much of what the songs were about was hating your parents, so it seems like it would be fun to do a little turnabout and try it from the other side. And to play a bit of a role like several punks like Fear did; being way over the top. I love my kids, and would have to explain to them if they ever heard the songs that daddy is just playing a role. I have to say that watching Louie has influenced this idea, and I came up with the idea while at a Gogol Bordello concert. It just seems like the songs will write themselves, and is something I've never heard of before.
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 11, 2014 4:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Newest update:
I bought a Bass. I've been trying it on BandFuse and Rocksmith, and I still prefer BandFuse. Sadly, I went to check on new Downloadable Content, and only one a couple songs, whereas before I saw several. I searched for the main site and most of the pages associated with Band Fuse are pretty much gone. I saw something on Facebook saying they are no longer able to serve the US or whatnot. So, crap.
I'm seeing some rumblings from Harmonix that they are thinking of bringing back Rock Band for the latest generation of consoles, so here are some crossed fingers. And I really hope they do like they did before in keeping the difficulty levels, but make it available to all guitars like Rocksmith and BandFuse did. And hopefully they will also let you use those cables so I don't have to buy a new one to play the damn game.
Amazon is currently selling BandFuse with the cable for $25, so if you have an interest on what is essentially an already dead alternate to Rocksmith, I personally say it is worth it, particularly if you are new to playing the guitar or bass (and you don't need to pay extra to include the bass).
Thanks to the Pro Bass in Rock Band 3, I was able to pick it up and plow through the first couple difficulty levels. And I was getting to about 60% in Rocksmith on the songs I was playing on first sight read. So I must say that I feel pretty good about my bass playing ability. I just wish I could say the same about the guitar.
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 26, 2014 4:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am definitely enjoying Bandfuse on the Bass now. One easy song in particular (Coldplay's Yellow) I'm almost playing the full part on, which is cool since I only started with it about a month ago (at least as far as wielding an actual bass).
I realized last night I need to pick out the bass part on the Sly and the Family Stone song "Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)." It's too good not to.
To keep this a Rock Band thread, I'm still working my way through the songs, and usually see improvement each time, but lately with so much bass playing, the frets are SO much closer together that it seems almost easier to play guitar, but isn't.
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 13, 2015 4:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

For those who haven't heard, Rock Band 4 has been announced.
As an obvious Rock Band fan for years, I'm a little torn on this. First off, it is going to be for PS4, which I don't own, which upon first instinct meant I would need to buy one eventually. But now I'm not so sure.

The Good News:
-They are trying to make it use all existing hardware. As I still have pretty much all of mine (although some are starting to fail out a bit, and would love to replace at the non-exorbitant prices that exist now), this makes me happy.
-Nearly all DLC will transfer over as long as you are on the same system (XBOX360 -> XBOX One, PS3->PS4, but not PS3->XBOX One for example).
-should have some new features not discussed yet.
-will not be releasing new games every year. RB4 will act as a hub to support all future changes, either free or pay to upgrade an aspect of the system. This is definitely one of the smartest features of the new system - not requiring another $60 purchase every year or so just to release more songs and a tweak or two. But Rock Band was always pretty good at adding more to each release instead of it just being a track pack each time.

The Bad News:
-Only for PS4 and XBOX One. This may not be bad news for everyone.
-Pro-Guitar/Pro-Bass and the keyboards are out. This stings more than anything else for me, as I suspected they would get it together from their involvement with Band Fuse to update their system to use real guitars.
-Focusing on making the four person involvement better than what they had focused on before, which was leaning everything toward the real experience.

So, when I first heard it, I figured it would be what would make getting a PS4 a must, but now I'm not so sure. If we are stepping back toward the past of just making multiplayer fun, I feel like I already have it, and would only be upgrading to continue with new songs. I guess it depends on what new features are incorporated, but otherwise, I don't need to upgrade right away to get what I pretty much already have.
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 20, 2015 7:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am really enjoying Rocksmith. In fact, I would love to see a similar program for keyboards. I know, you can buy a keyboard and make yourself practice... but the same thing can be said about a guitar and my guitar has gotten more use since I got Rocksmith than all the years before when it sat in the closet.

Back around Christmas, I fired up my son's copy of Rock Band 3 (which I used to enjoy playing) and just could not get into it. A game controller will never be the same as a real guitar to me after Rocksmith.
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 31, 2015 4:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I feel about the same. I still host Rock Band parties now and again, and always have a good time, but I just don't feel the same love for the 5 fret fake guitar. It held its challenge until I started getting in the real thing, and now that I'm immersed in that, I'm not so interested in the fake except for group gatherings when I've had a few drinks and can't handle the real instrument. The question I'm asking myself now is if I want to upgrade the system and game just for a party game. My instinct is no.
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 24, 2016 7:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, I found another reason to upgrade, and that was the final re-emergence of The Last Guardian. I haven't bought a PS4 yet, but I intend to for Christmas. On my birthday, I asked for money toward that, and intended on buying Rock Band 4 at some point with the guitar because my kids broke the other fakey one, so I need at least one more for playing with friends. However, a friend let me know there was a special on the Band In A Box (drums, guitar, mike, and game) for $100 which was about $10 more than what I was going to spend for just the guitar and game. So now I have Rock Band 4 but no PS4. And I found that you cannot use PS4 equipment on PS3. So c'mon Christmas!
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 03, 2016 8:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ok, I got the PS4 now, and found that the woot! site Band-In-A-Box was a bust. It came with the European version of the game. The instruments work, and the disc works, but as it connects to the UK server, I cannot get any of my songs I have downloaded. Which blows. I'm fighting with Amazon to make this better, and I see others have spoken with the right agent and were mailed a US version of the game instead of having to return everything only to be shipped another version of the Band In A Box. It's stupid. At the very least, I can pick up a version from Game Stop and go with it, which essentially kills making that a good deal.
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