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Rocksmith
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 17, 2013 2:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The tuning, I am finding, kinda comes and goes. Sometimes I'll be playing for a while, adjusting after about every song, or every other song, and then it'll find a sweet spot that will stay in tune for a while. Again, I wonder if this is a hardware or software issue.

I have a feeling many of you will find the next story amusing, and illustrates the difference between learning with videogames and learning from an instructor. An instructor would have corrected this right away.
I was playing Rocksmith 2014 today and was working on clearing a bunch of the "missions" or whatever, and I got into the learning section. I was at the end of the time I wanted to play and my fingers were hurting, so I thought I would just complete a few video lessons of the basic that I would need do nothing with the guitar. One of the lessons was on picking, and I discovered that I've been holding my pick incorrectly. I've been holding it between my thumb and my index and middle finger, similar to how I hold a pencil. As Rock Band 3, which started my guitar education, didn't really have many quick parts thrown at you at the beginning, I got used to this style. I can't remember if there was an instructional segment at the beginning or not, but if they touched on this, I forgot it immediately. I know I You Tube'd a couple of the basics at the time, but I doubt I would have looked up how to hold the pick.
I've been struggling with tremeloes in Rocksmith since I got it, and now I understand why. Now it is much easier, and I'm amazed I have gone this long without picking up something as basic as how to hold the pick. I feel like an idiot.
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 29, 2013 10:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My boss gave me a $50 Amazon gift card so I bought RS 2014. Then I learned about the bad lag with hdmi and now have my xbox audio going through component cables into my surround sound. I really just started today learning this game. My biggest problem so far is learning the string colors, but I'll get there. I haven't played much since about '98 and have to re-learn a lot.
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 30, 2013 1:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Having played Bandfuse, I now say that Rocksmith is my least favorite of the learning tools. But some are not bothered by the constantly shifting note arrangement, which is my biggest complaint.
It shouldn't take long to get the colors. I just wish they would have used the same layout as Rock Band, especially since they were using the same colors. Good luck!
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 30, 2013 6:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm confused. I didn't think the new RS changes difficulty as you play. Or maybe I've just turned that off. Of course, I usually play in the "Learn a Song" mode, and have no interest in the other modes; maybe they're different. Also, Riff Repeater is accessible right from the songe itself, and you can use it to set the difficulty to anything you like, 0-100. You can also turn on or off the increasing difficulty, and/or the Master Mode (which I hate ... the notes disappear).
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 30, 2013 8:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cagliostro wrote:
Having played Bandfuse, I now say that Rocksmith is my least favorite of the learning tools. But some are not bothered by the constantly shifting note arrangement, which is my biggest complaint.
It shouldn't take long to get the colors. I just wish they would have used the same layout as Rock Band, especially since they were using the same colors. Good luck!


I've never heard of Bandfuse. Is it a similar program to Rocksmith (ie. using a real guitar)? How would you compare the two for someone who is a total novice at guitar playing?

*edit* - never mind, just found your other thread about Bandfuse Smile
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 31, 2013 3:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Zarathustra wrote:
I'm confused. I didn't think the new RS changes difficulty as you play. Or maybe I've just turned that off. Of course, I usually play in the "Learn a Song" mode, and have no interest in the other modes; maybe they're different. Also, Riff Repeater is accessible right from the songe itself, and you can use it to set the difficulty to anything you like, 0-100. You can also turn on or off the increasing difficulty, and/or the Master Mode (which I hate ... the notes disappear).


Maybe I've not tinkered with it enough yet, but in Riff Repeater you can turn off the increasing difficulty, but I haven't found a way to do that in the standard playthrough. And Riff Repeater only plays a section of the song, as near as I can tell. And yeah...I hate Master Mode as well, although I haven't known its name until now. Well, looks like I need to go back to Rocksmith and tinker before I fully pass judgment on it, but I have to say that Bandfuse uses the scoring I prefer in 1-5 stars, of which is really my own silliness. The first is because, at least in Rock Band and now in Bandfuse, I feel I've completed the current difficulty when I get 5 stars and then push myself by going to the next difficulty until I do the same. The second reason is that I often do chores, such as the dishes, while I play, and it determines how much of that chore I get done, such as the number of dishes I wash between songs. It gives me a bit of a break so that I don't get too much tunnel vision from playing for several hours. It's silly, but it works for me, and Rocksmith just doesn't doesn't have a scoring system that allows me to get chores done. Very Happy Or allows me to ever feel like I am done (unless, of course, if I master the song, which I still haven't sat down yet with a song and learned to play the full version from start to finish, mainly because I don't think I'm skilled enough yet).
As for Bandfuse...yes, it is something of a direct competition with Rocksmith in that both give training videos for novices and allow you to practice those skills in fun ways using a real guitar. I still haven't tinkered enough with Bandfuse to see all of its faults, but the review that I linked to in the Bandfuse thread gives some indication. But ultimately, it depends on what you enjoy, and I'll try to detail some of the pros and cons of each for the beginning guitar player, of which I certainly am.

Rocksmith (2014 is better than the standard in many ways, particularly loading times and menus, but obviously song choice is a factor)

Pros: Great instructional videos and ways of working through the skills, in particular the Guitarcade which for me helped hone some of the techniques they were teaching. But teaches the basics such as holding the guitar and the pick and so forth, and does so clearly from a standard instructional video type of way. As it has a year or two on its competition, there are more songs to download. Also, if you'd prefer to learn on your PC instead of a console, they have that option.

Cons: It has a system of dynamically changing the difficulty as you do well (or not) so you rarely get the same configuration of the song twice, until you get good enough to play the entire song. There may be something I'm missing to turn this off outside of Riff Repeater. Load times on the original suck. For me, the tuning doesn't work as well as it should, and I miss notes that I don't think I should have.

Bandfuse (based on 3 1-hour sessions with it)

Pros: Has five levels of difficulty that you choose from and the guitar parts remain static, which for me is VERY helpful. That way I can learn it and move on to harder when I feel like it, and still have the comfort food of the easier level whenever I want to play the easier version again.
Also has videos made by several artists that have been around for years that have useful insights into guitar playing, which might not always be the best for beginning players.
Better recognition that you are hitting the correct string and fret, as well as gives you a feeling of how long to keep the string singing and when to mute it to make the guitar sound that much better.
Teaches via tablature, so that you can pick up a music book on your favorite artist and read the guitar parts.
Is designed to be played easily with multiple players.
Judges vocals as well if you have a USB mike.

Cons: Nothing as nice as the Guitarcade at honing techniques.
I have heard but not tried out that the Rocksmith/Bandfuse cables are not compatible, so you are looking at an extra expense to get into the game, which I think sucks a bit. They should have made it compatible (if they didn't). Regardless, it is moot as at present there is not a package that just sells the game without the cord.
The review states that the ego of the artist gets in the way of actually teaching sometimes.
Downloadable content is nil at the moment, but early January looks to be a Hendrix pack.

All in all, the songs are what matters. So start by what setlist you like the best and go with it.
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 06, 2014 2:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Zar, have you tried "Subdivisions?" It may be me, but what I'm seeing visually to play doesn't match what I'm hearing. I'm constantly behind the beat.
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 08, 2014 6:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

DLB, in Subdivisions, they let the bass play a lot of notes that are actually Ged's Taurus bass pedals, or perhaps just synth notes. Ged switches back in forth in this song between synths and bass. That may be your issue. I haven't noticed any lag problems for this song, however (other than my usual).

You're playing bass? Cool!

Cag, the Riff Repeater settings can be used to set the difficulty in the actual play mode, I believe. At least that's how I've been doing it. Or you can play the entire song in the Riff Repeater itself, rather than just sections. All you have to do is set the playable sections (in Riff Repeater) to the beginning and end of the song. You can pick any section, any length you want.
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 10, 2014 12:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I suppose I should fiddle around with Rocksmith more, but I'm enjoying Bandfuse right now much more than I ever did Rocksmith. But I honestly didn't give 2014 much time, and it was a vast improvement over the original from what I saw.
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 15, 2014 6:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The lag issue finally started bugging me enough to do something about it. I think it's because I'm getting better. I've reach a level of difficulty on really hard songs where the lag issue makes it impossible to play really fast notes without the game counting them as "missed." Knowing that I couldn't possibly be missing so many notes (because I could hear myself play them, on the strings rather than through the speakers), I finally got fed up.

The solution is so easy and simple, I'm kicking myself for not doing it sooner. The problem comes from analog-to-digital conversion within the Xbox itself. It's not as much the various audio/video components in the signal path, but more a limitation of Xbox's processor. Your analog signal from your guitar gets converted into digital in order to pass it through an HDMI cable, which then must be converted back into analog to pass it to your speakers. These conversions manifests as the lag we hear.

So, in order to bypass this a/d conversion lag, you want your analog signal to pass through the system without any conversion to digital. And to do that, you merely use component cables instead of HDMI. That's it! I believe these are the cables that originally came with the Xbox, the weird wedge shaped connector that separates into 5 cables. You'll still get a high-def picture, though perhaps slightly less impressive than HDMI, depending on your TV. However, for this game, the improvement in the lag issue is worth it. And you can always just switch the cables again when not playing Rocksmith, if you really don't like the picture quality.

Now, the way I have mine hooked up--running first to the TV, then running to the receiver through an "analog out" stereo composite cables (the old red/white ones)--there is still just a tiny bit of lag. But I suspect even this would disappear if I rerouted to the receiver first. I might try that. But for now, the lag is so small, it's hardly noticeable. The improvement is tremendous, and makes the game playable again.
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 17, 2014 6:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Update on Rocksmith:
For me, I've been ignoring it because I'm not a good enough guitarist to enjoy it. I think that is the main problem with Rocksmith - It's great for teaching how to do things in the videos, but it seems more like work than enjoyment in using the system as an absolute beginner.
If you've read my other thread on Rock Band 3, I recently picked up a bass and found myself thriving with it on BandFuse. So, since there were a few songs I was doing particularly well with and playing the full version of the song, I figured I'd give Rocksmith another try with it. I've found at least 2 songs I can play the full version of the song with, and that has been on the initial run-through, of which I am still doing. I've almost made it through all the Standard E tunings, and soon I'll finish up the others. I have to say that this game really shines and becomes fun on the songs that you can play. It is really building my confidence (at least until I play some metal songs that kick my ass). I found I do need to download the bass addition for the original, or just port the songs over to 2014. I'm not sure which I'd prefer to do.
But overall, I'm feeling like Rocksmith is most enjoyable for those midrange players who aren't great, but can typically hit a lot of the notes. From comments I have heard on Rocksmith, the experienced bass players tend to find it too easy. And me as a beginner found it too hard until now.
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 18, 2014 1:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There are definitely some songs that are "too easy." But these are songs that I don't even listen to, much less play (Tom Petty, Rolling Stones). I think even an experienced bass player would be challenged by downloading the Rush song pack. However, even though I played bass for years, I was entirely self-taught, so I wouldn't exactly call myself an "experienced bass player." I had developed some bad habits that this game is correcting. I really wish I'd had lessons when I was first starting out as a teen.

The Boston song pack is also a little challenging. The bass lines are quite melodic, all over the place. Switching from Geddy Lee's bass lines to Boston's, you can really tell that Geddy is a singer, and structures his playing around this. During the verses, he gets into grooves that can be played "easily" (heh) while singing, with some noodling and fill-ins in between the singing ... kind of like how a blues guitarist/singer would play. Then he lets loose in the solos. But with Boston, the bass player is all over the place, all the time. He's not as good as Geddy, but still better than I. Laughing

I haven't been playing the game much lately, since we got my son a TV for his room, and he took his Xbox with him. What I've been doing lately is trying to learn how to play Geddy's latest bass style, "flamenco." He's been doing this for the last 15 years, and it's completely different from not only his classic style, but different from any other bass player I've seen. His modern, aggressive, punchy sound comes almost entirely from the way he's hitting the strings.

Check this out to see it in action, with an explanation:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c11QO7pCr50

This guy explains in detail how to do it. It's a LOT of fun! It sounds wicked.
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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: Fri Sep 19, 2014 12:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

On BandFuse, there is a Bootsy Collins bit where he is just "funkin' around." It's fantastic to watch the experienced go to town, especially with different ways of acheiving sounds out of the bass. I've never known how dynamic the bass can be until picking one up. I've often enjoyed great bass lines, particularly in funk music, but never realized what all was going on in it until recently. It also shows me even though I can diddle through some of the easier songs, I still have a LONG way to go.
Oh, and those "too easy" songs, Z, are to build the confidence of people like me. Very Happy I just wish they had some for the guitar. Then again, maybe they did, and I just was never good enough to get there.
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 19, 2014 12:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh yeah, I'm not complaining about the easy songs. I was just responding to your last point.

Did you get a chance to check out the link above?
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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 Sep 19, 2014 2:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I did, but without sound (since I am a work), which is impressive for seeing how fast he is, but that's about all I can get out of the video until I get home.

Z, have you checked out BandFuse yet? It has Limelight, which you probably already downloaded for Rocksmith, no Who, possibly nothing else you'd like, and no downloadable content. But it is around $30 for the title on Amazon with its own cord for the guitar. I like it, and it's possible you might to. But check the song list. People say it is a bit more accurate the actual part, possibly because they made the parts from the original masters instead of guesswork.
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 19, 2014 6:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

No, I haven't tried Bandfuse. Sounds good, I'll have to check it out.

If you think the guy in the Youtube clip looks fast, wait until you hear him! That's one thing that impressed me about this technique, how it sounds like you're doing a lot more than it appears. I'd watch Geddy in concert videos and marvel at how effortless he made it look. Then when I tried it myself, I realized it's the downstroke doubling the notes (+ the upstroke), making it possible for one finger to do the work of two. When you play normally, you're using two fingers to get the same number of notes, but each of them is only plucking upwards. But in Geddy's style, you use your finger like a pick, and play the strings like a guitarist would play. The motion seems more natural, working the wrist into it, even the forearm. And it seems more efficient, since each finger must go down in order to go up, and you're using the entire sweep to produce sound.

Now that I think about it, think this explains something else I've noticed. It's easier to put accents on any particular note with this technique, making it easier to improvise and jam by "reducing the mind/body gap," between intention and action. Maybe it's because a larger portion of your body is involved ... more nerves bridging the connection.
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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: Tue Jan 27, 2015 6:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If anyone is still playing, the Jimi Hendrix song pack is phenomenal. I played the hell out of it over the holidays. You'll have to retune a lot, because his tuning is all over the place. If you're a fan at all, it was a bargain. More songs than any other song pack I've seen.

I haven't tried the guitar, which I assume is very difficult, but the bass is easier than I expected. It has some cool jams. Voodoo Child is almost hypnotic blur of rhythm, very few different notes, but lots of mutes and interaction with the guitar. I also love that 60s-70s bass tone, probably one of my favorites in the game. Very raw, powerful, without a lot of modern effects muddying up the tone. It reminds me of plugging up to my vintage Fender Bassman tube amp without anything between me and the amp.

Anyway, for those tired of the game and still wanting to learn, I found this on Youtube, MusicCollegeTV. It has lessons for everything, but this link is for bass. I'm starting get frustrated with my lack of 'professional' knowledge of the instrument, including music theory, so I'm studying up. I want to know enough scales/modes/notes on the fretboard to improvise along with anything.

Billy Sheehan's instructional DVD is also on Youtube. If you've never seen some of his tricks (like three finger plucking), it's an eye-opening video. I also watched Flea's bass instruction video, but it was pretty sad. You can definitely tell he's self-taught. The man can jam, but his technique was pretty sloppy and his knowledge very basic. Sure, it was a basic lesson, but Sheehan's basic lesson blew Flea's away.

Anyway, happy playing!
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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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Zarathustra
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 07, 2015 4:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My mind is blown studying music theory on MusicCollegeTV. Breaking up the major scale into its various modes, and then using those to produce minor, 7th, etc. scales/chords/arpeggios has opened up the fretboard for me in a way I've always wanted. I'm starting to memorize every damn note on the bass, and fit them together in patterns I've only ever dimly glimpsed. This is an amazing, free resource I highly recommend.

It has even caused me to rethink something as basic as how I'm holding the neck and positioning my fretting hand. I've always been frustrated with my speed and fluidity. I thought it was a failure of not practicing enough, but it was a self-imposed barrier of poor technique. I've always noticed how the really best players seem to "float" across the frets as they played a lot of notes, each one precise and articulate. But I could never do it myself. I'm pretty fast, but only in limited cases. The problem (I've now learned) is entirely a function of where I have my thumb. It never occurred to me to think about my thumb, because it's unseen most of the time when you look at other players (hidden behind the neck). But our opposable thumb is the key to using as little force as possible while fretting the strings with our other fingers, which is in turn the key to getting that fluid speed. You have to think about it in terms of pushing your fingers against your thumb, not in terms of pressing it against the strings (though that's part of it, of course). If you put your thumb in the middle of the neck (from top to bottom, not lengthwise) and then anchor everything from the thumb, taking care not to let your palm touch the wood, you can rotate your hand up and down the neck from your thumb, greatly expanding the reach of your hand, while maintaining your pressure because it's not coming as much from the fingers, but the thumb. And since the thumb is providing half of the force, you can ease up your fingers and let them just glide through the notes.

So I'm having to retrain my muscle memory and unlearn many years worth of bad technique. It's really worth it to not take for granted such simple things as hand position when you're starting out, so that you don't learn bad habits to begin with. If your palm is touching the wood, you're probably using mostly finger strength to create the vice-like pressure against your palm, and not your thumb. I bet most of you are doing this. I'm not sure how it translates in playing 6-string, since guitarists play a lot more chords than bassists. But for soloing, I bet the same logic applies. Give it a try and see what you think.
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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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Linna Heartlistener
what if you are a sine qua non for a redemption?

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 07, 2015 4:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Zarathustra wrote:
..But I'd feel kind of silly only using it to play in my living room. That baby needs to hear the roar of the crowd. Cool
Your idea of starting a band with your family members as the core:
It could maybe be kind of awesome.

I say this in principle, not because I know I know anything about y'all and your abilities.
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Alyoshka, standing next to Shukhov, gazed at the sun and a smile spread from his eyes to his lips. Alyoshka's cheeks were hollow, he lived on his bare ration and never made anything on the side -- what had he got to be happy about? He and the other Baptists spent their Sundays whispering to each other. Life in the camp was like water off a duck's back to them. They'd been lumbered with twenty-five years apiece just for being Baptists. Fancy thinking that would cure them!
from "A Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovitch," by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 07, 2015 5:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Zarathustra wrote:
I bet most of you are doing this. I'm not sure how it translates in playing 6-string, since guitarists play a lot more chords than bassists. But for soloing, I bet the same logic applies. Give it a try and see what you think.

Yea, the thumb thing is a BIG thing. I don't play enough to have ever trained myself out of it after initially having the bad habit like pretty much everyone does.
And it is the same with guitar...you want the thumb in the middle, and the fingers "arching over," not "wrapping around" [and the arching over is practically impossible if the thumb isn't right.]

I'll have to look at that place.
Back in the day, when I was paying attention, all the player mags spent massive number of words and articles on modes/scales...almost every issue seemed to have at least one article related to that stuff. Soloing in Dorian mode over a major key...the bluesy sound of minoxi over dom7. kinda thing.

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the difference between evidence and sources: whether they come from the horse's mouth or a horse's ass.
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"Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else's opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation."
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the hyperbole is a beauty...for we are then allowed to say a little more than the truth...and language is more efficient when it goes beyond reality than when it stops short of it.
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