Introduction: How to Be a Guitar Hero/Rock Bander

Picture of How to Be a Guitar Hero/Rock Bander

Having trouble impressing the other persuasion with some furious fretwork? Not no more! NOTE: This applies to guitar only. If I get enough good feedback I'll make one for singing and drums on RB.

Step 1: Getting to Know Your Guitar

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It sounds dumb, but you have to be able to know the guitar with your eyes closed. If you use the Rock Band Stratocaster, there are little braille bumpies that identify the green, yellow, and orange buttons. On the Guitar Hero SG and Les Paul, There is a line on the yellow button. So just make sure you can make your way over to these without thinking about it too much.

Step 2: How to Strum Intelligently

When you strum, you may be tempted to grip that sucker with all your hand strength and wail on it, but a better and more accurate way to strum is to use your thumb on the slow parts, and for fast parts, have your index finger hovering under the strum bar and your thumb over it and just move your arm up and down.

Step 3: Take a Chill Pill

I was recently playing Rock Band with my cousin, we were playing expert bass score duel. I picked Green Grass and High Tides, but I forgot to select bass. Now, my cousin had just begun to play expert bass, so he was nowhere near ready to play expert guitar. And I noticed something as we were playing. Whenever a fast string of notes came, he would wail on the strum bar and frantically fretted on the buttons. So, take this as advice: don't freak out when you play the fast songs on expert. If you get all frazzled from seeing all those colors, maybe you need more practice. Just drop it down to hard and try to get five stars.

Step 4: Rock Out!

Whenever you play, don't be afraid to have some fun! Do some head-banging! Or even just shake your hips or tap your toes. It helps you get in the rocker mood. Develop your own stage show and the ladies will flock to you like ants to sugar! Or not...

Step 5: About the Whammy Bar...

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I enjoy whammy-ing sometimes, but it can get annoying when people just trembalo every long note they see. It can also throw off your game. Just use proper judgement when you whammy. And remember that it's perfectly fine to have a long note that doesn't shake. If you're not convinced, check this out from rockband.com: http://www.rockband.com/game_support#guitar3

Step 6: The Rock Band Strat's Best Feature

Picture of The Rock Band Strat's Best Feature

The best thing about the Rock Band Stratocaster is the finger-tap top buttons. But don't feel like you need to use these all the time. In the song "Green Grass and High Tides" by The Outlaws (Just Beat It Today). There are many repeating runs that are best hit with the finger taps. Well, that's the end!


(Also, if anyone has passed Green Grass and High Tides on Expert, tell me!)

Step 7: Guitar Hero III

Picture of Guitar Hero III

I recently bought Guitar Hero III. When you do conquer this game, you will be a true guitar hero. These songs will cost you blood, sweat, and tears, and take chunks out of your life. I'll point out the hard songs:

Guitar Battle w/ Slash: Hard to get on the first try. Try to use lots of powerups in the first few riffs.

Before I Forget - Slipknot: The first really hard one. Lots of three note chords coming sorta fast.

Cult of Personality - Living Colour: The solos bring fast, alternating notes. Stay focused and you'll make it through.

Cliffs of Dover - Eric Johnson: Once you nail the first fifteen seconds or so, you can just cruise through the rest

One - Metallica: Very very easy up to the very beginning of the solo. You get really fast alternating three note patterns. Here's the secret: save up your star power until the solo, bust it out when it starts and just hit the top two notes, ignoring the first one.

Raining Blood - Slayer: SO FRUSTRATING YOU MAY CONSIDER TAKING YOUR OWN LIFE!!! Seriously. The only really hard part is called "Mosh 1" And it will kill you if you go in unprepared. There are only two star power strings to hit before it, so make sure you do perfect on leading up. If you haven't mastered triplets yet, get on it. They come really fast right before Mosh 1. When you get to it, just use all four fingers and ignore the green note all together. Also, strum up and down at a steady pace. And slam on the star power right before it starts. Once you finish Mosh 1, you should be good. Unless your hand fell off.

Guitar Battle w/ Lou: Start it out as a regular song. Soon, the battle power will start coming. This will take some tries to get right. When Lou's solo starts, make sure he gets something you can power through, like brokens string or whammy. Then when that finally happens, you need to get whammy on him. Once you get it, use it in about a second. He will have lots of green notes coming and he will fail in an instant. Now all you have to do is play through the victory solo, which isn't too hard, and then play TTFAF through the credits.

Through the Fire and Flames: Holy crap. Hold on to your pants, this is gonna be a bumpy ride. You are garunteed to fail the first time you do this outside of the credit sequence. When you are ready, you need to prepare for the storm. What I did for the first part, "They're Hammer-Ons," I used a rubber band for the green fret, sort of like a Guitar Hero capo. Just make sure you tread lightly on those frets and strum evenly throughout the whole part.

Step 8: My Favorites

Of course, I am legally obligated to list my favorite songs from both games. I'll tell you some of my favorites from GHII also.

Welcome to the Jungle - Guns n' Roses: Duh. This one's obvious.

Cherub Rock - Smashing Pumpkins: It's a weird sound, but it rocks.

My Name is Jonas - Weezer: Great fingerpicking part and a hard rockin song.

Monsters - Matchbook Romance: A great song. I think it was in Scooby Doo. Or some other movie. If anyone knows please tell me!

Guitar Battle w/ Lou (a.k.a. Devil Went Down to Georgia - Charlie Daniels Band): A true legend of a song. Tells a great story. Also, this metal version ROCKS HARD!!!

La Grange - ZZ Top: An old classic. Great for Face-Off and Battle, on account of trading solos.

Pride and Joy - Stevie Ray Vaughan: See preceding description

One - Metallica: Who doesn't like Metallica? They always bust out some good songs, and this one is a triumph.

Now for Rock Band,

Green Grass and High Tides - The Outlaws: It may be an inhumanely difficult for me, but it still is an awesome song if you listen to it.

Cherub Rock - Smashing Pumpkins: Less difficult on Rock Band, still fun to do while singing and playing guitar or bass.

Train Kept a Rollin' - Aerosmith: Really kick-awesome solos. Nuff said.

Wanted Dead or Alive - Bon Jovi: Another great one for guitar and vocals. Also, arguably the BEST party song.

I Get By - Honest Bob: Fun song to play and make fun of the awful vocals, but the more you play it, the more it grows on you.

Pleasure (Pleasure) - Bang Camaro: A great one with an awesome solo. Extremely hard to do it on Expert though.

And finally, GHII. Just a few.

Carry on Wayward Son - Kansas: POSSIBLY THE GREATEST SONG EVER (next to Free Bird and Stairway.)

Sweet Child O' Mine - Guns n' Roses: Gotta love this one. Inspirational lyrics and slammin' shredding.

Free Bird - Lynyrd Skynyrd: The greatest and the best song in the world. Alright! (five bucks to anyone who gets that)

Push Push (Lady Lightning) - Bang Camaro: Is it me, or does Bang Camaro always have parentheses in their song titles? I love the intro to this song.

Girlfriend - Matthew Sweet: Funky. That's the only word I can use to describe this song.

Trogdor - Strong Bad: You HAVE to love the good ol' S.B.

Now for the recently released "Rock Band Track Pack: Volume I", because I'm too cheap to upgrade my systems.

More Than a Feeling - Boston: The vocals will kill you. Still the best one on here.

Buddy Holly - Weezer: Has a weird old timey feel to it.

Little Sister - Queens of the Stone Age: This one is good to have for Rock Band because I could never understand the lyrics at the chorus. "No more living behind a shadow" does not equal "Come on, Lulu, right behind a citadel".

March of the Pigs - Nine Inch Nails: It sneaks up on you in the middle of the song. Really fun though. Crazy drum part.

We Care A Lot - Faith No More: Theres a funny part about Transformers.

Joker and the Thief - Wolfmother: The guitar part is hard to nail on the first few tries, but if you slow it down in practise mode you should get it. A great song too.

That's the end. PM me with questions and comments. Or just leave a comment...

Step 9: The Effects of Guitar Hero on the Brain

Picture of The Effects of Guitar Hero on the Brain

Playing like mad doesn't come without side effects. The two most common inflictions from prolonged Guitar Hero exposure are:

The Tetris Effect: When you close your eyes, you can see the notes falling on a fretboard in your head. The notes will oftentimes be different colors, like green in the orange slot, blue in yellow, even purple in random places. This effect gets its name from a similar effect that happens when you play too much Tetris. Click here to read more. It's real!

The Crawl: This is more common. When you look at a stopped picture of a Guitar Hero game, the notes and frets seem to crawl backwards, moving up the fretboard. When you look away and look again, they start from their original position, just crawling up the fretboard. Look at the picture below, do you see the crawl?

Comments

danroy99 (author)2012-06-03

Crap I have the crawl and I used to have the tetris effect xD

fingerflip456 (author)2008-08-21

and P.S playing the drums on rock band will probably actuall y make you a better drummer and so will singing help you train your voice

mg0930mg (author)fingerflip4562008-09-04

playing the drums on rockband will NOT make you a better drummer!

Brother_D (author)mg0930mg2008-09-06

Well actually, the drums are kind of laid out like a real drum set. The red pad is the snare, the yellow is hihat/tom, blue is ride/tom, and the green is the crash/floor tom. I personally have found that I can play somewhat recognizable drum patterns on a real set from playing Rock Band.

mg0930mg (author)Brother_D2008-09-06

No, this does not work, 'real' drummers know that this is nothing like drums, all pads are equal height. Playing rockband, has screwed up my drum playing, so I don't think this can help you at all. Sorry, go ask Travis barker, or any other drummer who has played rockband. Search the video on google.

Brother_D (author)mg0930mg2008-09-07

I see what you mean. I didn't say it was exactly like real drums, its just laid out in a similar fashion.

mg0930mg (author)Brother_D2008-09-07

Well, I guess, it is. It still wouldn't help, though. However, I get what you're saying.

basher345 (author)mg0930mg2010-11-24

I think what he's trying to say is it CAN help people LEARN how to play drums, or they learn the basics and go from there.

mg0930mg (author)basher3452010-11-24

That's why I said I get what you're saying. haha.

basher345 (author)mg0930mg2010-11-24

I'm sorry I didn't check the post date. >_>

kagenin (author)mg0930mg2009-06-06

"Real" drummers designed the RB drum kit. And you can plug it into a computer and play on it like a real drum kit (although without velocity sensitivity, the hits can sound blandly uniform...)

kagenin (author)kagenin2009-06-06

And you shouldn't blame the kit because you don't know how to adapt your technique.

mg0930mg (author)kagenin2009-06-07

Ok, you have 9 posts. 3 of which brought up a year old argument. You need to become a part of this community before you insult me... Number two, It is like an electronic drum pad I get this, but it is not like a real drum set. Just because you can play this song on Rockband, does not mean you can play that song on a real set.

kagenin (author)Brother_D2009-06-06

You have heard of an "electronic drum kit," right? The RB drum kit would not look out of place on stage (back in the80's, but some countries are a good 30 years behind the US when it comes to that kind of stuff anyway :P)

Brother_D (author)kagenin2009-06-08

Interesting point.

MegaMaker (author)mg0930mg2009-09-07

It can.

mg0930mg (author)MegaMaker2009-09-07

Just give it up, this is a year later, we could care less.

Kindhamster (author)2010-09-11

nope. no crawl.
but that may be because i have rock band, not guitar hero

basher345 (author)Kindhamster2010-11-24

2 days without food will screw you up, TRUST ME.

basher345 (author)Kindhamster2010-11-24

you get it either way xD
tip for telling if you get the crawl effect, Stare at the yellow note (on the bottom of the fretboard) for a while, you should start to feel weird, or that could be my hunger kicking in >_>

mattx12792 (author)2008-12-04

I beat GGAHT on expert. its true that tapping is a LOT easier. you just need to be calm and not flip out. best way is to just imagine you are playing on hard and try not to get frustrated. if you can't make it to the part that goes "GRYRGRYRGRYRGRYRGRYR" etc. then you should slow the song down on practice. it really helps even though you may not think so. BTW, this is a great guide. good work. p.s. I got 79% through TTFAF on expert b4 failing :(

basher345 (author)mattx127922010-11-24

gratz :) I couldn't even get to 5% >_> I'm NOT used to Guitar Hero
RB 1,2,3 FTW

Flumpkins (author)mattx127922008-12-30

Ha!!! I got 80%!!!

Flumpkins (author)Flumpkins2008-12-30

P.S. I swear on my life

NapalmRiot (author)2008-08-16

Indeed. I hate it when people just wail on it like there's no tomorrow for the points. There's very few songs where whammy is perfect for all long notes. Freezepop songs come to mind.

peach_fart (author)NapalmRiot2008-09-07

i wail on the whammy bar on sustained notes while in overdrive because it slows down how much energy you use. it works on all sustained notes, not just energy ones

basher345 (author)peach_fart2010-11-24

IT DOES??? O.O How did I not notice this. Q_Q

darkmagicpi (author)2008-07-12

my and my friend did Green Grass and High Tides on drums and he has a friend who can do it on both drums and guitar

peach_fart (author)darkmagicpi2008-09-07

can he do them at the same time?

Kindhamster (author)peach_fart2010-09-11

It's for comments like these that instructables needs a "Like" button

basher345 (author)Kindhamster2010-11-24

AGREED

Brother_D (author)darkmagicpi2008-07-12

thats cool. I got really close today.

knexfreak101 (author)2010-05-03

oh and it was on expert

knexfreak101 (author)2010-05-03

I only have 4 songs left on guitar hero 3 including bonus!

mkkrushmt (author)2009-06-13

dude, when i first started playing GH i got the tetris effect, it was weird, i also got it from a lot of DDR

tinman2609 (author)2009-05-27

hey i beat green grass and high tides a few months ago when i just started on expert. now im playin guitar hero metallica and gettin almost 100% on every song. do you have a ps3

superfrogxyz (author)2009-05-19

I passed GGAHT on Expert with a world tour guitar. I'm only 13

junior640661 (author)2009-04-23

its matchbook romance not matchbox romance

Brother_D (author)junior6406612009-04-24

Right. Changing that now. Thanks for the input.

Bran (author)2008-06-17

I've always heard that Through the Fire and Flames is the hardest. How bad is Green Grass?

Green Grass = some fast licks but it'll only take you 2 or 3 tries to pass

TtFaF = hellishly hard!! after 20 attempts im still at 3 %

I just beat TtFaF with 84%!

Shut Up Now (author)Brother_D2009-01-10

its fun to go into practice and mess around on that song. i got like 30 percent off of just gree, red, yellow.

The only thing that makes Green Grass hard is that whenever I get to the part with the up and down G-R-Y-R-G over and over, and I have to use my overdrive, and then when it moves up a color, I have none and I fail.

Brother_D (author)Bran2008-06-18

It's comparable

bakenbitz (author)2008-09-25

I can do it...It's not that hard. The guitar battle against lou is much harder, but I beat that as well.

Sgt.Waffles (author)2008-06-16

ATT: Playing Rock Band/Guitar Hero does not make you a musician. Now back to your regularly scheduled program.

tylermenezes (author)Sgt.Waffles2008-07-29

Does it look like we Guitar Hero people think we're musicians? Do you see us get disappointed because we realize we don't have a record deal yet? No. These games are for fun, for the most part.

I always find it funny when people say something like this. Would you seriously think that people playing games like Forza Motorsport think they're actually going to become racecar drivers based solely on the game? And what about AirForce Delta Storm? Do these people really think they're about to get jobs as pilots?

People don't play games because they think it will make them better at the subject of the game (for the most part). People play games because they are fun.

That said, in some cases it could make you a musician. Have a look at The Guitar Zeros. You certainly have to have some knowledge of musical instruments, but who's to say you couldn't play a game controller as an instrument, with the right software? Also, a lot of the techniques you need to learn to master drums or singing in Rock Band could be applied to a career. Not to say you don't still need lessons, but it helps.

In short: 99% of Guitar Hero/Rock Band players don't think they are musicians. For further clarification, please see these two comics: [1] [2]

OfficerKarl (author)tylermenezes2008-08-06

I play violin so I have found out something. GH doesn't make you any better at playing the guitar (in fact, it could make you worse) because a real guitar requires more complex finger movements, but it could help you play an instrument like a violin, viola, or even a cello or bass. This is because on GH your fingers are all in a single-file line like on a violin, and this could help work-out your fingers when you play the faster songs. Plus on expert you have to shift to play the orange note, which is very common in higher level violin music. In other words, Guitar Hero doesn't make you better at playing the guitar.

im_not_emo (author)OfficerKarl2008-08-09

I think you have lost it... You do need to have your fingers in a single-file line on a guitar. (Don't tell me you don't, i've played it for long enough to know)

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