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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.
 
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Step 1: Getting to Know Your Guitar

Picture of Getting to Know Your Guitar
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...

Picture of About the Whammy Bar...
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?
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 %
Brother_D (author)  electricshavingcream6 years ago
I just beat TtFaF with 84%!
its fun to go into practice and mess around on that song. i got like 30 percent off of just gree, red, yellow.
Brother_D (author)  electricshavingcream6 years ago
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)  Bran7 years ago
It's comparable
bakenbitz6 years ago
I can do it...It's not that hard. The guitar battle against lou is much harder, but I beat that as well.
Sgt.Waffles7 years ago
ATT: Playing Rock Band/Guitar Hero does not make you a musician. Now back to your regularly scheduled program.
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]
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.
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)
What I'm saying is that on a guitar you play chords, while on a violin you only play on one string at a time (unless you're playing double-stops, but that's a whole other story). btw, I never said you don't need to have your fingers in a single-file line on a guitar...
right, and i was agreeing with you oh well, some ppl, aka im not emo, just don't learn :P
Why don't we take a moment to vote and see who agrees with who. Since im_not_emo was the first person (if there was more than one) to disagree with me, I will run against him. Say whether you agree with me that on a guitar you don't play in a single-file line, or whether you agree with im_not_emo that you do have to play in a single file line. btw, this isn't to start any arguing, it's to end it.
umm obviously not man...i mean, have you ever played a chord? try Am, that's one, or C... I'm rather sure your fingers aren't in a straight row... rather, they're sprawled out along the frets,(1-5), and must move in vertical and horizontal motions(in relation to the neck) just out of curiosity, how long have you been playing?
Brother_D (author)  Gksarmy6 years ago
The closest thing to a single file row chord is a power chord...
Exactly my point.
That's basically what I'm trying to say...
What are you referring to?
I don't understand the question...
Don't worry
I have no idea where this conversation went...
Again, I don't think anyone ever claimed it did make you a good guitar player, and if they did it was misguided in my opinion. However, it is interesting to hear that Guitar Hero helped you to play the Violin. I'm thinking of trying to verify some of these claims sometime as an article for a site I write for.
I never said it specifically helped me play violin, I'm just saying GH helps with playing violin or viola more than it helps with playing guitar. Although I do think playing violin helped me master GH quicker. Most people have problems playing the blue and orange notes because their pinkie fingers aren't very strong and they aren't very good at shifting their hand position, but this wasn't much of a problem for me so I started on medium and completely skipped the easy difficulty. btw, what is the site that you write for?
In any case something I'm looking to test. It's www.www.arson-news.com. Small-ish website with a focus on stuff like this.
it doesn't make you, but it helps.

EXAMPLE: the weekend I got guitar hero up to expert, my guitar teacher and I had noticed my fingers were stronger, and could hold strings down longer.
I've never considered myself a musician for playing guitar hero more than i consider myself a war hero for beating halo 3 on "you ARE gonna die" mode. Video games are a fun part of life, while some of us can play real instruments, and others can't, it remains a fact that anyone that thinks they are a musician for simply hitting some buttons probably has some social issues that need to be tended to.
Brother_D (author)  Sgt.Waffles7 years ago
I didn't mean for this to send a message that these games make you a musician. It's just a help guide for playing on expert. I agree that people who play Guitar Hero/Rock Band are not neccessarily musicians. Thanks for the comment though.
your a musicican brother_d u play guitar and u can play some bass
Brother_D (author)  kaluke047 years ago
thank you, person that i know.
peach_fart6 years ago
the bumps are hard to feel while rocking out on rockband
sick-al6 years ago
in one by matallica, do you meen the solo near the end tha is stuffed of hammer-ons and pull-offs? (there are 4 solos in whole song)
Brother_D (author)  sick-al6 years ago
yes, the really fast part that goes YBO a lot and then moves to RYB and then GRY.
i beat green grass and high tides on expert and it just kept ruining me on solo h i think where its like g,r,y,r,g,r,y,r,g,r,y,r,g,r,y,r,g,r,y,r,g and eventually i figured out that i should save my star power and do that as far as i could into the solo before i failed and hit the back button ( which also helps activate star power because its easier than flinging the guitar up in the air and losing my streak ) and then i continued from there and finally beat the song
lol i passed greengrasstideswhateveritscalled on my second try, four stars, with the gh3 guitar its just that the timing window for hitting the notes is WAY too little in rock band
Brother_D (author)  electricshavingcream7 years ago
yeah
i thought that the hammerons in gh2 were fine
Brother_D (author)  electricshavingcream6 years ago
They are, they're just different.
It's like that with hammer-on notes in GH 1&2.
Brother_D (author)  OfficerKarl7 years ago
Actually, it's a little different. If you'll notice, in GH 1&2, you have to actually hammer it on whenever the note passes. Same goes for RB. But in GH3, you can hit the parent note, then hold down the note for the hammer-on until it comes, and it will hit the note.
Either way, hammer-ons are slightly harder in GH 1&2. I mostly play GH3 because I think it's a little bit easier to hit the notes, but there are more of them.