Ok, so I’m aware that when Ubisoft started the 60 Day Challenge, the idea was for you to play on 60 consecutive days. I think. It hasn’t worked that way, and I’ve had 11 days off, not ideal but couldn’t do much about it.
With no other plans, I’m spending New Years Eve practising my guitar (and watching Temple of Doom!) I kinda surprised myself with how much I wanted to get back to it over the holidays; I normally get distracted quickly.
Started off practising Next Girl again. I’ve been tweeking the visual lag a little, and tonight I’ve plugged my speakers into the tv instead of my headphones and I thought playing this would be a good indication of how the lag is. I think it’s the same! I can never really tell.
Moved on to try this weeks Song of the Week – Walk This Way by Aerosmith. Started with Learn a Song to see how it fits together as usual. Blimey, it’s a tough one from the start. There’s an interesting stretch on the 8th, 10th and 12th frets that I get the feeling turn into chords at higher mastery levels. Not looking forward to that! Oddly, it’s easier on easy level in Score Attack than it is on 0% mastery on Learn a Song. I managed a low score on easy, but left it after that. Even the game told me that things could be worse. Cheeky game.
I went back through the songlist looking for an ‘easy’ song, and ended up drifting back to Blitzkreig Bop, but on Score Attack this time rather than Learn a Song because my mastery was fairly high and I wanted to ease myself into the power chords again. I ran through it on easy and medium, and it seems to be quite achievable there – no chords introduced yet. I’m going to stick with this song for the next few days and see how much I can improve.
I finished off with a few goes on Duck Redux. I like the game, it’s a good way of working along the strings. I increased my score up to over 18M.
I suppose it my New Year’s Resolution would be anything, it would be to keep this up and keep playing. I’m interested to see where I am by next new year; hopefully not regretting a year of not playing guitar.
Hope everyone had a good break.
Back home after my Christmas holiday and therefore back with my guitar. After travelling and getting back fairly late last night, I didn’t switch the game on, but just ran through Next Girl from memory to see if I’d managed to forget it over Christmas. I was pleased to see that I hadn’t. So the break wasn’t all that bad! At least I’ll be back to normal for the next week or so.
Tonight I got a chance to start playing a little earlier than normal and that worked out really well.
I started with another attempt at Paranoid Android, but couldn’t better my score at all; in fact it was nearly back down towards my first attempt. It just seems to me to be an odd song to struggle with because there are so few notes. Maybe that’s the reason I’m struggling? I’m really not sure at the moment. Either way, I’ve only really got one more night to make an improvement before the deadline.
After having Next Girl crash on me the other night, I went back to it determined to complete it to 100%. I started on hard.
Next Girl – The Black Keys
It worked! My first 100%, first platinum rating of the game. It’s an utter confidence boost to finally do this, even though the song is probably rated quite easy in terms of it’s difficulty. I don’t really care though.
So I thought maybe I could then do it again in master mode.
Next Girl – The Black Keys (Master Mode)
It was a really good feeling for me to be able to run through the whole song without the notes, all from memory; it was like an odd kind of high, that’s how happy I was to do it.
So now I need a new song. I’m tempted to go back to one of the other songs I worked on for previous songs of the week, but I think I’d actually prefer a brand new one. I tested out Every Breath You Take to see how that goes – I might go for it, but there are a couple of chords in there that are confusing me. So I might have another look.
I’m struggling with getting play time. During the day, I’m raring to be out of there and playing guitar, but by the time I get home and actually get to a point where I can play it’s 10, 11 at night and I’m too tired. I know I’ll get the time in in the long run, but it’s frustrating that I can’t do it. Last night I didn’t play, and I realise looking back through the week that I haven’t played nearly enough to keep up with the original plan, but at least I know (at the moment) that I will be ready to play when I can.
Will be away from my guitar over Christmas week, so I will probably forget everything…
A short go tonight but it was quite a good one.
Started with Paranoid Android; first in learn a song and then in score attack. I was slightly annoyed last time I played it that it was quite straightforward yet I’d earned a very low score, so I went back and played it a couple of times, and increased my mastery level to over 35%. I only played it through once on score attack but happily increased my score to a vaguely respectable level. It’s not the most exciting song to play in terms of the amount ot notes and stuff going on, but I like it. I finding the note tones to be a lot cleaner, and it is easier to hear if I’m buzzing notes, or not hitting them quite right. So this week’s work is to improve my finger placement on the fretboard.
I went back to Next Girl to keep playing it in Master Mode and commit as much of the song to memory as I can. The first couple of run throughs weren’t as good as they had been, and I realised I had forgotten a couple of the notes early on in the song. I went back to playing it on hard so I could see the notes again and it played really really well. I only missed one note (grr). Got to the end, got my score, watched the game freeze. Oh. So I don’t know what my stats were but I’ll be trying again tonight for 100%.
Technology is a good reason to make sure I learn and remember what I’m playing, so when it dies I can carry on regardless.
While Ubisoft’s 60 challenge thing is a great idea, the technology is failing it a bit. The stats section on the website isn’t working and it’s a similar state for most people.
For example, the website thinks I’ve not played yet…
Fortunately, Raptr knows I have.
Some of this might be right. Some of it’s definitely wrong. And also, if it thinks I’ve played for a couple of hours, why isn’t it recorded up there?
It also thinks I’ve finished the Power Chords lesson and learned the advanced technique of Pinch Harmonics. I wish I had, but haven’t actually touched those lessons.
So, keeping the Blog is a better way for me to track what I’m doing and how it’s going. I would guess as well that when it does start working then it won’t start back at the beginning for me and will be fairly useless. I know that these days when games are published, there are always bugs. It’s not a great situation but that’s the way it is. Writing everything down here keeps my own record, and while it may not be as specific, it’s actually better for me.
Funny how much better it gets when you play the right string. Annoying when you get a better score when you were missing it in the first place. Ha ha. Typical.
I decided to have an easy time this week and just play through a few songs. Started with Next Girl because I wanted to put right my string issue. I’ve pretty much got it fixed in my mind, but I just need a little more consistency. I find it a really fun song to play and getting through it without the note prompts gives me a lot of confidence. Excellent!
I went back to Spirit of Radio to see if I could better that score and I’ve finally cracked the extra note in the later riff on the e string. This meant I could get a good multiplier going and increase my score. I played it a bit out of game and it sounds a bit ropey. Think I will practice this over the weekend and see if I can make it sounds cleaner on the strings. It’s almost as if I’m just hitting the right notes by accident, but if I slow it down it will be good.
The new song of the week was announced on the forum this evening – Paranoid Android by Radiohead. It’s an odd song! I ran through it on Learn a Song to get an idea of what’s going on, and didn’t encounter many notes at all so I went quickly into score attack. I found it really hard to string a multiplier together because there are so few notes. So I tried medium. And that was just silly because it threw a fair few chords in there and I got all three strikes within a minute of the song. Riff repeater for me I think. Even though there are few notes, there are one or two challenges in here; bends and hammer ons, and it stretches from the 1st fret to the 21st at times too.
Had a early to mid week dip in confidence but it seems to have disappeared for the weekend. One of the things I’ve noticed is how quickly I’ve become more able to find the right strings without peering at the guitar for a few seconds to see where I am. The fretboard is becoming more familiar at times as well. I can visibly see improvement here which is going to spur me on.
So I did practice last night after all.
It felt bad. I couldn’t get comfortable sitting with the guitar, I couldn’t hold the pick right, nothing sounded right – not out of tune wrong but just not the right tone and such – and it couldn’t get it to feel good.
I did do this though:
Next Girl Master Mode score
And I’m really pleased! Finally beat a song in Master Mode (Master Mode means that all of the note markers disappear on the track so you are essentially playing from memory over the backing track). Few more goes and I reckon I could crack a million. It’s a good song for a first try on MM; there aren’t any timing changes, and the riffs are fairly repetative, but I think it’s got a good rhythm and beat to play along to. Alongside the normal notes in there, the song includes a bend, sustains and hammer-ons.
Just to prove to myself that I could remember it, I played it through after I’d switched the game off and it was mostly good. I can keep this up.
Something that is amusing now – when I first played it the other night, I hit the initial bend ok. Last night, I couldn’t get it; kept telling me I missed it and as it was the first note of the song, kept giving me a strike. Most frustrating thing. It wasn’t until I swtiched off that I realised that I think I was playing the note on the wrong string…
Due to my other commitments, Tuesday nights are generally going to be useless by the time I get in. Not always, but mostly. I could start playing around 10pm, but my concentration levels are down in the basement and I know I wouldn’t do very well. This is something I need to keep an eye on.
Yesterday, I didn’t play because it was gone ten and I was really tired. Tonight, I’m not playing because I’m out with work. Well, I may do. It depends on when I get in.
It’s annoying to me in the context of the 60 Day Challenge, and having a break may disrupt it, or I may forget what I’ve been doing. I suppose considering that the link from the game to the challenge website isn’t working means it won’t matter in the figures side of things. I’ll be a good test of my motivation however to see what I do when it’s time to get back into it. At this stage, I’m really geared up towards playing and running through these songs, and I’m genuinely disappointed I haven’t been able to. I just hope it lasts.
As it’s late I only planned a half hour session, but it was more like an hour by the time I’d finished and it was good.
I’d planned to run through the difficult bits of Spirit of Radio (SoR) to practice, but didn’t because I didn’t think I’d be playing long. I played it through a few times and had a fairly good time. I didn’t beat my current high score, but I did get a better grip of the song overall, getting at least one runthrough with no strikes.
So bedtime. Except I accidently started playing Next Girl instead. Oops.
I’m beginning to see this song as a bit of a safety net song – it’s not rated as a difficult song, yet I’ve got to grips with it and how it fits together and I can play it well. I managed to unlock master mode on it tonight so I will see if I can do it. I unlocked master mode with this song on the first Rocksmith yet just couldn’t cope with it at all. I feel a lot more confident about it this time. Fingers crossed.