Guitar hero!

July 4, 2007 at 02:14 AM · Anybody here play guitar hero? I just found out about the game around a month or 6 weeks ago, and I'm hooked! It's the only real musical game that I know of that does the performing aspect pretty well, plus you get to play some sweet rock guitar without really having to know how to play!

I'm also wondering if it's easier for musicians to catch onto this game. As soon as I started playing it, I was just about immediately better than my non-musician friends who had been playing it for a long time. A lot of my other musician friends caught on relatively quickly, but for some reason I feel like being a violinist helped me get really good really fast at this game. Then again, my brother (a percussionist) got really good at the game almost as fast as I did, so maybe there we're genetically predisposed "guitar hero heroes"?

Anyway, just looking for thoughts on the game, which I think is great for kids who might play it and decide to take up an actual instrument!

(I also put this under technique, because perhaps we can discuss how violin technique applies to the game! I feel like flat fingers help play a little better, even though you can't exactly vibrate on guitar hero!)

Replies (21)

July 4, 2007 at 02:23 AM · I LOVE Guitar Hero! And you're right, we do have an advantage. I'm not even good at most video games, but I can pick up Guitar Hero after not even having played it for months and beat people who practice all the time. Have you noticed that it also helps you think faster as a musician?

Also, I'm a sandwich delivery driver in a college town... if I deliver to people who are playing it(which is pretty much all the time) I always challenge them to a game before I leave. So far I haven't been beaten.

July 4, 2007 at 03:13 AM · haha, that's awesome! if i'm ever near the university of alabama, i'll be sure to order a sandwich, guitar controller in hand!

July 4, 2007 at 03:44 PM · I LOVE guitar hero!

I definitely picked up the game quicker than the rest of the household- and I usually can't play video games very well. My family's almost even with me now, but only because they spend way much more time playing (stinkin' violin practice keeps getting in the way of my Guitar Hero career). I also did really good moving up to "hard" skill level. Everyone was amazed how quick I got it, I told them that this made sense to me, musically, more than easy or medium.




July 5, 2007 at 05:11 AM · Yeah, I think that hard and expert are musically/rhythmically much easier than easy or medium because you're playing (most of the time) all the notes that you hear. For some reason, after playing medium for about a day, I found hard to be really easy.

I think the difference is while nonmusicians just see the colors coming down the conveyor belt, musicians possibly see rhythm and pitch coming down, and it's a bit disconcerting to play one note and hear 2 or 3!

July 5, 2007 at 04:04 PM · I haven't played guitar hero, but there's a part in Monkey Island (I won't say which episode, because I don't want to spoil a secret in the game) where you have a banjo duel with this other pirate. Basically, you have to repeat everything the other pirate plays, which can get pretty long sometimes. I did perfectly, because I can remember a short series of notes. Others who tried the same challenge weren't able to do it, and gave up quickly...they weren't violinists, and were hardly even musicians as it was. So I'd say that playing an instrument definitely helps you improve your ear for repeating a series of notes.

Yeah...and then the other pirate gets carried away because he gets frustrated with you, since you're just as good as he is...and his banjo takes on an electric banjo timbre and he breaks into "Dueling Banjos"...quite hilarious...

Play Monkey Island. Now. (The first two episodes are only available on eBay, because they're ancient and they don't make them anymore...)

July 5, 2007 at 04:43 PM · I played guitar hero...I kinda caught on pretty quickly...but i still sucked..maybe I'm the minority of violinists that don't rock at guitar hero. It was funny tho!


July 5, 2007 at 05:41 PM · I'm not that good either. It's different because you are watching the notes come at you from a "distance" rather than following a rhythm on a page. I found it to be helpful to imagine a certain length between prompts to be a quarter note and then subdivide.

July 5, 2007 at 08:44 PM · thats weird that you mention this. the first time i played guitar hero i beat levels on "Expert" setting. It was a lot like sight reading for me...looking ahead and noticing patterns. fun stuff :)

July 5, 2007 at 08:58 PM · I am a huge fan of Guitar Hero, DDR, Mad Maestro (yes, you get to conduct the orchestra), and Donkey Konga. I think musicians in general have an advantage... as the notes "come to you," it's like reading new notation, that's all.

October 1, 2007 at 07:21 PM · I remembered this thread and decided to unearth it because the other night I played guitar hero for the first time. I stink at video games in general, but at a friend's party everyone was playing this one, and I thought since it involved a musical instrument, I might stand a chance.

Oh yeah, did I ever! It wasn't even fair. I was beating people who had played it for years after my first couple of times through. It was gratifying to know all this music training has amounted to something substantial :) Now I can play one video game.

Part of the reason everyone else was having trouble, I noticed, is the rhythm aspect of the game. People would get off the rhythm and then have trouble getting back into the game. They'd make one mistake and they they were off the rest of the time. It reminded me of countless rehearsals I've had in the past where I've had to learn how to get right back on when you fall off. That is a skill, and it definitely came into play when playing Guitar Hero.

I don't think I'm better than anyone else who's had musical training out there, but mark me down for an "ABSOLUTELY" in answer to this question. Yes, people who've had musical training are better (at least initially) at guitar hero.

October 26, 2007 at 08:24 PM · I absolutely LOATHE computer games with a passion, but you folks have got me intrigued and wanting to have a go just to see... What I'm wondering though is if amateur musicians would fall into two camps - those who can count (do well at Guitar hero) and those of us who can sight read but not count - maybe don't do so well. Of those folks who said they didn't do so well - is it counting that's letting you down?

October 27, 2007 at 05:12 PM · I have three teenage sons, and they whip my butt at Guitar Hero (there, it's out in the open! lol)

For me, the visual element of the game is a huge distraction. I think learning guitar hero is the same as getting good at any other video game - youth and fast reflexes will prevail over all.

*this is why fighter jets are flown by young men under 30 :P

November 5, 2007 at 02:08 AM ·

November 5, 2007 at 02:07 AM · i played this at a friends house whos kid had it and i actually did well on it lol

November 5, 2007 at 10:33 AM · I love this game! and yes I think musicians are better at it

November 5, 2007 at 10:47 AM ·

February 8, 2008 at 03:21 AM ·

February 8, 2008 at 03:34 AM · For what it's worth, my college-age son (who plays trumpet and guitar) says that drummers tend to be the best at Guitar Hero.

February 8, 2008 at 03:56 AM · rofl. Yes, violinist are the best: fastest left hands. ...One of my friends at Eastman is ranked 4th in the world, of xbox.

February 8, 2008 at 09:26 AM · That Southpark excerpt was funny.

My brother and I played GH over the holidays, and the first thing I thought of was how easy it would have been to make it an actual guitar simulation. The misplaced intervals got me off track, and sometimes I forgot to pick, so I wasn't all that great. My brother's a whiz, though; he was an outstanding percussionist in high school.

February 8, 2008 at 10:59 AM · "acutal guitar simulation"

A startup is working on that right now, encouraged by the success of GH. Not sure how successful it will be as a teacher, but we're gonna see.

P.S. Southpark has a history of getting guitars right. In that clip the amp looks like a Vox, and the guitar is a Les Paul. I'm bugged by the inaccurate cutaway in the LP though. In another episode they got an Olson acoustic right, including the emblem on the headstock.

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