Arpeggio: a new way to strum

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Post #1 · Posted at 2009-06-14 10:36:50am 8.8 years ago

Offline Fallacy
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Before I begin my very first post, I would like to explain why I posted in the abandoned Rock Band section. Feel free to skip to the "~~*~~" if you don't want to waste time and get straight to the point.

1: I was playing Rock Band when I came to this realization
2: I feel it applies more to Rock Band than it does to GFDM
3: The Rock Band section is abandoned, as I stated before :3

In your typical Guitar simulation, you are presented with a controller that bears a certain amount of frets, a strumbar that is used to strum the strings of your would-be guitar, and, depending on the game, a whammy bar that distorts the sound. You push the frets down and flick the strumbar to play the notes, and you play the notes successively to play the song. Playing the entire song as accurately as possible earns you points, and playing notes consecutively increases the amount of points a single note can earn you.

Well, we get these basic concepts. Most people start out strumming one way, which, for the sake of not having a term, I will call "Normal". That way is DOWN. But I'm sure most of us on zenius are familiar with the concept of strumming not only down, but up as well. Yes, you can also flick the strumbar up, not just down to the ground. That's why there's a "Lefty" mode. If you COULD NOT flick AWAY from the ground, playing the game with the strumbar in your LEFT hand would be impossible. This method of strumming BOTH UP AND DOWN has been introduced to me as "Dual" which, according to my friend, was a pun on the word "Duel".

Moving on, for those who stick to the method of flicking the strumbar in only one direction, you may find it hard to learn how to strum with both. But for those who DO dual, it becomes much easier to play those really hard, mind numbing 16ths that go on for eons since you only have to strum one way. The reason it's easier is because, when you NORMAL, strumming ONLY TOWARDS THE GROUND, you have to spend energy pulling your arm back UP, AWAY FROM THE GROUND, before you can strum DOWN again; conversely, players who Dual, strum BOTH UP AND DOWN, flick the strumbar EVERY TIME they pass it. This means that players who Normal are not only required to work TWICE as hard, but must spend TWICE as much energy to play at the same person as a player who Duals. Quite literally, playing a series of 8th notes on Normal IS THE EQUIVALENT of playing a series of 16th notes on Dual.

For those of you who have read this long, you're either expecting too much out of my posts, you've never had to consider a music simulator at this level of complexity, or you're extremely bored. Sorry for laying out the unnecessary groundwork.

Now that we understand how a guitar simulation game can be played (strumming ONE way, or strumming TWO ways), I'd like to explain my little revelation.

I've started taking REAL guitar lessons. I'm at the point where I'm pulling strings with ALL of my fingers. So I thought to myself this morning as I watched my boss play RB2 (we have a Master/Apprentice sort of relationship, since he's a computer technician, and I follow him around mostly) "Hey, couldn't I flick the strumbar with all four fingers?"

The potential level of gameplay that can be achieved by strumming with FOUR fingers means you can strum FOUR times as fast as a person strumming only one way by GRIPPING the strumbar level, rather than by just tapping it. So I decided to try it.

Needless to say, I failed the very first song I tried. But I learned some interesting things:
*Unlike a real guitar, merely "flicking" the strumbar by passing your fingernails over it, much like you might do with nylon strings, causes kickback which can make your guitar controller "strum" inadvertently at the wrong time, possibly breaking your combo. In short, you can't just fly over the strumbar like you might do with a 5-string guitar.
*Using four fingers requires a LOT of mental concentration, but eases the strain of playing by gripping the lever with your index and thumb and shaking it up and down.
*Having four fingers gives the player more freedom to play with the strumbar, adding a certain level of personal style to gameplay. Also, it means you don't have to think as much about the timing. Use TWO fingers for eighth notes, THREE fingers for triplets, and FOUR fingers for sixteenths, and whatever is beyond that.

Also, after thinking over it more, I realized something else.
*THREE fingers can take over the FOUR fingers arrangement by moving R-M-L-M-R-M-L-M-etc...
*FOUR fingers can achieve as complex as a seven-note arrangement (a series of repeating patterns based in 2-7 notes) making those awkward sections easier to deal with, with enough practice.

I tried it a couple more times until I got the hang of using three fingers at once. At this point I am capable of FCing MOST songs on Hard, while I get 3-4 stars on Expert songs. It's actually pretty difficult using three fingers on a song that isn't in 3/4 time.

TECHNICALLY, the name for the practice of playing guitar using FOUR FINGERS is known as "Arpeggio", so I decided to call it that.

Share your ideas and thoughts with me.

Post #2 · Posted at 2009-06-14 10:44:28am 8.8 years ago

Offline silenttype01
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PlayStation Network: Racsotype01Nintendo Network ID: silenttype013DS Friend Code: 1564 3161 8478
The idea that you bring up is very interesting and is one that I've discussed with my friends back in high school. It's very possible to play with that style though it may require a lot of practice and concentration. The only obstacle I see is the kickback of the strum that you mentioned, so the fingers have to be real delicate on the strum bar for the strums to register. I've tried it on a couple of songs, but I'd rather stick to vocals and percussion than guitar. I got too much from playing Guitar Hero 1 & II.

Your username is Fallacy, and your first post was a very long one. I fought the urge to say that your post has an error in reasoning.Happy

Post #3 · Posted at 2009-07-03 10:19:05am 8.8 years ago

Offline Fallacy
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I have to ask...

Last night I was at SVGL and I watched a regular playing GF. He's really good, so I asked him if he actually plays guitar, which he does. So I mentioned arpeggio, and he's like "Oh, no, I've never seen it, but I'm sure it's doable on a Rock Band controller."

I'm sure you can do it on virtually any home guitar-sim controller, as long as the strumbar isn't retardedly thick, but those GF machines, as well as the GHWT AC cab, are too thick to do it effectively.

I want to make my own guitar-sim controller using REAL metal strings, or maybe nylon since we're talking video games and metal might mar my fingers too much... I've seen guitar toys that can train you to play some songs on guitar that use real strings and a threshhold sensor...
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