Friday, January 30, 2009

I'm Breaking Out... Of My Rut

Finally done! I still have some kinks to hammer out with Reptilia



That's the main riff. Your hands will get RUINED from holding the chord shape. It requires a lot of stamina.

The part I had to figure out was the solo:


Tremelo pick the chords.

Overall, it's alot harder than it looks, but it's a lot of fun if you can handle it.


Thursday, January 29, 2009

Billy Powell Died

Billy Powell, the keyboardist from Lynard Skynard died Wednesday according to USA Today.

He played on "Sweet Home Alamaba", and "Freebird", the two songs that defined Southern Rock.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Help, I've Been Googled!

I use Statcounter to track hits to this blog, just to see if I should botherupdating as frequently. Granted I should be doing this more for me, but hey, it gets lonely sometimes...

Anyway, Statcounter is amazing AND it's free. It also lets me know how people got here, like through a websearch or via AltStrum or whatever.

So, here are some of the keywords people have used to reach this site, and I will help you for future reference. Don't worry, there was nothing embarrasing like brazillian fart porn or giraffe goatse. Although I will post if those things actually resulted in a hit.

She Sells Sanctuary Position Fret- You'll want this post. I reccomend starting with the pinky on the 14th fret, and working your way down from there. Unless you mean you want the full tab, then go here.

Lynard Skynard Pronounced Blogspot, The Best Of Foreigner Blogspot- I guess he was looking for a CD review maybe? Both are pretty good

Guitar Pedal Dead Kennedys Police Truck Used- Delay pedal, with distortion.

"Cheer Up Coach Z" Parody- I think the song itself was a parody, but you never know.

Hooked On Decemberween Lyrics, Dethemberween Thinkaman Lyrics- This site should do the trick.

"Skies On Fire" Standard Tuning- Bam.

Plastic Rock Experiment- It could be something else he was thinking of, but this experiment on Non-Newtonian fluids is my best bet. The tone of that post reminds me of a serial killer. "Theeese ladies are having fun. Look at the pretty girls. I wonder what her head would look like on a stick?" 4th entry!

Guitar Hero Arcade Setlist- Sorry, no dice. That search landed on what I thought the potential setlist would be. I am curious to check out the real one.

Father Christmas Game Is A Bastard- I think he's talking about this game. But yeah, it does suck.

Rhythm Games "Back In Black"- Check the AC/DC Track Pack.

Drums of RB2 Accessories- Bam. One stop shopping and plugging. There's silencers, cymbals, kickheads, what more could you want?

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Not Quite There Yet...

I feel like I should have something here for all the people coming from a comment of mine at Fake Plastic Rock from this article, about how Guitar Hero and Rock Band may have influenced increased sales.

Here's my cop out ladies and gentlemen: The HARDEST parts from these SOLID SONGS and why I'm havin' a little trouble.

Reptilia- This song goes from babby-can-do-it easy to "Wait! My hands aren't that fast!" in a heartbeat. The chorus, which goes right into the solo (1st time around) is what's throwing me off.
OK, chorus now, solo later when I upadate:
Start with your index finger on the 7th fret (pinky on 10th)



Did I mention these are all eighth notes? AT 150+ BEATS PER MINUTE?

Main Offender- This song isn't so bad, but it's a lot of chord moving in a little bit of time. Also, no-one seems to know the transitional parts or the solo, and that's gonna take me a little bit to figure out. But here's the main riff for those wondering:



Full tabs are here, and here.

Now, my comment that as these people giving me as many referals in the past 2 days as AltStrum has ever since I started tracking?

"My favorite is when you’re playing and someone says “Uh, you guys do realize those aren’t real instruments?”

What the hell are they expecting at that point?

What? Aw, Thanks man! I knew something was up was when had to get these at GameStop. And that they don’t really make sound unless the PlayStation is on.”
And then they are worshiped for all eternity solely because of their keen observation skills.

Guitar Hero got me to take up the real thing. I still play fake plastic rock games, but they provide two different feelings:

Fake Rock provides accessibility. Me, my friends and family can start jamming without lugging any equipment around, or worrying if Person A knows song B. It’s all there. Even alone, the scoring and competition gives me a tangible measure of progress. The music comes to me.

The Real Thing is more primal than that, the satisfaction of “I, and I alone did it.” when I finally learned a tough riff. I can put feeling into how I play, and can just mess around with the damn thing.

I’ve turned this into The Rhythm Bastard Experiment (check site), where I try to learn Fake Plastic Rock songs on a real guitar. One of those tab books would help a lot though, but NOOOO, I’m Cheap Bastard. Plus, it would be helpful."

TL;DR- "Get a real guitar!" people can be douchebags, and next time I'm home, I'm taking a field trip to Guitar Center.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Thursday, January 22, 2009

The 10,000 Rule

TC's Atomic Dog posts on Testosterone Nation are always humorous and give you that mental kick in the ass you need. Whether it's that you could be doing better, or that trying to better yourself is always a step above most, TC seems to get right down to the core.

In one of his more recent articles, "Why You Suck", he points out that most professionals in their respective sport, and even in school are born right after the cutoff date for sign-ups (e.g. January 1st, Canadian Junior Hockey leagues stop accepting). Why? The answer is simple: more time. Think about it, a kid grows more in the 364 days (using hockey as an example) between January 2nd and January 1st of the next year than someone born in, let's say September. January kids are bigger and seen as better aptitudes. They get put on the first string, and get more play time.

Thias all boils down to the 10,000 Hour Rule. Quoted from the article:
"In the 1990's, psychologist K. Anders Ericsson conducted an experiment with the Berlin Academy of Music. He divided the school's violinists into three groups: the elite, the good, and those that were unlikely to ever play professionally.

All of the kids had started playing when they were 5 years old, but what divided them, aside from ability, was simply how many hours each had spent practicing. The really good ones had totaled 10,000 hours of practice, while the good ones had only managed to squeak away on the catgut for 8,000 hours or so. The underachievers? Just 4,000 hours of practice."

Another example he gives are The Beatles. They played in a strip club in Hamburg for over 2 years, 7 days a week for 8 hours, racking up 1200 live performances between 1960 and 1962. And what do you know, they're considered rock legends.

Am I near the 10,000 hour mark? Hell no. I doubt I'm even near 1000 hours. But the thing is, it's stuff like this that keeps me going.

Keep in mind, I have strict standards on what "beat" is for a song. Even if I have all the parts to a song down separately, it'll take maybe 10 replays before I'm able to play with an acceptable success rate.

And yes, this is one of those filler posts where I want to write about something, but haven't beaten a song yet.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

REVIEW: Stay Positive

"Reptilia" comin' soon, y'all.

It was a summer day, and I was on the road to the Jamacia train station. I was listening to the radio when this catchy little hook comes on the radio, I was pleased. I knew it was going to be stuck in my head when the chorus came on:
In barlight, she looked all right.
In daylight, she looked desperate
That's all right I was desperate too,
I'm gettin' pretty sick of this interview
Subpoenaed in Texas,
Sequstered in Memphis!

And I got The Hold Steady's "Stay Positive" for Christmas. While The Hold Steady might seem like an entry level hipster/indie band, I'd file them under "Hidden Gem", since I regard "hipster" and "indie" with negative connotations. And I just plain don't like Questionable Content (a webcomic).

Another reason why I'm not dropping the "indie" bomb is that despite the morose sounding singer, these tracks (or most of them) are pretty upbeat and can rock pretty hard.

The most amazing thing about the album is that the CD knows when I'm bored. The first two tracks, "Constructive Summer" and "Sequestered In Memphis", are both high energy and catchy tunes. The next one "One For The Cutters" lives up to it's name. Everything fits together, but it's too depresing sober. But what's this? "Navy Sheets" is here to pick me up! The three chord hook and bouncy keyboards make it almost sound kinda like an Aquabat song. Even the normally low tone singer has improved his mood!

"Lord I'm Discouraged" is a long, classic rock ballad, and when it was starting to slow down, it comes in with the most bitchin' epic solo I've heard in a while.

Yeah, the singer sounds like he's constantly depressed, but luckily what he sings is a million times better than how he sings it. The songs are very narrative, and depending on the song, are perfect for drinking. The music sets the mood, and the guitar and keyboard complement each other well.

BOTTOM LINE: A great CD by a band I'm sad I didn't find out about sooner, that heralds a return to all I love about classic rock.

Monday, January 19, 2009

I'm An Amplitude Dude

Guys, Amplitude, the game that first indroduced me to Harmonix, might be coming back, according to this interview.

Relevant part:
Ars Technica: We spoke to someone else at Harmonix about Amplitude, and I believe Sony owns that property?
Rigopulos: They do, yeah.
Ars Technica: Has there been a conversation about bringing that game to the PlayStation Network? You've proven the formula, and you can say "From the people who brought you Rock Band."
Rigopulos: Yeah! Yeah! Yeah!
Ars Technica: It seems like it would be a mutually beneficial thing to do.
Rigopulos: I would love to. That game is still close to my heart. I love it. I'd love to do a sequel to Amplitude, actually. It's an issue of prioritization. It's challenging enough to keep the Rock Band train on the tracks. (Editors note: earlier that day, Rigopulos had announced that there
would be no new Rock Band sequel in 2009, in order for Harmonix to focus fully on the Beatles title.) We've grown from about 80 or 90 people a couple years ago to more than 300 now, and managing that kind of growth takes focus.
For us, that lingering question of "what are we going to do about Amplitude" is still very much out there. I would love to come back and do it right for the PlayStation 3, for example.
Ars Technica: Has there been a conversation with Sony about that?
Rigopulos: Oh, yes. They... I think they recognize that the environment for that game is different now than it was six years ago when it was first released. I'd love to see us come back to it at some point.

Amplitude was the true precursor to Rock Band. You had to "blast" these notes on different highways, and each represented a different instrument. Coolest however, was the ability to remix the songs, and change tempo, beats, and melodies, beating Guitar Hero World Tour by 5 years. It was a club-heavy song list, but I liked it.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Putting My Girl In The Limelight

Here it is, DOUBLE SONG UPDATE!!!!

FYI, I'm skipping Creep for the sake of my wrist, and because I hate the song. Everything I've struggled through, but not Creep. It's not like it's a hard song, it's that I shouldnt be attempting barre chords like that when I'm recovering.

Hardest part was a -GASP!- Three way tie!

The chorus riff:

The first triplet (three notes played in two beats) in the solo:

The second triplet

The triplets I have no advice for other than slowly work your way up. The frets are closer together that high up the neck, so it's easier to user you index, middle and ring fingers to fret those.

The chorus is an arpeggio between a modied G#minor (hold it like a power chord, but lift yuour finger after you pick the A string, then bring it back down over the Gstring), a modified E chord (on the third fret instead of the first) and and F# minor chord.

Fun to play, but you need to have fast hands.

And now that I'm done with Tier 3, on to Tier 4's first song...

If you have any rhythm at all, it's really easy. Fast, loose, and only one hard part:

I link to people if they can describe it better than I can. But that hook:
A. Is hard to transfer to
B. The one part you shouldn't fuck up when playing live.

However, there is one part I figured out on my own: the solo. I have done such a thing before.


Why this song is so damn popular is for another time...



I Ordered The Double Double, But...

They gave me a Simpsons quote.

This is a post just to let you know, that tomorrow is going to be a fabled DOUBLE SONG UPDATE. WITH SOME BIG NEWS!!!

In other news, I'm in the Top 100 for the HMX Battle going on right now.

I gotta tell ya, there are some pretty good songs in that lot. "Rob The Prez-O-Dent" and "Conventional Lover" are my favorites.

"Alex Chilton" is stuck in my head for some reason...

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

REVIEW: Rock Revolution DS

Working on "Limelight", should be done soon, just as soon as I master the solo.

In OTHER news, I managed to get some play time with Rock Revolution for the Nintendo DS. Does it suck less than it's console predecessor?


First off, it looks bad (image courtest of VGChartz):

No, it's not due to poor image capture, THAT'S HOW THE GAME ACTUALLY LOOKS. Animation? What's that? No, what you get here is a bunch of still images with no transition to suggest movement. Even the friggin' Alvin and the Chipmunks game had 3D animation.

The songlist... pretty good. Granted, you'll have some overused stuff like "Blitzkreig Bop","Are You Gonna Be My Girl?" and "Sk8r Boi", but then you'll have something awesome like "Heading Out To The Highway" and "Spirit Of The Radio". That last song alone makes it worth a try.

All the songs are covers, which isn't SO bad when you consider that the original Guitar Hero was all covers, but they sound horrible and are poorly mixed. First off, the bass doesn't sound natural, like an actual bass. For some reason, it's the thing you'll hear the most. The rest of the instruments sound OK. But the biggest offense is that sometimes, the music will go out of sync, like they weren't aware of things like "measures" or "timing". I know it's hard, but really, the music department should have noticed these things.

As far as gameplay goes, it's a mixed bag. The singing is OK, but unresponsive. It doesn't matter, because apparently it give you "GOOD"s regardless. The guitar is boring (all you do is strum up and down), and at times ridiculously broken (sometimes you have to draw a circle, and sometimes it works). Bass is really hard, as you not only have to hit the right string, but in the right position as well, and on expert difficulty, it becomes a clusterfuck. Drums is OK, but the sound is so poorly mixed, you have no idea what to hit, and the pads are scattered around randomly.

BOTTOM LINE: Skip, and try the console version, which is only $20. It at least had more work put into it.

Sunday, January 11, 2009


I offically turned 21 today!

Last night, family came over, and it was cool. I got a bunch of tiny little liquor bottles, but other than that, nothing too exciting. I'm hard to shop for since I'm not really impulsive.

But the highlight of the night was when everyone wanted to play Rock Band, so we broke it out, and got to rockin'. The funniest part was when my older brother, half drunk, sang "Detroit Rock City", and halfway through was like "I don't know this".

Even better was that when everyone left, and we imported all the songs from Rock Band 1 (lil' bro got it for the PS3 only to return the next day), my Dad came in, saw "Tangled Up In Blue" and actually wanted to play. Granted, he sung, but still. He usually chides my and my brothers for not being that into playing sports (unless you count weightlifting a sport), and it was touching him wanting to be a part of our world. Then Mom sang "Should I Stay Or Should I Go".

TL;DR- I enjoyed my 21st birthday.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Coming Down The Road

These guys are playing all 500 someodd songs in Rock Band. Cheer them on!

N.B. They're ending with "Those About To Rock" from the AC/DC pack. EPIC!!!


First off and most importantly, my 21st Bitrthday! I want... uh... I don't know...a...multi-effects pedal? Any of these? Something Awful forum account? AC/DC track- Listen, I don't even have PayPal or GoogleAds, so I don't expect anything from you guys (all 3 of you).

Also, 2 things I won't even DARE to mention yet, since that usually jinxes them.

But more importantly, Tier 4. I haven't finished Limelight or Creep yet, but we can also vote on the DLC song! REMINDER: My choice for DLC song was Coheed and Cambria's "Ten Speed", because I love my brother for some reason, and that's his favorite song. And the lead singer has a funny voice.

"Saints Of Los Angeles" by Motley Crue- I don't really listen to Motley Crue, but it's interesting, since the Rock Band sales of this song were higher than other. traditional media.

"Going Mobile" by The Who- Because I wanted a Who song, damn it!

"Dammit" by Blink 182- Huh, how well that fits together. Yeah, Blink 182 fan here.

"3s and 7s" by Queens Of The Stone Age- I'll delve more into this if you vote for it or when I get to Guitar Hero 3, but note that this is a Tier 7 song in GH3.

"Bang A Gong (Get It On)" by T. Rex- Ever hear one of those songs all the time and can never put a name to it? Yeah, this is that song for me. Plus it'll get some Glam up in this.

"Dr. Feelgood" by Motley Crue- Someone reccommended this song (not for the experiment, just in General), and I like it. I now have a new name for...uh...nevermind...

"Hard To Handle" by The Black Crowes- Another song I hear all the time, love, but didn't know the title until Rock Band came along.

"Mr. Brightside" by The Killers- Radio-ready classic, that I'm 99.99% sure cribs "Ode To Joy"

"Rock n' Roll Band" by Boston- The only thing that disturbs me is that it sounds kinda like "Peace of Mind". Anything from Boston's self-titled album is gold though.

"Wonderwall" by Oasis- The basis for Green Day's "Boulevard Of Broken Dreams", and it sounds so similar, the two songs got mashed up into an awesome mix called Boulevard Of Broken Songs. The most accessible version (can't be bother to find a download link) is this cool video on NewGrounds.

"Stop!" by Against Me!- I have never heard this song I just picked it out at random

"Toxicity" by System Of A Down- See above.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

We Don't Need No Stinking Wings!

My last song update was December 14th.

Yeah, I think you guys deserve another one.

OK, there is one HUGE thing I have to get out of the way first:
The real problem from this song comes not in the actual playing or instrumentation, but how the songs is mixed in Rock Band, versus the original song.
Here's a video of Learn To Fly in Rock Band:

Here's the music video for Learn To Fly (featuring Tenacious D). Sorry, embedding was disabled.

When it goes to the chorus ("I'm looking to the sky to save me..."), in Rock Band it's a repeat of the verse (more or less). In the original version, it's a repeat of the intro.

It was remixed (they have all the master tracks, and rhythm/lead guitar was broken up) for the sake of changing up the difficulty/patterns, but it's still interesting to note.

Might as well give you the whole damn song now anyways (or at least a fair chunk of it):
A--2--22-222-/-4-44--4b 4-4/2-2-222-222-----

Real simple: index finger on the second fret of the A string, held against the D string (just touch it) and ring or pinky on G string (heh, G string). It's shaped like a power chord, but it's called an octave chord (hitting the same note (B), on the next higher octave). Slide up, bend the strings up, then slide back down.

e-------------2---------------------- 0--------------- 0--

The verse give us our good old friend Mr. Arpeggio!

The chords you're going to need to know are:
Bsus2 barre chord (-24422: index on 2nd fret, ring on 4th fret D-string, pinky on 4th fret G-string)
F#5 power chord (244---: all you need to know is ring on 4th fret A string, pinky on 4th fret D-String)
E chord (0221--: We should all know this by now)

INTERLUDE (ripped off from here):
Only me, I can't quite make it alone
Try to make this life I own, fly

G5: 355---
A5: 577---
E5: 022---
B5: -244--

Reader DL Choices tomorrow


Wednesday, January 7, 2009


Right, so I was going to talk about how bitchin' the Rock N' Roller Coaster was, but then I checked StatCounter, and that a lot of my referrals have been coming from a website called AltStrum. Out of curiosity, it turns out that I'm one of the links in their sidebar. Thanks a lot guys!

I've plugged Fake Plastic Rock before, so now AltStrum deserves similar attention. Unfortunately, it hasn't updated in a while (ahem), but still gets a plug. It posts up more newsy stuff like DLC releases (so basically it's like the Guitar Hero or Rock Band section of a bigger game blog), but it does put up some stand outs, like the charts of said DLC, and these:

100% FCs of Impossible Songs- This article links to videos of Full Comboing (the ENTIRE BAND) "Snow (Hey Oh)" and "The Devil Went Down To Georgia". This article introduced me to a YouTuber named GuitarHeroPhenom, a name that, while too arrogant for my tastes, is rather suitable.

Guitar Hero Rehab Patients- As an engineering major, I find this kind of stuff to be awesome. Basically, scientists rewired a Guitar Hero controller to respond to the movement of fingers in an amputated hand (i.e. Touch thumb and index for one fret, middle to thumb for another, etc.). Their scores are middling (70% at best), but it's still an amazing design.

Through The Fire In Flames in Lego- Pssh. Bet he can't do that on REAL Legos. Then I'll be impressed. Or at least until he builds a Lego guitar. That can play Guitar Hero.

GH:WT vs. RB2 Note CHart Comparisons- Some of the videos aren't availble, but what is there shows some very interesting differences (like how Everlong seems easier on GH:WT).

N.B. Actually, it updated the 7th, RIGHT AFTER I posted this entry.


Aerosmith's Rock N' Roller Coaster was kick ass. Basically, it's this limo that speeds you through "Los Angeles" through corkscrews and loops, because you walked in on an Aerosmith recording session and they like you so damn much. The Tower of Terror (also in Hollywood Studios) was, as the kids say, bitchin', and wasn't that scary actually. It's more of the atmosphere that gives you the willies, and that's fine by me.

However, Aerosmith severely overestimates the lengths people will go to see on of their concerts.
-Wait in line for an hour.
-Spend below $100 (goes for all concerts. I know, I'm a Cheap Bastard as well)
-Call a radio station to win tickets.
-Ride a roller coaster
-Ride in a limo
-Start a band that opens for Aerosmith.

-Pay more than $100
-Ride in a limo that practically flies through LA, or any vehicle where I would need a safety restraint.
-Take down the New Order Nation in a dystopian 1996.
-Pay money to play Revolution X
-Failing that, wasting enough quarters to play the game from beginning to end.
-OR, wasting more than an hour of my life playing the ROM to Revolution X.
-Fight through legions of anything, unless they're people I already have a problem with (Nazis, mass murderes, my little brother, emo kids, scenesters, etc.)

N.B. All sexual favors are on a case by case basis.

Next song IS "Learn To Fly".

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Back In Black

Got back from a vacation in Disney World a few days ago.

I'll post a quick recap, in upcoming days, along with:
-Tier 4 DLC picks
-"Creep" maybe?
-"Stay Positive" Review