Friday, February 27, 2009


ANOTHER day I'll have to postpone the song lesson, but here's a tip I can give when it comes to playing and singing at the same time:
Find a "Hook". This means find a distinctive part where lines change, or a specific syllable.
Example from the chorus "Clash City Rockers":
So don't /complain, about your useless /employment, Jack /it in....

Each chord has it's own line. These kinds of patterns are common in most rock songs.

From the verse:
And I WANNA move to TOWN with the CLASH city ROCKERS

Ya NEED a little JUMP of elECtrical SHOCKerz

Oh shit, I just taught you most of "Clash City Rockers"

FUN FACT: I did the Guitar and Vocals Challenge in Rock Band 2 today...


Thursday, February 26, 2009

February 25th Open Mic Night

"Clash City Rockers" by The Clash-*****
"I'm Shipping Up To Boston" by Dropkick Murphy's-***


Despite the fact that I've been practicing these songs nonstop for the past two weeks, I felt like shit going up there, and while playing, I was caught in a trance, or another plane of existence... I'm sure I forgot some parts, messed up words, and so on. But apparently I didn't suck. Hopefully I'll be more aware next time.

What eased my fears was that a fellow commuter who also plays guitar was doing it too. He helped me get setup and everything, so Sean (Shawn? I forget, he S'n now) if you're reading this, thanks a lot, man.

The first guy who went up was this really white guy playing a acoustic covers of rap songs. He sounded really good.

The next guy was someone me and S'n ran into there, and he was also good. Played mostly originals.

S'n was up next, and he was actually really good. I play pool with him in the lounge all the time, and here is playing these songs he wrote. Not that catchy, but I was impressed.

The next guy sucked. Barre chords and cliche lyrics ahoy.

This is the point in time where I mention that I was essentially the polar opposite of every other act. All of the other acts up until me were acoustic acts, playing their own songs, yet there I was, the only person there with an electric, playing punk/rock covers.

At long last, it was my turn, I feverishly introduced myself: "Hey, I'm the Rhythm Bastard, I'm an Engineering student, and I'm here to rock."

So, how did I do?

N.B. (Gold= Perfect, no notes dropped to ***=Barely made it through)
"Clash City Rockers"-*****
Out of S'n's amp, this sounded like the real thing. The chords during the verse and choruses were crisp as a new bill, but I messed up the solo on one note, and fudged up a chord once, I think on the bridge. Without a band backing you, every mistake you make is REALLY noticeable, and can seriously mess you up. Solos sound bad perfect or not, because again, NO BACKUP.

But what made this for me, was when I was just getting into it, I saw a guy in the crowd singing along. Boo-yah! He said I was cool after the show. :)

Yay approval from other people! Certainly that won't mess up my psyche!

I was proud of my performance on this one. The mistakes haunt me, but other than that, I think I did well.

"Shipping Up To Boston" by Dropkick Murphys-***
Oof... What can I say here...
I messed up the first riff (dee-do-dee-do-dee-dee-dee-dee-do-do...) but it went uphill from there. NOBODY sang along, which was discouragin to say the least, and sounded weird with the fingering parts overdriven with an amp.

Overall, glad I went ahead and did, you'll get your precious song lesson tomorrow.
It'll be "Shipping Up To Boston". 'Cause St. Patrick's Day is coming up.

Monday, February 23, 2009

What's Down Doc?

The number of artists from which Harmonix is willing to license from.

Warner Music Group (yeah, it was a long was to go for a Warner Bros. reference) claims that the amount they get in licensing and royalties from Rock Band are not enough. According to an article in Wired Magazine (via Rock Band Forums):
"The money Warner recieves for the use of its songs is 'paltry' [Bronfman] said, and if the game makers dont pony up more cash, 'we will not liscense to those games."

"...Rock Band publisher MTV Games is now boycotting Warner artists, according to a source close to the negotiations."

"...Aerosmith has reportedly earned more from Guitar Hero: Aerosmith than from any single album is the bands history."

The shit kinda hit the fan a while ago with tons of Youtube videos of Playthroughs being taken down because of claims by Warner. The problem is that we don't really know how much. The most reasonable estimate I've seen is 9 cents per unit sold. The source isn't professional, but I said it's an estimate.

Here's a list of all the bands I'll be missing:
-AC/DC (HA! We already got the Track Pack!)
-Avenged Sevenfold (I loved Beast and The Harlot)
-The B-52s (No "Love Shack"?)
-Eric Clapton (No "Layla"?)
-Garbage (No "Cherry Lips"?)
-Green Day (NOOOOOO!!)
-Huey Lewis and the News (I thought their early work was a bit too new wave for me, but when Sports came out in '86, I thought they came into their own both commercially and artistically)
-Killswitch Engage (No "Holy Diver"?)
-Led Zepplin (Well that was a crapshoot anyway)
-My Chemical Romance, only for the possibility of "Desolation Row" in time for "The Watchmen"
-The Ramones
-Red Hot Chili Peppers
-The Sex Pistols
-The Stooges, therefore no Iggy Pop or "I Wanna Be Your Dog", "Search and Destroy", "The Passenger", "Lust for Life" and so on.
-Sugar Ray (remember, people, I grew up in the mid/late 90's)
-Pantera (Surprisingly, Rock Revolution was the only rhythm game to get them...)

However, I'm thankful that the following bands will not be availbile, even though I am not required to download them:
-Phil Collins

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Time? Well...

OK, I'm up at school fore the weekend, figuring I'll get a ton of crap (RB songs, song writing, HW) done without everyone begging me to do crap and the normal distractions of home. How did I spend Saturday? Playing TF2 while sipping on Coke and Jack Daniels...

The updates are going to be scarce for the next couple days vis a vis the setlist songs, since Open Mic Night is this Wednesday, and I need to practice.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Rock and Gambling In Atlantic City

From RockGamer, another Friend:
"Through a national deal with Harrah’s Entertainment and MTV, Rock Band nights will be offered three times a week at Harrah’s Resort, Bally’s Atlantic City’s Wild Wild West Casino and the House of Blues at Showboat Casino-Hotel.
And to get you out of your house, Harrah’s is offering some big-time prizes, including a grand prize of $10,000 and a chance to open up for the B-52’s at the House of Blues on May 9.
“We’re really hoping this gets some regional and national buzz,” says Harrah’s Regional Director of Entertainment Jason Spencer. “The initial buzz has been great. We have high hopes.”
Here’s how it works: The competitions start on Wednesday, March 4, at Harrah’s Eden Lounge, followed by Thursday, March 5, at the Sports Bar at Bally’s, and Friday, March 6, at the House of Blues.

Sounds like fun, but a bit impractical, and only for those who live near AC or participating cities. Who will want to drive 2 1/2 hours (from my end anyway) to participate in a competition. OK, the B-52s are a bit...a better, than Panic At The Disco and Dashboard Confessional, however all the competition days ARE IN THE MIDDLE OF THE WEEK. Wouldn't it be easier to host it on the weekend when people are actually coming?

I'm heading down March 28th when my Dad's playing in a WSOP Satellite Tourney, so maybe they'll have a stage set up where anyone can play regardless.

Harrah's is good though. I went there the week after my 21st birthday, and lost about $150. However, I came upon this PROTIP: Sit at a penny slot, put in 10 bucks, play one cent at a time, and get free booze.

New Jersey taxpayer dollars at work people.

Currently workin' on "Don't Fear The Reaper". Right now it looks like the only challenge is just arpeggiating the legendary intro.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Row Of Desolation

All right, Sunday night, I'm dropping my friends off after we took a road trip to a store I thought sold old video games. They get off, when K-Rock's "B Local" show starts up. They kick off with My Chemical Romance's cover of Bob Dylan's "Desolation Row" made for the upcoming "Watchmen" movie. I've never really liked My Chemical Romance, (save for "Dead!" in Guitar Hero 2, and even then the novelty wore off), and never heard much of Dylan, so ths should be interesting. I was expecting to hear something wimpy and screamo, but this is my first thought when I heard the song:
"What the fuck? Is this The Sex Pistols?"

Seriously, the thumping bass drums, the constant power chords, it sounded a bit like "God Save The Queen".

Granted, in turning it into a 3 1/2 minute punk song, it takes away a lot of meaning from the Dylan original, since it was meant to set a scene, but it's not that bad. I heard they were going to make the song longer, but the label told MCR to cut it down. So it's not like they're totally ruining the original. My main concern is that it doesn't fit with the tone of Watchmen. The original was dreary and foreboding, but this is like "FUCK YEAH! SHIT GON' GO DOWN!" At least it's going on during the credits, after the ending, which they understandably changed. What did they change you ask? I'll save that for after I see the movie.

But still, read the book.

Anyway, I'm using this as an opportunity to announce "Bonus" songs. These aren't the bonus songs from the games, but really songs outside of that scope entirely that I either learned before the RB Experiment or plan on learning. These come sporadically, but I'm announcing when I'll be posting the lessons for the first two right now:

Feburary 25th: "Clash City Rockers" by The Clash and/or "Shipping Up To Boston" by Dropkick Murphys
March 6th: "Desolation Row" by My Chemical Romance

Monday, February 16, 2009

Wait A Second...

Now it's time for News We All Heard Before!

"Chinese Democracy" on Rock Band DLC
Ultimate Guitar- 2/16/2009
I think it's a interesting disparity between the "Old Guard" of Guns N' Roses, and Axl Rose. Slash went on to go into GHIII and Axl's complaing say that it was unfair use of the Guns N' Roses name.

"GH: Metallica" Setlist Revealed
Fake Plastic Rock 2/15/2009
Joystiq- 01/26/2009

Maybe it's because I'm not that into metal or Metallica, but I don't think I'll be checking this one out. I mean, I only recognize 7 songs at most on that list.

Why yes, this is a filler post!

Friday, February 13, 2009

WARNING: Toxic Chemicals Ahead


I've always thought System Of A Down was akin to Linkin Park: a band without substance and full of screams that appeals to the emo kids. But this song has made me really appreciate S.O.A.D. It alternates quiet, serene, haunting parts with out of control thrashing.

Plus Serj Tankaran looks kinda like Frank Zappa.

Anyway, first thing's first: you can't get away with standard tuning on this one. Drop the low-E string to a D. Here's an online app you can use to help you.

Another thing, the timing is in 6/8 measure. 6 beats per measure, eighth notes get one beat. If I find something to help me explain this, then I'll post it up.

The hard part is that "out of control thrashing", in the chorus and after the first verse riff:


That's not the hard part. This is the hard part:

It requires alternate picking and a lot of co-ordination. Middle finger over 3rd fret, index over 2nd fret.

Overall, not that hard a song. The riffs can be tricky and require fast fingers, but not too fast.

Like "Learn To Fly", this song has been mixed differently for Rock Band. The second time the verse riffs repeat is covered with palm muted open strings.


Thursday, February 12, 2009

Quintessential Guitar Hero Part 1 of 5

Via Destructoid:
"Activision announced earlier today Guitar Hero Greatest Hits during their financial conference call. The game will be comprised of the songs Guitar Hero fans liked the most from Guitar Hero, Guitar Hero II, Guitar Hero III and Guitar Hero: Aerosmith. All of these repackaged songs from the earlier games will be remade to work with all of Guitar Hero World Tour’s instruments. Guitar Hero Greatest Hits will be out sometime within the next two quarters for the Xbox 360, Wii and PlayStation 3. "

As I promised in my GH:Arcade potential setlist speculation, it's time for my list of Quintessential GH Songs, broken into 5 parts so I can make each entry more detailed. 10 Tiers, 5 songs each. (I'll still go by the games themselves if I ever finish Rock Band).
Tier 1
1. "I Love Rock And Roll" by Joan Jett- First song in the first Guitar Hero is perfect to kick things off.
2. "I Wanna Be Sedated" by The Ramones- Second only to Blitzkreig Bop, it's a Ramones classic, and one of the first fast songs you encounter.
3. "Slow ride" by Foghat- Another one because it's the easiest song in GH3, but also another fairly well known.
4. "Heart Shaped Box" by Nirvana- This is the earliest case (setlist-wise) of a band we've been clamoring to see make it in. No doubt about it, the cover sucked, hopefully the new edition will use the masters.
5. "Surrender" by Cheap Trick- First song, yadda yadda, and it just goes to show how smart the setlist arrangers are. The first song you hear when you start carrer mode is something you've probably heard your whole life.

Tier 2
1."Cherry Pie" by Warrant-We've all heard this one, whether you were born in the 80s, or merely a byprroduct of all those "BEST OF 80s HAIR METAL!" CD ads. I think these guys are a one hit wonder (like most bands of that time), so I took pity on them :( But it's perfect for rockin; back and forth to.
3. "Rock N' Roll All Nite" by KISS
4. "Take Me Out" by Franz Ferdinand- This was the first song in Guitar Hero that made you go: "Wait a minute! This song was on the radio yesterday! And it's everywhere!" For that, it showed it's relevance to us young kids with our iPods and black President. It showed GH as not only a means to archive old songs, but as a commercial product that's for everybody.
5. "Woman" by Wolfmother- Again, this was a point when Guitar Hero was able to promote new artists into the limelight, as well as highlight recent acts.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Blink 182 2 Reunite


Yes, the band that turned me into a teenager when I was 11 is reuniting after a 4 year hiatus. If I do another one of those "FILLER!" posts, I'll review Enema Of The State.

I'm glad they're back. At the same time, however, I'm filled with a certain amount of trepidation. Remember when Family Guy went off the air?


We were pissed because it got canceled before its due, then we bought all the DVDs and now it's back and now it kinda sucks even though we said "THIS'LL BE AWESOME!!"? I'm worried that will happen, and it'll tarnish their older stuff like Take Off Your Pants And Jacket and Dude Ranch and make me question whether I liked it in the first place, like Family Guy.

We all liked that music back then (if you were born in the latter half of the 1980's), as it the most rebellious hard rocking thing on the Top 40 stations. The internet wasn't that big back then, there were no Guitar Heroes, Myspaces or iTunes, so it's not like we could have instantly discovered something else or "real". 182 was "punk" for kids back then, because it managed to keep it fun, mildly rebellious, and full of jokes we wouldn't get for another couple years.

MTV has another article on them that shows their influence in music and gives some history.

I should really work on my writing skills when I have a filler post like this. It just feels unorganized.

Monday, February 9, 2009

All Over Again

So remember that Open Mic Night that fizzled out? Remember how I said I was playing for 1 1/2 years before I started the Rhythm Bastard Experiment and know songs not on Rock Band?
Yeah, February 18th. Whatever song I settle on will be a lesson/DLC suggestion the day after regardless of whether I make it.

Also, 1fort is dead. It's been replaced by it's much more loquacious First Person Shouter.

Next song is Toxicity.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Guitars and Gaming

Mostly gaming magazines have become obsolete, as one can find both review and news the same day it comes out via gaming blogs.

However, an offshoot for Guitar World magazine focusing on rhythm games Guitars and Gaming is actually a pretty good deal.

I have to make note, it IS old, like before RB2 and GH:WT. So old that a free JamPlay trial inside has expired. $5.99 for nothing.

It also comes with 50 free songs from, but I haven't tried to redeem it yet.

There are plenty of good articles on the history of the modern era of music games (Guitar Hero/Rock Band) and older games (pretty much PaRappa and Konami), interviews with Slash and Joe Perry, as well as the cover artists behind WaveGroup, and articles on how to play fake plastic rock better.

It's interesting that the magazine ends with guides on how to buy insteruments, strings and amps, as if now you're inspired to play try the real thing.

I reccomend picking it up if you can find it (I got it at a conveinience store in Penn Station today), not really for the quality of information, but the quintessentiality.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Hardly Suffered At All


I can't spell that word. My spellings of antidisestablishmentarianism and loquacious are infallible (perfect), and my vocabulary prodigious but I can't spell the name of a Bowie song. I kinda suck.

Hardest part was, AGAIN, figuring out the solo:



Very easy solo/song.

Also, the main riff is this, in case you wanted to know, played in a blues shuffle:



Wednesday, February 4, 2009

He Looked Back In Anger

From The Escapist (article), Noah Gallagher offers his opinion on Guitar Hero:
"When I meet kids I always say to them that playing a guitar is not a f**king videogame, there is no level to get to," he said. "You'll never master it and you'll never complete the game."

"I've never heard of [Guitar Hero]," he said. "I suppose I'm a bit old fashioned. Whatever your entry point into music is, it has to be a good thing. It's just so worthwhile getting into."

"If it puts little plastic guitars into kids' hands and fires their imaginations, I think that's a good thing," Gallagher admitted. "It's harmless fun, isn't it?"

"I'd rather that genre of videogames than somebody getting their f**king head chopped off with a samurai sword while getting f***ked by a goblin up the arse with a laser," he said. "Do you know what I mean?"

We've heard from John Mayer, Nickelback, and now Oasis who isn't enjoying the ride on the rhythm game money train.

But of all the haters, I like his opinion the best. He acknowledges the very large gap (despite that I'm trying to impart video game like rules on to it), but doesn't disown it. Hell, the YOU'LL NEVER MASTER IT AND YOU'LL NEVER COMPLETE IT statement speaks volumes. Think about, you can FC "Through The Fire And Flames", but you can't really FC any song in real life, since there's always going to be room for improvisation, and the best part? You can make your own songs!

From what I hear, it works a lot better that Guitar Hero: World Tour's song creator.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

He Became A D-Pad Hero

D-Pad Hero is a GH clone for the NES (ROM), but can also be played on the DS if you have a Homebrew card and NesterDS.

The game uses the A and B buttons in conjunction with the D-Pad (i.e. hold down a button and press the direction). Truth be told, it's pretty hard. Maybe if I played it on a controlled I'd fare better, but even then it's hard to keep track of all the falling notes and what not. The thing is, it's not like you can start on an easier and work your way up. There's no indication difficulty wise whether you're going to get brutally raped, or only kinda raped. It's something you need to practice at I guess, but there are some parts that just seem impossible.

There are 4 songs all rendered in 8-bit:
"Sweet Child O' Mine" by Guns N' Roses
"Harder Better Faster Stronger" by Daft Punk
"The Swing Of Things" by a-ha
"The Way You Make Me Feel" by Michael Jackson

BOTTOM LINE: For what it is, an experiment to make GH on the NES, it's good. I'd obviously love more songs, and difficulty levels, but as it stands, it's worth a download.

P.S. Even though I mentioned that it's too hard, I'd be curious to play Rush's "Spirit Of The Radio"

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Super Strokes

Steelers won the Super Bowl. I don't follow football, but it was really exciting to watch.

Fuck this song, and fuck it hard. It was great, and the chorus part once I got it down flowed, but it was a long road. I guess AC/DC was right: It's a long way to the top if you want to Rock and Roll.

Here's the chorus which was not ripped off from another post:


And here's the solo (tab modified from here):


It works along a scale, so keep index finger on the 9th fret, and hover the pinky over the 12th fret. It would work best if you bridge the 9th fret of the e,B,and G strings with your index and pick of or pluck off whatever string you need. Otherwise at this speed, you'll waste extra energy moving back to the fret board and changing to the lower string.

One thing to note: in the video below, you'll note that the Rock band chart has chords where the GH3 chart has the main riff. Those chords are (799---) and (-799--) (sorry, it's late andI'm to excited to look up the names.

It's a pretty close race: RB charted the main riff a bit better, but GH3 had the breakdown before the chorus down.


Toxicity is the DLC Reader's Choice song.