EBGDAE #16: I'm Still PlayingTrailbreaker John Harwood is in the lead position this week. It's all John starting now:
I've certainly remained motivated by Rocksmith more than I ever was with RB3 Pro guitar. RB3 had slipped firmly into the chore category by this point, while playing in RS or working through Justin's lessons remains in my upper tier of preferred leisure time activities. Best example is chords: Chords are now fun, something I look forward to in a song, and has been keeping me over at Justin's site alot lately. Chords used to be a real pain, something that I had to get through so I could start having fun and a real point of frustration. It's night and day being able to actually hear what you play. If RB3 had been able to register notes without the mute on, it might have been a very different experience. I'm now finding myself increasingly fascinated with my tone and the sound of the chords and that was never even a consideration before. Heck, I even have favorite chords because I just like how they sound.
I'm getting around on the fretboard much better (thank you Scale Runner!) and much much more comfortable picking different individual strings. The Bermuda Fretboard area has shrunk to the 15th frets and above on the upper 3 strings instead of just generally anywhere north of the 9th fret. But yet, I can't really progress much further in most of the songs without really learning my chords by name and not just by fret number and string color. I'm nearly over the hump with that and am starting to delight in chord shapes for picking individual notes and that has drastically cut down on the amount of unnecessary movement around on the fretboard I was doing and is really helping make the guitar into a more intuitive musical instrument than just a very complex video game peripheral.
One of the most surprising things thus far is how often I find myself not looking at the screen, yet still playing. I never really did memorize much of anything in RB because it was just buttons to push and I could keep up just fine sightreading. RS on the other hand just innately encourages you to learn the songs rather than just playing along. I know I'm not supposed to look down at the guitar any more than necessary, but I find it very cool just how often I can look down for good chunks of time or practice a riff or couple of chords while in loading screens. Likewise, I'm finding that more often than not, I don't necessarily need to know that the next couple of notes are 2 frets above because I can hear that's about where the next note sounds like it should be and if I miss, I very quickly know that wasn't it and can adjust. I'd never fully realized what a disservice the "plunk" of a missed note in RB3 was compared to hearing your note *and* the correct note.
Now if I can just go memorize all of the chords to House of the Rising Sun real quick. Damn, but I really want to learn that song!