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Thread: Guitar Hero?

  1. #1
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    Guitar Hero?

    This may sound a bit ridiculous, particularly to experienced guitar players.

    I've been playing Guitar Hero for about 3 or 4 years now, and I've gotten so good at that game that I've mastered it I think. Having played this game for some long, I've been inspired to pick up a real guitar and actually learn to play.

    I played a real guitar for the first time last night, which leads into my question.

    A friend of mine showed me a fairly simple riff from a nirvana song, and yet having never played a real guitar I was able to fret everything fairly easily. I am wondering if my years of Guitar Hero have helped build up the muscles in my fretting hand, to make it a bit easier for me to pick up and learn. Granted, I was having a problem with finger placement, so there was buzzing in the strings and it didn't sound perfect. But I was able to actually master the riff, and play it without any MAJOR mistakes.

    Basically I am wondering if maybe my guitar uptake may be a bit quicker, as I already have some if not most of the necessary muscles developed in my forearm .

    I have a hard time with strumming, as in Guitar Hero there is just a plastic strum bar which you move up and down, as opposed to 6 individual strings, that might take a bit of time to master .

    Anyway, just wondering, I hope serious guitar players don't think less of me because of what lead me to pick up a real guitar.

    Cheers!

    Edit: Also, I apologize if I am not using the correct terminology, as I am very much a newbie.

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    I have to disagree with this idea that the two skill sets are transferable. A real guitar involves quite heavily the manipulation of strings, Guitar Hero involves accurate button pressing combination's. I don't know what the scale of the Guitar Hero guitar is, but that might get you used to the feel of holding a fretboard. On the whole though, it's a whole different ball game, picking is a big topic in itself that is totally bypassed on GH, and traveling up and down the fretboard is again a totally different ball game with a wide range of intricacies. I know this sounds very discouraging, but that's the truth. Nirvana is a good place to start, and if you are comfortable with that, then it bodes well for you should you continue to develop your technique. There are a lot of useful articles here and on the net as a whole to help you get as far as you want to go. Best of luck.

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    I wasn't seriously under the impression that I have any sort of skill by having played this game .

    However, I was more curious specifically about the muscles in your forearm, as they tend to be the ones used the most when fretting (right term?) As I feel as though the fingers on my left hand are a lot more agile now, then they were before I started playing that game.

    However I did notice that because I was used to just tapping the buttons, that moving vertically on the neck of the guitar was a problem. I can move horizontally easily enough (at least near the neck).

    Thanks for the words of encouragement, I'll keep at it.

  4. #4
    Registered User bluesking's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yarbo View Post
    Basically I am wondering if maybe my guitar uptake may be a bit quicker, as I already have some if not most of the necessary muscles developed in my forearm .
    There is every reason to believe this could have improved your muscle strength and control. Its probably not improved either of these things very much however. Of course you have to bear in mind two things:

    1.) Training your fingers with the wrong movements is probably worse than not training them at all. This therefore counts against you because your muscle memory is likely to be at least slightly mixed up. I'm sure this is no big deal and wouldn't worry about it. Any disadvantage this presents is only temporary.

    2.) Natural deviations between human beings acount for much bigger differences then either of the above advantages/disadvantages. Therefore whatever you have been doing to date is probably not significant compared to the shape of your hands, your natural ability to discern pitch, your age, and probably a billion other things!

    Quote Originally Posted by Yarbo View Post
    I have a hard time with strumming, as in Guitar Hero there is just a plastic strum bar which you move up and down, as opposed to 6 individual strings, that might take a bit of time to master .
    Most guitarists (regardless of their experience or self-awareness) are weakest in their strumming hands. Don't despair, keep pushing and it will all become effortless, I promise.

    Quote Originally Posted by Yarbo View Post
    Anyway, just wondering, I hope serious guitar players don't think less of me because of what lead me to pick up a real guitar.
    I don't think less of you. I started playing guitar to impress girls. It was only later that I realised I needed to avoid girls so I could do enough practice !!! From my point of view there is no bad reason to play the guitar...
    "Shut Up 'n Play Yer Guitar"

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    I think it can help somewhat with things like finger independence and coordination, strength and flexibility, etc. - I don't think it can really hurt, anyway.

    I've only tried Rock Band a couple of times, but it seemed to me that it penalized you for poor rhythm more than it did for playing the wrong "note" - so even if you're just "pushing buttons", you have to push them to the groove - again probably not a bad thing in terms of skills potentially transferable to playing a real instrument.

    In any case, just keep your expectations realistic - learning to play guitar well takes a lot of hard work - and you'll be fine...good luck!

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    Thanks for all the kind words of encouragement

    I was never under any impression that having played Guitar Hero made me better when starting with a real guitar, but what bluesking pointed out, is what I was thinking was probably going on.

    My friend commented on how quickly I seemed to be picking up the riff, and that's what got me wondering if Guitar Hero may have had a bit of a part in that.

    Thanks again guys and gals, I'll be sure to read up and hopefully I'll become an active member, and a decent guitar player .

  7. #7
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    Well I'm certainly not going to say anything negative about what advantages you may have developed as result of playing Guitar Hero.

    For a start I've never even seen the game (let alone tried to play it), so I have no first hand knowledge as to whether it might have aspects which would help playing a real guitar.

    And, although it's many years since I played computer games, I do think they are very clever from a programming point of view, and I know many of them are very hard to master. So although I'm now the wrong side of 50, I don't have anything bad to say computer games.

    On the other hand, although guys here sometimes talk about muscle development in the arms re. development of strength and control in the fingers, I have to say I've never treated that as something worth pursuing as a matter of guitar practice. What I mean is - there's absolutely mases of vital stuff you need to practice to get even half-decent as a guitar player, but personally I would not put muscle development exercises anywhere on that list ...

    ... though having said that, it's true that I've used the exercises in Troy Stetina's well known "Speed Mechanics" quite a bit in the past, and most of the first 50 or so of his exercises are designed to build that sort of strength, accuracy and control in the hands/fingers.

    But if you felt like you were getting somewhere with the Nirvana riff, and if you are really interested in guitar, then I think you should do the obvious thing and buy a guitar! Then see how things go.

    One word of warning though - guitar is not an easy instrument, and learning to play requires real dedication and many years of serious practice. So, unless your heart is really in it, then even the greatest musical genius probably has no chance (whether he's played Guitar Hero or not lol) .

    Ian.

  8. #8
    Registered User Nannaki's Avatar
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    Could probably pick up a good basic sense of rythm from it as well
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    I consider myself a decent guitarist, been playing it most of my life. I also consider myself a video game junkie, been playing them most of my life. So, I SHOULD be a whiz at Guitar Hero, right? I can't play it to save my life, major suckage, get whipped by all. It's the controller for me, can't bond with it, been using tradtional controllers too long.

    I agree though that playing the game for several years prior to picking up a real guitar at the very least helps with getting the two hands in sync, at least "thought process" and timing wise.

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    I have to disagree with that too. I rank in the top 50 Akuma's in the world in SSFIV, but despite that co-ordination and practice, I still had develop co-ordination and sync with guitar. You are learning different movements with different nuances, and the motion of picking whilst fretting takes time to get down. There really isn't anything like it, like playing piano, it's unique. If you were taking about violin, then I'd say, there's definitely something there that could be to a certain extent usable for guitar, but even then, only to a certain extent.

  11. #11
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    You've probably managed to train some of your intrinsic musculature (a couple of flexors, interosseus and extensors to a certain degree), as well as some dexterity and finger strength/coordination. However, you'll probably get a lot of string noise for a while, as hitting strings instead of lumpy buttons is kinda harder :P

    But it's way better than starting from scratch!

    I went from beginner to getting 92% on Knights of Cydonia on expert within an hour when I tried Guitar Hero, hahah.

    Now I only play the drums, because it's a lot more fun, considering real guitar kinda heavily ***-kicks fake plastic ones.

  12. #12
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    You didn't find much difficulty playing a real guitar after playing Guitar Hero after many years is just because Guitar Hero gave you guitar sense which helped you to play real guitar easily.
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    Last edited by mighty; 05-22-2011 at 01:07 PM.

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    Holy crap, what a sentence.

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