Monday, March 12, 2012

Losing Steam or Burning Out?

Current Status
At this point, almost 3 months after starting, I've played 22 different songs (on 17 of those songs I've played 2 or 3 different arrangements for a total of 39 individual arrangements). So far, with two exceptions, I have played only songs that have come up in Rocksmith Recommended setlists. I've played two DLC songs - God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen and Smoke on the Water. I'm sitting at Level 7, International Support Act, with a shade over 5,200,000 RSP. So far I've had only one double encore event, unlocking one of the "secret songs."

To date, I've managed to unlock Master Mode on 8 songs (plus the single note arrangement of Angela for a total of 9 Master Mode arrangements).  [These are supposed to be highlighted in purple on the spreadsheet page (see tab at top of this webpage), but for some reason my cell formats are not copying to the webpage from my home computer.]

I still have 14 arrangements with scores below 70,000. I don't feel too bad about most of those low scores since 6 of them were Event encores that I've only played once (and before they came up as encores, I'd never even heard at least 4 of them - ever). One of them, however, really aggravates me; I've played Unnatural Selection 48 times and still haven't cracked 60,000! I really don't even like the song and it's about 7 minutes long, so that one will probably sit where it is for a while. At some point I'll get pissed off and just hammer on it until I have it down. Hopefully no equipment will suffer major damage.

I have 16 arrangements that I've gotten to 70,000 but have not yet gotten to Master Mode. Four of my below 70k songs are just alternate arrangements of these 16 songs.

Catching up on some sleep didn't seem to help last night when I practiced.  It wasn't a horrible session, but the results were unimpressive. Still going with my strategy of bringing all the songs I've played on The Journey up to at least 70,000 and then to Master Mode before I continue playing any new stuff or events.

So much for the status update. Here's what I worked on last night:

Play with Fire - Riff Repeater, intro & verse
I maxed the intro and bumped the first verse from 70 to 77% mastery in Leveler. To be honest, I don't particularly like this song, but my wife does. So. . . Plus, it's a challenge for me. In a way it's sort of "work," but generally it's a kind of work I enjoy. Unfortunately, my personality can make this somewhat unpleasant - I tend to get a little angry or at least very displeased when I don't progress somewhat rapidly. (Like on Unnatural Selection.)

Satisfaction - Chords, Master Mode Performance
This one I had unlocked in Master Mode some time back but my high score indicated that I hadn't performed it in MM yet, so I gave that a couple of cracks. To be honest, I thought I sucked. The fans and or programmers at Ubisoft apparently disagreed and I walked  away with a score of 217,479, my highest scoring song of all time in Rocksmith.  (Raising the question once again - What exactly IS the highest possible score I can get on a song???)

God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen
 This is one of the three Christmas DLC songs I'm determined to have real-world performance ready by Thanksgiving. And, I've got this one just about there. Still a bit rough musically, but I have it memorized and can play through on my amp without even being in the same room with my XBox. But, despite that fact, when I performed in MM last night, I could not do better than 193,000 and some change. This is not my high score on this piece and I don't know what happened as I'm damn sure I played better last night than I'd ever played it before. This is where I started to wonder if I'm burning out a little.

Nonetheless, my buddy who heads up the band that played Saturday night has expressed an interest in having me play this piece (with the other two DLC Christmas songs) live with them when the time comes! More on this as things progress. Which, hopefully, they will.

Surf Hell
More signs of burn-out here. I've been playing this song almost daily since I found it on RS. It's just a blast to play and listen to. Plus, I like to use my pinky to play the riff so I consider this a good all-finger work-out song. But, again, despite playing it a LOT, I have not unlocked it in Master Mode yet. My high score is just shy of the mark at 97,762. I have not worked this song hard in Riff Repeater, so maybe that's the problem. In the past I've found that when I hit a wall it's often because I've been playing something minor wrong. I'll check on that. This is my next push - unlock this song in Master Mode and perform it in MM. 

Next Steps
My next practice sessions are going to focus on multiple arrangements of Surf Hell, Outshined, I Can't Hear You, and Mean Bitch. I've played two arrangements of each of these. I want to get the primary arrangements Mastered and the alternate arrangements above 70k. I want to see how working alternate arrangements back-to-back works out. Maybe one arrangement will help me learn the other and I'll end up mastering both more quickly. No idea - we'll see.

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