Last night was another good one with the new EG112. (Not sure if I'll even call it a Yamaha anymore now that it has a whole new neck on it. . . ) I pulled up Go with the Flow for the first time since I first saw it as an encore at the end of Event 2. That was around January 14th. Looks like I got 76,920 on this song the first time I ever played it, so it's obviously fairly simple - at least the combo arrangement. Apparently I played it a few more times after the encore performance, but I only recorded two scores in my rehearsal notebook: my very first score and a score of 86,600. I didn't remember the song at all, but I took one run through it last night and unlocked Master Mode with a score of 104,284. Only 7 plays total. It's just that easy to play.
After that success, I pulled up the Single Note arrangement of this song for the first time ever. Again, pretty straight-forward piece to play. I played it through 6 times and, with one exception, improved my score each time starting at 82,211 and working up to 107,515. But, I didn't master it because I hadn't yet maxed out the intro or verse phrases. With a little work in Riff Repeater, I maxed the first verse easily. The second verse is a little trickier and the intro is even a little trickier still. The intro has a whacky back and forth slide thing going on that I just wasn't getting.
I think the awesome sustain on the EG112 really helped on the Single Note arrangement. 90% of the song is sustained notes high up on the fret board (between frets 12 and 19).
Rocksmith Scoring Quirks
Of course, once I max out the remaining two phrases of Go With the Flow, I'll have to replay the song to unlock the Master Mode because not only do you have to score 100k or better, you have to do that AFTER maxing out the phrases. That's right. As I've pointed out before, to unlock Master Mode, you have to max out all the phrases and you have to score 100k or better - and you have to do it in that order. So, oddly enough, although I have a higher score on the Single Note arrangement than on the Combo, I have Mastered the Combo but not the Single Note arrangement.
Another quirk I noticed is that I got 95% accuracy on both arrangments, but there's a huge difference in streaks. I have a streak of 230 on the combo with a score of 104k. On the single note arrangement, I have a higher score - 107k - but a much, much weaker streak of only 36. This sort of suggests to me that the streaks don't contribute to your score at all.
It's a little odd to me that you can "master" a song but still have a lower score than you have on an unmastered song. I tend to think of the score as an overall indicator of mastery. Clearly that's not how Rocksmith sees it. I intend to get a better handle on the scoring algorithm and attempt to explain it here in the near future.
The Progress Spreadsheet - Play Counts Updated
I've created a separate page to post the progress spreadsheet on, but since I've updated my play counts I figured it would be easier to just post the latest version of the spreadsheet right here. This is everything I've played in Rocksmith. Purple fills at the top indicate songs I've unlocked Master Mode on. Gold fills indicate songs that came up as encores (once I master those, they become purple, like Do You Remember and Run Back to Your Side).
|Song||Artist||Date First Played||Event #||Qualifying Score||High Score||Best %||Best Streak||Play Count|
|Do You Remember - Combo||Horrors The||26-Jan-2012||5||61800||250645||88||50||14|
|Satisfaction, Chord Arr.||Rolling Stones The||5-Feb-2012||n/a||n/a||217479||99||272||11|
|God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen||Brian Adam McCune||28-Jan-2012||n/a||n/a||206823||94||102||143|
|Surf Hell - Combo||Little Barrie||19-Jan-2012||3||?||205787||98||181||118|
|Next Girl||Black Keys The||14-Jan-2012||1||?||205498||98||158||6|
|Run Back to Your Side - Chords||Eric Clapton||23-Feb-2012||6||n/a||204506||100||89||10|
|Angela (Single Note)||Jarvis Cocker||26-Feb-2012||4||n/a||203555||97||264||13|
|Breed - Combo||Nirvana||2-Feb-2012||5||28800||202526||96||122||33|
|Angela (Combo)||Jarvis Cocker||23-Jan-2012||4||?||202435||99||302||30|
|Satisfaction - Single Note||Rolling Stones The||14-Jan-2012||1||?||202003||97||155||65|
|Go With the Flow - Single Note||Queens of the Stone Age||1-Feb-2012||n/a||107515||95||36||7|
|Go With the Flow - Combo||Queens of the Stone Age||14-Jan-2012||2||n/a||104284||95||230||7|
|Outshined - Combo 2||Soundgarden||22-Jan-2012||n/a||n/a||96609||91||88||48|
|I Can't Hear You||Dead Weather The||15-Jan-2012||3||?||95739||95||80||40|
|Mean Bitch - Combo 2||Taddy Porter||6-Feb-2012||6||41000||86737||89||89||19|
|Vasoline - Combo 1||Stone Temple Pilots||15-Jan-2012||3||?||85738||95||138||25|
|In Bloom - Combo||Nirvana||15-Jan-2012||2||?||82550||0||0||33|
|Are You Gonna Go My Way||Lenny Kravitz||6-Feb-2012||6||16400||79776||90||60||22|
|Higher Ground - Combo 2||Red Hot Chilli Peppers||1-Feb-2012||n/a||n/a||79735||88||66||21|
|Higher Ground - Combo 1||Red Hot Chilli Peppers||15-Jan-2012||2||?||79013||95||110||54|
|Rebel Rebel||David Bowie||6-Feb-2012||6||19500||76799||91||58||15|
|Smoke on the Water *||Deep Purple||5-Mar-2012||n/a||n/a||75592||92||127||7|
|High and Dry||Radiohead||8-Feb-2012||6||25200||72970||90||86||10|
|Number Thirteen - Combo||Red Fang||24-Jan-2012||4||11700||66064||90||144||25|
|Use Somebody||Kings of Leon||22-Jan-2012||3||n/a||60425||87||98||19|
|Where is My Mind? - Combo||Pixies||24-Jan-2012||4||29300||59846||0||0||6|
|Play with Fire - Combo||Rolling Stones The||24-Jan-2012||4||22280||58677||80||42||??|
|When I'm with You - Combo||Best Coast||2-Feb-2012||5||31100||58578||95||128||19|
|Carol of the Bells - Combo*||Seth Chapla||17-Mar-2012||n/a||n/a||57807||83||35||5|
|Unnatural Selection - Combo||Muse||21-Jan-2012||4||?||57289||87||105||48|
|Freebird - Chords*||Lynyrd Skynyrd||17-Mar-2012||n/a||n/a||46782||86||95||1|
|Surf Hell - Single Note||Little Barrie||8-Feb-2012||3||n/a||41941||88||85||1|
|Outshined - Combo 1||Soundgarden||10-Feb-2012||4||?||40728||0||0||2|
|Carol of the Bells - Single Note*||Seth Chapla||17-Mar-2012||n/a||n/a||39194||88||100||9|
|Boys Don't Cry||The Cure||22-Jan-2012||1||n/a||32372||0||0||1|
|Plug In Baby - Combo||Muse||5-Feb-2012||5||n/a||29715||0||0||1|
|I Want Some More - Combo||Dan Auerbach||26-Jan-2012||4||n/a||23837||0||0||1|
|Unnatural Selection - Single Note||Muse||30-Jan-2012||n/a||n/a||21438||0||0||2|
|Higher Ground - Single Note||Red Hot Chilli Peppers||1-Feb-2012||n/a||?||18106||0||0||1|
|Play with Fire - Single Notes||Rolling Stones The||24-Jan-2012||n/a||n/a||14660||78||24||??|
|In Bloom - Single Note||Nirvana||1-Feb-2012||n/a||?||13249||0||0||7|
A New Policy
Looks like I master songs that I'm going to master within about 17 plays. (I didn't count Surf Hell, God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen, or Satisfaction in that calculation since I've played those songs many times since mastering them.) Or, put another way, if I haven't mastered a song within 17 plays, chances are I'm not going to master it.
I've played Outshined (combo) and Unnatural Selection 48 times each and I'm nowhere near Master Mode. I've played I Can't Hear You 40 times and despite a 95% accuracy I haven't reached the magical 100K mark on that one yet, either. In Outshined, it's the solo that's killing me. The other two songs I have no idea - seems like I'm playing everything right, but obviously I'm not.
After 54 plays, I've only got 79,013 on Higher Ground, combo 1. Yet, with only 21 plays (less than half as many), I have 79,735 points on the other combo arrangement of this song. And, again, the lower scored arrangement actually has a much better accuracy and streak.
So, my new policy is if I haven't mastered a song or arrangement by 30 plays, I'm putting that arrangement aside - if not the whole song. I will try In Bloom (combo) one more time before I start this policy since I've played it 33 times and haven't played it for quite a while. Maybe I'll get it. But, if I don't master that one by 40 plays, it goes "in the vault," too.
I'm not quitting or giving up, but this gives me a definite point at which I can cut bait on certain songs and move on. For example, I don't even like Unnatural Selection - it's not a very pleasant melody, not really any fun to play, and it's extremely long. But, I've played it 48 times trying to master it. Enough! As one of my friends here pointed out during my recent funk, perhaps I'll have more luck with it if I lay off for a while and come back to it later. Some of these songs I really just don't care enough about to bother coming back to. Especially if RS keeps piling on the new DLC.
Future Plans and Goals
I'm still working toward having the 3 Christmas DLC songs (God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen, Carol of the Bells, and We Three Kings) live-performance ready by Thanksgiving of this year. I'm well on the way. I've mastered and memorized GRYMG already. I'm better than half-way to mastering one arrangement of Carol of the Bells and I've got a good start on the alternate arrangment. So, I think I'll be able to pull that off. We Three Kings looks like it could be a real challenge, but that'll be a good test of RS's dynamic difficulty system.
My broader, long-term goal is to master/memorize a dozen songs so that I could play them at least passably with a live band. I sort of settled on this goal while watching the Metallica Big Four DVD. They played about a dozen songs. That's it. I'm sure James and Kirk could play a thousand songs from memory, but for a huge concert in a soccer stadium filled with fans they only needed about a dozen songs. So, there's really no reason that I need to memorize all 51 RS songs. Ever. Especially songs that I don't even like. If I could play a dozen songs that I really like and enjoy playing, I'd be good. Anything beyond that would be gravy.
I appreciate that RS picked particular songs for their level of difficulty, techniques, and general suitability as teaching tools. And, I'll give all of the songs in RS a fair shot when they pop up on my RS setlists (except for California Brain which I wish I could just delete). But, if I don't have them mastered in 30 tries or less, they're done. In fact, I wish RS had a more robust way to organize songs so that we could pull songs that we just don't want to play out of the line-up and move them out of the way. At the same time, I'd love to be able to group the songs I really like together for easy rehearsal access.