Thursday, March 15, 2012

Pretty Good Night of Practice, Performances, and Technique Challenges

After a few days of feeling like I'd hit a wall, I finally made some pretty good progress the past couple of nights. For starters, I finally mastered Surf Hell - the RS Weekly Challenge song for this week and got my MM score up to a respectable - though totally non-competitive - 203,229 (91/47).

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 11
Satisfaction, Chord Arr.  Rolling Stones The 5-Feb-2012 n/a n/a 217479 99 272 5
God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen Brian Adam McCune 28-Jan-2012 n/a n/a 205923 94 102 61
Next Girl Black Keys The 14-Jan-2012 1 ? 205498 98 158 6
Surf Hell - Combo Little Barrie 19-Jan-2012 3 ? 203229 96 152 70
Breed - Combo Nirvana 2-Feb-2012 5 28800 202526 96 122 29
Satisfaction - Single Note Rolling Stones The 14-Jan-2012 1 ? 202003 97 155 45
Angela (Combo) Jarvis Cocker 23-Jan-2012 4 ? 200033 99 302 11
Angela (Single Note) Jarvis Cocker 26-Feb-2012 4 n/a 197561 97 193 11
Run Back to Your Side - Chords Eric Clapton 23-Feb-2012 6 n/a 197259 100 89 5
Outshined - Combo 2 Soundgarden 22-Jan-2012 n/a n/a 96609 91 88 42
I Can't Hear You Dead Weather The 15-Jan-2012 3 ? 95739 95 80 16
Mean Bitch - Combo 2 Taddy Porter 6-Feb-2012 6 41000 86737 89 89 15

This was a big break-through which only happened after tweaking my in-game lag adjustments. Reducing my setting from 70 to 15 seemed to help my scores as well as the number of Groove Bonuses the game gives me. Increasing the setting (to several different settings up to 300) caused me to get a lot of Late messages when playing.

I've worked on just the songs above for the past several days and I've made improvements in just about everything but only in the past couple of nights. I've done Master Mode Performances (i.e. playing from memory) on Satisfaction (single notes), Next Girl, Surf Hell (of course), Angela (single notes), God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen, Breed, and Do You Remember.

I cannot seem to get I Can't Hear You to master mode yet for some reason - although it's a very easy song. I frequently get a "Missed Palm Mute" message, which I'm not sure how to interpret. I don't get it all the time which suggests that I'm getting SOME of the palm mutes. . . but since I play them all identically, I fail to understand why RS thinks I'm missing some of them. Lately I'm getting streaks as low as 53 or less. It has gotten to the point where I'm ready to just put this song behind me for good and forget about it. I'm not wild about it anyway and I'm not going to beat my head against a wall trying to outsmart some obtuse RS algorithm that can't hear me. Maybe the whole song was some kind of  joke by the RS programming team on the players.

I did try the Palm Mute challenge just to see if I might be doing something wrong. I hadn't played any of the technique challenges for a while and still had two which weren't up to gold medal scores yet: palm mutes and tremelos. I quickly and easily got golds in both of these which suggests that I'm playing the palm mutes correctly. I may add working on my challenge scores to my nightly practice routine. I have all golds but I haven't maxed out a single challenge yet. (Getting gold in all technique challenges unlocks some kind of XBox achievement badge, by the way.)

I'm wondering if the lag adjustment issue has something to do with not being able to advance certain songs. . . Maybe moving the setting one direction helps on some songs but moving it the other direction would help on others?

Working the tremelo challenge certainly didn't hurt me when I played Do You Remember. Lots of slides and tremelos in that song. It only took me 11 plays to get the Single Note arrangement up to Master Mode, so I hadn't really memorized it for a MM performance. But, it's not complicated. I rehearsed it twice after working the tremelo challenge and then did a Master Mode performance scoring an all time all song high score of 250,645. Yeee haw.

Once again I'm wondering what exactly IS the highest possible score you can get on a song??? I mean, I guess until I get an accuracy score of 100%, I haven't reached the max score. Which means I've got a long way to go on almost every song. Despite the record score (for me) on Do You Remember, my accuracy was only 78% and I had a pathetic long streak of only 18!

It had been a couple of weeks since I'd played Breed and I had pretty much completely forgotten how the song goes at all. So, I had to run it through the Riff Repeater to refresh my memory on a couple of phrases before I was ready to try it "live." It took less than 10 lives on each phrase to get everything up to speed. Don't know that I could play it cold today, but I did manage a pretty good MM performance last night netting 202,526  with 96% accuracy and a streak of 100 at the Power House.

So far there's only one song that confidently play even without RS and that's my Christmas song (God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen). I can actually play that one on my acoustic with no back-up track. I'm sort of proud of that achievement. Oddly, it's a pure instrumental. Usually I memorize songs by learning the lyrics. Of course, I can't always remember those, either. . .

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