Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Prepping for Event 7 - 3 Songs Over 70k

For the past week or so I've been casually getting ready to play Event 7 while also putzing around with Scale Runner, the Weekly Challenge Song (Outshined), and a couple of songs that I still haven't mastered - mostly due to solos. I introduced a guitar player I know to RS, too.

In the past several days I've mastered two songs, unlocked a few new tones and one venue, qualified all three songs in my Event 7 setlist and got all three songs over 70k, and won the Advanced category on the Ubisoft/Rocksmith Forum Weekly Challenge Song competition. All in all, probably one of my more productive RS weeks!

Also, Monday I picked up a used and mildly abused Fender DG-5 acoustic with a cordura nylon padded soft-case. Something to drag out to the ball field or and not worry about scratching it. It must have been in somebody's attic through the summer with the strings tight - the bridge has pulled up at the back and is warped. But, I slowly tuned it up and the bridge holds! So, I'm just leaving it like that and hoping it doesn't suddenly let go while I'm playing.

Event 7
If you follow this blog, you know that I don't like to play an event until I've got all the songs up to at least 70k. That's a level where I feel like I'm actually playing the song versus playing a handful of notes. I don't worry about Mastering songs until after an event - otherwise I'd still be working on Event 2! - but I do like to feel like I'm at least halfway playing the song before I play it in an Event.

Event 7 has been on hold for weeks while I worked on mastering older songs, but I was ready to tackle a few new songs to keep things interesting. Since my Event Manager only put 3 songs in Event 7 for me, I could work this event into my practice time without putting my other goals on hold.

Here's the setlist:
A More Perfect Union
I Miss You
Sunshine of Your Love

I Miss You
I started with I Miss You (combo) last Sunday, mainly because I was really getting tired of hearing it every time I started up RS. I made my qualifying score of 22,200 (81/32) on my second play through, which dropped the song off the main Journey page and back into the song list; so I don't hear it any more! Not quite sure how I managed to qualify this one so fast because a week later I still play the main riff very badly. Sounds like absolute crap to me - just a distorted buzzing mess. For some reason I buzz the E string on my fingernail when fretting the 5th string on this riff. It works somewhat better if I use my second and third fingers instead of my first and second fingers but it's still sloppy.

After qualifying it, I put this song aside for a few days and got the other two songs qualified. When I came back to I Miss You I was able to improve each time I played through it. After 4 more runs I had my score up to 54154 (78/21). A couple of days later I was able to improve again (with some restarts) to 64,030 (82/40). Then, after playing through it 6 times total, I hit the wall. Last night, after a couple of nights off of it, I got a 53,306 (73/40).

When I get to this point with a song, I go to Riff Repeater to clean it up. Last night I worked the Riff in Free Speed enough to remember how it goes and then moved on. Didn't try to level it up or anything. Just went on to the Pre-Chorus. I went from 43 to 62% in 30 lives on the Pre-Chorus. Then I worked on the Chorus in Free Speed. At 43% mastery, I got 100% speed on the first try so I went to the Leveler to see what I could do there. Took 30 tries to level up from 43% to 75%.

Then I played through the whole song and got 71,602 (85/73) - a huge improvement. Also above my personal 70k threshold. Also enough to unlock a tone (Calebasas Phase) and an XBox Live Achievement - "Tone Peddler." (I guess you get that when you've unlocked some specific number of tones. . . ) So, I Miss You was ready for Event 7 and over 70k in 10 plays (with a few restarts the other night).

Sunshine of Your Love
I started working on this one last Tuesday and made the 19,200 qualifying score on my very first run through it. Got a 33,319 (91/68) on the first play. I progressed reasonably well on the next two plays: 44,049 and 48,070, although my streaks and accuracy dropped off some.

I played this one a few more times last Thursday night and continued to improve from 57,719 to 79,905 (77/49) in a total of 7 plays. This unlocked another tone: Psychedelic Blues.

I've heard there's a tricky solo in this one, so I expect to hit the wall soon. But, I've met my event threshold so I'll worry about the solo when I work on mastering the song after the event.

A More Perfect Union
One cool thing about RS is that it has introduced me to some new music. I was not looking forward to playing this song, but the sample that plays when you scroll to it in the song list does not do it justice. I really enjoy playing it although I don't consider it a favorite it's probably in the top half.

I pulled this one up for the first time last Wednesday. Played through it one time and beat the 28,800 qualifying score with a 45,565 (68/74). Either I'm getting to be a fairly decent guitar player or RS's qualifying scores are a bit low. . . (I agree that you don't want to make it overly difficult for beginners to qualify songs for events, but if I can qualify this song on the first try I've gotta wonder. Maybe this is just more proof that Rocksmith works.)

Like the other two songs on this Event list, I managed to improve consistently the next few times I played this one. Thursday night I played it 4 more times and progressed from 47,594 to 54,796 (83/85).

I never really hit the wall on this one, but I pre-emptively went to the Riff Repeater after a few more plays through the whole song. I was up to 64,528 (85/89) when I started to feel like I had leveled up to the limits of my sight reading ability. This song has a LOT of notes in it. And, it moves.

I started with the Hooks, 1 and 3. (Somehow I managed to max Hook 2 during play-through.) I worked Hook 1 30x in Free Speed and got up to a high of 99.9% speed. Didn't try to max Hook 1 in Leveler at that point. Don't know why - probably tired of playing it. On to Hook 3. I got up to 100% speed on this one at 50% mastery and then 60% mastery in under a dozen tries. So, I went to the Leveler and Maxed the phrase in 14 tries. 

Then I worked the Chorus. Free Speed got me up to 99.6 in 30 tries. Close enough to try Leveler. Took 15x to move from 50% to Max.

When I played through the whole song again, I scored a 66,647 (81/122). Not quite the improvement I would have hoped for, but this song has a lot going on and I did improve my score.

Last night I dropped off to 60,381 (77/107) on my first play. Hook 1 in Free Speed again got up to 99.8 in 30 tries but I didn't try to Level up. Hook 2 had leveled down during play so I had to work that one back up; too - 5x to max it out again in Leveler. Apparently I dropped the Chorus all the way back to 80% and had to Level that phrase back up. Took me 26x to get it Maxed again. Weird since it only took 15x to Max it the first time.

Then I tackled the Riff. Got up to 100% speed in Free Speed in 2 tries at 50% mastery. Took 30x in Leveler to move from 46% to 92%. Very challenging. But fun.

After all that I got a 71,742 (72/72) when I played through the whole song. Unlocked another tone: Garden State Parkway. And, this one is ready for Event 7.

The Event
I'll probably want to run through the songs at least one more time each before I play Event 7, but I think I'll probably do it this event this week.

Rocksmith Notes: I noticed that by qualifying all the songs but not playing the event, RS doesn't play any song when I first start up! Sort of a relief. I was REALLY tired of hearing I Miss You every single time I started RS.

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