Friday, September 21, 2012

Failed Bass Event, Master Mode Practice, and Missing Bass Arrangements

Event 18 Failure
Many people don't even realize this is possible, but the other night I managed to fail an Event!

Yep. It can be done. Next time you have a chance, look at your event page display. Up toward the top you'll see a "Minimum RSP." That's the lowest total score you can get on the event to pass. It equals the total of the qualifying scores for each song in the setlist. If you don't get that many points, you fail.

If you don't score at least the qualifying score on each song, that's OK. You can make up for it by playing another song really well. Minimum RSP is based on your total score, not the score you get on individual songs.

Encores can't really help you here because if you don't make at least the qualifying score on each song, you won't get an encore. Sort of weird. You only get encores if you don't need them. . .

So, what happens if you fail? Nothing. You get to play the event again. And again. Until you meet the minimum RSP.

My Event 18 was just a three-song set:

Killer Queen                 (Qualification Score - 90,000)
Unnatural Selection      (Qualification Score - 76,600)
I Want Some More       (Qualification Score - 90,000)
Minimum RSP                                                256,600

Just qualifying the songs was challenging. Killer Queen, especially. And, I hate Unnatural Selection for some reason and don't even like to play it. (Yes, you can edit your setlists, but I'm trying to just roll with the Journey that RS gives me.)

On my first attempt, I got a 232,233 total RSP. Killer Queen killed me - I only got 70,767 on that song, so I would have needed to make up 20,000 points on the other two songs to pass.

Second attempt was better, but I was still short on Unnatural Selection by nearly 4,000. I almost made up the difference on the other two songs but fell short by 313 points with a 256,287 RSP.

I guess coming that close made me mad enough to finally get it on the third attempt. Even got an encore. But, alas, it was another MM encore! High and Dry. It's not a particularly hard song, but I had only played it 6 times before - not even close to memorizing it.

Memorizing Songs for Master Mode Performance

By the time I master a song on guitar, I usually have it burned into my brain because it takes me so long to master songs on the guitar. I have to play through them dozens and dozens of times and usually I have to do some pretty intense Riff Repeater work just to level up songs on guitar. On bass, I have mastered 7 songs just by playing through them a few times to qualify for events. Memorizing them is going to be a whole separate effort.

Since this was about the 3d time I've been faced with an impossible MM encore, I'm now spending at least part of every practice session working on memorizing songs. I started with Song 2, Angela, and Next Girl. Those are pretty easy. Angela, in particular, since it's virtually the same riff and fingering as the guitar part which I mastered and memorized quite a while back. Where is My Mind is fairly easy, too. Two strings and only a few frets to deal with. Chimney doesn't seem too bad, but I've just started working on it. Haven't even touched Six AM Salvation yet.

High and Dry has been challenging, so I'm cheating. I transcribed some of the tabs onto tab paper; by the time I do that work, I'm usually well on my way to memorizing the song. I also find it very helpful to write down the basic song structure: Intro, Verse, Chorus, Verse, Chorus, Bridge, Solo, Chorus, Out. . . etc. And, along with that, I like to write down how many measures make up each part of the song or how many times to repeat a particular part. Most pop/rock songs are built on basic 4/4 time and phrases of 4, 8, or 16 measures. When you break a song down into those phrases, it gets much easier to keep track of everything.

Not only are songs sometimes easier to master on bass, I've "accidentally" gotten 100% accuracy on 3 songs. By "accidentally," I mean I was just playing through the song; I wasn't trying to get 100% of the notes. Two of those (Angela and Song 2) I got 100% while playing in MM from memory! The other song was Where is My Mind.

Some Songs Don't Have Bass Arrangements? Or, Do They?

After just a few weeks of playing nothing but events, I have already managed to work my way through almost all of the songs in my catalog - a total of 73 songs including DLC and 5 of the secret squirrel songs that I've unlocked. I've played almost every single song at least once in an event and many of them I've played in two events.

But, even though I'm seeing some songs for the second time, there are still four songs that haven't come up on a setlist or as an encore yet:

          Icky Thump
          Play with Fire
          When I'm With You
          Space Ostrich

I posted something about this on the Ubisoft RS forum and one theory was that these songs don't have bass arrangements. I suppose that's possible. I'll have to check. But, Icky Thump doesn't have a bass part??? Seems a little hard to believe.

But, if that's the case, then I have played every song that I own so far. And, even if that's not the reason these songs haven't popped up yet, it looks like I'll need to recharge my MS points and buy some new DLC soon. Fortunately, there's a bunch of new DLC that I like so it shouldn't be hard to freshen up my collection.

Another New Guitar

This weekend I'll pick up my "new" (to me) Ibanez ArtCore hollow-body electric. Can't wait to get it home and play it. I still haven't gotten to where I feel comfortable jamming at the GC in front of a bunch of people yet. Maybe on bass, but not on guitar.

If the price is right, I'll also pick up a couple of wall hooks and take some photos. This blog is seriously lacking in graphic imagery! Time to spice it up a little.

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