Why (as a guitarist) I hate Guitar Hero or: How I learned to stop shredding and love the plastic axe

Seizurebleak

New member
May 16, 2010
18
0
0
One. Simple. Reason: Guitar Hero is just too damn hard for me. Yes, I admit it, I am absolutely AWFUL at these games. Now, if you asked me in person why I disliked the franchise I'd probably spout off some pretentious diatribe about it 'not being authentic enough' but that is an outright lie. I am TERRIBLE at Guitar Hero and that's why I hate it.

When these games were first released, I looked down upon them with scorn and derision. I can't say exactly why I felt so disgusted by the concept of people playing simulated guitars, but I was mortally offended by the franchise. It was more than likely out of a misplaced sense of pride that came from playing an instrument or (even less rationally) projected anger at not achieving my own goals as a guitarist. In hindsight, it's as ridiculous as city mayors getting angry at all the "SimCity posers", but at the time I was enjoying my view from the high horse.


Having a good deal of gamer friends, I knew that I would someday have to encouter this sacrilege of a game and it wasn't long after it was released that one of my good friends picked it up. He insisted I give it a try so I thought "What the hell, may as well show them how it's done."

Being a (reasonably competent) guitarist I expected to pick up the guitar controller and laugh my way to 100% on expert while playing behind my head like Jimi Hendrix. After all, this *MERE TOY* could not challenge me, could it? Admittedly, I'm no Mark Knopfler, however I felt my experience with the instrument would translate well into this *MERE VIDEO GAME*. Wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong. After getting my comeuppance on "Medium" difficulty, I was very neatly packaged and put in my place.
Being a guitarist, as it turns out, does not necessarily make you a Guitar Hero.


Watching my friend blaze through songs on "Hard" gave me an appreciation for the difficulty of the game in and of itself, not necessarily in comparison to a real guitar. What did I really expect? People to be thinking they're musicians because they're good at a video game? Did I sign up for the SWAT team after a few months of Counter-Strike? If I'm roleplaying an Orc Warrior can I really look down on somebody for roleplaying a rock star?

I actually enjoy Guitar Hero a lot more now since getting over myself. Even as a guitarist I'm never going to be an actual rock star, so getting into the game is a hell of a lot of fun. I definitely respect the great players, the same way I respect the people who beat Contra in one life. I sure as hell can't do it, I can't even come close.

I'm just hoping the Guitar Heroes of the world don't switch over to the real thing. I would lose a lot of credibility if they found out it was easier than they expected, and besides... I don't need you showing me up at THAT, too!

-Seizurebleak

I posted this in off-topic because I felt it was more about my perspective than legitimately reviewing the game's pros and cons.
 

Seizurebleak

New member
May 16, 2010
18
0
0
Meh, I've seen huge dorks go out and buy real guitars because they were good at guitar hero. I've seen that it's not a reciprocal skill.

I like the strangelove ref.
 

TheKruzdawg

New member
Apr 28, 2010
870
0
0
I kind of know how you feel. I'm a percussionist and I thought that jumping into rock band would be a cinch. Getting the timing on that thing is a lot harder that I would have expected, even though playing the drums in those games is waaaaay closer to the real instrument than the guitar. I picked it up after a bit and now it doesn't seem so bad, but I felt your pain for a little bit. Although I think that the rock band drum set could actually teach people how to play the drums, to a certain degree. And if they can learn to do it properly and appreciate what it takes, than I wouldn't be so upset when people talk about how the major I picked (music ed) is an easy one.

EDIT: Also, I like the title you picked for this thread. I haven't seen the movie, but I get it :)
 

StriderShinryu

New member
Dec 8, 2009
4,987
0
0
For me it's almost the opposite. Expert still destroys me on most songs but, as a moderate guitar player, I find I can't really play at anything less than Hard because I'm hearing and trying to play notes that aren't charted.
 

Ares Tyr

New member
Aug 9, 2008
1,237
0
0
Second on the Strangelove reference.

On a related note, I know someone who got a scholarship to a college based on his ability to play guitar (he was invited to be on the Jazz band). He can also beat Through The Fire on expert. The bassist of my band can also play guitar and drums, and also has 100% completion on Rock Band 2.

For the record, I know several more guitarists who cannot even play a single expert song.

I diddle with guitar (mostly acoustic), though I'm horrible at it. But I play expert on GH and Rock Band 2 on Drums and Guitar.
 

FinalHeart95

New member
Jun 29, 2009
2,164
0
0
I enjoyed Guitar Hero enough that I went out and bought a real guitar. I didn't just putz around with it though, I've actually been playing pretty consistently for like a year.

Going back to Guitar Hero after guitar is really hard. Guitar is actually easier in some aspects, because of the lack of strings on the Guitar Hero guitar mainly.
 

General BrEeZy

New member
Jul 26, 2009
962
0
0
some of the movements and mild stretching on guitar hero kinda helped with guitar a couple years later, but i do definitely prefer the real thing, and im improving at it too. so thats what counts most.
 

viking97

New member
Jan 23, 2010
858
0
0
i guess that means real guitarists aren't good at guitar hero. i always thought the opposite. i only played guitar hero once, and missed every single note. this COULD have something to do with the fact that nobody told me you were supposed to flick that little bar on a hinge, and nobody corrected me once i started playing.

(slightly more) OT i've heard ppl say playing guitar hero(/rockband) is harder than playing real guitar. i agree, mostly for the same reason i think singstar is harder that actual karaoke. you don't have to be absolutely PERFECT to play guitar well, not so for beating through the fire and the flames on expert.

but really the two activities are an entirely different skill set, and are only really related aesthetically and thematically. (if i'm using the words wrong PLZ don't rip my lungs out)
 

Johnnyallstar

New member
Feb 22, 2009
2,928
0
0
Props for the Dr. Strangelove reference.

Being a two decade veteran of guitars and basses, my biggest issue with Guitar Hero and Rock Band games aren't the actual games themselves, but what happens to the people who play it without any prior musical background.

I saw a person say that they loved Slash because he was hard to beat on Guitar Hero, but hated Santana because of how easy he was to beat on the game. People who said they loved Zeppelin but didn't know what Stairway was because it wasn't on Guitar Hero, and still isn't as far as I know. I know several people who's knowledge of music is constrained to the borders of Guitar Hero and Rock band, and no further.

As for the product, eh, I didn't really care for it because I would rather dump the $200 on something that seems a little more practical.
 

Korhal

New member
Jun 9, 2008
128
0
0
Well +1 for defying expectations. I expected a "it's not the real thing" diatribe, which as a guitarist of almost 14 years, is silly. So good on you for that.

Personally, I play some stuff at expert, and some stuff at hard. I like the game the best when it's hard enough that I have to pay attention, but still easy enough that I'm not sweating it out. Besides, for me, Rock Band is about playing with my friends, and I'd rather play something a little on the easy side so we can all pass than play something too hard and fail out and interrupt the game.

The only skill that being a guitarist imparts on your GH playing (or that GH would impart on a new guitar player) is being used to the motion of your hands doing something independent of each other. But even that's a long shot.

But the biggest advantage a real guitar has over a round of GH or Rock Band is interpretation. Sure, I can play this song the same way the real band did, or I can put my own spin on it, maybe adapt it to be acoustic, change the style, etc. (none of which is to mention being able to write your own stuff). GH and Rock Band demand perfection to the pattern they present. It's kinda why you don't see people on the dance floor at clubs doing invisible DDR. Sure, it's fun in it's own right, but it lacks soul. Still, soul doesn't give me a high score.
 

Bellvedere

New member
Jul 31, 2008
794
0
0
Woo Dr. Strangelove. That's why I clicked on the topic.

Besides the concept they're really not related. I'm a pretty mediocre guitar-hero-ist (I okay at most of the easier songs on hard and I can get through the rest but I've got no sense of rhythm so perfect scores on anything above medium isn't something that I've been able to achieve) but an even worse guitarist.

When I first heard of guitar hero I thought it would be pretty lame. The idea of watching fairly boring screen and just pressing the corresponding button didn't seem like something that would be fun. I appreciated that it might be hard, but not fun. Anyway I was so wrong, I love guitar hero. I think it's something that can easily generate misconceptions, I have no idea what makes it so cool but it is. That being said once it took off it went over board for a bit releasing a thousand and one game and all. It's good for a party or and afternoon with friends but there's not a whole lot of appeal just sit and play endlessly by yourself. That's how I feel about it anyway.
 

Seizurebleak

New member
May 16, 2010
18
0
0
As another guitarist, I find Guitar Hero games hard, I can't play in hard mode. I can barely complete a song. Well it's not like I play it a lot anyway nor I don't intend to cramp my fingers playing a fake instrument. I'd say these guitar hero games are kind of beneficial since it introduces old classic songs to youngsters who usually are listening to metalcore crap.
 

Forgetitnow344

New member
Jan 8, 2010
542
0
0
I'd like to point out that Harmonix and Fender are making that special Squier Stratocaster that will have actual strings on it. From the sound of it, they seem to think the game can teach you to transition from playing a dumbed-down keytar to playing an actual guitar. I am in full support of this. The reason I got Rock Band was because of my love for music. My only problem is I never have a regular enough schedule to get guitar lessons in. I also have a crippling fear of artistic judgment, so I'd be too nervous to play in front of my teacher. If Rock Band 3 can actually help me learn to play, I'd be ecstatic.