I really need some Rock Band help.

Right before Rivals started I switched to expert bass which I had never done. I never had many friends in the rock band community so I wasn't aware of a lot. I only found out about alt strumming (last year) when asking people in a crew I was in. I've always down strummed really fast and most songs I can handle. Songs like Bad Romance or even What doesn't kill you makes you stronger are impossible for me to down strum and gold star. That's not even counting the hard songs and metal. It's really getting to me and I feel really bad because I can't figure it out. Are there any good places on the internet or good songs to practice on? I feel so left out because my crew mates have to cater to me on songs played and then go off and play what I can't. For once I just want to be able to feel normal and play like everyone else. Any help or advice would be very much appreciated. Thank you.

Comments

  • jaystonepkjaystonepk Opening Act
    If you have the RB3 export, try "The Look". Almost the entire song is alt-strum but at a very reasonable pace. Perhaps "Miracle Man" but on hard. Expert bass is quite a bit tougher on that one. Other than that, just keep practicing til you "get it."
  • OakTeaOakTea Road Warrior
    Practice alt strumming on slow songs. In fact, practice alt strumming ALL THE TIME on slow songs. Way back in GH1, this is how I learned alt strumming. The first note I would strum down, the second note I would strum up, the third note I would strum down, and so on and so forth. Even if it wasn't necessary, even if it wasn't the same note.
    Practice it on slower songs with a steady beat.

    As an expert player, I like to have my alt-strumming start on the downbeat (which is the "main" beat that you probably tap your foot to). At this point, I'm counting out 1, 2, 3, 4, with each of those being downstrums and the upstrums happening between those numbers (on the "ands", if you're doing 1-and-2-and-3-and-4). If you were to try this on a slow song with a steady beat, you might get to where you want to be.

    And as strange as it might sound, you might want to get your hands on a real guitar (preferably not a bass guitar ironically enough). Alt-strumming is maybe step 3 or 4 of learning how to play the guitar, but step...43(?) of playing the plastic guitar.

    Having a real guitar in your hands and strumming a string up and down (getting that solid acoustic feedback) will let you quickly get a feel for how to strum in both directions. Without the acoustic feedback, it's a lot harder to get that "up" rhythm, when your sense of rhythm rests entirely in your "down".

    Keep practicing and you'll get it though. Good luck!
  • uppyb0tuppyb0t Opening Act
    edited January 8
    It’s going to be something that just comes in time as well. I had trouble with it at first, but it has become easier.

    If you want to practice quick consistency try Babymetal - Gimme Chocolate
  • If you have the RB3 export, try "The Look". Almost the entire song is alt-strum but at a very reasonable pace. Perhaps "Miracle Man" but on hard. Expert bass is quite a bit tougher on that one. Other than that, just keep practicing til you "get it."

    I got 100% on "The Look" by down strumming. It nearly killed me. :( It does bring me down and makes me feel worthless when I can't do it, figure it out. Sometimes I wish Harmonix would had left alt strumming out altogether.
  • Did you play Expert your first day holding a plastic guitar?
  • jaystonepkjaystonepk Opening Act
    bdd74 said:

    If you have the RB3 export, try "The Look". Almost the entire song is alt-strum but at a very reasonable pace. Perhaps "Miracle Man" but on hard. Expert bass is quite a bit tougher on that one. Other than that, just keep practicing til you "get it."

    I got 100% on "The Look" by down strumming. It nearly killed me. :( It does bring me down and makes me feel worthless when I can't do it, figure it out. Sometimes I wish Harmonix would had left alt strumming out altogether.
    If I had down strummed that, my right hand would have been lying on the floor half way through the song. Props that you had the stamina to pull that off though.
  • HMXOwl said:

    Did you play Expert your first day holding a plastic guitar?

    No I actually started on easy on RB1. Maybe that's your way of saying it's gonna take time? It's just really frustrating because I do try like heck.
  • bdd74 said:

    HMXOwl said:

    Did you play Expert your first day holding a plastic guitar?

    No I actually started on easy on RB1. Maybe that's your way of saying it's gonna take time? It's just really frustrating because I do try like heck.
    You were born with the ability to breathe and that's...about it (depending on your burping needs, maybe even that was a rough go of it!). Literally everything you can do right now was something you previously could not and spent time at. You don't need to learn alt-strumming in 30 seconds any more than you needed to learn Expert guitar in 30 seconds, or how to do long division in 30 seconds, or whatever else. If you can't do a thing, just start doing the thing, right? Be hard-pressed to get WORSE at something by doing it.
  • If I recall rightly, one of the freestyle guitar solo tutorials actually covers alt-strumming to an extent. Certainly though, focus on the more rhythmic guitar and bass tracks and use them to practice alt-strumming. Judas Priest's Painkiller is a good one, especially if you ignore the fact the guitar chart is labelled as HOPOs, and/or if you do bass. If you don't have RB2 (or a guitar that works with it), the punk genre as a whole is (and I am talking in broad strokes) full of very rhythm-based guitar and bass charts. Nu-metal too to an extent - Papa Roach's Last Resort is amazing for learning to alt-strum while changing notes, for instance.
  • One piece of advice I can give you is try to strum to the beat of the song. Most alt-strumming sections follow the time signature of the song (unless they're just going nuts like a big rock ending), so try to feel the pulse of the song and put a little emphasis on each of the strums that the song seems to accent (this will make weird things like note switching on the up strum feel more natural).

    For very fast but straightforward sections that only switch on the down strum (there are many of these sections in many songs), I highly suggest accenting heavily either once every 2 or 4 notes. Typically, on faster sections, I think accenting every 4 notes works better. The strumming on a regular 4/4 time song (if the strumming is sixteenth notes) will sound like STRUM-strum-strum-strum-STRUM-strum-strum-strum-STRUM-strum-strum-strum-STRUM-strum-strum-strum. This is a kind of training-wheels method that really helps you keep time in these fast sections. You kind of become your own metronome. Once you get very used to fast sections like that, you can start throwing accents around (possibly where they're supposed to be in the song!).
  • TheRainbowTroutsTheRainbowTrouts Opening Act
    edited January 9
    Can you not just play on hard on the upstrum songs?

    Also try the freestyle guitar tutorials, there are whole sections there for alternate strumming at different rhythms, upstrumming sustains, etc
  • LordFlatusLordFlatus Rising Star
    My alt-strumming improved the most after I took my drumming to mostly-expert level. :)
  • My alt-strumming improved the most after I took my drumming to mostly-expert level. :)

    Oddly enough so did mine.. I always say it's because we grow our manly muscles ;)
  • grimripper82grimripper82 Opening Act
    I'm a hard core down-strummer if I can help it. I've down-strummed my way through songs that really, really should be alt-strummed. I've been that way since GH1.

    That being said, in an effort to get better at songs that require alt-strumming, I've been working on it. I've improved a ton in the last couple years or so.

    My advice: Start with songs that have single note alt-strums. The type of songs where you strum one note a dozen or so times before moving on to another note. A lot of punk songs are like this. The Ramones in particular. It may sound silly, but try nodding your head to the beat as you play. Let the drums be your guide to this. In a real band, the relationship between the bassist and drummer is essential to the beat and rhythm of the song.

    You'll find at first, your scores are going to be pathetic compared to when you just muscle your way through a song with only down-strums, but it will help in the long run.

    Also, look for songs that have triplets, or three quick strums in a row on the same note. Practice going down-up-down on those parts, even if you don't have to. In the long run, you'll get really good at hitting triplets that way, and it will help get more used to alt-strumming.

    The final hurdle, and one I struggle with myself, is alt-strumming when the notes themselves alternate, or even just go all over the place. Save these songs until you get used to alt-strumming on long sections with single notes.

    Hope that helps. Don't feel bad that you're having trouble with this. Keep practicing and you'll get better. I've been playing these games since GH1, and though I'm not FCing (or in most cases, gold-starring) "Impossible" songs, I honestly feel like I get ever so slightly better every time I play the game. That's the thing to focus on. Continue to improve through practice, and have fun!
  • jaystonepkjaystonepk Opening Act

    Also, look for songs that have triplets, or three quick strums in a row on the same note.

    "Don't you forget about me" is a perfect fit here.

    As far a switching colors, I always downstrum to the downbeat, 1 and 3. My brain completely refuses to acknowledge being able to upstrum on those. That being said, when switching colors, if the first note is a HOPO, I always strum it regardless because it flips the rhythm to upstrumming on 2 and 4. I will actively try to switch back but usually end up breaking streak in the process.
  • LoopyChewLoopyChew Wordsmith
    "Eye of the Tiger."
  • tati81tati81 Opening Act
    And don't forget: You must need a perfect calibration!
  • LordFlatusLordFlatus Rising Star

    My alt-strumming improved the most after I took my drumming to mostly-expert level. :)

    Oddly enough so did mine.. I always say it's because we grow our manly muscles ;)
    I attribute it to developing a better and more consistent sense of timing through the drums, but maybe I'm missing a joke you were making there...
  • tati81 said:

    And don't forget: You must need a perfect calibration!

    I actually wonder if this is my particular struggle with alt strumming.. I really like where my calibration is at - it all feels and looks and sounds right to me until I try alt strumming.. I'm always missing tons of notes that way even though I can down strum them perfectly fine.. So maybe I DO just suck at alt strumming.. IDK..
  • Another single note alt strummer: "Shout" (the Tears For Fears) one. Before I figured out alt-strumming, my online mates would always pick it for me knowing how bad I was at bass... because it was "only one dot".
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