Last night, after my not so great Yousician lesson, I switched back to Rocksmith. I decided to toggle over to the Lead Path for a bit, to give myself some much needed practice in switching between strings. Practice is still much needed, but it’s not as if I feel horrible about what I worked on or anything. It went…okay. But, to really give myself a better feel for just where I stand, I decided to switch back to rhythm at the end and tackle Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door.
I mentioned in my last post that the progress I was making of late was mostly about chords, so I’d reached a point in yousician where I’m starting to really struggle – with the Lead Path focusing on melodies, and the rhythm path introducing riffs. I’ve been working mostly with chords, so that is where I’m seeing signs of improvement.
Since, ‘Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door’ is the very first song I started to really drill with Rocksmith, and since I reached a point where I could get no further, and since I haven’t even glanced at that song in several weeks to save myself the aggravation, it made it a weirdly brilliant song to use as a mile-marker last night.
I also recently mentioned, now that I’ve got the fender hellcat to work with, certain things are much, much easier for me, and forming the C chord is one of those things. The C chord was the worst of my hang-ups with the Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door chord progression, so this was another reason it was kind of the perfect song to use as a sort of progress checkpoint.
And, I got through it. The quicker switches, the extra strumming, that was so, so difficult for me before (on a guitar with the same fret length and similar neck profile, that just happens to weigh a ton), I was able to play without too many hiccups last night. I won’t lie and pretend it sounded performance-worthy; it didn’t. But, I hit almost all of the chords, I made almost all of the chord changes quickly enough. More chords rang out clear than sounded cranky. Basically, I am exponentially better at that song today than I was when I last looked at it, so there is real progress being made on a subtle level.
Something I noticed about rocksmith that I didn’t realize before – it’s VERY easy to toggle between the three paths (lead, rhythym, & bass), which makes the fact I have a whole separate file set up for bass a bit redundant. Since I’ve made a pretty good amount of progress there, I don’t see me switching back (I’ve unlocked songs and everything!) to keeping it all on one account, but if I had it to do over again, that is the way I should have done it.
After playing ‘Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door’ through a few times, I switched back to the bass. I feel like it’s been a bit neglected of late. I want to play it, but I need more work with the guitar than the bass for the same amount of progress, and the guitar is the newest addition to the musical family, so it just makes sense that I’ve been prioritizing it.
Bass time went fairly well. I do need to get back into the lesson end of things, but I don’t really like starting lessons at 9:30 at night. My head just isn’t in the right space. I don’t want to give myself that much to think about when I know I’ll have to go to bed soon, because I have a hard enough time getting my brain to shut down for the night as it is, especially now that it’s light out later, and I haven’t acclimated to the extended daylight hours yet (It always feels like it’s much earlier in the evening than it actually is.). So instead I just went straight to learn a song. I had nothing particular in mind, but decided on Wasteland by EarlyRise
Oh man, that song is FUN to play on bass. 😀 Fairly simple so far (who knows what will happen as my percentage completion goes up, but right now there are only one or two places where I’m prone to mistakes when I’m not focusing), and it just feels good under my fingers.
I have noticed that my bass gets a little buzzy in drop tunings, but I think that’s okay because it’s just teaching me to control how hard or gently I pluck the strings. I do have a tendency to pluck too hard, so having that buzz there is actually a good way of checking myself. Bzzz. Oops, too hard, softer next time. I don’t know, maybe that’s just the nature of drop tunings – that the strings buzz more easily. I do not pretend to know these things yet. Either way, the drop tuning is a kind of handy tool to check myself with.
I forced myself to stop bass time so I could also spend a few minutes with the ukulele. I ran through the flaming lips song twice. That’s generally how I get started with the ukulele. I often just randomly switch between chords while watching TV if I have time on my hands, but when I don’t I pick one of the songs I’m working on. So, I opened up the Simple Plan song. …and then I had a thought, closed it again, and opened up the transposed version of the Simple Plan song. I don’t know what inspired this. Ultimate Guitar does have ukulele tab for this song, and I’ve saved both the ukulele version, and a transposed guitar version. they’re slightly different. The guitar version goes C-F-Am… The uke version goes F-F-Am… I’ve been working on the latter and having a hard time quite marrying it all together. It should b e easier. It’s one less switch, but, while I think it is probably a more tonally accurate representation of the song, I kind of dig the guitar transposition that starts off in C. It’s just clicking in my brain better – the lyrics to the chords to the switches…they’re not there, but the pieces are sliding into place, and I think it’s going to be easier to sing to. It’s also peppier. Peppy suits the ukulele. So, I think I’m going to focus on that version for a while and see where I get. Even if it might not have the same tone to it, I think it’s still recognizable, or will be, once I can play it without any major glitches. I’m just synching up with it better, somehow. More on that at another time, once I’ve worked with it some more.
Until Next Time – less blogging, more playing (though I totally have lots of thoughts in my head that I need to find time to blog about…)