Why I Feel That Music Video Games Are A Great Way To Learn the Fundamentals of Playing Music
As my author bio at the top of the page lists, I mentioned that not only am I a gamer, but I’m also a musician as well. I’m a vocalist by nature, but I also dabble in other instruments, such as the piano, guitar and bass guitar. But, in no way, shape or form do I consider myself great, hence the wording “dabble.”
Games like Rock Band and Guitar Hero allow players to take part in a performance of popular songs by playing controllers that are modeled after musical instruments. Over the years, players were really just able to shred out with their plastic guitar’s out, but now we are able to play lead guitar, bass guitar, drums and sing.
I honestly feel that these games teach you the fundamentals of playing music when playing on expert. Of course, if you are not there now, you will get there soon, and I’ll include some tips for you to be able to achieve that goal by the end of this editorial.
Tempo and rhythm are key elements in playing music. Without them, everything will fall apart. Playing on expert difficulty is going to give you a more realistic feel at the actual instrument without having to really pick one up. I personally feel that the drums for these games, when playing on a higher difficulty such as expert, are literally teaching you how to play the drums. I believe this because 9 months ago, I had never played the drums on a video game like this before. I have tried to play on a real drum kit in the past but… epic fail. Now, after several months of going through the drum training and learning the beats, I’m sure that I would have no problem sitting behind a real pair of drums and keeping a steady beat and tempo. Tips: practice in the drum trainer. That’s really all that I can say. It will teach you a bunch of beats and fills and you are able to change tempo (speed) to being soft jazzy type beats to blast beats where you would be sounding like you are in a death metal band.
Singers, you have it pretty easy in these types of games, no matter which difficulty you are on. You don’t even need to sing the correct words. All you need to do is hit the right octave. Heck, some songs even give you 100% just for making incoherent noise. I’ve been able to sing songs on these games like a chipmunk to even sounding like Barry White while pelting out Paramore and was still able to complete the song. As a vocalist myself, I hate to say it but I have no tips for this category except for just focus on hitting the right octave.
As for the guitars, these games teach us finger motions and patterns, as well as wrist motions. Yeah, I get it, plastic buttons are not real strings. For those of you who are thinking this, hear me out. Pressing these buttons down while playing on expert can get rather difficult, but it strengthens your fingers and your wrist to be able to tackle the real deal. Some tips would include up and down strumming. This will save you! I promise. Once you nail this technique, you will be shredding to some Iron Maiden or Yngwie Malmsteen in no time.
Just remember, people, have fun, listen to the music, find the rhythm, hear the beats and rock out. Practice makes perfect. And don’t try to strain yourself too badly when trying to play on expert. Some people look at you funny when you tell them that you hurt your fingers shredding out on Rock Band or Guitar Hero, I know from experience. 😛