So, you wanna be a REAL guitar hero? First you've got to learn the basics.
There are two Pro Guitars you can use for the game. The cheaper option is the MadCatz Fender Mustang, while the more expensive is the Fender Squier.
The Mustang is a wireless guitar and runs on batteries. Simply hook it up like you would a wireless controller and you're ready to go. The Mustang's fretboard is represented by 102 buttons. The buttons are separated across the neck of the guitar to represent the 6 strings, and along the neck of the guitar to represent 17 frets. The string box has six strings to strum one for each string.
The Squier is an actual wired guitar the sends its signals via MIDI, so you will also need the MIDI adaptor. The Squier has 22 frets instead and the strings are actually strings.
The game represents what you have to play via a rolling tab, by telling you the numbers of the frets you have to hold, you hold down the numbered fret on that string and play the string. The bottom string is colored (closest to you) is colored Red then Green, Orange, Yellow, Blue, Purple. Chords are colored in light blue.
For more on the Pro Guitar please see the Rock Band blog
In a similar vein to the erm..."standard" guitar you need to be comfortable with using all your fingers, the way you hold it, and how you play it. What seems most daunting is the concentration from one string to six added to the frets across. Relax; we'll go through things one by one.
Firstly, the way you hold the guitar is important. Of course, it's held on your neck with the strap, or it should be, but I'm talking about your weaker/fretting hand. There are generally two ways to hold a guitar, the most common being a Hendrix or baseball grip. This where the palm of your fretting hand presses lightly against the back of the neck, the thumb rests on top of the neck, the rest of your fingers play with the fretboard. While this is quite common because of extra stability and anchoring is sacrifices one thing that's more important than you may think. Flexibility. Especially when playing bass, your fingers need to cover as much of the fretboard as possible. The other sort of grip puts your thumb behind the fretboard on the middle of the neck. Imagine a line connecting the nut to the heel that divides the left and right sides of the neck into two (on the Mustang, essentially connect the screw holes), if you place your thumb there as an anchor point your finger flexibility is increased. However this type of hold is quite uncomfortable and a little difficult, but it's much better when moving from string to string. In my opinion, The baseball grip is better for chords and anything repeated that doesn't change, whereas the thumb-behind is better for scales.
For your strong hand there are a couple of ways to play strings. The most common way is to use a pick. It's a small piece of plastic which you use to pick the string, and playing chords is as simple as sweeping across the strings with it. Another way is called "padding", it's the type of upstroking that some bass players use, the thumb rests on the topmost string or an anchor point (like the top of the string points for these guitars), while the rest of fingers play the strings by taking the sting and plucking upwards. Fingerpicking means that every finger on your strong hand plucks a different string. While it requires coordinates with both sets of fingers, it makes playing arpeggios across strings a lot easier.
Each song with Pro Guitar/Bass has a trainer so that you can learn its main parts slowly and build up speed when you become more confident with it. Play on the easiest challenging difficulty and work your way up when you get better and faster, while it can be confusing it becomes easier with practice and training.
Complete the "Power Chords" lessons in the Pro Guitar trainer.
Introducing Pro Guitar Part 2 - Power Chords
If you are going to ignore the trainer for the Pro Guitar (because as soon as you plug it in, it will start you on a set of tutorials for it) then this should be your first port of call.
Just follow the trainer notes and play along focusing on your timing, there isn't much difficulty here. You need to FC all eight lessons at 100% speed to win this achievement and goal.
Chord/Note help comes up in every Pro Guitar/Bass trainer, if you mess up a note or chord it will show you a fretboard showing where to place your fingers and what strings to play, it will freeze play until you get it right but getting it right this way doesn't count towards completing it.
Introducing Pro Guitar - First Real Song
General Pro Guitar Goals - Pro Guitar To The Max DLC
You need to complete "The Hardest Button to Button" on Pro Guitar. It doesn't matter about the score at the end or what difficulty you do it on once you pass it. Or you could just let it run on No-Fail mode. This is probably the easiest song you will get for Pro Guitar and barely contains any changes or unfamiliar parts.
You might as well get Pro Guitar To The Max in the meantime, just hit a streak of thirty notes so the track turns blue.
Pro Guitar Apprentice
5 Star on Easy Pro Guitar (or 3 Star on a higher difficulty) any 25 Rock Band 3 songs.
Easy Song Progress - 5* Easy Pro Guitar
You have to simply play 25 different Rock Band 3 on disc songs on Pro-Guitar. Your score at the end must be three stars or five stars if it is Easy.
Pro Bass Apprentice
5 Star on Easy Pro Bass (or 3 Star on a higher difficulty) any 25 Rock Band 3 songs.
PRO BASS - Easy Song Progress - 5* Easy Pro Bass
You have to simply...oh come on, you must know what to do by now!
Complete the "More Chord Holding and Arpeggiation" Pro Guitar lessons.
Mastering Pro Guitar - More Chord Holding and Arpeggiation
Welcome to hell.
If you haven't already gone through the Pro Guitar Lessons I suggest you do, and then practice them until you could do those ones blindfolded. This will be the cream of the crop for you.
Personally, I used fingerpicking for all these arpeggios as it is easier to hit the right string at the right time once it's learned. Your focus here should be your fretting hand.
Fancy A Chord Arpeggio
This is one of the easier ones and is there to get you used to the "out-of-chord" notes. While the arpeggio track is light blue as well as the notes you are supposed to be holding, the yellow notes show notes that don't belong to that chord and so are "out of chord". Prepare for them and remember where they are, you just have to keep your ring finger on your fretting hand ready while the rest can stay in position.
You need to practice the chord movements as that is what comes far too fast for most people to handle; this is probably the most difficult of these lessons.
Practice moving from one of these chords to the next without the trainer, so you can hit the chord shape correctly. It can be very awkward doing it at speed. A little trick is to use your middle, ring and pinky fingers to hold the C and A minor chords so moving to F is a little bit easier as you don't have to change your entire hand and can use the first finger to bare the first fret. You can also use the same fingers to hold G so all the movements are easier.
More than an Arpeggio
The picking pattern on this one is a little tricky, but once you hear how it sounds, it becomes clearer and easier. Once you've got the picking pattern down, learn what the chord shapes are like. You don't need to move your ring finger at all. It's a pretty easy pivot movement.
To hit the out of chord note on the high E string press your pinky finger into the third fret. For the one on the A string move your second finger down a fret.
These are the only two chords you need, though this one is kind of spooky. You can either move your first and middle finger to hit the three out of chord notes or your middle and ring fingers.
This is easier than it might look. The chord movement is easy. To get from G to C move your hand up one string and rearrange your middle, ring and index fingers to get the chord, then slide up the fretboard to get D. Remember that the G chord lasts for two measures while C and D only last for one. There are no 'out-of-chord' notes here.
The picking pattern is actually very easy as it’s the same all the way through, you are just moving your hand up the strings to play the last two chords.
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