5 Things Guitar Hero Improves
I’ve always been a huge fan of Guitar Hero, ever since I got my first Les Paul controller and Guitar Hero 3. For many years I progressed my fingers to an early state of arthritis and my neck to chronic sprain injury. All in the name of good times and good music. When I first started out playing on Easy I never would have thought I would be jamming behind my back on Expert without missing a note, or banging the drums like Travis Barker on crack.
There is a certain type of rockstar feeling you get when you rock out with a plastic guitar – even if it’s just pretend. It makes you feel alive. Devoid of all perils and trepidations. Just you, the music and coloured buttons going down a screen. A lot of players become “professional” at it by only focusing on getting a 100% note hit or the highest score. That, to me, is wrong. You need to play for the fun of it. The embarrassing moments when you try to sing I Love Rock & Roll, or banging the drums while piss drunk and accidentally flinging a stick into your bassist’s balls. Those moments make Guitar Hero great.
If you’re a fan of Rock Band then Find/Replace Guitar Hero with Rock Band. Same thing.
Without further ado, here are five things that Guitar Hero has improved for me.
5. Your Parties
Ever had one of those parties where girls pretend to be drunk and the music is the same overplayed crap? Well, me neither. It has become a sort of tradition that after you get completely dog buggered and you own a Guitar Hero band set, that shit is going to go down. Be it attempted singing by a drunk girl who thinks she knows the song or your mates all freaking out and headbanging to one of your favourite songs. The truth of the matter is that Guitar Hero makes parties more lively and fun. It also serves as a free jukebox to the soon-to-be-hungover passed out folks.
There is a sort of affiliation that people have with Guitar Hero. Everyone wants to at least try to play because it just looks like fun. Unfortunately it sometimes isn’t as easy as it looks, and the resulting epic fail is hilarious. This all fuels to the point that Guitar Hero is one magical party game.
Thank God for No-Fail.
4. Your Musical Tastes
Before even knowing about Guitar Hero I had no clue what music really entailed. All I listened to was the stuff on the radio, or anything that was considered “cool” by my teenage peers. Then I discovered Guitar Hero 3. Suddenly I was exposed to all kinds of music I have never heard of before. The likes of The Rolling Stones, Metallica, Slayer, and Guns ‘n Roses. All the classics, and so much more. As I was honing my skills and getting better I realized that I was becoming quite interested in the songs I was listening to. Now I listen to a wide myriad of bands. Classics, metal, hard rock etc. All thanks to a simple rhythm game and a plastic guitar, I am now a die-hard lover of music. Even made it my lifestyle.
I’m not the only instance of this phenomenon. Many players discovered the world of good music through the likes of Guitar Hero, because it always had good music from excellent bands (with the possible exception of Band Hero *cringe*).
3. Your Musicianship
Not really the plastic guitar, but rather the plastic drums. The drums are possibly the most accurate representation of an instrument in the franchise because it’s all about hitting a bunch of stuff with sticks. Can’t be simpler really. But there is a lot more to it than that, obviously. It takes a keen eye and extraordinary amounts of rhythm to accomplish some of the beats presented in a song. Guitar Hero helps you build on these skills. I’m going to sound like an egotist, but I’ll use myself as an example again.
I have always had rhythm in my life, but never found an outlet to exercise it. Until I got my first Guitar Hero drum set. I started out slowly learning how to do the basic beats and all the technical stuff, like footwork and stick placement. The rest is history. Now I’m playing on Expert+ and accomplishing things I once thought was truly impossible. I’m also a not-too-shabby drummer, and Guitar Hero actually convinced me to buy a real drum set.
Which I promptly destroyed.
The same can be said for the guitar. It doesn’t develop your skills with it, but it does convince you to try out the actual instrument and become a rather solid musician. It might even convince you to start a band.
2. Your Health
Besides the obvious neck pains and strained fingers, it’s truly a legit workout to drum for hours on end or jump around with a guitar. Sweat drips and calories get burned, contrary to the usual assumption that gamers are just a bunch of lazy nerds sitting on their ass. I’ve been part of Guitar Hero games where people just went absolutely apeshit, and I joined in. It’s fun and healthy at the same time which is the perfect combo. To hell with Kinect Zumba Fitness or Wii Health. With Guitar Hero you are rocking out, enjoying yourself and shedding the pounds at the same time.
They really should make Wii Motion Sports with a metal soundtrack. That, I would play any day.
1. Your Badassness
This is a personal one. Ever since I really gotten “good” at Guitar Hero, people have always admired me in a way when they see me play. I have fond memories of rAge 2009 where I was part of an exhibition stand for the entire weekend just playing Guitar Hero. People were in awe with my fast fingers, and some even stood next to me filming the magic. I also came 2nd in the national Guitar Hero championship which was truly an adrenaline filled fun fest. Our scores were so close it was not even funny, but I was truly grateful for the opportunity to play in front of a massive crowd.
Other than that I had lots of people admire me for my skills as a plastic guitarist. Even our own Caveshen calls me a Guitar God from time to time. Bless his tender soul. I thank this franchise for giving me the chance to achieve such things.
It’s a shame people have forgotten about Guitar Hero because it truly is a magical genre to be involved in. All the good times that were had thanks to simulated stardom shouldn’t be forgotten. So dust off the old Les Paul, and rock your heart out. It’s the right thing to do.
I just portrayed myself as a complete narcissist and I would like to make things worse by giving you this video of me playing some drums. Back when I had less hair, no beard and a virgin’s glow.