I'd like to point out that whatever I'm about to say is just my opinion. You don't have to agree to it and I actually like to see any disagreements and other people's views on charting guitar and bass. I will stress this, I am still a beginner when it comes to charting so there's a chance I may be wrong when it comes to this topic. If there's any confusion or if I might've gotten something wrong, don't be afraid to address it. I MIGHT have another topic discussing Vocals and Drums, but I'll save that for another time. Right now, I would like to go through the "Authoring Rules" of the Guitar and Bass and discuss what I think. If you'd like to take part of this discussion, feel free to comment as you wish. If you'd like to follow along, here's the link to the tips and tricks to authoring Guitar and Bass.
There may be some tabs I may skip through. This usually means I agree to these rules or I have no opinion on them. A heads up just in case anyone's wondering why I didn't discuss it. You may comment about it and I may give my two cents on it.
First off, when you start charting, the usual way to do so is to start from Expert and work your way down to Easy. While there may be some different strokes for different folks, I do agree to this philosophy. Not only do you get the hardest difficulty out of the way first, but it does become a lot easier to chart the easier difficulties.
The next tab "Lane consistency" I do have mixed feelings on. What this means is that if on Expert mode, all the colors are used, the same MUST apply with Easy and Medium mode. Back in the old days of Rock Band and Guitar Hero, Easy mode used ONLY 3 colors. Green, Red, and Yellow. While Medium mode uses 4 colors. Green, Red, Yellow, and Blue. A little backstory, I've managed to step my game up by playing Expert mode since Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock, and from there on, I've never touched Easy-Hard mode ever. So of course, to my shock, I found out recently that Easy and Medium mode now uses all colors of each lane. (Assuming the song's Expert mode also uses all colors of it's lane.) On one had, I understand why this happens. Doing so will encourage new players to face off against the new fret(s) so that when the evolve to the next difficulty, the transition won't be so bad. On the other hand though, I feel this cripples new players from playing the game casually. As the text continues, they do recommend that easy and medium difficulty should have charts that have more focus on their respective fret colors, and add the extra colors however the author wishes. I do think I have another solution for this though. For easy difficulty, a song may be charted with the focus on Green, Red, and Yellow frets, but I believe a charter can focus on Red, Yellow and Blue notes instead or Yellow, Blue, and Orange notes.That way, the transition between moving to the next fret is more natural. A charter can even mix up the three focus notes with transitions as long as it's not GRY focus to YBO focus. Further more, a Green note cannot be followed up with a blue note and a red note cannot be followed by an orange note. With that, I think it can be self explained as to how one can chart medium mode as well. With medium mode, I believe the only restriction is no green note followed by Orange note.
"Author intention over sloppiness"; Above all, a Rock Band chart should be as accurate as the song pertains. (If it's a joke chart however such as "Insert song title" Under charted or Over charted, I think as long as it's done for the sake of parody, this rule shouldn't apply.) Of course with songs that are not multi track, it's a bit difficult for charters to listen to each note. But as long as the chart is not overly exaggerated with 64th notes in a 16th note chord or melody, a charter shouldn't worry about perfection or accuracy too much. They do touch on solos and this could honestly be very subjective. Sometimes, the author does want to over exaggerate the chart for the sake of fun or difficulty and I can't really say anything about his or her way of charting like that. But I believe for solos, a charter can go crazy or go accurate. Honestly for me, it's up to personal choice and creative freedom.
With chords, there isn't much to talk about since the tutorial should be self explanatory. But I will slightly touch on split chords pertaining to difficulty. For easy mode, I personally never chart chords on easy mode. Though there may be some exceptions, chords should never exist in easy mode or at the very least, be very minimal and not as common as single notes. Medium mode, chords are fine, with the only restrictions being no three note chords or split chords like "GB", "RO" or "GO" notes. If the author does want a three note chord in medium mode, once again, like easy mode, it has to be minimal. But if there is a case of a three note chord in medium mode, it HAS to be "GRY" "RYB" or "YBO" any other notes would be too difficult for a medium player to handle. The next two difficulties are pretty much consistent to Easy and Medium. For hard, no split three-note chord and no "GO" notes. If such a three-note chord should be split, like medium and easy, it must be minimum. However, I'm going to add another rule to that. It HAS to be "GYB" or "RBO" The notes that require the use of an index, ring, and pinky finger. My reasoning for this is because the middle finger is easier to lift up than the ring finger. So if "GRB" or "RYO" notes were to be charted in hard mode, I feel it would be too difficult for a Hard player to play those notes compared to "GYB" and "RBO". Although with this knowledge in mind, one may say it would be easier to play a 4-note chord that's a "GRYB" or a "RYBO" note than a "GRB" or "RYO" Or even a "GBO" note since it's either easier to rest your ring finger along side with each finger, or the "GBO" note doesn't require the ring finger to be held up. As my counter argument, A "GBO" note would still be a "GO" note which is a huge split chord for a hard player or handle, so I believe a "GBO" not is not allowed in hard mode. As for the two 4-note chord, honestly, that is a good point, but for me personally, I don't like to see a 4-note chord in hard mode so I don't think it's right to chart one as such. Lastly, for expert mode, really any chord is free game. The only chord not accepted in Expert mode is a 5-note chord an even if you try to chart one, Magma won't even allow you to do so anyways, so it's not like a charter can get away with that note. In addition notes like "GRO" "GYO" and GBO" notes should either never appear in a song, or appear very rarely. "GRYB" and "RYBO" notes may only be common in sustain notes, but playing them alone should be rare like any other rare notes.
For the next two paragraphs, we will be discussing more charting tips that are not written within the authoring rules page. The first paragraph will be discussing rare notes while the paragraph after that will be discussing charting for certain instruments.
This next paragraph does not pertain to the authoring rules page, but more of a discussion on whether or not rare notes like "GRO, GYO, GRYB, GRYO" notes and all the other rare notes should even be included in a Rock Band chart. For Guitar Hero, it's widely accepted to have these notes as long as it's rare, but in Rock Band, these notes will NEVER appear in an official Rock Band chart (there is of course one expectation I remember with the Oasis songs "Don't Look Back In Anger".) But on my personal stance, rare notes shouldn't be excluded completely. Those notes do provide a sort of fun difficulty and uniqueness to a chart like the 4 note chord at the end of Guitar Hero's Masters of Puppets, or any screeching guitar notes being charted with a "GYO" note or extended sustains, or mute notes in Go That Far from Guitar Hero III. I believe as long as it's on expert only, these notes shouldn't be ignored entirely. This is just from a person who has more experience from Guitar Hero than Rock Band, but I believe ultimately, it's up to the author whether or not he or she wants to include these rare notes when charting. I know there's a lot of differing opinions and I would like to hear a lot of your opinions on this one since I feel this one is the most debatable when charting a Guitar and Bass track.
This last paragraph will touch upon charting a guitar or bass with a different instrument. In previous Guitar Hero games from Guitar Hero 5 to Warriors of Rock, the guitar track tends to chart songs from other instruments. For example, Y.M.C.A. from Band Hero charts the guitar using trumpet and violin notes and No One to Depend On (Live) charts both guitar and organ at the same time. This is not just from Guitar Hero however, Rock Band also does the same thing. The majority of Lady Gaga songs for Guitar and Bass were from a Keyboard. Not a Guitar or Bass. And the Queen song We Will Rock You uses drum beats for Guitar and Bass. For me personally, a charter should AVOID charting other instruments. From a realistic stand point, you can't strum a guitar to produce drum beats or violin notes (unless digitally altered but in a setting where you're playing live instruments in a concert, I don't think its possible to do such a thing.) However, on the other hand, let's say the guitar or bass track is too boring to play and adding additional instruments would make the song more enjoyable to play. I believe in Rock Band 2 or Rock Band 4, you can get away with that, but in Rock Band 3, I believe that the additional instruments should be reserved for the keyboard. The only way I'm willing to accept other instruments in different instruments, is if the song doesn't have that instrument to begin with. Going back to Y.M.C.A's example, the song doesn't have guitars, so I think it's acceptation to chart either the trumpet or the violin for Guitar and maybe the other instrument for keyboard. The same applies for the Lady Gaga dlc since once again, there are no Guitar and Bass for the tracks. I do not think it's acceptation in No One to Depend On (Live) or We Will Rock You however since those two songs ALREADY have guitar tracks, thus including another instrument would be redundant.
That's my take on charting Guitar and Bass. I apologize if it's a long read, but hopefully I can get a discussion along. Let me know what you think whether or not you agree or disagree with my opinion and let me know if I'm missing any information. I would be perfectly fine if I updated this topic.