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Guitar Bass Rock Band Guitar Hero 5-Notes Green Red Yellow Blue Orange

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#1 BassSinger313

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Posted November 25, 2016 - 11:25 PM

     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.

 

http://pksage.com/rb..._Bass_Authoring

 

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.

 

-Basics

     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.


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#2 Chips

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Posted November 26, 2016 - 10:08 AM

"Rare notes" and 4 note chords have no place in Rock Band charts, I'd say. I've never had a run in with a song where the standard set of chords we're meant to use weren't enough, taking sufficient wrapping into account. 4 note chords just look obnoxious when no official (Rock Band) content contains one. I've been a guitarist for 10 years and I understand why another guitarist might be tempted to chart 4 note chords into songs, but I think you end up ignoring a necessary disconnect from the game and reality if you start throwing 4 note chords into the mix.

 

As for your "Author intention over sloppiness`` bit, I think as long as you`re working on music you`re truly passionate about, a chart should be as painstakingly accurate as possible. Use the speed function in reaper and slow things down, use an EQ, do whatever it takes to squeeze every nuance out of the song. I mostly just do drums+guitar and sometimes bass on all my customs because those are the only instruments I play in-game, but as a result I have all the more reason to slave over every detail in depth and make the most out of my otherwise limited custom releases. The only time a solo should be charted a bit sloppy is if the artist wasn`t playing within the tempo and the variety of grid options in Reaper just aren`t doing anything for you, which is completely fine as long as it feels right when you fire up the game and play it.



#3 Farottone

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Posted November 26, 2016 - 11:34 AM

I'm not sure what the original post is supposed to achieve, since it essentially repeats basic notions, however the idea of authoring intention is a simple matter of understanding music. Music is not an unhinged series of notes, music is math, which is also why rhythm games work so well. For that reason, we tend to represent what the original chart is supposed to look like, ignoring imprecisions in the execution.



#4 BassSinger313

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Posted November 26, 2016 - 02:31 PM

I'm not sure what the original post is supposed to achieve, since it essentially repeats basic notions, however the idea of authoring intention is a simple matter of understanding music. Music is not an unhinged series of notes, music is math, which is also why rhythm games work so well. For that reason, we tend to represent what the original chart is supposed to look like, ignoring imprecisions in the execution.

I just posted this just to get a discussion going on. I do repeat on what's on the authoring page, but I also give out extra tips on how to author (or at least a perspective on how I author songs.) or minor disagreements to the authoring rules as well.

 

I do believe that the charter should be as accurate as possible.


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#5 Farottone

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Posted November 26, 2016 - 02:39 PM

If you're a beginner and you disagree with the rules you're still learning, chances are you still need to learn the rules. ;) Every author strives to be as accurate as possible, "authoring to intention" has nothing to do with accuracy and all to do with music theory though.



#6 BassSinger313

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Posted November 26, 2016 - 02:39 PM

"Rare notes" and 4 note chords have no place in Rock Band charts, I'd say. I've never had a run in with a song where the standard set of chords we're meant to use weren't enough, taking sufficient wrapping into account. 4 note chords just look obnoxious when no official (Rock Band) content contains one. I've been a guitarist for 10 years and I understand why another guitarist might be tempted to chart 4 note chords into songs, but I think you end up ignoring a necessary disconnect from the game and reality if you start throwing 4 note chords into the mix.

 

As for your "Author intention over sloppiness`` bit, I think as long as you`re working on music you`re truly passionate about, a chart should be as painstakingly accurate as possible. Use the speed function in reaper and slow things down, use an EQ, do whatever it takes to squeeze every nuance out of the song. I mostly just do drums+guitar and sometimes bass on all my customs because those are the only instruments I play in-game, but as a result I have all the more reason to slave over every detail in depth and make the most out of my otherwise limited custom releases. The only time a solo should be charted a bit sloppy is if the artist wasn`t playing within the tempo and the variety of grid options in Reaper just aren`t doing anything for you, which is completely fine as long as it feels right when you fire up the game and play it.

I didn't know about using the speed function actually. Thanks for telling me that! Charting solos should be easier than ever with this information.

 

I do notice that a lot of Rock Band players don't like these types of notes and I understand that. Personally for me, I don't mind too much as long as it's not super common, again, this is from a Guitar Hero player who's recently took a liking towards Rock Band. The one thing I should mention is that Reaper and Magma do not limit the charter with the usually normal notes unless it's a 5-note chord, so even if the majority doesn't find it approving, an author can still chart these notes with no problem at all.


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#7 BassSinger313

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Posted November 26, 2016 - 02:44 PM

If you're a beginner and you disagree with the rules you're still learning, chances are you still need to learn the rules. ;) Every author strives to be as accurate as possible, "authoring to intention" has nothing to do with accuracy and all to do with music theory though.

That's why I value constructive criticism above all else. I've pointed out in this post I may get things wrong or confuse other users and want anyone to comment on what I may think wrong. As a beginner, of course I'm still learning so I want to learn as much as possible.


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#8 Gigakoops

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Posted November 26, 2016 - 08:16 PM

Last I knew, Magma DID prevent people from using 4-note chords, refusing to build the song if it sees any. And even if it doesn't, I still view it as unnecessary in Rock Band. Especially chords like GRBO, that just isn't even fun.

 

As for charting to intention vs. charting "accurately," I believe that charting to intention is the way to go. What that rule means, essentially, is if the instrument is playing a bit sloppy, and something that's meant to be straight 16ths (or anything like that) ends up sounding a bit sloppier when listening closely, you should instead chart that as 16ths, since it just plays better in the game, as opposed to spacing out the notes awkwardly. There are exceptions to this; for the guitar outro of "Ray of Light" by Madonna I charted things the way I did since the guitarist was essentially freestyling without tempo, and there was no static BPM at that point. But outside of situations like that, you want to chart to intention, as opposed to trying to sync up every MIDI note to sloppy playing.

 

As far as lane consistency goes, MagmaC3 actually doesn't enforce that rule, you can build songs without those lanes on all difficulties if you so choose. I used to do it with C3 releases, though after that I started just sticking to the "classic" formula. I definitely see the reason for the rule, though, and it's my personal opinion that either way is good.

 

As for alt-charting, I personally am all for it... as long as keys gets to play the more prominent/"lead-like" keyboard parts. Rock Band 3 is a game with a keyboard, and as such, my personal philosophy for songs without guitar is that keys should get leads first and foremost, and then whatever other instruments are left can go on guitar. I've done this quite a few times with my electronic songs (and with my Skrillex songs, I even went as far as to chart the bass drops to bass).

 

I think I've made two exceptions to this. One was the synth leads to "The Fox (What Does the Fox Say?)" where I charted piano to keys and the lead synth to guitar. Though there I did so because I felt at the time it'd be even weirder to have piano on guitar, seeing as there's a keyboard peripheral. Though honestly looking back, I'm unsure whether or not I'd do that now, or if I'd flip them. The second was "Ghosts 'n' Stuff" by deadmau5, where I charted the synth chords to keys and the leads to guitar. The reason I did that was because the chords appear more frequently, and I felt charting more to guitar than keys in a synth-based song would be a bit weird.

 

I hope this helped with at least a little of what you wanted to discuss!



#9 BassSinger313

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Posted November 27, 2016 - 06:17 AM

Last I knew, Magma DID prevent people from using 4-note chords, refusing to build the song if it sees any. And even if it doesn't, I still view it as unnecessary in Rock Band. Especially chords like GRBO, that just isn't even fun.

 

As for charting to intention vs. charting "accurately," I believe that charting to intention is the way to go. What that rule means, essentially, is if the instrument is playing a bit sloppy, and something that's meant to be straight 16ths (or anything like that) ends up sounding a bit sloppier when listening closely, you should instead chart that as 16ths, since it just plays better in the game, as opposed to spacing out the notes awkwardly. There are exceptions to this; for the guitar outro of "Ray of Light" by Madonna I charted things the way I did since the guitarist was essentially freestyling without tempo, and there was no static BPM at that point. But outside of situations like that, you want to chart to intention, as opposed to trying to sync up every MIDI note to sloppy playing.

 

As far as lane consistency goes, MagmaC3 actually doesn't enforce that rule, you can build songs without those lanes on all difficulties if you so choose. I used to do it with C3 releases, though after that I started just sticking to the "classic" formula. I definitely see the reason for the rule, though, and it's my personal opinion that either way is good.

 

As for alt-charting, I personally am all for it... as long as keys gets to play the more prominent/"lead-like" keyboard parts. Rock Band 3 is a game with a keyboard, and as such, my personal philosophy for songs without guitar is that keys should get leads first and foremost, and then whatever other instruments are left can go on guitar. I've done this quite a few times with my electronic songs (and with my Skrillex songs, I even went as far as to chart the bass drops to bass).

 

I think I've made two exceptions to this. One was the synth leads to "The Fox (What Does the Fox Say?)" where I charted piano to keys and the lead synth to guitar. Though there I did so because I felt at the time it'd be even weirder to have piano on guitar, seeing as there's a keyboard peripheral. Though honestly looking back, I'm unsure whether or not I'd do that now, or if I'd flip them. The second was "Ghosts 'n' Stuff" by deadmau5, where I charted the synth chords to keys and the leads to guitar. The reason I did that was because the chords appear more frequently, and I felt charting more to guitar than keys in a synth-based song would be a bit weird.

 

I hope this helped with at least a little of what you wanted to discuss!

I tested it out on Magma and see which notes are allowed. I'm not sure about the old versions, but the recent version of Magma allows any and all 3 note or 4 note chords. The only note it won't accept is 5 note chords. Furthermore, I have seen some custom songs in the database with 4 note chords or 3 note rare chords, however as the title implies, they are pretty rare.

 

Lane consistency, I can't really say anything since I've charted my songs with all 5 frets on medium and easy. It seems the only time this rule doesn't apply is if in Expert, you use only 4 colors or 3 colors or etc. But if that's the case, then I think the freedom to choose between the two is perfectly fine. It's just whatever the user feels more comfortable for casual players.


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#10 atupomaruru

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Posted November 27, 2016 - 09:04 AM

I have used a GBO chord once in one of my older customs, for Jake Shimabukuro's ukulele cover of While My Guitar Gently Weeps. While I do think it did make sense in context – he keeps strumming one chord for several measures while descending on the base note at the same time, which I charted as BO, YBO, RBO, GBO – it does look kind of weird, and especially since it's awkward to play if you aren't using the solo buttons, I would certainly change it to something else were I to revisit that chart today.

 

I'm actually not wholly opposed to four note chords (of the GRYB or RYBO variant). Yes, they are incredibly gimmicky, but there a few, and very few indeed, cases where I feel it might be justified. I remember reading that Harmonix considered making the opening chord for A Hard Day's Night a four note chord, simply because that one chord is so famous, but ultimately decided against it. In a similar fashion I considered using four note chords somewhere in the legacy keys chart for the piano solo in Art of Life since it's so chaotic that it wouldn't be unthinkable to see them there. I didn't do it though since I couldn't find any spot where they felt right.

 

I agree with Gigakoops' points on alt charting. Personally I've been charting a lot of electronic music so I'm used to diving synth parts into "guitar" and "keys", with lead parts usually ending up on keys. It may be because my main instrument to play is pro keys, but for those songs I often end up charting the keys first, picking parts such that the pro keys chart ends up as enjoyable to play as possible, and then making a guitar chart from the remaining parts. Consistency is key if you want your custom to feel right though; don't chart the same instrument to guitar for one part of the song and then to keys for another. Anyway it usually works out pretty well, since different parts are fun to play on guitar and keys. Fast arpeggios and scales for example are usually just a pain to try and play on pro keys, but can be really fun on guitar. On the other hand parts with a lot of chords tend not the be too exciting on guitar, while they often are surprisingly fun to play on pro keys.

 

For the most part though, if there is an actual guitar playing, it's probably best to stick with that for the guitar chart. There are definitely cases where you could go against that say if two instruments that would usually go on keys are both playing exciting parts, for example as a duet but as a general rule of thumb I'd stick to putting non-guitar stuff on keys. (With the exception of say, banjo, shamisen and other guitar-like instruments.)







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