The Nitty Gritty

But more than all of those I am an entertainer. I carry around a ukulele with me for the same reason a gangster carries a gun; better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it. Stage or sidewalk, Your Pal Pete shows are just where they happen.
Currently, I'm working on a musical, RagnaPOP(or she's got the bomb), set to premiere at this year's Capital Fringe Festival. I'm also working on music, comedy, and musical comedy; for kids and/or adults.
The fruit of these projects will be available on this site, so check back regularly!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Reasons Guitar Hero is better than really playing guitar.

I've been playing guitar for 22 years and playing with other people in bands almost that long, but this means nothing when I strap on the guitar controller for the wildly popular Guitar Hero videogames. The first song I played was "You Really Got Me", which I know on the regular guitar; I tried to do what the game required to truly "ROCK OUT!", but my finger muscle memory moved my fingers to a G to A riff instead of red button to green button. This resulted in strangled strings, almost instantaneous booing from the audience and disapproving head shakes from my bandmates. Brutal. Affectations like pointing the guitar skyward and hitting the whammy bar are ways to earn points in the game; with the real guitar playing it just makes you look like a member of Ratt or knock your guitar out of tune(respectively).

I don't have any problem with Guitar Hero as a musician, although I'm sure that some do; it's easy to imagine a nation of 9-year olds kicking the asses of their "real" guitar playing relatives. It's based on guitar playing like any "fact-based" movie that's "Based on a true story"; The good stuff has been tarted up to the point of being almost unrecognizable and the boring stuff has been eliminated. Trust me, being a musician has A LOT of boring stuff; The onscreen avatars in the game even reflect this, throwing and spinning their guitars more than actually strumming them.
Anyway, on with the list:
1.Practice, Practice, Practice. In GH there is none, thankfully. There is the practicing of the instrument itself, with me there in the writing of the song as well; then there is the practicing with other people, which is it's own kind of nightmare. When a band really gels, there is nothing like it, but if things aren't going well it's almost like an amplified bout of constipation that lasts 2-3 hours.
2. Logistics of the gigs. Loading in gear, loading out gear, getting the shit there, getting YOU there; I could tell countless horror stories about all of those things, not to mention what to do if your shit doesn't work or gets stolen in the process. In GH, you just fire up the 'ol console. Another advantage: you can use your intoxicant of choice without arguing who's going to drive home.
3. You don't have to listen to other bands. One of the most unfortunate things about bands is that there are more cool ones than good ones. My aversion to lying once led me to say to a band, "You guys travel light!"
4. Built-in audience. I spent a lot of my time when I played in a band promoting; getting shows, printing and distributing fliers and networking at every opportunity. This let to many people recognizing my band's name, but not to people actually going to our shows. GH audiences are always stacked, packed, and racked (as my nightclub promoter boss used to say). The is a price to be paid for their availablity though; thank God I never played for an audience as expecting of perfection as in this videogame, I would have booed off many a stage.

5. The money. As in, there is none. At least with Guitar Hero, you aren't expecting to get any.
Rush-guitar hero style:

No comments: