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Archives for Music

returning to guitar

Through this fall or winter, I’d been playing Rocksmith for a couple of hours every Saturday and Sunday, but I’d been falling off in the last few months: partly because Saturday Tai Chi ate into my time, partly because I felt like playing guitar was putting stress on my back, and partly because my playing […]

listening to music

My tastes in music delivery mechanisms are conservative. My music listening habits were established at a time when music sharing meant passing around cassette tapes, and I was straightlaced enough to not even do much of that; CDs appeared when I started having enough money to buy albums, and I stuck with that for close […]

guys and dolls

(This was originally going to be a followup comment in a Facebook discussion with Roger Travis and Joan Pepin, but it started getting long and I don’t blog nearly enough these days, so I figured make it still longer and stick it here instead.) A few weeks ago, I was rolling my eyes at Luck […]

clapping music

There’s a game out now that has you play through Steve Reich’s composition Clapping Music. Pleasant to play through: it took me a couple of tries to figure out what they were asking for, but once I got the feel for it, I enjoyed the music, and I got a lot more out of the […]

one more rocksmith 2017 request

One item that I forgot to add to my earlier list of requests for the next version of Rocksmith: help us get low-latency audio. The game strongly encourages you to use optical audio; and, when I switched over to that, it made a big difference. But there’s a reason why I didn’t switch to optical […]

rocksmith audio

One of the problems people have with Rocksmith is the audio delay, but it hadn’t been too bad for me in the past: I’m not sure if I’m less sensitive to audio delay than other people, or if my receiver has a little less audio latency than some people’s AV setup? When I switched over […]


This week’s Rocksmith DLC was a collection of classical music arranged for guitars / bass / drums; I wasn’t sure what I’d think about it in advance, but I gave it a try yesterday and it was a lot of fun! I was worried that it would be over the top, trying to turn classical […]

rocksmith 2014 second impressions

It’s been a couple of months since my first impressions of Rocksmith 2014, so time for some second impressions. First, my overall feeling about the game: my current feeling is that it’s a great game, and potentially an important one. Not necessarily important as a game so much: what I like about it so much […]

love hurts

Just to preempt confusion: this blog post is about the song Love Hurts (by Incubus), as experienced through Rocksmith, it is not about any non-musical personal experience! So, if you’re a friend of mine, no need to worry: I won’t take a stand on to what extent love can be a painful experience, but I […]

rocksmith 2014 first impressions

I’ve had a weekend with Rocksmith 2014 now; and my initial take is that it’s subtly better than its predecessor in a few interesting ways. I spent most of my time in the original game going through the Events that it gives you: a collection of songs each of which has a target score, so […]


In the past, my habit has been to only write my main post about a game when I stop playing it. That makes sense for the vast majority of games that I play; but for games that I play for month after month, that I would play in perpetuity if a sequel wasn’t released, that […]

pro bending

My guitar playing—my relationship to/with my guitar, really—has continued to change over the last few months. A lot of that is a steady drip of improvement, but my feelings towards bending strings have been a bit more of a state change. Bending strings was probably the most significant technique that Rock Band 3 didn’t model […]

rock band 3

This is going to a hard post to write. Normally, I play a game, finish it, and write about it here; but I’ve been playing Rock Band 3 for more than two years, and I’ve been playing one game in the series or another constantly since the first game came out back in 2007. So […]

taking stock of time

Every so often, I get somewhat dissatisfied with an aspect of how I’m spending my time; these days, it generally involves rethinking the way small actions fill time. I’m in the middle of one of those periods right now; it was kicked off by me running into a thought-provoking article about (temporarily) quitting Twitter right […]

games and guitar learning

I’ve been playing Rock Band in whatever its current incarnation is pretty much every weekend since the first iteration of the series came out. At first, I liked playing fake plastic guitars and was curious about drums (and, to a lesser extent, singing), and I enjoyed having people with good musical taste select songs for […]

the voice

I have not been playing a lot of games recently. Part of this is that my weekend video game time is almost entirely taken up with Rock Band 3 and Rocksmith; part of it is that we’re watching more movies than we used to and we’re going through Deep Space 9 as well; part is […]

rock band blitz

I basically spent one long afternoon playing Rock Band Blitz. I went through all the songs, unlocked all the power-ups, earned three quarters of the achievements, challenged a few friends, completed some of the goals from the Facebook app. So: a long afternoon, and a pleasant one! But, after that afternoon, I didn’t really feel […]

next steps on the guitar

I’ve been going through the songs in Rock Band 3 on Expert Pro Guitar for seven months now; it’s been an interesting journey. At the start of that period, I could feel my way around a guitar and play basic chords, but I wasn’t nearly as comfortable as I’d like; to be honest, that’s arguably […]

games and my soul

I’ve always been an unconventional video games blogger, because of the low volume of games that I find time to play, but that’s become much more the case over the last year. I was surprised to look at my recently played games list and realize that I didn’t finish any games for five months solid […]

i would seem to be excessively sedated

During this week’s Rock Band practice, the song I spent the most time with was I Wanna Be Sedated. Like I Love Rock and Roll, it’s filled with simple power chord progressions, and after that earlier song, I thought I understood the basics of power chords reasonably well. Music with a lot of power chords […]