Our friend Scott came over last night, and we spent the evening playing Rock Band 2; Miranda was, unfortunately, away at an overnight field trip, so we didn’t have a full band, but we did at least throw drums into the RB2 mix for the first time.

Lots of fun was had by all. Scott continued to do a quite respectable job on the drums—I think this was only his second time playing them, but he handled Normal with no problems and started dipping into Hard. I did find that the drums interfered with my guitar playing occasionally during the tricky bits, though: they’re pretty loud, and sometimes the rhythm of his playing interfered with the rhythm of my playing. Maybe we should have solved that by turning up the volume; eventually I found another solution, namely picking up the drum sticks myself and letting Scott play guitar. Which had both good and bad aspects: good in that my skills hadn’t slipped, I was still able to do most of the songs on Hard (and tried a few easy ones on Expert), but bad in that there remain significant holes in the basic mechanics of my drum playing. In particular, I’m definitely doing something wrong with my left hand (my best guess is that I’m double-tapping), because I would fall out of streaks even though everything sounded good to me. (And Scott had given convincing evidence that it’s not a problem with the hardware, since he’d gotten noticeably longer streaks than I’d managed.) Also, my leg started aching after a while, so I’m fairly sure that I need to work on my motion there.

Liesl was doing quite well on the bass, and she started trying out Hard difficulty instead of Normal. Some of the fast songs got to be a bit much for her on that level; I’m sure she’ll get used to it, but I’m also thinking the guitar she was using (the RB1 one) probably has something to do with those problems, because I know I can’t play fast songs on that guitar anywhere near as well as I can on the GH3 guitar. Maybe I’ll go and buy a RB2 guitar one of these days? If it works well, I could use it myself and let Liesl use the GH3 guitar, since I would like to have a guitar that I can stand playing that has the solo buttons on it. Hmm, looking at the Amazon page for the guitar, it claims that they’ve improved the overdrive detection; I notice Liesl sometimes has difficulty activating that, so maybe that would be another reason to change guitars.

I am certainly looking forward to reprising the experience, hopefully with Miranda included. Playing the drums wasn’t quite enough of a nudge to knock me off of the guitar before I’ve gone rather farther with it, but it was a welcome reminder of how much fun the drums can be. Including how infuriating they can be: my brain (or leg) freezes up in situations where I wouldn’t break a sweat on the guitar, so I imagine there are several quite welcome feelings of accomplishment awaiting me as I make it past various skill plateaus.

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