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Guitar Hero vs. Real Guitar

PKP801PKP801 Registered User regular
edited December 2007 in Games and Technology
This originally started as an email to T&G, but I think I'm more interested in reader response.

I'd like to comment on the latest news postings about the potential for using the guitar hero/rock band controllers to produce and perform honest-to-goodness music. As both a classically trained pianist/percussionist and lifetime video gamer (Scorched Earth, anyone?) I'm not sure whether or not I'd be in favor of this.

I know first-hand how difficult it is to learn an instrument and how much dedication it takes to perfect that craft. But I also know how much dedication it takes to become a top-tier gamer. When you're dedicating yourself to something the line between 'work' and 'fun' gets very hazy indeed. When you're practicing in Guitar Hero are you still playing the game? Or have you crossed into actual work?

Thanks to my previous training, I've been able to pick up the guitar with relative ease. But that's because of a lifetime's work (I'm almost 25 and have over 30 years of cumulative musical training). The idea of someone being able to hit the 5 buttons and paddle and then modulate or fiddle with the output to make music kind of scares me, and in honesty I think that making the instrument easier lowers the bar for musicians everywhere. And we really don't need that bar lowered any more (Paris Hilton CD anybody?). I mean one of the reasons I started playing instruments to begin with is because it was such a challenge. It is what set me apart from the pack. Being able to pick up a guitar or drums at any function and not feeling like a hack is (imo) my reward for that lifetime of dedication. But nowadays when more people have GH than an actual guitar, are the gamers the new super-stars?

That's my opinions and thoughts at any rate, but I'm really interested in what other gamers, musicians and non-musicians have to say about this. If I come off as arrogant I don't mean to... I merely want to establish some credibility so I don't sound like I'm speaking out my ass. Anyways, I hope to hear from people about this.

-PKP

PKP801 on

Posts

  • NorayNoray Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    Hi, welcome, making a new topic as your first post is not a great idea. You are the third person to make a topic on this. If you stick around, use the search function first. Or, you know, scan the front page because it's right there.

    edit: http://forums.penny-arcade.com/showthread.php?t=43524

    Noray on
  • thorpethorpe Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    Wait... you're almost 25 but you have 30 years of musical experience?

    thorpe on
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • PKP801PKP801 Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    d'oh. thanks for the advice.

    PKP801 on
  • PKP801PKP801 Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    Yeah. 10 piano, 15 years drums and 4 or so vocal training. Almost adds up to 30. :p

    PKP801 on
  • PKP801PKP801 Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    Sorry, one last note: I'm specifically looking for thoughtful responses, and I'd really like this not to degenerate into "guitars are better" "no, video games are" or simulation vs reality. I'm worried that by turning the controller into an instrument it cheapens the value of people who have ACTUALLY learned to play the real thing.

    PKP801 on
  • SnowbeatSnowbeat i need something to kick this thing's ass over the lineRegistered User regular
    edited December 2007
    *sigh*

    We went over this about two days ago.

    Tycho is saying that, you know, the controller can be an instrument in its own right. Not as a usurper of the electric guitar, but as a totally new instrument. Your point is moot, as it's like saying "I think by learning how to play the trombone it cheapens the value of people who have learned how to play the trumpet."

    Tycho's point is their similarity as instruments extends only as far as their shape.

    Snowbeat on
    Q1e6oi8.gif
  • KhavallKhavall British ColumbiaRegistered User regular
    edited December 2007
    Snowbeat wrote: »
    *sigh*

    We went over this about two days ago.

    Tycho is saying that, you know, the controller can be an instrument in its own right. Not as a usurper of the electric guitar, but as a totally new instrument. Your point is moot, as it's like saying "I think by learning how to play the trombone it cheapens the value of people who have learned how to play the trumpet."

    Tycho's point is their similarity as instruments extends only as far as their shape.

    Not only that, but who fucking cares if someone learned guitar but now a newer, more efficient, easier instrument comes along? If the Guitar Hero controller could be used as a guitar and could actually sound like a guitar or have a tone that would work wherever a guitar would work, and it had the musicians that could play it better than real guitarists due to its ease, and it didn't have the problems associated with real guitars, I would fucking use that instrument.

    There's a reason De Gamba and Recorder and Baroque Cello are almost never used in contemporary music.

    Khavall on
  • BlueBlueBlueBlue Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    PKP801 wrote: »
    The idea of someone being able to hit the 5 buttons and paddle and then modulate or fiddle with the output to make music kind of scares me, and in honesty I think that making the instrument easier lowers the bar for musicians everywhere.

    This seems kind of elitist to me! An easier instrument means more people can make music with it.

    BlueBlue on
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  • FyreWulffFyreWulff YouRegistered User, ClubPA regular
    edited December 2007
    PKP801 wrote: »
    This originally started as an email to T&G, but I think I'm more interested in reader response.

    I'd like to comment on the latest news postings about the potential for using the guitar hero/rock band controllers to produce and perform honest-to-goodness music. As both a classically trained pianist/percussionist and lifetime video gamer (Scorched Earth, anyone?) I'm not sure whether or not I'd be in favor of this.

    I know first-hand how difficult it is to learn an instrument and how much dedication it takes to perfect that craft. But I also know how much dedication it takes to become a top-tier gamer. When you're dedicating yourself to something the line between 'work' and 'fun' gets very hazy indeed. When you're practicing in Guitar Hero are you still playing the game? Or have you crossed into actual work?

    Thanks to my previous training, I've been able to pick up the guitar with relative ease. But that's because of a lifetime's work (I'm almost 25 and have over 30 years of cumulative musical training). The idea of someone being able to hit the 5 buttons and paddle and then modulate or fiddle with the output to make music kind of scares me, and in honesty I think that making the instrument easier lowers the bar for musicians everywhere. And we really don't need that bar lowered any more (Paris Hilton CD anybody?). I mean one of the reasons I started playing instruments to begin with is because it was such a challenge. It is what set me apart from the pack. Being able to pick up a guitar or drums at any function and not feeling like a hack is (imo) my reward for that lifetime of dedication. But nowadays when more people have GH than an actual guitar, are the gamers the new super-stars?

    That's my opinions and thoughts at any rate, but I'm really interested in what other gamers, musicians and non-musicians have to say about this. If I come off as arrogant I don't mean to... I merely want to establish some credibility so I don't sound like I'm speaking out my ass. Anyways, I hope to hear from people about this.

    -PKP

    Yeah. We should totally keep the bar for making music impossibly high so that we can kill the one universal language we have so guitarists can feel like special little snowflakes.

    FyreWulff on
  • Fatty McBeardoFatty McBeardo Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    (I'm almost 25 and have over 30 years of cumulative musical training)

    lol wut


    Anyway.

    1) this thread has been done two other times.

    2) don't sign your posts.

    3) it's a game. most games take practice.
    The idea of someone being able to hit the 5 buttons and paddle and then modulate or fiddle with the output to make music kind of scares me, and in honesty I think that making the instrument easier lowers the bar for musicians everywhere.

    I've played guitar for 13 real years and I don't know what the fuck you're talking about, other than you're furthering the stereotype of "professional musicians" as pretentious jackoffs.

    Fatty McBeardo on
  • MonkeydryeMonkeydrye Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    It is eleteist, but not necessarily bad. The thing is, if someone takes the time to master something difficult, their accomplishment has its own merit. But that does mean that newer, easier things can't come along and allow people access.

    I played the French Horn for 7 years. Most people I talked to said that it was one of the most difficult mainstream brass instruments to play. Did that mean trumpets were cheapening my playing? And moreso, the Horn used to not have valves. You had to change notes using your hand and mouth alone. I actually learned to do it slightly and it was HARD. But valves came along and allowed easier access.

    To me, the more people can take an artform and make it accessable to others the better. Even someone who isn't that mucially inclined may have a good song up their sleeves. But if it takes 10 years for them to learn to play, they may never have the time or inclination to do so. And the world may lose out on a good song.

    On the same token, just because someone has played an instrument for 20 years doesn't mean that they have contributed anything. In my horn years, I never wrote 1 song. I never played my stuff in some new style. So I was basically regurgitating someone elses work. And usually not as well as someone else already could or did.

    In summation, if a platic guitar gets more people into music and art, that is a great thing.

    Monkeydrye on
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • VeeveeVeevee WisconsinRegistered User regular
    edited December 2007
    (I'm almost 25 and have over 30 years of cumulative musical training)

    lol wut


    Anyway.

    1) this thread has been done two other times.

    2) don't sign your posts.

    3) it's a game. most games take practice.

    4) props on using Escher as an avatar.

    Veevee on
  • SnowbeatSnowbeat i need something to kick this thing's ass over the lineRegistered User regular
    edited December 2007
    No offense guys, but keep the hostility at a minimum. I think PKP wanted to start a legitimate discussion, not start a "lol Guitar Hero wannabes" flamewar.
    Khavall wrote:
    Not only that, but who fucking cares if someone learned guitar but now a newer, more efficient, easier instrument comes along? If the Guitar Hero controller could be used as a guitar and could actually sound like a guitar or have a tone that would work wherever a guitar would work, and it had the musicians that could play it better than real guitarists due to its ease, and it didn't have the problems associated with real guitars, I would fucking use that instrument.

    There's a reason De Gamba and Recorder and Baroque Cello are almost never used in contemporary music.

    This is exactly the opposite of the message Tycho is trying to convey. His whole point is that if the Guitar Hero controller is considered an instrument, then it should be judged on its own merits, not compared unfavourably with a guitar.

    Snowbeat on
    Q1e6oi8.gif
  • PKP801PKP801 Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    Veevee wrote: »
    (I'm almost 25 and have over 30 years of cumulative musical training)

    lol wut


    Anyway.

    1) this thread has been done two other times.

    2) don't sign your posts.

    3) it's a game. most games take practice.

    4) props on using Escher as an avatar.

    Thanks VeeVee! I appreciate that!

    PKP801 on
  • KhavallKhavall British ColumbiaRegistered User regular
    edited December 2007
    Snowbeat wrote: »
    No offense guys, but keep the hostility at a minimum. I think PKP wanted to start a legitimate discussion, not start a "lol Guitar Hero wannabes" flamewar.
    Khavall wrote:
    Not only that, but who fucking cares if someone learned guitar but now a newer, more efficient, easier instrument comes along? If the Guitar Hero controller could be used as a guitar and could actually sound like a guitar or have a tone that would work wherever a guitar would work, and it had the musicians that could play it better than real guitarists due to its ease, and it didn't have the problems associated with real guitars, I would fucking use that instrument.

    There's a reason De Gamba and Recorder and Baroque Cello are almost never used in contemporary music.

    This is exactly the opposite of the message Tycho is trying to convey. His whole point is that if the Guitar Hero controller is considered an instrument, then it should be judged on its own merits, not compared unfavourably with a guitar.


    I don't believe I was giving Tychos opinion, nor was I comparing it unfavorably. I was adding to your statement, which was Tychos opinion, and showing another reason why it's dumb to shoot the GH controller down as an instrument.

    If you have a GH controller as an instrument, it's not a new instrument, really you just have a new input for a synthesizer. Now if you're going to be using that to simulate a guitar, then you damn well better be able to come close. When I play keyboard I'm playing a "Different instrument" than piano, but I'll be damned if I'm going to play a keyboard for a performance that is on a piano patch if it doesn't sound like a piano and works in a more cumbersome way than a piano. It's the same with a GH controller, except you're changing the input to something else.

    His point was that it's a separate instrument, yes, but that doesn't mean that if you use it as a guitar to sound like a guitar and it sucks ass at doing that that it's ok because it's a different instrument. A trumpet makes a shitty guitar which is why you never use trumpet as a stand in for a guitar.

    If the GH controller made a good synthesizer input I'd use it as a synthesizer. I doubt any control scheme with that controller could offer more flexibility than a keyboard as a synth input. If the GH controller were used as a synth input it would most likely be used as a guitar analog, so it's fine to compare the two.

    Khavall on
  • VeeveeVeevee WisconsinRegistered User regular
    edited December 2007
    PKP801 wrote: »
    Veevee wrote: »
    (I'm almost 25 and have over 30 years of cumulative musical training)

    lol wut


    Anyway.

    1) this thread has been done two other times.

    2) don't sign your posts.

    3) it's a game. most games take practice.

    4) props on using Escher as an avatar.

    Thanks VeeVee! I appreciate that!

    [rant]Why does everyone capitalize the second V? Is it capitalized in my name? Did I miss that when Signing up for everything? Every single fucking person has done it and I can't figure out why.[/rant]

    Veevee on
  • FaceballMcDougalFaceballMcDougal Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    PKP801 wrote: »
    Sorry, one last note: I'm specifically looking for thoughtful responses, and I'd really like this not to degenerate into "guitars are better" "no, video games are" or simulation vs reality. I'm worried that by turning the controller into an instrument it cheapens the value of people who have ACTUALLY learned to play the real thing.

    Seriously... get over yourself. I know you don't WANT to sound arrogant... but you are.

    25 years old... goodness... and the wisdom is just flowing already isn't it?

    If you were actually any good then would you really be worried about someone creating better music than you with less "training"?

    Holy shit...

    I've been singing for 20 years... and I'm really just 'above average'... and I'm out of practice (I have very little natural talent... but it is there). But I know people who have been singing for FOURTY years and STILL suck. Then there's my grandfather and his brother (singing is kinda in the family)... they both did church choirs, theatre etc... one ended up singing in local groups... the other... the New York Metropolitan Opera (yes that one). So guess what... amount of 'training' means nothing and you should know this. Talent can be nurtured sure... but talent (in general) is often the critical component.

    If I were you... I'd be worried about someone being a better musician with any old crazy instrument, or even a plastic bucket... and stop worrying that a plastic guitar might cheapen your 'experience' and 'training'.

    FaceballMcDougal on
    xbl/psn/steam: jabbertrack
  • MonoxideMonoxide Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited December 2007
    We've already got a thread where people are talking about this here:

    http://forums.penny-arcade.com/showthread.php?t=43524

    Monoxide on
This discussion has been closed.