As a kid, playing Guitar Hero was like having an entire stadium full of adoring fans cheering you on. It was the video game equivalent of being able to play the guitar for real — except you could do it with friends in your PJs, instead of having to practice for hours and hours. But mastering Guitar Hero isn’t as simple as it seems at first blush. You may have gotten your friends together or dusted off your old plastic guitar to try and make yourself into the next Eric Clapton or Jimmy Page. So without further ado, here are five tips that will help you get better at Guitar Hero:
1. Get the song list in your head first.
Get the song list in your head first.
This is not just a matter of knowing the songs, it’s knowing where the upcoming notes are and when to expect them. You need to know this so that you can anticipate what is coming next and make sure you’re ready for it. Knowing the song list will also help with anticipating when notes might be changing up so that you can change strategies before they do.
2. “Pump It up” while you play.
As you play the game, try to play along with the music in your head. This will help you learn how to read a song and how it’s put together. If you get stuck on a certain part, ask someone who is good at guitar hero to help you out or watch their screen while they play so that you can see what they are doing.
You can also get better at playing by playing with other people: either another person who has played before or a friend who doesn’t mind watching as well. Using this method will also improve your coordination skills as well as provide an opportunity for some friendly competition!
Lastly, if none of those options work for you then just start jamming out alone; sometimes all it takes is getting used to hearing yourself play over top of the background track (or even just playing along with yourself)
3. Understand the guitar controller’s layout, and memorize the buttons.
- Understand the guitar controller’s layout. The buttons on the guitar controller are very easy to learn and memorize, but it’s important to understand how they work in order to get good at them.
- Memorize button combinations. The game has a lot of different button combinations, so memorizing these will help you play more effectively in certain modes.
- Understand strumming styles and note types. Knowing this information is helpful when playing on higher difficulty levels because you’ll be able to identify what notes are coming up next while they’re still far off from your current location on-screen (whereas without knowing this information you would have no way of knowing).
- Understand difficulty levels and modes/play styles/etcetera
4. Don’t over-analyze the game’s scoring system.
You might be tempted to study the scoring system, but it’s not worth it. Your goal should be to play the game and have fun. The scoring system is there so that you can compare your performance with other players, but if you are focused on getting a high score or a perfect rating in each song, then you’re going to miss out on all of the other things that make Guitar Hero fun.
5. Don’t be afraid to downshift in difficulty, or walk before running.
- Don’t be afraid to downshift in difficulty. It’s okay to play on a lower difficulty level, or even easier than that. If you’re having fun playing a song, there’s no reason not to enjoy it by playing it at an easy or medium level. Who cares if your score is lower than other people’s?
- Don’t be afraid to play songs you like on easy or medium difficulty levels! You might find yourself enjoying your favorite songs more than the ones you were attempting before because they weren’t too difficult and they sounded good while playing them.
Getting good at Guitar Hero is a lot easier and more straightforward than it seems at first blush — and there are plenty of rewards along the way to mastering it.
Yes, you can do it. If you’re like me, and you don’t have rock star parents who taught you how to play the guitar at age 5, this might not be easy for you. But here are some tips that will help:
The first step is to get the song list in your head. You won’t be able to keep track of time if all those notes are flying by without leaving a lasting impression! The second step is to “pump it up” while you play — Guitar Hero is supposed to be fun! If you try too hard and get frustrated too quickly, then there’s no way this game is going to work out for anyone involved (including yourself). Thirdly (and most importantly) understand the guitar controller’s layout and memorize the buttons on it so that when they pop up on screen they’re as familiar as breathing or blinking an eye once every second.”
We’ve only really scratched the surface here — Guitar Hero is a massive subject. Look for more articles on this site exploring the game from all sorts of angles, whether it’s looking at what makes a great rhythm game or delving into some of the best songs featured in past and present Guitar Hero games.