Pro Guitar Update
I’ve finished Medium. Even the “Nightmare/Impossible” songs aren’t much harder, although your hand moves around the fretboard for the melody. Yoshimi (and King George) were much harder, since you had chords.
I’ve tried all of the “Hard” warmup songs — power chords now use three strings and … the pinky. That took a bit of work, but wasn’t bad. (Ironic Archer — “Hooray!”) Hard also introduces Barre chords, and I can’t do those at speed at all, so I’m unlikely to finish the set anytime soon. Actually, I’m having a really tough time doing those at all. (A Barre chord, in case you haven’t played the guitar, involves putting your first finger across most/all of the strings and pressing them down, then playing 2-3 notes with other fingers. It’s amazingly easy to not press one string, say if it falls in the crook of a knuckle. And needless to say, it’s a whole new world of callus generation. My finger hurts, again).
I’m actually practicing the guitar. I’m paying (vague) attention to the TaoLing’s newly started guitar lessons, and I’ve ordered a book on finger exercises. May help, couldn’t hurt. That’s the point, so far. After defeating a hard song, I plugged my guitar into the amp and played the chord structure. Still missing notes, but it’s a zeroeth order approximation of the song.
Beating a song in Rock Band only means that I’m hitting 60-90% of the strings semi-cleanly. Training mode indicates that the controller can be strict and accurate with regards to hitting a string outside of the intended fret. That’s really easy to do on a Barre chord and for a while I thought the trainer was wrong but when I plugged into the amp and tried the chord, I realized I was only pressing down on 4 strings (crook of the knuckle). In medium the game will let it slide if you accidentally hit a 3rd string, or are close to the right fret, I’ve noticed. Hard seems stricter, and the trainer is very strict. If I’m not imagining it, a nice touch.
How many people play pro guitar? Not many. At my current score I’m in the Top ~7% of bands. There’s a big gap between the actual guitarists and the learners, of course. I doubt I’ll ever get in past the top 3%. (For comparison, beating almost all keyboard songs on hard barely got me in the Top 10%).