Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Rocksmith Single Note Fun

Rocksmith's single note arrangements teach you how to play with control and finesse, so are great ways to improve your speed and technique. Often, and not surprisingly, the parts also teach you essential scale forms. When I play these single note arrangements, I focus on playing efficiently, with little wasted motion, and mute the strings I'm not playing with my right and left hand to play the line as cleanly as possible.

I also like to place my pinkie finger on the corner of my pickup, nice and relaxed, and keep it there as an anchor for my picking. I also use the middle and ring fingers, and the palm of my right hand, for muting.

I really like these two songs, and they're pretty easy to learn, which is why Rocksmith encourages you to play them right away. Master the essential pentatonic scale by playing these riffs:

  • THE DEAD WEATHER: I Can't Hear You
  • THE BLACK KEYS: Next Girl

These songs teach you how to mute strings while you are riffing, too.

For a song that's not really in any scale know to mankind, try:

  • NIRVANA: In Bloom

This song is an excellent example of a "leading tone" line, where grace notes and chromatic runs create a powerful sense of tension as the guitar and bass march in thunderous unison. In fact, the single note part in Rocksmith, minus the solo, of course, is basically the bass line, possibly with one or two minor variants. Single note means learning the solo for "In Bloom." I think this solo is brilliant and well worth the effort, but I'm stuck at 80% mastery right now.

Interestingly enough, In Bloom is also part of RockBand (1), so I've learned to sing it reasonably well, and could probably combine both Rocksmith and RockBand to learn this whole song (minus the drums, sadly).

Songs I'm working on in single note arrangements, but still need to polish

  • LITTLE BARRIE: Surf Hell - I love this tune!
  • CREAM: Sunshine Of Your Love
  • RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS: Higher Ground (this is no longer listed on the Rocksmith site!)
  • THE ROLLING STONES: (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction
The Riff Repeater is a great way to master sections that are giving you trouble in Single note arrangements. I usually start with the Leveler, and then use the other options if I'm really stuck. 

What are your favorite single note lines in Rocksmith? Which songs are the easiest to learn? Are there parts that are especially difficult to play? Please comment below.