The entry level to learning and making music keeps being lowered. When Guitar Hero first came out you read articles questioning if it would ever really make you any better or help you learn the real guitar. Guitar Hero: World Tour has arrived at E3, and looking at the second video you can see they’ve come up with a fairly intuitive design that allows you to use chords for the rhythm guitar (skip ahead to the 4:40 mark) – although only one key at a time. BUT you can make your own chord settings, and with up to 7 at a time – which should cover 95% of all songs out there. In addition to that the controller has been completely revamped, it has an elongated touch pad that replaces the “soloist keys” of the Guitar Hero 3 guitars, and gives you a lot more options in a variety of ways that it sounds like they’re still exploring. To top that off it has a full on MIDI editor so you can really compose music. I guess also you’ll be able to upload your music to share as well. I see the second generation of this working out a lot better but we can always keep our fingers crossed I suppose.
In the mood for a little guitar today – pulled out the guitar and was looking for some tracks to play my guitar over. Turns out the correct google term is “backing tracks“. I found a couple of sites, but this one was the best with almost no ads, and a very usable interface. As a bonus, you can download the tracks as MP3s to play on your iPod later (my amp has a “line in” jack for this exact purpose as do most modern practice amps) and play along with. In addition to their Jam Tracks they have backing tracks for a bunch of modern and popular music. For basic practice I grabbed the best three MP3 backing tracks and posted them here:
- Blues backing in Am (Blues you can play your Am pentatonic scale to)
- BB King style blues (just play notes D11, G9, G11, e12 and bent notes on the G string over this in various patterns)
- Classic blues shuffle – The classic.
I like playing the BB King style blues backing track the most. Good tune and in only an hour has really improved my improvisational abilities significantly.