Little embellishments

Latest posts by Ed Park (see all)

Beatles Rock BandED PARK • “How is it different than…karaoke? I mean I once sang karaoke harmony on ‘You’re Gonna Lose That Girl,’ and it was definitely fun, but is this that much different? Oh? What’s that you say? Oh it’s about playing the instruments? Really? Is it that much fun to play that guitar-thing like it’s, I don’t know, Defender?

Isn’t the fun of playing this kind of music on an instrument, part of it anyway, being able to do it your own way, at your own pace, adding your own little embellishments and whatnot? Rock Band just seems so…totalitarian. There! I said it! Just looking at that stream of colored notes makes me anxious. It’s like being asked to monitor the production line at the Starburst factory! If I wanted to do that, I’d just watch Unwrapped…”

—Overheard (in my own brain)

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One Comment

  1. Avatar Michael wrote:

    It’s funny, Ed–at 5pm yesterday, I was playing Beatles on my guitar. At 9pm, I was playing Rockband. The two experiences were totally different, and while the Rockband one was mediated, I found it as intense and rewarding as my ritual butchering of Lennon/McCartney’s genius.

    Rockband has nothing to do with playing an instrument; as you say, it’s more like karaoke. I’ve yet to hear a professional singer bash people for enjoying karaoke. (Not that you were bashing.)

    In fact, Beatles Rockband might well be the cradle of the next Beatles. When my wife and I finished playing–two hours straight, with both of us needing to go to bed one and a half hours before–I said, “This makes me wanna get really good on guitar.” To which she replied, “It makes me wanna get really good on drums.”

    Do I wish Rockband taught you how to really play? Heck yeah. But as a game, it’s hugely fun, one of the most powerful ways to get inside the songs I’ve ever felt. And that’s fantastic, and a spur towards playing ’em for real, and making one’s own music, too.

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