Saturday, November 20, 2010

An Update Regarding Youtube and Rock Band Videos

Hey everybody! I know, I know, it's been ages since I last posted an update. Today I hope to make up a little bit for it though, or at least explain my absence.

After starting to blog for (blogging under my first name, Heather) I kind of decided that was a better platform for all my game related blogs. It's neater, nicer and definitely more awesome being wordpress and all and with its own domain etc. So this blog has become a bit more of my own personal sanctuary I guess. It's where I can express myself in a "less professional" manner if I choose to do so, be a little more personal and in the first person.

Today I posted a video on youtube (I'll include it at the end of this entry) to explain my lack of videos lately. I wanted to express many things, but I was rushed, the quality was crap and I kind of lost my train of thought to where I ended up rambling at some point.

In order to express all I wanted to I'm going to include this link in my video. It's really important I get everything out and in the manner I would have LIKED to do in the first place.

So what's up with the lack of videos lately?

In all honesty it's been a pretty busy last month or so.

I started lyrical (think classical/opera) singing lessons near the end of September. I LOVE them, my teacher is awesome and I am having so much fun. I regret ever being afraid of singing in front of others and never pursuing this sooner, so many years I have wasted over a silly fear. To anyone who has ever considered singing lessons but is too scared or worried they are too old, DON'T. Go out and do what you want to NOW. You will LOVE it.

Aside from that I've actually been sick on and off, a sore throat is not the best for singing and it seemed every time I had a chance to record something I was sick. That sucked.

But other than that, I just suck at the game. If you've seen twitter lately or even my "Emo Post About How I Suck" over on the Team Cena forums you've heard a bit of this already.

It seems to me that the more singing lessons I have taken the worse I have become at Rock Band. I'd try to FC songs and actually get progressively WORSE at it rather than better. Unable to FC anything, I never uploaded a video. I saw no reason to upload anything OTHER than an FC, no one wants to see someone getting less than 100% on expert. Right?

What's the Deal?

Man I wish I knew. You'd think I'd become better with singing lessons, but apparently not, or at least not according to Rock Band.

I've done some thinking as to the causes of my strife lately: "Perhaps it is because it is impossible to sound good while FCing songs is vocals?" but that was quickly ruled false when you consider some great RB vocalists on youtube like Lammy, PinkPixy, Brunaleski (I don't care if she hasn't posted in a while, she is AWESOME), Dogfood and many others that just because I forgot to mention them doesn't mean they aren't good.

Dylan (DpritchXVI) suggested that perhaps I needed to project more, but that couldn't be true either. Since doing lyrical singing I can project my voice EXTREMELY well (and I was never quiet in the past either) to where it is too loud for a room & causes hell for me on Rock Band.

Maybe lyrical singing was a problem? I think in part yes. It is just way too loud for my Rock Band mic to handle. I was trying to record Amberian Dawn songs, and lyrical made the most sense, sounded best and is the best way to sing those songs vocally without straining your voice or sound like someone is "choking" you when it is out of your range (if you know what I'm referencing don't mention it here, I'm not trying to make fun of anyone, even if it sounded painful, it is just prove a point).  But even so, there was just something not quite right.

Maybe it's because I started feeling this way after Rock Band 3 came out because I haven't FCed a single RB3 song. That's in part due to the fact that I don't know half the songs in the list. Nor do I like them. Flaming Lips, Rehab, Paramore, they can all go DIAF. They SUCK. I understand why the songs are there, I know that some can maybe be fun on an instrument and the game needs to appease the majority, but it's hard to play songs you can't stand.
So yeah, this adds to my difficulties. If I don't like a song I'm not inspired to learn it, and if I don't learn it, I can't FC it. Very true.. but that didn't explain why I can't FC older songs anymore either recently....

And then it hit me.

It was one of the very first lessons (I've had about eight 30 minute lessons so far), my teacher said something to me that struck me. "You're not using your voice,".

"Don't put your voice in the back of your throat," she said. I tried again doing what she said and she said to me "THAT is your voice".

She was right, I was caught. It really surprised me that she noticed, but it reaffirmed my belief that she is a great teacher. (You should hear her sing, AMAZING).

I have been putting my voice in the back of my throat for YEARS. It's something I started doing in highschool. I started doing it because people complained I was too "squeaky". On Xbox Live guys told me my voice was "annoying". I often got called a boy etc. So I started lowering my voice by talking in the back of the throat and it became subconscious.

So basically, I've been singing incorrectly for years because this bad habit leaked into that as well. Everything I've ever sung even on Rock Band as been in the back of the throat (very BAD for your vocal cords by the way).

My guess is now I have to "re-learn" how to sing with my TRUE voice, and that isn't making for great Rock Band scores either.

Screw It.

I give up. I'm not one of the best vocalists out there, I never have been and I probably never will be, so why go on as if I only ever get FCs? Lord knows I spend more time stuck at 99% than anyone else and I'm tired of hauling my big ass PC to the living room/X Box and ending with a tired voice and nothing to show for it.

Now with having to re-learn how to use my voice properly this is just going to be even more of a problem. I honestly hate score whoring (not to mention I'm bad at it), I'm tired of rage quiting Rock Band and cursing at myself, the tv and the game for it too (I know my husband is sick of hearing me drop the F bomb 500 times while playing, he has said so himself). I'm tired of wanting to throw my controller on the floor and obliterate it into a million pieces. I'm tired of feeling like shit.

The Decision

We play games because it is fun, why else would it be a game? Some people are good enough to make a profession out of it (I wonder do they often get mad at games they play?), but when it gets to where it feels like a chore and it's not fun anymore what is the point? I know that is the typical argument for every person who has ever quit Guitar Hero or Rock Band in the rhythm gaming community (actually it is the argument for many things, often seen in MMORPGs), and that is not where I'm heading with this at all.

I spoke a little bit about it to David (Cena of Cena's Corner and owner of Team Cena) and Phil (aka Bear) Team Cena advisor and they brought up some valid points.
David mentioned that he almost never FCes anything but puts up videos anyway. He knows he isn't the best and doesn't claim to be, Bear is the same. David also recently threw it out there that he would do ANY song people requested of him (within reason) on Rock Band regardless or whether or not he FCed it and put it on youtube. It has gotten much positive response.

Bear brought up a good point too, I'm in Team Cena. Team Cena isn't about the best players (never was), it was always about the community. Despite the accusations we get for supposedly making Rock Band "too competitive" it's true that while some of us may be VERY good at it, there are some of us who aren't so great, but who cares?

So that's it. I'm getting some courage and I'm going to start putting videos out there that aren't FCs. There's no reason anyone should feel forced to post FCs only anyway. It's silly and all inherent to the competitive spirit that resides in every gamer (in my opinion).

So I'll start posting my crap. I'll always do my best though. I would LIKE to FC songs and I will work towards those goals (and post them when I get them), but that doesn't mean that I HAVE to FC it to be worthy of going up on my channel.

I hope it helps inspires others in the community to do the same.

PS: Much love to DogFood,Dpritch, BlitzThis, Cena, and Bear who have put up with my emo-ness, tried to help me with my Rock Band issues, and to help me feel better ♥

*Due to the fact that my style of singing doesn't work so hot in Rock Band I have decided to open up a new channel (to keep the gaming stuff separate). 
I intend to post covers of songs I like, songs I'm working on in my singing lessons or whatever else I feel like poking at. I hope to use it as a way to practice, gage my progress and find some constructive feedback that will help me to improve.


  1. Feels like it's time to bring back the old times, doesn't it? :)

    That old deal, screw the FC nazi's, do a solid run while still singing well. That's how you were doing, and I can't recall you pushing it THAT hard in those times. But of course, just in case you still get back to playing vocals. Don't take it too hard, or something that gave you fun might become one of the worst things on your life D:

    P.S.: Time and time again, high five for Paramore hating.

  2. @DutchZooRebel: I did actually start becoming FC obsessed. To me it wasn't good enough for me or anyone else if I didn't FC a song.
    I'm trying to get back to my roots.

    Also ♥ on the Paramore hate lol.

  3. I respect you about the FC-whoring part. But I feel like you could take two different behaviors when playing vocals: the one where you just want to FC the song without recording (which is definitely NOT the same as my behavior in this situation), and the one where you give your all on a song, but picking something doable to balance things out.

    Anyway, that's a suggestion. It's my two cents, and it's how I do o_O

  4. @DutchZooRebel: I did actually start becoming FC obsessed. To me it
    wasn't good enough for me or anyone else if I didn't FC a song.
    I'm trying to get back to my roots.

    Also ♥ on the Paramore hate lol.


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