Guitar Hero

Guitar Hero

Joined: October 11th, 2001, 7:22 pm

October 6th, 2009, 11:55 am #1

Two years ago while on vacation at my sisters, my son and I were introduced to the video game Guitar Hero. For those that dont know, it is a game that has songs that you play along with by following patterns of notes that scroll down the screen that are synchronized to the music. There are four levels of difficulty Easy, Medium, Hard, and Expert. Your score is based on a % of the notes you hit correctly. We both watched in amazement as my brother-in-law and nieces would complete song after song on the medium level with utter ease. For our part my son and I could barely get through a song on easy without getting booted from the stage. But over the course of the 10 days we were there, my son was able to progress so that he could complete most any song on medium and I was able to at least finish songs without getting booted. I bought him the game for his birthday, and he played everyday for several hours, and it wasnt long before he could handle the whole playlist on expert. For my part I continued to be able to pass songs on easy and when my % of notes hit 90% I began to try the playlist on medium. I couldnt complete a song. Of course I only played maybe two hours every two weeks.

Fast forward to this past weekend.I am now playing the playlist of songs on the medium level and hit 80% or above on most of the songs. It took me two years to get to where my son got in several months! Still I am there and the game is more fun now. Somehow, someway, over time the necessary skills and dexterity filtered into my playing so that I can execute at a higher level than I did two years ago.

I was thinking about this as it relates to where any of us are at with our golf swing and our game in general. It goes the same way. Some of us may be content to play on easy mode. Others are fine with medium. Some really take to it and wont settle for anything less than expert. Whatever you decide your need is, if you put in the work, you will get. Eventually, over time, if you practice the right things enough times, you will suddenly be hitting the ball 20 yards further than you ever have in your life. You will look back and say How did that happen? You will smile to yourself and say it wasnt really that big of a deal. You will remember that corny saying from your Tony Robbins book The pain of change is forgotten, after the benefits of change have been realized. Then you will be faced with another decision. Continue to play on medium, or try to get to expert? The beautiful thing about it is that either choice is okay, because you now have a better understanding of what it takes to get there, and a better appreciation for the journey. Rock on!
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Joined: April 22nd, 2004, 9:58 pm

October 6th, 2009, 12:30 pm #2

Most of us are playing "guitar hero" golf in that what we
do has only a passing resemblance to real golf. You will
never learn to play guitar by learning Guitar Hero and you
will never learn to play golf by reading Golf Digest or indulging
in thoughts for the day.

To learn guitar you need a real guitar and lots of time.
To learn golf you need something like Bertholy and lots of time.
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Joined: January 13th, 2001, 8:30 am

October 6th, 2009, 6:24 pm #3

Two years ago while on vacation at my sisters, my son and I were introduced to the video game Guitar Hero. For those that dont know, it is a game that has songs that you play along with by following patterns of notes that scroll down the screen that are synchronized to the music. There are four levels of difficulty Easy, Medium, Hard, and Expert. Your score is based on a % of the notes you hit correctly. We both watched in amazement as my brother-in-law and nieces would complete song after song on the medium level with utter ease. For our part my son and I could barely get through a song on easy without getting booted from the stage. But over the course of the 10 days we were there, my son was able to progress so that he could complete most any song on medium and I was able to at least finish songs without getting booted. I bought him the game for his birthday, and he played everyday for several hours, and it wasnt long before he could handle the whole playlist on expert. For my part I continued to be able to pass songs on easy and when my % of notes hit 90% I began to try the playlist on medium. I couldnt complete a song. Of course I only played maybe two hours every two weeks.

Fast forward to this past weekend.I am now playing the playlist of songs on the medium level and hit 80% or above on most of the songs. It took me two years to get to where my son got in several months! Still I am there and the game is more fun now. Somehow, someway, over time the necessary skills and dexterity filtered into my playing so that I can execute at a higher level than I did two years ago.

I was thinking about this as it relates to where any of us are at with our golf swing and our game in general. It goes the same way. Some of us may be content to play on easy mode. Others are fine with medium. Some really take to it and wont settle for anything less than expert. Whatever you decide your need is, if you put in the work, you will get. Eventually, over time, if you practice the right things enough times, you will suddenly be hitting the ball 20 yards further than you ever have in your life. You will look back and say How did that happen? You will smile to yourself and say it wasnt really that big of a deal. You will remember that corny saying from your Tony Robbins book The pain of change is forgotten, after the benefits of change have been realized. Then you will be faced with another decision. Continue to play on medium, or try to get to expert? The beautiful thing about it is that either choice is okay, because you now have a better understanding of what it takes to get there, and a better appreciation for the journey. Rock on!
Interesting post mcirishman.

It seems that anyone who puts the time in will improve at Guitar Hero? The game is intentionally setup to allow anyone to achieve a decent level of play by spending time on it. It seems to me that the same cannot be said for golf. I know people who work hard on their game for years and never seem to improve. I guess that is because golf is a little more complicated? Or maybe because it was invented by Scotsmen... Or maybe Guitar Hero is more learnable because there are no instructional videos, books and magazines explaining how to move your fingers and hold the guitar correctly and so on! It is more process of discovery and fun? Or maybe the problem is that in golf there are many ways to swing that can work on some level while in guitar hero the correct movements are more obvious and simple to the point that most anyone does it correctly without thinking about it?

Of course on the other hand maybe the 'working hard on the golf game' that I mentioned above is not really putting in the time required. Possibly any hack who golfed 8 hours a day would improve to become a good player after a period time. What do you think?

Regards, Herbert
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Joined: October 11th, 2001, 7:22 pm

October 6th, 2009, 7:41 pm #4

You didn't read carefully my post!

I said "Eventually, over time, if you PRACTICE THE RIGHT THINGS ENOUGH TIMES....."

I think that guitar hero requires learned technique and skill...and that no two players go at it the exact same way...just like golf..though in a general way they all look the same as they play.

I think the Buddhists are dead on when they say that anything you focus on in your life becomes stronger...hence my son rising to expert level vs me only achieving medium level. My son simply exerted more focus in a shorter period of time.

I think there is a frame of reference for correct motion in a golf swing that is absolute (works every time and is universal to all good swings)and can be learned by anyone who chooses to. It is absolute enough in that it is found in all great swings, yet free enough so as to accommodate for all manner of body types, playing styles and swing methods.

I think that the mainstream golf instruction community ( mainly PGA and golf pubs)has duped the golf community at large into buying into the fact that the golf swing is complex (re-read your post again - it comes through even in some of what you say)...when really, as Hogan said in Five Fundamentals....mastery of just a few things is all that is required to have a good swing. The golf swing is a learned manual dexterity just like anything else. Easy to prove this - I doubt there is ANYONE that posts on this board that is as bad today as they were the first months they picked up a club. Why any of us haven't moved beyond where we are currently at is only because we have chosen not too.

I think mainstream golf instruction for the most part has ignored the science of how humans learn that exists outside of golf. The way we learn best is the way we learn best...that doesn't change because it is a golf swing!

I think way to little attention has been placed on the mental emotional aspect of the game for Joe average golfer...though in recent years there has been much more focus on this by tour pros...but even that falls short of the mark most of the time.

I think you are dead on that with golf there is a great variety of things that work "on some level", and that most all players are looking for that quixotic one thing that works, and like the song says they are "looking for love in the wrong places". As evidence for that look no further than this very forum.

I think any human of average intelligence and physical ability, given enough time can figure out most anything. That's what makes us human. So yes any hack can become a good player.

But I think there are better ways than others to go about figuring things out...and that if one avails himself of the better ways, it will not take any hack anywhere close to eight hours a day to become a "good player".

I think all analogies breakdown, and that you learning golf is particularly prone to the "paralysis by analysis" syndrome.

I think some of the wisest words ever written about learning the golf swing, often quoted by Moe were those of Bertholy in his "Ode to Golf":

"A man may lie, cheat and steal for gain, but these will never gain the golf swing. To gain the golf swing, A MAN MUST WORK."

In learning the golf swing, we should "work smarter, not harder!"
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Joined: January 13th, 2001, 8:30 am

October 6th, 2009, 8:03 pm #5

Thanks for a very well thought out post!

I think that there is another difference between Guitar Hero and golf and that is interesting. Let's say that a guy gets pretty good at Guitar Hero and can play like the dickens in his living room with nobody around. Then he gets setup by his girlfriend who thinks he is really cool to play for her family who he gas never met. She told them how great he was at guitar hero and now there is now way out but to play and not make an idiot of himself. So if this guy is like most folks he is going to be really nervous about playing but when he actually gets started he might start out a little slowly with a mistake or two but his choke impulse will be overcome as the notes start coming fast and his concentration rises and there is no time for thinking. So he will play well and make his girlfriend proud! Afterwords while basking in the glory he will think how easy it was and how he really could have done this or that a little better... Golf is different imho in that you have a lot more time to think between shots and there is plenty of time to get cement elbow.

LOL my post is a pretty good advertisement for Clear Key no?

BTW should that have been 'who' or 'whom' he has never met??? I am to lazy to look it up...

Regards, Herbert
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Joined: January 13th, 2001, 8:30 am

October 6th, 2009, 9:46 pm #6

You didn't read carefully my post!

I said "Eventually, over time, if you PRACTICE THE RIGHT THINGS ENOUGH TIMES....."

I think that guitar hero requires learned technique and skill...and that no two players go at it the exact same way...just like golf..though in a general way they all look the same as they play.

I think the Buddhists are dead on when they say that anything you focus on in your life becomes stronger...hence my son rising to expert level vs me only achieving medium level. My son simply exerted more focus in a shorter period of time.

I think there is a frame of reference for correct motion in a golf swing that is absolute (works every time and is universal to all good swings)and can be learned by anyone who chooses to. It is absolute enough in that it is found in all great swings, yet free enough so as to accommodate for all manner of body types, playing styles and swing methods.

I think that the mainstream golf instruction community ( mainly PGA and golf pubs)has duped the golf community at large into buying into the fact that the golf swing is complex (re-read your post again - it comes through even in some of what you say)...when really, as Hogan said in Five Fundamentals....mastery of just a few things is all that is required to have a good swing. The golf swing is a learned manual dexterity just like anything else. Easy to prove this - I doubt there is ANYONE that posts on this board that is as bad today as they were the first months they picked up a club. Why any of us haven't moved beyond where we are currently at is only because we have chosen not too.

I think mainstream golf instruction for the most part has ignored the science of how humans learn that exists outside of golf. The way we learn best is the way we learn best...that doesn't change because it is a golf swing!

I think way to little attention has been placed on the mental emotional aspect of the game for Joe average golfer...though in recent years there has been much more focus on this by tour pros...but even that falls short of the mark most of the time.

I think you are dead on that with golf there is a great variety of things that work "on some level", and that most all players are looking for that quixotic one thing that works, and like the song says they are "looking for love in the wrong places". As evidence for that look no further than this very forum.

I think any human of average intelligence and physical ability, given enough time can figure out most anything. That's what makes us human. So yes any hack can become a good player.

But I think there are better ways than others to go about figuring things out...and that if one avails himself of the better ways, it will not take any hack anywhere close to eight hours a day to become a "good player".

I think all analogies breakdown, and that you learning golf is particularly prone to the "paralysis by analysis" syndrome.

I think some of the wisest words ever written about learning the golf swing, often quoted by Moe were those of Bertholy in his "Ode to Golf":

"A man may lie, cheat and steal for gain, but these will never gain the golf swing. To gain the golf swing, A MAN MUST WORK."

In learning the golf swing, we should "work smarter, not harder!"
I did read carefully your post. I was not attempting to prove you wrong! I was just commenting on an aspect that I found interesting.

Regards, Herbert
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Joined: October 11th, 2001, 7:22 pm

October 6th, 2009, 9:48 pm #7

Thanks for a very well thought out post!

I think that there is another difference between Guitar Hero and golf and that is interesting. Let's say that a guy gets pretty good at Guitar Hero and can play like the dickens in his living room with nobody around. Then he gets setup by his girlfriend who thinks he is really cool to play for her family who he gas never met. She told them how great he was at guitar hero and now there is now way out but to play and not make an idiot of himself. So if this guy is like most folks he is going to be really nervous about playing but when he actually gets started he might start out a little slowly with a mistake or two but his choke impulse will be overcome as the notes start coming fast and his concentration rises and there is no time for thinking. So he will play well and make his girlfriend proud! Afterwords while basking in the glory he will think how easy it was and how he really could have done this or that a little better... Golf is different imho in that you have a lot more time to think between shots and there is plenty of time to get cement elbow.

LOL my post is a pretty good advertisement for Clear Key no?

BTW should that have been 'who' or 'whom' he has never met??? I am to lazy to look it up...

Regards, Herbert
as I read your post....

"psssh yeeahh...unless the guitar hero player uses clearkey!"

Anxiety, tension, distraction can hinder the performance of any motor activity no matter how well versed we are in it. Awhile back Peter mentioned Retief Goosen commenting how he "lost it" during the late stages of match and speculated that if he was playing a casual round with folks like us or buds that meant nothing, he'd do that very little if at all. Kenny Perry was hitting his irons flush for 71 holes, but when he only needed one more 8 iron to the center of the green for his first Masters, he yanked it into the worst of spots and couldn't get up and down. I often use the example of a two foot putt....most of us could make 25 of those in a row with our eyes closed (some us even practice them with our eyes closed : ) ) But could we make 25 if we were told that we must or we lose our - **fill in the blank** wife, children, life savings.... That is an extreme example and thankfully we don't play under that much pressure. What is missed by most though is that there is always some pressure resident within us as we play. It might be negligible and barely noticed, but it is there never the less. Even a minuscule amount of anxiety or stress will trigger the flight or fight mechanism in our system. This causes changes to our system that often are just enough to cause a mis-firing of the nerve and muscle impulses used to execute a shot. We need to do whatever we can to quiet the mind. I prefer clearkey. Rem goes to the place of love and no fear, I am sure there are other techniques as well, how well they work and if they have ever been validated I do not know.

FYI - the clearkey process can be used for lots of things besides golf. That is why the book is named the "Double Connexion" because it works in more ways than one. It can be used in tennis to serve and receive service, billiards, darts, bowling, free throw shooting ( ask Dwight Howard ). How bout defending or taking penalty kicks in soccer, same in a hockey shootout. Kicking field goals - one documented case there of an amateur versed in clearkey through golf, applied the principle in a bowl game kicking contest and won $250,000 by making it. Pitching a baseball ( ask Orel Herscheiser ). Archery, target shooting.

A quiet mind, free of thoughts about execution, results past or future, only now..that is what is needed to let your best golf play itself out.







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Joined: January 13th, 2001, 8:30 am

October 6th, 2009, 11:43 pm #8

I was thinking that reaction sports where you are constantly moving and acting are less prone to choking but I have to admit that I have choked at all of them. LOL I could rarely play basketball at anywhere near my potential in an organized game with people watching unless I was really mad. Fortunately there were usually there were enough bad calls by the refs to do the job. Getting mad does not seem to work in golf though.

I used Clear Key enough to know that it can work. I once hit every fairway with longer then normal drives in tournament using Clear Key. LOL every fairway except for the last one when I sliced the ball ob. I am not sure exactly why I have an aversion to using Clear Key. Maybe I am a control freak and I want to be in control at all times or maybe it is just a bit to repetitive and regimented for me, I dont know... I do know that I dont like it. Maybe I will change my mind after a while, it has happened before!

Regards, Herbert
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