using only the first 4 buttons. Fig. E: Solo mode in
Fretbuzz. Fig. F: Use your elbow on the strum bar while
using two-hand-tapping mode!
Fig. G: Engage Star Power to switch between solo and
chord modes. Get ready for rock-and-roll awesomeness!
needs a two-hand-tapping mode. Much as in the Seriously though, it’s difficult trying to re-create
basic solo mode, the fret buttons are assigned to songs that were originally written on a real guitar.
pitches relative to one another, and the strum bar It’s like learning a piece of music on guitar that was
is used creatively to shift the notes of all the fret originally written for piano: sometimes shortcuts
buttons at once in full-on arpeggio glory. But how do and adjustments are necessary. Fretbuzz might turn
you use the strum bar when both of your hands are the Guitar Hero controller into an instrument, but it
mashing fret buttons? With your elbow, of course doesn’t turn it into a guitar exactly.
Photography by Owen Grace
(Figure F). Designing Fretbuzz has been so exciting for me. It
The concept of Star Power is unique to the Guitar was no trivial task to turn the Guitar Hero controller
Hero game, but I wanted to bring new meaning to into a playable, dynamic, and expressive instrument.
it within Fretbuzz. I designed a special chord/solo Whatever your talents and interests may be, work-combo mode where you have to engage Star Power ing within a constrained medium, as I did with this
(tilt the controller straight up) to initiate the solo project, is a super way to get your creative juices
playing style, then tilt the controller back down flowing.
again to return to chord mode (Figure G). If you have questions about this project or need
help getting Fretbuzz to work on your computer,
or even if this project inspired you in some totally
different way and you want to bounce ideas off
someone, shoot me an email (owen@theguitarzeros.
com). I’d love to hear from you. Happy shredding!
5. Finally, make music.
It’s up to you to use Fretbuzz however you like, but
I suggest you find a friend, plug 2 controllers into
your computer at once (assign 1 to the bass sounds
and 1 to the guitar sounds), jam out together, and
write some tunes. Then of course, turn the volume
up to 11 and blast your eardrums. Only kidding.