If you play and practice Guitar Hero hard, chances are you will face songs that require you to strum fast.
For many players, this is when their physical ability fails to keep up with their ability to read the prompts on the screen. The hands become tired, or worse, the fingers cramp. Is there a way to improve? How do you strum faster in Guitar Hero?
To strum faster in Guitar Hero:
- Watch expert players and see how they do it.
- Have a relaxed finger grip
- Use wrist, not elbow
- Practice economy of motion
- Picks may help some players
- Practice slow, with many songs to improve strumming consistency
This post explores how you can strum faster in Guitar Hero. We start by looking at the issues with strumming fast and tips to help you strum fast, consistently, and for a longer time.
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How Does Strumming Work In Guitar Hero?
To strum in Guitar Hero, use your strumming hand to move the strumming lever on the controller up or down. It doesn’t matter which direction you go; move the strumming lever at the right time, and it will register as a hit.
In Guitar Hero, you play the game by following the colored prompts on the screen. You also play the game using a special controller shaped like a guitar. Guitar Hero may look difficult initially, but you should be able to play basic songs well with some practice.
On the fretting side, there are five buttons with different colors. On the strumming side, there is a lever that you can move up and down.
When the prompts hit the bottom of the line, you press the corresponding color button on your fretting hand. At the same time, your strumming hand presses on the strumming lever, up or down. Do this at the right time. You will register a hit.
Strumming in Guitar Hero works with you using your fingers to move the lever up or down. Since the Guitar Hero controller does not have multiple strings, you do not need to try to strike all the strings but focus on one single lever.
You can move the strumming lever up or down, depending on your preferences. Guitar Hero will register it as a hit regardless of the direction of your strum.
Most players prefer to use their thumb and push the lever down to strum their guitar. Some players grip the lever with index and thumb and move them up and down.
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Why Is Strumming Fast In Guitar Hero Difficult?
Strumming fast in Guitar Hero can be difficult because players struggle to reach the speed needed. Some can reach the speed but cannot keep the speed steady and consistent. Players also get tired and lose the strength to play at high speed.
Many players find it very hard to strum fast in Guitar Hero for many reasons. These include muscle agility, consistency, and endurance.
To strum fast in Guitar Hero, you need to be able to move the strumming level up and down. Quickly. It takes some muscle agility and skill to move back and forth quickly.
Some players do not have the right muscle agility to play fast. This means they lack the muscle ability to move up and down quick enough to reach the right strumming speed.
Once you reach the right speed, you face another challenge. Consistency. Consistency here meant being able to play fast but at a consistent speed.
Consistency is important, as strumming fast without consistency may mean you fail to hit some notes when playing Guitar Hero. This may cause you to lose the ability to multiply your score, meaning you will have a lower score.
The challenge does not end once you reach the right speed and can play consistently. Some songs are hard, requiring you to play fast and for a long time.
This is when problems come in. Not many players can play fast, consistently, and for a long period. Many will tire after some time and lose control, resulting in missed notes and failure to follow the fast prompts.
How Do You Strum Faster In Guitar Hero?
Strumming fast in Guitar Hero may not be down to talent but requires practice. This is because you need to build your muscle, agility, and endurance. You must also develop muscle memory to play at a steady, fast rhythm.
If you are facing issues to strum fast, here are some ways you can do to improve your issue:
Watch Expert Players
As a start, spend time and watch how expert Guitar Hero players play. By observing these players, you may be able to see how they approach strumming fast.
For example, some players like to use two fingers to strum fast. Some players use pick-like plastic cards to help them strum fast. From here, you can see which methods may work for you and adapt for yourself.
It may be a good idea to experiment with all methods and see which one works best for you. Once you find one, stick to it and practice it with your songs of choice.
Relax Those Muscles!
When it comes to playing fast, most of us will try to stiffen up our muscles and then push them hard. This may work for a while, but eventually, the muscles tire up, and you may fail to keep up.
One of the best ways to be able to play fast is to actually relax your muscles. When the muscles are relaxed, you can play minimally and not use too much effort to strum. Over time, you may realize your muscles tire out much slower.
As a result, you can strum fast and consistently for a long time.
Pick Up Alternate Strumming
One way to speed up strumming is to pick up alternative strumming. Alternate strumming is a method where you strum bi-directionally to double your strumming speed.
This method usually works very well because it saves time. For example, suppose you strum in a single direction. Once you strum, you will need to move your hands back up, only to strum again. Moving your hands up takes up time.
If you strum up and down, your hands do not need to move back up to strum down. Instead, you just start from the bottom and strum upwards.
Relaxed Finger Grip
Many players strum fast by gripping the strumming lever with their index finger and thumb. They use their wrist to move the level up and down to strum.
This allows them to use their finger muscles, which are much more accurate in their movement to strum. This should help them to control the strumming level better and strum fast and consistently.
A relaxed finger grip also prevents muscles from tensing up. Tensed muscles tire out faster, which means you may not be able to play fast and consistently for longer.
A Pick May Help
If you notice, some Guitar Hero players use some kind of ‘pick’ to play their strumming lever. The card allows a more accurate contact to these players since cards are harder than fingers.
The method can also work well since it replaces your finger, meaning your finger would not be sore from strumming the lever too many times, all the time. Depending on your preference, this method may actually work for you.
Use Your Wrist Or Fingers
One major issue with many Guitar Hero players is that when they strum, they like to strum from their hand or elbow. At slower speeds, this would not be an issue. At higher speeds, however, they are not sustainable.
In most cases, you will either struggle to keep up with the speed since your elbow or hands are not as agile as your wrist or fingers. Even if you can play up to the speed, you may not be able to keep a steady speed to play well enough.
Practice Economy Of Motion
Now that we know to relax the muscles and to use the wrist and fingers, another way to speed up play is to practice economy of motion.
This method is where you try to strum in the most minimal way possible, using the least effort. This means rather than pushing your level all the way down or up, you push it just enough to click and register a strum.
This slows down your muscles from tiring out too quickly. You also get to relax your muscles and fingers more. If done well, you should be able to speed up your playing much more.
Contrary to the common belief, to play fast, you actually first need to learn how to play slow. This is because playing slowly helps build a steady foundation and allows you to focus on the smaller things that matter.
For example, suppose you are trying to hit 16th notes consistently and are struggling. This may be because you are not counting the beats right. You may assume 16th beats means to play fast, and you just went jackhammer with your strumming levers.
By playing slower, say on the 4th or 8th beat, you develop a rhythm that you can use to base yourself on how fast you should play your 16th beats. By doing this, you will be able to play fast, consistently, and accurately, too.
Practice With Different Songs
Finally, strumming fast is a skill that needs to be practiced. However, what is the point of practicing if you do not put the skills to the test?
For this, try out your skills by playing difficult songs with fast strumming. This should help you to test your skills in the actual playing and see if they are up to it.
If you are unsure where to start, try out songs such as ‘Cowboys From Hell’ by Pantera, ‘One’ from Metallica, or ‘Through the Fires and Flames’ by Dragonforce.