How to Hold the Guitar Properly
On the neck of the Guitar Hero Controller, there are five buttons (frets) that are each a different color. If you’re right handed, these buttons should be played by your left hand. If you’re a lefty, you can flip the guitar and play these button with your right hand (Make sure you switch to “Lefty Mode” in the Settings Menu).
The other important feature on the controller is the pick (White piece on the fat base of the guitar), which you “strum” up and down with your dominant hand.
Navigating the Menus in Guitar Hero 3
Move up and down the menu screens with an up or down stroke of the pick.
Select a setting by hitting the Green button on your fret board.
Go back or cancel by hitting the Red button on your fret board.
To leave gameplay and enter a menu at any time, hit the “Start” button on your controller.
Using the Guitar Hero Controller in Game Play
The basic playing principle behind the game is to hit each note as it crosses the bottom of your screen.
To play a note correctly, you have to press the proper color down with your left hand AND strum the pick just as your note crosses the bottom of the screen.
TIP: You can “prepare” for incoming notes by pressing the colored buttons early… just as long as you strum them at the proper time.
TIP: If there are several consecutive notes that are all the same color (ie: 5 Green notes in a row), you can hold down that color for the duration and then all you will have to worry about is the strumming pattern.
Playing Career Mode in Guitar Hero 3
Choosing a Difficulty Level in Guitar Hero 3
There are four difficulty levels in Guitar Hero 3:
Easy: 3 buttons (Green, Red, Yellow)
Medium: 4 buttons (Green, Red, Yellow, Blue) with two note chords
Hard: 5 buttons (Green, Red, Yellow, Blue, Orange) with three note chords and most notes get played
Expert: 5 buttons (Green, Red, Yellow, Blue, Orange) with three note chords and every note gets played
Try a song on “Easy”. If you play a musical instrument in real life, or are already an experienced video game player, easy mode may be too easy for you. If this is the case, go immediately to “Medium”.
If you’re having a tough time on Easy, stick with it! Keep in mind that it can take a little while to get a good feel for the controls.
TIP: It’s best to start by playing songs you’re familiar with. If you don’t know any of the songs in the first level, try picking one that has a strong melody or rhythm.
Understanding the Game Play Screen in Guitar Hero 3
The Rock Meter in Guitar Hero 3
The Rock Meter goes from Red to Green, depending on the quality of your performance. It moves towards the green when you hit correct notes, and moves towards the red when you miss notes or play incorrect ones. If your rock meter goes too far into the red, you will fail the song and have to start over from scratch.
The Score Meter in Guitar Hero 3
Your score goes up when you hit correct notes. Your score will not go down when you hit wrong notes (but your rock meter will!).
When you play 10 correct notes in a row, a “2X” will pop up in the score meter to indicate that you’re receiving double points.
20 correct notes in a row will give you 3X, and 30 in a row will give you 4x.
Star Power in Guitar Hero 3
At several points throughout a song, there will be a string of notes with blue stars around them. If you play all of these notes, you will gain one “amp tube” worth of star power (located above the Rock Meter).
TIP: If you have time, use the whammy bar on “blue starred” notes. This will boost your Star Power even further!
Once you acquire 3 “amp tubes” you will be able to activate your star power. Do this by raising your guitar vertically into the air. When star power is activated, all incoming notes will appear Blue.
Star power will double your incoming points, and boost your rock meter more drastically when you hit correct notes.
Becoming a Better Guitar Hero 3 Player
Finger Positioning in Guitar Hero 3
Whenever possible, try to keep your fingers in the same place. You should do this for two reasons:
1. It’s easier to establish hand-eye coordination if your brain associates each finger with a specific color.
2. The less you move your positioning, the faster you will be able to hit notes.
If you’re playing on Easy or Medium, try to designate one finger per button:
Index finger: Green Button
Middle finger: Red Button
Ring finger: Yellow Button
Pinky finger: Blue Button
For hard and expert mode, you’re inevitably going to have to switch up your finger positioning at some point. Whenever you see an orange note appear, you should shift all of your fingers over one button:
Index finger: Red Button
Middle finger: Yellow Button
Ring finger: Blue Button
Pinky finger: Orange Button
There will also be times where you’ll notice patterns emerging, such as a chord progression from Green+Yellow to Red+Blue to Yellow+Orange. In a situation like this, it makes more sense to keep your fingers in the same formation and then just slide everything over to play the next chord.
Ons in Guitar Hero 3
A Hammer-On is a technique whereby you can play two or more notes that quickly succeed one another while only performing one strum of the pick.
Hammer-Ons can be performed on notes that DO NOT have a black ring around them.
Mastering the Pick in Guitar Hero 3
When most people start playing Guitar Hero, they tend to only strum downwards. By alternating between up and down strokes, it will be much easier to catch those close-together notes.
Utilizing Star Power in Guitar Hero 3
Star Power doubles your score and also greatly increases your rock meter.
There are two main approaches to using star power:
1. Use Star Power to achieve a high score:
Store star power up until you have 4X power, and then rock out to get maximum points.
2. Use Star Power to avoid failing a hard song:
Save star power for a difficult part of the song, such as the solo, and then use it to boost your rock meter.
Practice Makes Perfect in Guitar Hero 3
If you’re having trouble beating a song, go into practice mode and rehearse the difficult parts.
While in Practice mode, you can practice specific sections of the song, and even slow down the tempo to work things out at half speed.
Boss Battles in Guitar Hero 3
Throughout the Game, you will occasionally have to fight guitar battles with musicians, such as Tom Morello, Slash and Lou. You can also fight guitar battles with your friends in Multiplayer mode.
The idea behind these battles is to make your opponent fail before the song is over. To do this, successfully play the “Battle Gem” notes which appear throughout the song. Instead of winning star power, you will win weapons to sabotage your opponent:
Broken String: One color will not work until it has repeatedly been pressed
Difficulty Up: Your opponent will have to play at a higher difficulty for a short period of time
Amp Overload: Incoming notes on the fretboard will flash, making it hard for your opponent to see them
Whammy: Your opponent will not be able to play any notes until they use their whammy bar
Double Notes: Your opponent will have to play 2 or 3 button chords for a short period of time
Lefty Flip: The fretboard will become mirrored, so that the Green Note will now appear on the right side of the screen
Steal: Swipe your opponents’ weapons away from them!
Death Drain: In sudden death mode, all battle powers acquired will become Death Drains, which upon usage will drain your opponent’s rock meter until they fail.
Practice, Practice, Practice