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Squeezing


This article talks about squeezing in all of the Guitar Hero games in the series including Game_GuitarHero GH1, Game_GuitarHeroII GH2, Game_GuitarHeroEncoreRocksThe80s GH:80s, Game_GuitarHeroIIILegendsOfRock GH3, Game_GuitarHeroOnTour GH:OT, and Game_GuitarHeroAerosmith GH:A. Due to the different game engines, there are actually quite a few differences in squeezing between each game. All of those differences will be explained in this article with thorough detail.

This article assumes you already know how Star Power works. If you don't know, then go to the Star Power article to learn about that.

What is Squeezing?


To put it to a definition: Squeezing is using Guitar Hero's timing window to accumulate more points (and essentially notes) under Star Power than one would normally be able to without squeezing.

How to Squeeze


To squeeze, you must activate Star Power just before hitting a note as late as possible, thus making your Star Power start later and possibly even gaining an extra note at the end of an activation. Hitting note(s) early at the end of an activation allows you to squeeze even more. Click here to watch an example squeeze video by simpsonsfreak17man to get a better visualization and idea of what a squeeze is and what it should look like before moving on. Watch how he hits the notes very late but there is still a blue flame for the note. The blue flame indicates the note was still counted under Star Power.

NOTE: There is a glitch on the Wii (and PS2?) that the note may count under Star Power despite an orange flame showing up.

The Technique


Most squeezers use the back/select button to activate Star Power. If you're using an SG, Les Paul, or Kramer, then you're in luck. If you're using an GibsonX-Plorer X-Plorer, try using this mod to help out with the terribly positioned Back button. To activate Star Power with the back/select button; you press it. The technique for squeezing while pressing the back/select button is this: all in one motion use your palm/wrist area/side of hand to hit the back/select button while strumming at nearly simultaneous times. MAKE SURE YOU HIT THE BACK/SELECT BUTTON FIRST. That part is very important. Some people use their pinky to activate Star Power as well, but it is all about preference.

Whatever method you choose, the closer together your back/select button press and strum are, the better of a squeeze you're going to get. Throughout this entire process you want to hit the note you are squeezing as late as possible. This allows your Star Power to start later. The later your Star Power lasts, the later it will end as well, and the later it ends usually means more points for you.

Tilt Squeezing


If hitting the select/back button is too uncomfortable for you to do while strumming, then tilting is also an option. It is generally much more difficult to perform a good squeeze while tilting, but using this method is still available and can sometimes be just as effective.

One of the fundamental parts of tilt squeezing is sitting/standing in generally the same position all the time. Tilt squeezers have tilted to activate star power so much that they instinctively know approximately how high the neck of the guitar has to be tilted before the tilt sensor goes off and star power activates. Usually, good tilt squeezers can nail squeezes pretty much all the time; just like good select squeezers. Since tilt squeezers can't control exactly when the tilt sensor goes off, it's more difficult to pull off a good tilt squeeze.

Generally, back/select squeezing is harder to learn, but easier to master. Tilt squeezing is easier to learn, but harder to master.

Terms Used Throughout This Article


Activation - The specific part of a song where you are supposed to activate Star Power.
Ticks - On a sustained note, your score incrementally increases. Each incremental increase is referred to as a tick. A single tick is worth 1 point times your multiplier at the time and there are 25 ticks per beat.
Center of the note - The exact moment that a note is supposed to be hit, i.e. the notes precise timing on the note chart.
Front-End Squeeze - The squeeze at the beginning of an activation, when you press the back button.
Back-End Squeeze - The squeeze at the end of an activation, when you strum a note early to squeeze it under Star Power.
BPM - Beats Per Minute, i.e. The tempo of a song at a particular point.
Under Star Power - Hitting a note while Star Power is activated is considered hitting it "under Star Power". A blue flame will show up after you hit the note to indicate it was hit under Star Power.
16th note - There are 16 of these in one 4/4 measure if played consecutively.
8th note - There are 8 of these in one 4/4 measure if played consecutively.
Quarter note - There are 4 of these in one 4/4 measure if played consecutively.
Double/Triple Squeeze - Hitting 2 or 3 notes under Starpower more than one normally could without squeezing. (Explained in much more detail later in the article)
Hammer-ons HO/POs - Hammerons/Pulloffs
Upper-bound- The projected optimal score of a song with 100% squeeze.
Optimal - The highest possible score on a song.

GH1, GH2, and GH:80s Squeezing


Squeezing HO/POs: Squeezing a HO/PO at the beginning of an activation is one of the hardest things to do when talking in squeezing terms. This is because you must connect your left hand and right hand doing two different things at the exact same time. When squeezing a HO/PO as a front-end squeeze, wait until the end of a note's timing window and then press Back button followed by the corresponding fret immediately after. I would advise to NOT strum for the note, as if you actually succeeded in fretting the note as late as possible, then strumming the note would ALWAYS result in a broken note streak. This is quite similar to your regular squeeze, except the fret replaces the strum bar.

A back-end HO/PO squeeze is fairly similar to a regular note back-end squeeze, you can't hit the fret any earlier than a regular note i.e. the timing window is still the same, but the fact that it is a HO/PO may still help you none the less. I would always strum the note as early as possible just like you normally should. You have to hold down the fret before you strum anyways, which may help you hit the note even earlier than your attempt to with the strum.

Early Whammy: When there is a sustained Star Power note that you can normally whammy for to gain Star Power, you can actually hit it at the earliest moment of the note's timing and window and whammy early to gain more Star Power than was previously available to gain. This can sometimes lead to entire activations being available such as in Song_GH2_PsychobillyFreakout Psychobilly Freakout on Expert. The chart is shown here. The last activation is extremely difficult to get, but it is possible to gain an activation from it.

Sustained Notes: As far as sustains go, everything is pretty much normal. If you hit a sustain early, the ticks begin at the Center of the note and continue as normal throughout. If you hit a sustain late, any "lost" ticks are regained immediately and ticks continue as normal throughout. There is no "burst" like there is in GH3 or GH:A.

Delayed Activation: In GH1 alone, there is a delayed activation "bug" in which the immediate 1 second or so after you initially gain Star Power you are not able to activate. For very quick Next Note activations, this can affect which note you should activate on.

In GH2 and GH:80s it is recommended to be SURE to hit the back/select button before you hit the strum bar to ensure that the note being squeezed is under Star Power. There is believed to be a slight delay from the moment the back/select button is hit to the time that Star Power is actually activated. Although this is not proven, it is recommended to be aware of this while squeezing.

GH3 and GH:A Squeezing


Squeezing HO/POs: Squeezing a HO/PO at the beginning of an activation is one of the hardest things to do when talking in squeezing terms. This is because you must connect your left hand and right doing two different things at the exact same time. When squeezing a HO/PO as a front-end squeeze, wait until the end of a note's timing window and then press Back button followed by the corresponding fret immediately after. I would advise to NOT strum for the note, as if you actually succeeded in fretting the note as late as possible, then strumming the note would ALWAYS result in a broken note streak. This is quite similar to your regular squeeze, except the fret replaces the strum bar.

Now squeezing a HO/PO at the back-end of an activation is one of the easiest things to do in GH3. Just hold down the corresponding fret as early as possible before it comes and (as long as your SP lasts long enough) you will squeeze the note as much as possible every time and will hit it under SP. Try to hit the notes before the HO/PO as early as possible as well to extend the time even more that you will be able to hold down the fret early, just to make sure.

In GH:A, however, a back-end HO/PO squeeze is fairly similar to a regular note back-end squeeze, you can't hit the fret any earlier than a regular note i.e. the timing window is still the same, but the fact that it is a HO/PO may still help you none the less. I would always strum the note as early as possible just like you normally should. You have to hold down the fret before you strum anyways, which may help you hit the note even earlier than your attempt to with the strum.

Burst Theory: This theory is the key to getting most high scores in GH3 and GH:A. According to this theory, sustain notes contain a "burst" of ticks at the beginning and end of a sustained note. The earlier you hit a sustained note, the larger "burst" of ticks you will be given at the Center of the note. The later you hit a sustained note, the larger "burst" of ticks will be given at the end of a sustained note. You will NOT be given ANY ticks if you hit a note early until the Center of the note passes by. However the earlier you hit it, the larger that burst will be if you are able to get that burst. Let's take Song_GH3_MississippiQueen Mississippi Queen on Expert for example. The chart can be found here.

Now look at the first activation. It ends on the sustained RB chord. The first thing you want to look at is that it is passed the Center of the note, and thus you can get ticks from it. The earlier you hit that RB chord, the more ticks you will get. Remember though, if your squeeze at the beginning of the activation on the Orange note wasn't squeezed enough, then your SP will not last past the Center of the RB chord, and thus you will not gain any ticks at all, although you may still get the 400 more points for getting the chord under SP. This type of squeeze is called a Tick Squeeze.

Advanced Burst Theory Techniques: Now, let's take Song_GH3_HitMeWithYourBestShot Hit Me With Your Best Shot on Expert to explain a more advanced technique for using the burst theory. The chart can be found here.

Take a look at the second activation. It shows that it should start right on the end of the of the GY sustained chord. It shows that we should be able to gain ticks from the end of that sustain, as well. Now using our burst theory, we know that when we hit a sustained note late, we get a larger burst of ticks at the end of that sustain. Knowing this, the later we hit this GY sustain chord the larger burst of ticks we will gain at the end of the sustain, and remember we're activating SP at the end of sustain, so that means more ticks under SP for us. More ticks under SP = More Points. This type of squeeze is known as a Reverse Tick Squeeze.

NOTE: It is not advised for you to try and do this squeeze except for the reason to try out the burst theory and see what hitting the note late/early does to your score. Getting ticks at the end of the sustain and still hitting that last orange note under SP is more frustrating than it is worth.

For another advanced technique, let's take a look at Song_GHA_Pink Pink on Medium. The chart can be found here.

Now take a look at the second activation. It shows the activation starting on a sustain and ending almost on a sustain. Let's move this activation forward 1/2 beat so that it's RIGHT at the end of the RY sustain. To fully utilize our burst theory in this situation, like last time, hit that RY sustain late to create a larger burst of ticks at the end of the RY sustain (which is under SP) to gain more points. On that last Yellow sustain, again utilizing our burst theory, you will want to hit it as early as possible so that you will gain a larger burst of ticks at the beginning of that note. This takes the previous two burst theory techniques and puts them into the same activation, gaining many more points than would have been previously possible. This type of squeeze utilizes our regular Tick Squeeze and our Reverse Tick squeeze into the same activation.

NOTE: No matter what you will ALWAYS have the same total amount of ticks per sustain given that you fully hold the sustain out. If you have a larger burst of ticks at the beginning of your sustain, then at the end you will have a smaller burst and vice versa.

GH:OT Squeezing


Not a whole lot is known about GH:OT squeezing yet, as it is a fairly new game still and it has an entirely unique SP engine. However, you may want to check out this thread to get a gist of how SP works in GH:OT. That thread has the most known information about GH:OT squeezing.

Miscellaneous Squeezing Information



Cheating: Squeezing is NOT considered cheating on ScoreHero or Pro Face Off online. You may submit scores in which you have squeezed. The cheat code "Easy Expert" (which expands the timing window) is considered cheating and you cannot submit ANY score to ScoreHero while it was turned on whether you squeezed or not.

Double and Triple Squeezing: The best way to explain what these terms mean is by example. Take a look at the Song_GHA_DrawTheLine Draw the Line Medium chart located here.

Now let's look at the third activation. If we add up the whammied SP we get 7.5 beats. Add this to the 4 Measures of Star Power already acquired and we get 5 measures and 3.5 beats of Star Power (because there are 4 beats per measure). The chart, however, shows that we should be able to squeeze in notes that span 6 full measures. With a normal squeeze, or "Single Squeeze," we can make it to the first green note in measure 84, i.e. squeeze in notes spanning exactly 5 measures plus 3.5 beats. But with a very good squeeze, in this case a "Double Squeeze," we can actually get those 6 measures worth of notes with only 5 measures and 3.5 beats of Star Power, which is a full 8th note short of the 6 measures of notes we are squeezing under Star Power. Getting that extra note under SP beyond the normal squeeze is considered a "Double Squeeze." If it were also possible to get that next red note under SP, then that would be a "Triple Squeeze", and so on and so forth. To put the word to a definition: A double squeeze is getting 2 more notes under Star Power than one would normally be able to get without squeezing.

Upper-bound: Upper-bound is the projected optimal score of a song determined by debr/tma on their websites found here and here respectively. When someone says something like "+40 UB!", they are stating that they have 40 more points than the projected upper-bound score. Often on GH3 and GH:A the upper-bound scores are beaten due to the Burst Theory, as this theory has not yet been added to the coding that is used by debr and tma.

Tricks for Squeezing HO/POs: This only works in GH2, GH:80s, and GH:A. If you are having trouble front-end squeezing HO/POs, try this example and see if it'll help you out. Check out the Song_GHA_TrainKeptARollin Train Kept a Rollin' Medium Path located here.

Now look at the third activation. The red note you are supposed to activate on is a HO/PO. Now because of the non-infinite front-end timing window of GH:A, if you play the yellow note just before it very early and immediately switch to the red fret BEFORE the timing window of the red note begins, then you are able to squeeze that note just as normally as any regular note that is not a HO/PO by strumming it.

In GH2 alone, sometimes if you miss a particular HO/PO and restart the song, that particular note will become bugged and you won't be able to hit it unless you strum it. This can be used to your advantage by intentionally bugging the HO/PO note you want to squeeze. This is not guaranteed to work, but it's worth a shot if you're having trouble.

Quick Reference to Differences in Games


Here is just a quick reference to the differences in squeezing between GH1, GH2/GH:80s, GH3, GH:OT, and GH:A.

GH1: Delay between initial Star Power accumulation and ability to activate. Fixed tick accumulation. Can activate and strum essentially simultaneously. Pre-tilting may not work.

GH2/GH:80s: Fixed tick accumulation. Requires more deliberate activation before the front-end squeeze note. Pre-tilting may not work.

GH3: Larger timing window. Infinite front-end HO/PO timing window. Tick Burst Theory. Can activate and strum essentially simultaneously.

GH:OT: Interval Theory. Unknown tick calculation.

GH:A: Larger timing window. Tick Burst Theory. Can activate and strum essentially simultaneously.


Category: CategoryTechniques, CategoryTerminology

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