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Playing Guitar Hero with a Standard Controller

All of the Guitar Hero games so far are also playable on the standard controller, in case of the player not having a guitar controller. Unfortunately, this is not possible on Game_RockBand Rock Band or Guitar Hero World Tour. The mechanics are completely different, as every button pressed is a fret+strum so Hammer-ons Hammer-ons aren't possible, but on Game_GuitarHeroIIILegendsOfRock Guitar Hero 3 and Game_GuitarHeroAerosmith Guitar Hero: Aerosmith the player can make use of Hammer-ons Pull-offs by holding the lower notes and playing the higher notes, making trills and faster solos easier to play, as the player doesn't need to play every note. More details as soon as the page is updated with advanced techniques.


 Basic Techniques 
 Advanced Techniques 
 Differences between versions 

Basic techniques

There are 3 basic techniques for a standard controller: Hammer-ons Pull-off, Alt-strumming and Easy chords.

Hammer-ons Pull-off

This is a technique exclusive of Game_GuitarHeroIIILegendsOfRock Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock and Game_GuitarHeroAerosmith Guitar Hero: Aerosmith. It's done the same way as the guitar controller. The player holds a lower fret, hit a higher fret, then release the higher so the lower fret will play. Example:

The player hits the Yellow and hold that button, then hit the Blue, and when the player releases the Blue (during the Yellow note Hammer-ons HOPO timing window), the Yellow will play automatically.

The difference between the guitar controller and a standard controller is that the player can't hold a fret beforehand since every button is a strum, so the player needs to hit a note before and use that to hold the button. This means that on a trill like:

The player can't hold the Yellow before starting the trill, so the Blue must be hit before and use the first Yellow to hold and hit the trills with Hammer-ons Pull-off.


This is a technique exclusive of Game_GuitarHeroIIILegendsOfRock Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock and Game_GuitarHeroAerosmith Guitar Hero: Aerosmith. It uses the fret+strum properties from the buttons to make Alt-strumming possible, but it's only for the higher frets (Yellow, Blue, Orange).
By holding a higher fret, and hitting the lower fret buttons, the strums from the lower fret buttons will be used to play the higher fret that's being hold. So, to play a long fast strumming Blue, the player will hit the first Blue and hold that button, then use the Green, Red or Yellow fret buttons to play the next Blues.
Since there aren't 2 or more lower frets for Green and Red, this technique can't be used on those, but there's still the possibility to play Red using the Green fret button, useful for some sections like Song_GH3_TheNumberOfTheBeast The Number of the Beast Solo 2.

Easy Chords

This is a technique exclusive of Game_GuitarHero Guitar Hero I. Instead of playing the chord by hitting both buttons, the player can hold one of the buttons and only hit the other one for the chord to play. Examples:

Hit the first chord by pressing both buttons, then keep holding Yellow, hit the 3 Greens and play the GY chord by just pressing Green, since the Yellow is already being hold from before.

Either hold Yellow before at some note, or use the first GY chord to hold Yellow, then play the rest of the chord by just hitting Blue, Red then Orange.

Advanced techniques

Notes as chords

This is a technique exclusive of Game_GuitarHeroIIILegendsOfRock Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock and Game_GuitarHeroAerosmith Guitar Hero: Aerosmith.Verification Needed
Instead of playing a single note as usual, the player hits the note as a chord, as long as the other button pressed is lower than the original note. The advantage of using this technique is to hold a button when you wouldn't be able to or to make a section easier to play, but the player has to be careful and press the buttons exactly at the same time, or it'll count as an overstrum.

(Song_GH3_RainingBlood Raining Blood "Flood!", measure 136)

The player can't hold the Yellow beforehand because there's a Red note after it, so if the player wants to hold Yellow before the Y/B trill, the player can hit the Blue sustain as a YB chord, and hit only Blue for the Y/B trill, instead of hitting B(Y)BBBBB, which is a bit more complicated.

(Song_GH3_TheWayItEnds The Way It Ends "Chorus 1", measure 54)

Hitting Red at such speed and then changing to the GRB chord is really hard, even more because Green and Blue aren't on the same hand. An easier way is to play the Red notes as GR chords, and only add the Blue to hit the GRB chord.

"Dual fingering"

Verification Needed This technique is an attempt to make alt-strumming entirely possible for the standard controller, although harder and inconsistent. Instead of playing fast parts by hitting the button with the default fingering, you switch your hands position so the player can use 2 fingers (usually, index+middle) on the same button, alternating them. This way the player can hit the button faster than with only 1 finger, being careful not to use both fingers at the same time as it would be only 1 strum.
On Game_GuitarHeroIIILegendsOfRock Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock and Game_GuitarHeroAerosmith Guitar Hero: Aerosmith, this is only necessary for Green and Red notes, since the higher notes can be hit with the alt-strumming described above on "Basic Techniques.


Verification Needed It's not exactly the same tapping as the guitar, but it's used the same way: when one hand can't cover all the notes that's coming, while the other hand is free. "Tapping" on a standard controller means using the left hand to hit notes it should be hit by the right hand, or the inverse. It's more limited than the guitar "tapping", but still useful for some sections.
Examples (on Dualshock/X360 controller):

(Song_GH3_RockYouLikeAHurricane Rock You Like a Hurricane "Solo 3", Measure 129)

If playing this one-handed is too fast, the player can hold Yellow with the right index, tap Blue with the left index, and Orange with the right thumb, then at the end quickly pull his/her left hand back in time to hit the Red~Green that follows it.

(Song_GH3_TheWayItEnds The Way It Ends "Verse 1", Measure 40)

Hitting GRY is tough because it requires hitting the Red with the left index and the Yellow with the right index at the same time, without stopping hitting the Green. By combining both "tapping" and "dual fingering", this section is made possible. Using "dual fingering" on the Green with the left hand to hit them at that speed, and using the right index+pinky to hit Red+Yellow together, it's possible to keep a streak in this section!

(Song_GH3_One One "Darkness Riff", Measure 151)

This technique is credited to "Vampire-Jekyll". This can be used as a second option besides "dual fingering". Instead of hitting the fast Greens with only the left hand, the player can use both hands to do it. By alternating left and right index on Green, hitting them like 111111 (bold = right hand) and pulling back the right hand quickly to make it in time for the GYB chord. Sounds weird, but it really saves stamina, useful for long sections like "Darkness Riff".
Vampire-Jekyll has a video showing how to do it:

Differences between versions

Game_GuitarHero Guitar Hero I

Game_GuitarHeroII Guitar Hero II and Game_GuitarHeroEncoreRocksThe80s Guitar Hero Encore: Rock the 80's

Game_GuitarHeroIIILegendsOfRock Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock and Game_GuitarHeroAerosmith Guitar Hero: Aerosmith



Xbox 360


Category: CategoryTechniques

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