Category Archives: games

From my Google Reader this morning

Guitar Games Push Digital Music Sales


Teaching Music with Guitar Hero?

Christmas is over, but we are still rocking out with our new Guitar Hero III for the Wii here at home, and in our virtual stadium crowd thanks to some photoshop fun…

Several of the music-ed bloggers I subscribe to (see my blogroll) have discussed the idea of using video games to teach kids how to read music. Check out Engadet blogger Nilay Patel’s post on a company that has a created a “guitar hero like” game that uses a real guitar and gaming technology to teach kids how to read music.

And, if you really can’t stand playing GH with a plastic guitar controller, check out how to build your own custom full-sized Guitar Hero controller like the modified Strat in the picture below. File this under projects labeled “when-I-have-too-much-time-on-my hands…”

Frets on Fire: we are shredding on our Mac

UPDATE: this is a follow-up to my last post about Frets on Fire. After poking around the FOF website, we were able to find a simple hack to get the program to work on my Intel based iMac. Here is what you do:

1) Download 2 separate versions of Frets on Fire: Version 1.1.324 and Version 1.2.438

2) Follow the directions from the screencast here to make a simple change to the program.

3) Start shredding!

You will definitely want to Google your way to adding more songs to the library. There is a great post here from the FOF Fan Forum on how to use Audacity to convert mp3 files to Ogg Vorbis files so you can create your own songs.

I see a lot of potential for a fun program you could use with your students…especially the creation of new songs. Let me know if you have tried this with your students.

Frets on Fire: freeware patterned after Guitar Hero

Frets on Fire according to the game ‘s developers “is a game of musical skill and fast fingers. The aim of the game is to play guitar with the keyboard as accurately as possible.” It’s basically a freeware version of Guitar Hero where your computer keyboard acts as the “guitar” controller. Check out the short video of my son giving it a test run on his Vista computer. Notice how he is holding his keyboard like a guitar- right hand pressing the enter key in time with his fingers on the left hand pressing the function keys (I tried downloading the MacOSX version, but it caused my intel based iMac to crash…) Update: check out my post on how we got FOF to work on my iMac.

In addition to the pre-loaded songs, you can also “compose” new songs with the game’s built in song editor and Ogg Vorbis files. I had a blast trying to play Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit”. It’s surprisingly well done for a freeware program.