Lesson 4: Changing Strings and Frets - Step 1: Changing Strings

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Step 1: Changing Strings

The first thing we'll try here is changing strings. Armchair Guitarist has six strings, tuned to the same pitch as the strings on a regular, six-string guitar. To change strings, we use the Strum Bar or the up and down directions on the controller's D-Pad.

This behaviour is slightly different, depending on whether you're in Pick Mode or Tap Mode. We''ll start with Pick Mode- if you're not already in Pick Mode, change modes using the Back or Select button on your guitar controller.

Now, without pressing a Fret Button, strum down with the Strum Bar. You'll notice when you do this that the Fret Bar in the interface moves down to the next string. Now strum up, and the Fret Bar will move back up to the first string. Use this technique to move to each string on the Fret Board.

You'll see when you do this that the notes printed on the Fret Buttons in the interface change to reflect the string you're on.

Move the Strum Bar up and down while not playing to change Strings

So, how does this behave when we want to play notes? Try it, as described in the previous tutorial- you'll see that, in Pick Mode, when you are holding a Fret Button down, using the strum bar will play the note, but the Fret Bar will remain in place- in Pick Mode you cannot change strings and play notes at the same time.

Obviously, this isn't great if you're trying to play a solo that involves using more than one string (pretty much a given, unless you happen to be the frog from Nice to Be Here). This is where Tap Mode comes in.

Select Tap Mode on your controller, and, while playing notes, move up and down with the strum bar, as randomly as you like. Because you don't need to use the Strum Bar to play notes in Tap Mode, it is left free for changing strings! This leaves you free to construct fast and complex solos using all six strings, without having to take your fingers off the fret buttons.

The last thing to take note of here is what happens when you try to move the Fret Bar past the top or bottom of the Fret Board. You may even have noticed this already. When you try to move the Fret Bar it simply loops around- if you try to move past the bottom of the Fret Board you will end up at the top, and vice versa. Try this a few times until you get used to it.

There's one last thing to look at before we move on- to the right of the Mode Selector in the interface you'll see the Flip Strings button. This flips the fretboard over, so that the bass string is at the top of the fret board. Try it both ways until you find the way that is most comfortable for you.

Now that we've mastered the delicate art of changing strings, let's move on to Changing Frets.

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