A few weeks ago, I finally got around to playing the one and only Guitar Hero. Thinking this would be just like playing a guitar, I was surprised during my trial run. Playing the incredibly easy Ramones classic, "I Wanna Be Sedated," I played it note for note just like I've played it on guitar. Yet the song stopped, the crowd booed and I was at a loss for words. Ryan politely explained to me how to actually play the game (you hit the buttons right as they come at you). Once I got a grip on this, I was able to get through a lot of songs. But still, this game is more like Space Invaders instead of a guitar lesson.
I've been playing guitar since 1995 and have always enjoyed the guitar itself. I understand the Guitar Hero games are not meant to be guitar tutorials, but they are meant for the non-guitar player as well as the seasoned player.
I could chalk this up to playing for twelve years, but I've found playing a number of songs on Guitar Hero much easier to play on guitar. Songs like Helmet's "Unsung" and Franz Ferdinand's "Take Me Out" are incredibly easy to me. But I find playing them on the game a torn matter. It's like I have to drastically adjust from regular playing to video game playing. Instead of moving up and down a fretboard on various strings, I'm staying on one part of the fretboard and on only one string.
A major facet of playing rock music (especially punk rock) is downpicking. Just find the chord placement and repeatedly strum in a downward motion. Depending on the difficulty level you select on Guitar Hero, you could play some notes to all the notes. Being a beginner at the game, the highest I can go is Medium. What that means is I don't play all the notes and I get easily thrown off.
I don't mean to piss all over this game series; it's really addicting and great to play at parties. But for me, it makes me want to get out my own guitar, play power chords, riffs all over the fretboard and everything in between.