My first time … playing Guitar Hero |

My first time … playing Guitar Hero

summit daily news
Summit Daily/Eric Drummond

SUMMIT COUNTY ” With an element of karaoke (without the need to be intoxicated to participate) along with the (nearly) universal appeal of popular rock ‘n’ roll, Guitar Hero has taken the video game world by storm.

“It’s definitely my favorite,” said student Michael Trapp visiting Breckenridge from New York. “It’s way more interactive than any other game.”

Local Mike Boyd, who works at the Motherloaded Tavern in Breck, said he plays about 15-20 hours a week.

“There’s a variety of music in the game ” classic rock, newer rock ” a little bit for everyone,” he said.

In the office and about town I kept hearing about Guitar Town, being played by the pre-teen and teen set, the 20s set, the 30s and 40s set, and the parents of the pre-teen and teen set.

It was time I investigated further, and on Wednesday night at the Motherloaded Tavern in Breckenridge where they hold a weekly evening dedicated to the game, I looked into where the addiction begins.

It was early in the night and the crowd was still sparse at the bar, luckily for me, as I timidly stepped up to the plate … or got onstage, more appropriately.

I admit the thrill for me began immediately as I strapped on the uber-fun prop of a guitar, now properly prepared, or ready, to rock.

Like many video games it asks each participant to choose a persona to represent them; I was pleased to pick out a guitar and musician, instead of a weapon and bad guy.

After selecting what I considered a cool guitar and long-haired musician, I quickly reviewed the five color-coded buttons at the end of the neck, aka the headstock of the instrument it represents.

As I figured it out ” the left hand stays focused on the colors and the right hand does the “strumming” ” it became evident that I would want to play this again, play it better, and that I couldn’t wait to see what others of my favorite tunes I could try.

Yet as a game that utilizes a phony guitar and helps participants to fake it at a musical endeavor, Guitar Hero has its haters.

“Play a real guitar,” said local musician Justin Stone, noting that Guitar Hero is nothing like playing the instrument.

I knew what he meant. Having followed my own small guitar hero dreams the old-fashioned way in college by taking some lessons, I knew where what he was suggesting would lead me, and it wasn’t the same place as where I could go on Guitar Hero.

The cheat is, instead of using a pick to strum the strings, there’s a small bar to hit when the color on the screen arrives at the point where you’re supposed to hit the bar. And instead of stretching your hand to its limit, you just have to hit one of three buttons at the beginner level.

I quickly learned that if I wasn’t agile enough yet to actually hit the chord when I was supposed to, I could just “strum” as fast as I could and win the same result scorewise. But it was definitely better when I actually hit the notes ” it was at these times I felt like emulating the erratic motions of a true guitar hero.

And for a few moments, I was a band member of Nirvana, a gritty musician with something to say.

“At first I couldn’t see how this is so addictive,” said Chmurney Cain, owner of the Motherloaded Tavern. “I’m really quite good at it now.”

Look for Guitar Hero Aerosmith: Walk This Way coming out in June.

Leslie Brefeld can be reached at (970) 668-4626 or

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