Jam Sessions!

Three days after I bought my first new DS game, I have bought my second. Now I, too, can make music on my DS!

Jam Sessions was worth my money for the ear training exercises and the free play mode alone. I only know two of the twenty songs included in the game (non-game? bah) so the playing-along mode is pretty useless to me, unless I use it for ear training as well. If I used effects more than I do in real life I’d be more excited about the wide variety of sound alteration available to the player. The basic guitar sound is fine on its own for me. All in all, this is pretty flexible for messing about with. The recording option is convenient and I’m looking forward to using it, although at the moment I don’t know how much music it will hold. Have I already composed original chord sequences for verses and bridges? Yes. Do any of them match the three sets of lyrics I have written within the past eighteen months? No. Of course not.

I have discovered one drawback so far. The way the DS has to be held and the buttons pressed and the stylus moved all at once means my hands get tired from supporting the weight and stretching, as the original DS is a hefty little thing. Makes one wish for a DS Lite. In candy apple red, of course (or what they’re calling crimson in the new limited edition bundle).

ETA: I should clarify something lest someone leap to an incorrect conclusion. Yes, I have a couple of perfectly good instruments, and yes, I make up music with them, and yes, this program is but a hollow shade of what a real guitar would be like. My problem is that my instruments play only one or two notes at once, and thus I can’t get the subtle colour difference that (for example) a Cm versus a Cm7 chord can provide. If I’m writing an ensemble piece it’s easier for my brain to begin with a chord that sounds right for the rhythm guitar, which I can then break down into its key component notes and pass them to different melodic lines. And I don’t know what chord is going to sound right unless I hear it, and as I don’t own a chord instrument or have the time to learn one, this works pretty well for me. It saves a time, and a lot of calls and repetitive questions fielded by my guitarist. Also, it’s fun. I like it when learning tools are fun.

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