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    FAQ/Strategy Guide by tirelat

    Updated: 05/16/09 | Search Guide | Bookmark Guide

    WII MUSIC Technique and Strategy Guide
    Original version: Jan. 10, 2009
    Corrections: Jan, 11, 2009
    Updated: May 16, 2009 (added section on Drum Mode)
    Thanks to dmmaby229 for requesting a list of Quick Jam styles, which started
    the creation of this guide, and to mister_jmp for posting a partial list of
    styles. I corrected two errors in my list based on a list provided by
    rudolph_cloud (board topic "Hidden Styles!", Jan. 11). The European names for
    the French Bistro and Woodwind styles are also from rudolph_cloud's message.
    Wii Music has a surprising amount of depth for what initially appears to be a
    simple casual music-making title. This guide focuses on the Custom Jam and
    Quick Jam modes (although many of these techniques are also applicable to
    Instrument Improv). The in-game description of how to play the instruments is
    very minimal, and there are a few techniques that you just have to discover
    on your own. Here are just a few of the things you can do with this game.
    On all instruments, the D-pad produces various jumps, spins, poses, and
    effects that vary from one stage to another. For instance, a comet appears in
    the Galactic Voyage stage when using the D-pad, and dolphins leap out of the
    water in Beachside Drive. When two Mii characters use the same D-pad move at
    the same time, a more spectacular effect can be set off in some stages
    (rainbows, explosions, or pyrotechnic flames).
    When playing the instruments in Wii Music, try to be aware of the
    characteristic style and natural limitations of each instrument. For
    instance, rapidly repeated notes may be effective on the steel drums, but not
    as natural for a harp. Arpeggiated chords are natural on the harp, but less
    characteristic for steel drums. On the other hand, it can be an interesting
    effect to use Wii Music instruments in ways that would be impossible for the
    real instruments.
    Piano-style controls
    Hold the Wii Remote and Nunchuk face up straight in front of you. Swing one
    or both of them downward as if holding a mallet and playing a percussion
    instrument. Swing rapidly or lightly to change the volume of the sound (you
    don't need much force). (Alternatively, you can hold the Wii Remote and
    Nunchuk sideways, facing out, and pluck toward you as if playing a harp, or
    hold them vertically, facing toward you, and tilt forward as if playing
    A and C buttons (Tremolo): repeat the same note (in chord parts, play one
    note at a time)
    B and Z buttons (Muting): hold to play staccato, or press while the note is
    playing to stop.
    Control stick: plays a special effect, usually an arpeggiated chord, when
    held up or down while playing a note. The dulcimer plays a different kind of
    ornament. The control stick has a portamento effect on the timpani.
    Handbells, dog suit, and cat suit use the control stick the same as the D-
    Instruments: Piano, Galactic Piano, Toy Piano, Harpsichord, Harp, Dulcimer,
    Marimba, Vibraphone, Steel Drums, Handbells, Timpani, Dog Suit, Cat Suit
    Pianos have a wider dynamic range between loud and soft sounds than
    harpsichords, so if you're looking for realism, keep the harpsichord notes at
    a more or less constant volume level. Pitch bends on the timpani are most
    effective if you stop the note with the B or Z button before playing the next
    note. Frequent use of the B and Z buttons is also effective for a good
    keyboard sound.
    Rapper -- similar to the piano-type or drum-type controls. Holding the A, B,
    C, or Z buttons while playing produces different sounds. The control stick is
    the same as the D-pad.
    Guitar-type controls
    Hold the Nunchuk out, as if holding the neck of a guitar, and strum downward
    with the Wii Remote. You can control the loudness of the sound by plucking
    more lightly or more abruptly. If you hold the Wii Remote face out (away from
    you) and use a curved motion for strumming chords, you can control the speed
    of strumming. Shaking the Nunchuk produces a vibrato. Changing the angle of
    the Nunchuk changes the angle the Mii holds the guitar, but doesn't seem to
    affect the sound.
    Holding down on the D-pad allows you to play more rapidly by plucking both on
    the down stroke and the up stroke.
    A button: repeat the last note.
    B and Z buttons (Muting): plays staccato or stops a note that is playing.
    C button: plays individual notes on the Chord part, or chords on the other
    Control stick: does a pitch bend effect (except on chords).
    Instruments: Acoustic Guitar, Ukulele, Electric Guitar, Galactic Guitar,
    Banjo, Sitar, Shamisen, Jaw Harp, Electric Bass, Upright Bass, Galactic Bass
    One technique that comes in handy with guitar-type instruments is alternating
    single notes with chords, effectively giving you one or more extra chord
    parts or harmony parts as needed. The galactic guitar has a nice wah-wah
    effect that works well in chord parts. The jaw harp can be played so rapidly
    that it sounds unnatural; a slower pace is better for it.
    Trumpet-type controls
    Hold the Wii Remote up to your mouth as if playing a trumpet, with your left
    hand controlling the A and B buttons (and the D-pad), and your right hand on
    the 1 and 2 buttons. Press the 1 or 2 button to play a note. Tilt the Wii
    Remote up or down to control the volume of the notes. The A button repeats
    the same note (or plays individual notes on the Chord part). The B button has
    different effects depending on the instrument -- it may raise the pitch of
    the note (as with the Clarinet and Accordion), produce an arpeggio effect (as
    with the Trumpet and Saxophone), or play an ornament (on the Bagpipe).
    Instruments: Trumpet, Galactic Horn, Saxophone, Clarinet, Recorder, Accordion,
     Bagpipe, NES horn, Singer, Tuba
    The galactic horn more or less sounds like an electronic keyboard. The
    bagpipe is best played with long, sustained notes for a more authentic sound,
    although it sounds fine however you play it. The tuba is actually very nice
    for melodies, but it can be tricky to find good instruments to accompany it.
    Flute-type controls
    The Flute and Harmonica are played the same as the Trumpet-type instruments
    except that the Wii Remote is held sideways as if playing a flute. Tilt the
    Wii Remote toward or away from you to change the volume of a note. Shaking
    the Harmonica produces an added vibrato effect.
    Instruments: Flute, Harmonica
    Violin-type controls
    Hold the Nunchuck as if holding the neck of a violin or cello. Move the Wii
    Remote back and forth as if bowing, and press the B, C, or Z button to play a
    note. The speed of the bowing controls the loudness of the sound.
    A button: repeat the last note, or plays individual notes on a chord part.
    Control stick: hold up while pressing the B, C, or Z button to play a double
    stop (two notes at once).
    Instruments: Violin, Cello
    Percussion-style controls
    Hold the Wii Remote and Nunchuk straight out and swing downward as with the
    Piano-style controls. Holding the A or B button changes the sound from the
    Wii Remote, and holding the C or Z button changes the sound from the Nunchuk.
    The control stick acts like the D-pad. The Black Belt and Cheerleader make
    additional sounds while using the D-pad or control stick.
    Instruments: Basic Drums, Rock Drums, Jazz Drums, Latin Drums, Reggae Drums,
    Ballad Drums, Galactic Drums, Marching Snare, Bass Drum, Taiko Drum, Congas,
    Galactic Congas, Djembe Drum, Timbales, Maracas, Tambourine, Bells,
    Castanets, Cowbell, Hand Clap, Beatboxer, Black Belt, Cheerleader
    Each set of drums has its own characteristic beat. The B and Z buttons are
    good for accents, and the A and C buttons typically play a cymbal crash or a
    more exotic effect (like the cowbell rattle).
    Hold the Wii Remote face up and swing it from side to side as if scraping
    with a stick. It takes some practice to avoid extra notes at the end of a
    swing. Holding the C or Z button changes the sound produced.
    Move the Wii Remote forward and back to make a sound. Like the Güiro, you
    need to be careful to avoid extra notes at the end of the motion. Holding the
    C or Z button changes the sound produced.
    Like the Trumpet-style instruments, except that the A and B button change the
    sound produced.
    DJ Turntables
    The easiest way to play this is to think of it as a two-handed Güiro. Move
    the Wii Remote from side to side to start the beat. Holding the A, B, C, or Z
    button allows you to stop the beat temporarily and scrape back and forth. The
    beat starts up again when you release the button. Posing by pressing down on
    the D-pad or control stick also stops the beat.
    Drum Mode
    If you have a Wii Fit Balance Board, you can take control of the drums and
    play one of four drum sets: basic, rock, jazz, and galactic drums. The right
    foot plays the bass drum, and the left foot opens and closes the hi-hat
    cymbal. The tricky thing with drum mode is getting the balance right. You
    need to put just enough weight on the left side so that the bass drum doesn't
    unintentionally set off the hi-hat, but too much weight and the bass drum
    won't respond. The controls seem to be more reliable when wearing shoes.
    The cymbals, hi-hat, snare drum, and toms can be played using either the Wii
    Remote or Nunchuk. Typically you will hold the Z button on the Nunchuk for
    the snare, and use the remote for the hi-hat. The A button on the remote and
    the C button on the Nunchuk play different cymbals, so you'll want to plan
    ahead if you want to use a particular cymbal. It helps to run through the
    drum lessons in order to learn to coordinate your hands and feet.
    Tips for arranging music
    At first it seems limiting to have so little control over which note is
    played, but there are still many aspects of the music under your control. Pay
    attention to phrasing and articulation. Wind instruments and singers
    naturally need time to breathe, although the pauses can be very brief.
    Contrasting dynamics, alternating between soft and loud, can be effective in
    creating variation between sections of a song.
    The timing of percussion parts is important for setting the rhythm. It can be
    a good idea to set a slower tempo for recording the percussion parts, and
    speeding it up for the other parts.
    Try using unusual combinations of instruments, or putting instruments on
    unexpected parts. Set aside sections where one or more instruments take a
    break to highlight the other instruments. Use the B button on the clarinet-
    style instruments to change which note is played or add ornamentation. Try
    changing which beat gets the stress, or playing an entirely different rhythm.
    Don't be afraid to experiment -- you can come up with all sorts of crazy
    ideas that actually work.
    Quick Jam styles
    Quick Jam has a number of styles which aren't immediately available in the
    Custom Jam modes. If you want to do a Custom Jam with one of these styles,
    you could save a Quick Jam video and load it into Custom Jam. Or, just make a
    note of which instruments are playing on which parts, and set those up
    directly. Here is a list (possibly incomplete) of styles found in the Quick
    Jam mode. (The ones marked with asterisks are directly available in Custom
    Jam from the menu.) Of course, you're not limited to any of these styles --
    you can substitute any instrument, or come up with your own new arrangement.
                    Bass             Percussion       Percussion
                    Chord            Melody           Harmony
    A Cappella      singer           beat boxer       hand clap
                    singer           singer           singer
    Acoustic        acoustic guitar  congas           maracas
                    acoustic guitar  singer           banjo
    African         marimba          djembe drum      congas
                    marimba          marimba          marimba
    Animals!        tuba             bass drum        cowbell
                    dog              cat              cat
    Ballad          electric bass    ballad drums     congas
                    piano            saxophone        piano
    Calypso         steel drum
                    steel drum       steel drum       steel drum
    Celtic          upright bass     bass drum        tambourine
                    acoustic guitar  bagpipe          bagpipe
    Classical*      cello
                    harpsichord      violin           violin
    Country         upright bass     cowbell          maracas
                    banjo            harmonica        jaw harp
    Electronic*     galactic bass    DJ turntables    hand clap
                    galactic piano   vibraphone       galactic guitar
    Eurobeat        galactic bass    galactic drums   tambourine
                    galactic guitar  galactic horn    electric guitar
    European        tuba             marching snare   castanets
                    dulcimer         clarinet         violin
    Exotic          sitar            djembe drum
                    dulcimer         sitar            sitar
    Flamenco        acoustic guitar  castanets        hand clap
                    acoustic guitar  violin           violin
    Folk            upright bass     bass drum        maracas
                    acoustic guitar  recorder         accordion
    French Bistro   upright bass     güiro            tambourine
    (French Cinema) harpsichord      accordion        clarinet
    Funk            electric bass    basic drums      hand clap
                    galactic guitar  trumpet          saxophone
    Galactic        galactic bass    galactic drums   galactic congas
                    galactic piano   galactic horn    galactic guitar
    Handbells       handbells        bells
                    handbells        handbells        handbells
    Hawaiian*       upright bass     maracas          congas
                    ukulele          ukulele          ukulele
    Hip Hop         galactic bass    DJ turntable     galactic congas
                    galactic piano   rapper
    Japanese*       shamisen         taiko drum       bells
    Jazz*           upright bass     jazz drums       congas
                    piano            saxophone        vibraphone
    Karate!         electric bass    rock drums       black belt
                    electric guitar  electric guitar  electric guitar
    Latin*          electric bass    Latin drums      maracas
                    marimba          trumpet          saxophone
    March*          tuba             bass drum        marching snare
                    trumpet          trumpet          trumpet
    NES-style       NES horn
                    NES horn         NES horn         NES horn
    Orchestral      timpani          marching snare
                    violin           flute            trumpet
    Parade          tuba             whistle          cheerleader
                    trumpet          trumpet          clarinet
    Pop*            electric bass    basic drums      tambourine
                    acoustic guitar  piano            vibraphone
    Reggae*         upright bass     reggae drums
                    piano            steel drum       steel drum
    Rock*           electric bass    rock drums       tambourine
                    galactic horn    electric guitar  electric guitar
    Salsa           electric bass    congas           timbales
                    acoustic guitar  trumpet          marimba
    Samba           electric bass    whistle          cuica
                    acoustic guitar  flute            marimba
    Soul            galactic bass    basic drums      hand clap
                    galactic piano   trumpet          saxophone
    Soundtrack      timpani          marching snare   maracas
                    harpsichord      piano            acoustic guitar
    Tango*          upright bass     marching snare   castanets
                    accordion        violin           piano
    Toy             galactic horn    marching snare   castanets
                    toy piano        galactic horn    galactic horn
    Woodwind        harpsichord
    (Serenade)      piano            flute            clarinet

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