One of the big new elements of Rock Band 4 are the Freestyle Solos that can be played on guitar. These special sections of the song allow the guitar player to improvise a bit, but you still need to stay on beat to keep your score going up. There are a few tutorial videos contained in Rock Band 4, but even after watching them all, I still found myself struggling to keep the multiplier going throughout. So here’s a handy guide for how to do Freestyl Solos on Guitar in Rock Band 4.
First up is to recognize what the solo is asking for. If it is the type that has blue on the left and orange on the right, it is a totally free section. Hold some buttons down and strum to your hearts content. Nothing can really screw these up, except doing nothing.
Other sections are more specific in their needs though. Starting with the colors, blue are the top buttons, the ones you use for normal notes, and orange are the bottom ones, near the body of the guitar (I know musicians call this the “top of the neck” but those people won’t need help with these, so let’s call it the bottom here as it is more natural for non-musicians in my opinion). You’ll need to know this for the rest of the Rock Band 4 Freestyle Solo pieces.
The hardest ones for me to get a grasp on were the bars. These are where blue or orange lines cross the playfield at different intervals. There’s really just a few beats that you have to maintain here, and I’m not going to use music lingo, because I have no idea how to actually play a musical instrument.
Depending on how spaced out the bars are, that is what determines how quickly you have to strum. Just hold whatever buttons you want, in the proper area of top or bottom, then strum to the beat. For the rare ones that are extremely spaced out, you want to strum once per beat, essentially. What does this mean though?
Well, as a non-musical person, my trick was to listen to the drummer. For the really spaced out bars, I strummed once every time they hit the drum. When they get closer, which is actually the more common spacing, I strummed twice, going up and down to the beat at a slightly accelerated rate. The really closely spaced bars require you to go double this pace, strumming very quickly. It’s sort of something you have to figure out for yourself as you play, but watching the combo circle fill up each time you hit at the right point should give enough feedback to get it worked out quickly.
Slightly easier to figure out are the blur or orange bars that appear in the middle of the track. These solid bars indicate a time where you want to hold one button, strum, and then hold it till the section ends. You can strum up, or tilt the guitar to do fancy stuff, but the end goal is to just hit that note at the beginning, and hold it until the end. Waiting too long, or strumming other notes will kill your multiplier, hurting your score. If the track curves, which will appear in more difficult songs, just strum with your guitar raised in a vertical position.
There are a few more elements to the Freestyle Solos in Rock Band 4, but they come up quite rarely and shouldn’t impact you until you are very familiar with the game. Shoot any questions you have at us in the comments and we’ll keep this updated with all the latest info as Rock Band 4 gets out to the masses.