Life Is Strange is an episodic graphic adventure video game developed by Dontnod Entertainment and published by Square Enix. It is available for Linux, Microsoft Windows, OS X, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One, and consists of five episodes released periodically throughout 2015.

The game's plot focuses on Maxine Caulfield, a photography student who discovers that she has the ability to rewind time at any moment, leading her every choice to enact the butterfly effect. After having foreseen an approaching storm, Max must take on the responsibility to prevent it from destroying her town. The player's actions will adjust the narrative as it unfolds, and reshape it once allowed to travel back in time. Fetch quests and making environmental changes represent the forms of puzzle solving in addition to using branching choices for conversation.

Development of Life Is Strange began in April 2013. It was formed with an episodic format in mind, for reasons both financial and creative. The developers conducted research on the setting by travelling to the Pacific Northwest, and subverted known archetypes to make the characters. Player feedback influenced the adjustments made to the episodes. Story and character arc serve as the central point in the game rather than traditional graphic adventure tropes like point-and-click puzzles. The voice recording sessions took place in Los Angeles, California.

During its release, Life Is Strange received generally favourable reviews commending the character development, rewind game mechanic and tackling of taboo subjects. It won the BAFTA Games Award for Best Story, the Peabody-Facebook Futures of Media Award and The Game Awards’ Games for Impact Award. Common criticisms included the slang that was used, poor lip-syncing in earlier episodes, and tonal inconsistencies in the story. It had sold one million digital copies by the end of July 2015. A digital series based on the game is being developed by Legendary Digital Studios and Square Enix.





Rise of the Tomb Raider is an action-adventure video game developed by Crystal Dynamics and published by Square Enix. It is the sequel to the 2013 video game Tomb Raider, a reboot of the Tomb Raider franchise. It was released for Xbox One and Xbox 360 in November 2015 and for Microsoft Windows in January 2016. It is set to release for the PlayStation 4 worldwide in October 2016.

Rise of the Tomb Raider was officially announced in June 2014. The game's storyline follows Lara Croft as she ventures into Siberia in search of the legendary city of Kitezh, whilst battling a paramilitary organization that intends on beating her to the city's promise of immortality. Presented from a third-person perspective, the game primarily focuses on survival and combat, while the player may also explore its landscape and various optional tombs. Camilla Luddington returns to voice and perform her role as Lara.

Upon release, Rise of the Tomb Raider received positive reviews, with critics praising its graphics, gameplay and characterization. It was the best-selling Xbox One game during Christmas week, and had sold over one million copies by the end of 2015. Additional content was also released, including a new story campaign, a new gameplay mode, as well as new outfits and weapons for Lara.





Now you know what is a scale from my previous post Music Theory: Making a Scale and know how to make scale, and have some basic knowledge about notes. You know a bit of the theory. So now, the question arises, how to play these notes on the guitar? But whoa! Where are the notes themselves?

Before that, let's recall what is the fretboard of the guitar. Well, it's ...

The fingerboard (also known as a fretboard on fretted instruments) is an important component of most stringed instruments. It is a thin, long strip of material, usually wood, that is laminated to the front of the neck of an instrument. The strings run over the fingerboard, between the nut and bridge.
                 Source: Wikipedia (Where else??)



Do you see the frets on your guitar? What are frets? Well...

A fret is a raised element on the neck of a stringed instrument. Frets usually extend across the full width of the neck. On most modern western fretted instruments, frets are metal strips inserted into the fingerboard.
Source: Wikipedia (once again!! :D)

Definitions aside, this is what fret is... (the shiny vertical metallic strips)



This is how the fretboard of your guitar looks like...


Starting with the strings. Do you see the thinnest string on your guitar, the one with the high-pitched sound? That is the 1st string. And the thickest string, that is the 6th string. The other strings are numbered accordingly.

The Fret number begins to be counted from the nut. The first fret is the one that is next to the nut. The 2nd fret is the one next to the first fret, and so on. But then, some of you may ask, "Then why are the fret numbers given in the middle of two neighbouring frets, and not directly beneath the frets?"

SIDE VIEW OF THE GUITAR


Well, look at the picture above. Suppose I tell you that the F note is at the 1st fret of 1st string. So, I am telling you to hold the string (I will come to "How to hold the notes" later) in such a way that the string (not your finger) touches the 1st fret (Position A). But, to do so, you need to hold your finger at position B. Why? It is because holding your fingers at position B will make the string come down and touch the 1st fret. 

"And why do we need to make the string touch the fret?"
Because doing so will shorten the effective length of the string under vibration, thus increasing the frequency of the sound hence derived. In other words, you will reach the next note.

So, what is the note when the 1st string is plucked? Well, it's E. What if the the same string is played, but with your fingers at 1st fret? Well, it's the note after E, which is F. Different strings give different notes when plucked without putting your finger anywhere on the string. These notes are called open notes because the whole of the string is open to play. Different notes are derived by holding the finger at different positions.

"So, which note is at which position?". Well, for that.... Please don't fret when I show you this diagram... (No pun intended, but still!)

DON'T FORGET THAT YOU CAN CLICK OR TAP ON THE IMAGE TO ENLARGE IT

Take your time to observe it carefully. This diagram is the complete fretboard diagram up to 12th fret. The strings are numbered from 1 to 6. The frets are numbered as well. The open notes are written in orange colour to the far left. The string numbers are given with blue colour to the far right. The fret numbers are given in black colour all along the entire fretboard. The notes' names are also written in black colour and enclosed in a circle. All natural (i.e, they are neither the sharp or flat of some other note) notes are enclosed in circles of grey background, whereas all sharps are enclosed in circles of white background.

Observe these things...

1) The 1st string, when plucked openly, gives the note E. The 2nd string gives B, the 3rd G, the 4th D, the 5th A, and the 6th (last) gives E.

2) Both the 1st and 6th string when plucked openly gives the note E. The only difference is that the 1st string gives E of higher octave, whereas the 6th string gives E of lower octave. To signify this, the notes are differentiated as 'e' and 'E'.

3) The progression of notes, or coming of one note after the other is exactly the same as I showed you in my post Music Theory: The Very Beginning

4) The names of notes are given in between 2 neighbouring frets (where you must put your finger) and not directly above the frets (where beginners believe to be proper, out of misconception). Now, you know the reason.


"So, what's next?" Well, now, you have to memorise the fretboard diagram. Don't fret. (again!) We used to get pretty afraid at the very thought of the fretboard, let alone the notes. But believe me, if you have the true will, and if you practise honestly, you can do it. So, this ends today's lesson.

"Wait, no tips and tricks?"
Well, since you asked for it, I am giving you one way to memorise it. Memorise only the notes of all 6 strings at Open, 3rd, 5th, 7th, 9th and 12th fret. The rest of the notes can be easily found by going before or after the frets I told you about. Suppose, just remember that the 6th string at 5th fret gives note A. This way, you can easily find out that G# (on the same string) is just one fret before it, i.e, 4th fret. Also, A# is just after it, i.e, at 6th fret.

So, I am ending this lesson here. It must have been quite a long read. (Don't blame me. Blame my talkative mind!). So, now, I leave you with the task of memorising the fretboard, and revising all the concepts I taught you till now. I will come back with my next lesson very soon. Till then, bye!!

Now you know the very basics of Music Theory from my previous post, Music Theory: The Very Beginning. You now know that there are 12 notes in music. Just like how 26 letters make all the English literature of this world, just 12 notes make all the music of this world. Isn't that fascinating? The same notes combined in a different and unique way in millions of melodious combinations creates the nectar for our ears. So, how can just 12 notes be combined to produce melody?

Before that, let me come to something else, something some of you may have already noticed. Let's recall the 12 notes...

A - A# - B - C - C# - D - D# - E - F - F# -G - G#

Do you remember that they together are called an "octave" ? The word "oct" is of Latin origin, meaning "eight". But there are 12 notes, not 8. So why the name?

That's because there are GENERALLY 8 notes in a scale. (I have emphasized on "generally" for a reason. I'll tell you later). So, what is a scale in music?

Well, to put it straight, a scale is a collection of 8 notes (or more, or less) arranged in the ascending order of their frequencies, i.e, in the increasing order of their shrillness. So, which 8 notes?

Well, that depends on which scale you want to make. A scale ALWAYS starts from the root note. The root note is defined as that note which decides which other notes should grammatically fall in the scale. Scales are named after their root notes. For example, let us take the C Major scale. As evident, its root note is C. And, the scale is as follows...

...C - D - E - F - G - A - B - C...

"Wait, wait, where are the others? Where are the sharps or flats in between the notes? "
"And what's a Major scale? "

Let me answer the first question first. For that, you have to know the grammar of constructing a scale. A scale is much like a sentence. You can't just use any word. You can use only those words which grammar permits, and that too following some "guidelines". Same for a musical scale.

For the second question, there are 2 broad categories of scales - Major and Minor. There are several sub-categories of both the broad categories. {To be honest, I know only a few of them. I know only those that are the most important, and from which the other scales may be derived}.

So, let's see the process of construction of a Major scale. After that, you can, on your own, make a Minor scale. (That doesn't mean I am not going to show you).

I am writing the 12 notes in ascending order, once again (this time starting from C)...

...C - C# - D - D# - E - F - F# - G - G# - A - A# - B...

And, this is the C Major scale...

C - D - E - F - G - A - B - C

So, identifying the root note (first note of the scale) shouldn't be a problem. It is C. But what about the next 7 notes? For that, remember this sequence for Major scale...

Root - Whole - Whole - Half - Whole - Whole - Whole - Half

"What the hell is this?"

Well, it is the order in which the notes of a scale are selected. Let's start from the root note. Following the sequence, the first note is root note, that is, C. The next one is "whole", i.e, a whole step ahead of C, which is D. What do you mean by a "whole step"? Well, after C comes C#, after C# comes D. So, a whole "step" ahead of C is D. If I say "a half step ahead" of C, it means the note after C, which is C#. So, using the sequence, this is the C Major scale (green-coloured)...

CLICK ON THE IMAGE TO ENLARGE

OK, so, let's see if you have understood what I tried to explain. Write the G major scale. Just use G as root note and then use the above sequence. Come on, don't just stare at this screen. Try it.

Is is it something like this?

G - A - B - C - D - E - F# - G

If yes, we both are successful. If no, please understand the 'procedure', then try again.


So, let's move on now. What's the sequence for Minor scale? It's this...

Root - Whole - Half - Whole - Whole - Half - Whole - Whole

So, let's try writing the Dm scale. (Note, D-minor is shortened as Dm). So, following the sequence, the scale stands as follows...

D - E - F - G - A - Bb - C - D



So, let's compare the 2 sequences...

Major --   Root   -  Whole   - Whole -    Half    - Whole   -   Whole  -  Whole  -     Half
Minor --   Root   -  Whole   -   Half   -  Whole  - Whole   -    Half     -  Whole  -   Whole

Wasn't that interesting? So, that was the basics for making a scale. When I say "basic", I mean "basic", because, as I had already told, there are several sub-categories of both Major and Minor types, such as pentatonics, etc. Well, that's a topic of discussion for another day. So, this is the end of today's lesson. Attempt to write some scales of your choice, then see if you are correct. And, stay tuned for the next lesson. Bye for now!
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