This is a guest post by Zach Burnham.
Upbeat Bird teaches you to be better at upbeats and musical timing in a unique way. The game is simple – you need to tap the screen to make the bird fly through obstacles and see how far you can go. There are also bass notes playing a downbeat (so crank up that volume!), and drum hits play in between downbeats on the perfect upbeats and 16th upbeats. When you tap the screen, the bird flies higher if you are far from the downbeat, which means closer to the perfect upbeat. It looks like this: the bird jumps high if you tap right in the middle of two downbeats (the perfect upbeat), but only jumps a little bit if you tap right after the beat plays or right before the beat plays (the 16th upbeats). You use this to control the bird, with two goals: jump on the perfect upbeats and 16th upbeats, and fly as far as you possibly can.
But wait! If you tap on every possible upbeat perfectly in Upbeat Bird, you’ll be on your way to a great score but will definitely fly into a wall! The challenge is to know where those upbeats are and to use them to your advantage and get through those posts. This aspect of Upbeat Bird teaches you to think ahead, analyze the physical and musical landscape, and perform accordingly. When playing, you will undoubtedly tap on a few wrong beats. That’s okay! Just as with playing music, when you miss a beat you have to keep playing and have better timing on the next one. That is an important skill that Upbeat Bird will help you with – I know it is helping me!
Remember this: you can use a wrong beat to your advantage. Playing exactly with the downbeat in Upbeat Bird will make the bird stop where it is at and start falling. So, if you need to stop the bird in mid-air, by all means play on the downbeat! As the bird flies and the beats per minute increase, it gets harder. Give it your best shot. Even if you tap and you are nowhere near a perfect upbeat but you get through the posts, keep going! It’s better to be wrong than to crash.
Upbeat Bird teaches you to develop your timing skills surprisingly well. Start playing! You’ll see yourself improving drastically as you learn to time the upbeats better. After that, you’ll continue to improve consistently as you keep at it.
I (Zach) play guitar, and playing Upbeat Bird has helped me with timing. Now I feel comfortable practicing guitar along with a metronome. I can understand the rhythm of what I am playing and visualize the upbeats like never before. Thanks, Upbeat Bird!