What does “Full Combo” mean, anyway?

The Clone Hero / Guitar Hero community has invented it’s own language. Here are all of the technical terms used and their meaning.

Anchoring

Anchoring in Clone Hero / Guitar Hero is keeping a lower fret held down while playing a higher note.

Alt Tapping

Alternating between right hand and left hand to hit a repeating pattern. For instance alternating the hand used to hit the highest note of a trill.

Bleep-bloop

“imagine if the N-word and the C-word had a baby, and that baby was raised by all the bad words for Jews”. Derogatory term used to describe original music created for rhythm games, usually FL Studio rendered music featuring a heavy use of synthesised and admittedly high pitched ear-rupturing sounds. Perpetrators often proceed to spend countless hours grinding FCs of said “bleep-bloop”.

Chimneys

Patterns that follow a format of GRYRG Y GRYRG Y etc

FC

What does FC mean? In Clone Hero & Guitar Hero FC stands for “Full Combo”. What does full combo stand for? To hold a combo throughout an entire song without breaking it, getting the maximum possible note streak for that song. Strumming and breaking the combo after the final note in a song is still a full combo.

Finger Notation

Using numbers to express fingering;

  • 1 – Index finger
  • 2 – Middle finger
  • 3 – Ring finger
  • 4 – Pinky finger

In addition tapped notes will be expressed in brackets, again using 1-4 to express index to pinky on the right hand. See this example for more info.

Ghosting

Ghosting in Clone Hero / Guitar Hero is fretting a note that is not required – for example, hitting a sequence of GRY O ascending notes by fretting GRY B O.

Grind

Repeatedly playing a single section or song in an effort to FC

Highway

The framing in which all of the note chart is displayed.

Hit Window

The hit window in Clone Hero / Guitar Hero is the window in which you must fret and strum the notes. If you strum outside of this window and fret the wrong note, you will miss and break your note streak.

Hyperspeed

Hyperspeed is a track scroll speed modification ranging from level 1 (slowest) to level 5 (fastest). Most advanced players find it easier to play with hyperspeed than without because it allows them to read and react to complicated patterns better. Is hyperspeed a cheat? No. Although it is found in the cheats menu within the Guitar Hero games, it does not affect the gameplay mechanics and for this reason hyperspeed in Clone Hero / Guitar Hero is not considered a cheat.

Ladders

Patterns that follow a format of B O Y B R Y G R etc (descending) or R G Y R B Y O B etc (ascending)

Note Streak

The number of notes you have successfully hit in a row without breaking combo.

Overchart

Where a chart features more notes than can be heard, or a more complicated pattern than is necessary. Opposite to “underchart”.

Overstrum

To overstrum in Clone Hero / Guitar Hero is to strum whilst fretting the wrong note or no notes. This causes the note streak to break.

Play-Read

Having seen a chart but never played it. The first play is considered a “play-read” under these circumstances.

Position (1st/2nd/3rd/4th/5th)

The note in which your index finger is currently anchored. First position means that you have your index finger anchored on the green note. Second position means that your index finger is anchored on the red note etc. For example you might use second position if you wish to hit a series of BYR descending triplets with one hand, using your ring, middle and index fingers.

Re-FC

To Full Combo a song for a second time.

Quads

Short for “Quadruplets”. Any recurring pattern of four notes, ascending or descending.

Quints

Short for “Quintuplets”. Any recurring pattern of five notes i.e. GRYBO or OBYRG.

Rake Strum

Advanced strumming technique effectively hitting the strumbar multiple times on the downward/upward motion. You can find a tutorial for this technique here by 0000DDD.

Reverse Chimneys

Patterns that follow a format of YRGRY G YRGRY G etc.

Sightread

Playing a chart for the first time without having seen it before.

Spamming

Fretting / tapping / strumming frantically to hit more notes.

Strike Line

The hit window on the highway in which you should fret or strum a note when it passes.

Technical FC (or “Tech FC”)

To full combo all sections within a single track.

Timing Window

The amount of time allowed in which a note may be hit.

Front-end timing window: how soon you can hit the note before it passes the strike line
Back-end timing window: how late you can hit the note after it passes the strike line

Trills

Any repeating two note pattern.

Triplets

In music theory, a triplet is a group of three notes played in the time of two. In the guitar hero universe triplets are basically ANY recurring pattern of 3 notes. Ignorant bast**ds.

Underchart

Where a chart features less notes than is heard or a more simple pattern in order for a section to be easier to hit. This is the opposite to “overchart”.

Zigzags “Zigs”

Patterns that follow the format of YRGRYRGRY etc.