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This thread is completely based on my own experience and the opinions of other players. These techniques will not work for everyone.


Additional thread containing mental tricks and tips can be found here.


First of all I might as well get this out the way; there is no way that this thread will make you suddenly better at playing osu! It may help you improve over time but do NOT expect everything to become easier for you right away. This thread is filled with advice based on OTHER PEOPLE'S experiences, it is not the osu! holy bible. Some of the advice may not work for you; use what you feel comfortable with not what other people tell you is correct. Do be aware that you will not feel comfortable with the majority of suggestions to begin with. The greatest advice which I can offer is practice. You will improve even if you don't notice it- just keep going and eventually you will be wondering what you were struggling with.

Short summary of what each section is (find out what you need to know more about here).
Threads - A list of already existing useful topics. Check to see if your topic is here before you start a thread!

Jumps - Large gaps between circles relative to the amount of time between two beats (hard to reach notes).

Streams - Fast beats stacked relatively closed together that (for most people) require two fingers to be used.

Accuracy - The amount of 300s vs the amount of 100s/50s/misses you obtain.

Fast singles - Spaced notes that could be considered the borderline speed between a jump and a stream with the spacing of a small jump.

Squares - Jump patterns in the shape of a square (the difficulty with these becomes apparent when you experience them).

Triples - A "stream", or set of streams that are only 3 notes long.


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Jumps.
From the osu! wiki:

osu! wiki wrote:
A jump is an advanced mapping technique where the mapper places two hit objects farther apart than the standard distance snap multiplier would allow. This is usually done by either temporarily changing the distance snap multiplier or temporarily turning off distance snap.


So basically they are a set of two notes set further apart than you would normally expect. The problem with jumps is that some times they can be hard to read; too fast to hit, or too far to reach. Advice for tablet and mouse users universally is to decrease your sensitivity/increase your area size and turn off mouse acceleration. Although lowering your sensitivity may sound like it's a terrible thing for long distance jumps you will be surprised how much it can actually help as there is a larger amount of space that will be registered as a successful hit. Let me illustrate:

Image

Choose your preferred settings and stick with them to allow your muscle memory to develop. Most of your jump ability is based on how good your muscle memory is so I would recommend that you don't switch sensitivity every other day.

Soly wrote:
I thought I'd offer advice on mouse since it's my specialty. Don't shy away from high dpi, in the end it helps your mouse movement a lot more allowing you to do some of the more insane jumpy songs/ar11. I use high dpi and also manage to do tiny hardrock maps as well with little problem other than a bit of adjusting for snapping. I know low is good and all, but you gain much more of an advantage in the long run if it's higher. Below 2000 is generally a good rule to go by.

Some mouse essentials:
- http://donewmouseaccel.blogspot.co.nz/2 ... n-fix.html
- Windows acceleration set to 6/11
- Enhance pointer precision disabled
- osu x 1.0

ALSO Practicing hardrock to get better if you are a newer player is generally a bad idea due to it messing up your sight read.. you will gain permanent osu ADHD and only be able to play fast songs.. If you rush to get good generally your sight read and acc will get worse.. I am a living testament

- Taking breaks can sometimes improve your sight read and accuracy for some strange reason.
- The more you retry a song, the worse you will get at it DX


Others things to consider are how you hold the mouse/pen. If you chose to use a larger area with your tablet you may find that it's almost impossible to hit the far corners of the tablet; if this is the case then I would highly suggest changing to a grip which gives you more maneuverability (a typical grip used for writing is generally bad for large/full area players, you can find some images of other players grips here). As a tablet player I can't offer much first hand advice on mouse grips however from what I've read a claw grip apparently helps many players who use mouse/kb. People using mouse to click will find it very hard to click when holding the mouse like this.

When doing jumps you should try to relax your arm, tensing it will prevent you from keeping a consistent flow which (at least in my case) will make you far more shaky/rigid and much less consistent.

Tablet players should also consider checking out this thread t/115233

Basically: practice.

Here are a few maps to practice jumps. WARNING: some of these maps are incredibly hard and not for starting players.

List of jump beatmaps with additional information.

Yousei Teikoku - Wahrheit[Saten]
Team Nekokan - Can't Defeat Airman [Holy Shit! It's Airman!!]
StylipS - MIRACLE RUSH (TV Size) [Saten's Insane]
Tsukasa ft. 3L - Space Accelerator [Lunatic]
Evil Activities - Make a Wish [Insane]
Shihori - Day Breaker [Lunatic]
Yousei Teikoku - Senketsu no Chikai [Insanity]
Kozato - 45nen no Yukizakura [Another]
Meiko Nakamura - Dispel [Insane]
Noisestorm - Pulse [Another]
bibuko - Reizouko Mitara Pudding ga Nai [Jumpudding!]
Wotamin - Gigantic O.T.N [S.S]
Katakiri Rekka - Answer [Rejection]
Saiya - Remote Control [Insane]
Shin Hae Chul - Sticks and Stones [Madness]


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Streams.
This is the area which I can be of the most assistance in, quote from the wiki:

osu! wiki wrote:
A stream is a succession of hit circles at a quick, consistent pace from each other. When somebody refers to a "stream", they are usually referring to a stream of hit circles a fourth of a beat from each other. If a player wants to refer to a stream of hit objects half a beat apart from each other, they typically call it a "1/2 stream".


A stream is just a load of notes mashed together in rapid succession, simple! Streams are similar to stacks, the difference being that a stream moves around the map whilst a stack stays still. The difficulty of streams usually comes down to the fact that they require a lot of speed and stamina to perform, some maps however contain streams which are incredibly spaced, the notes are very far from each other making accurately hitting them extremely hard.

First of all let's get started on your preferred peripherals for streams. You can use keyboard, mouse, tablet or a combination of mouse/tablet + keyboard. Of these peripherals I would recommend keyboard or tablet/mouse+keyboard due to the increased amount of stamina and speed available when using them especially when using keyboard in addition to another device. Despite the positives, using combined input devices makes keeping a high accuracy harder as well as making it harder to keep your cursor on a stream and due to this reason. I prefer to used keyboard only because it's a great all round choice.

Using keyboard + another device is done by using your x key and your preferred input device, alternating between the two. For tablet users you will essentially be vibrating your pen at high speeds while tapping your x key to keep a rhythm going. Mouse+keyboard is similar, the only difference being it is harder to obtain the speed/stamina of tapping with a tablet while it is far easier to maintain a slower, constant speed as you have more control over your speed.

The rest of this section will be for keyboards only. Many people may think that all keyboards are the same however you will find that there are two distinctive types used by osu! players, mechanical and dome. The majority of players who use a mechanical (not all however) will tell you that it is far superior to a membrane keyboard for clicking fast; here is some information about the two types:

Mechanical

Quote:
A mechanical keyboard has switches beneath the individual keys that recreate the experience of typing on a typewriter. Although there are different types of switches used in mechanical keyboards, they all have the same result: more accurate typing.


Dome

wikipedia wrote:
Dome-switch keyboards are a hybrid of flat-panel membrane and mechanical keyboards. They bring two circuit board traces together under a rubber or silicone keypad using either metal "dome" switches or polyester formed domes. The metal dome switches are formed pieces of stainless steel that, when compressed, give the user a crisp, positive tactile feedback. These metal types of dome switches are very common, are usually reliable to over 5 million cycles, and can be plated in either nickel, silver or gold. The rubber dome switches, most commonly referred to as polydomes, are formed polyester domes where the inside bubble is coated in graphite. While polydomes are typically cheaper than metal domes, they lack the crisp snap of the metal domes, and usually have a lower life specification. Polydomes are considered very quiet, but purists tend to find them "mushy" because the collapsing dome does not provide as much positive response as metal domes. For either metal or polydomes, when a key is pressed, it collapses the dome, which connects the two circuit traces and completes the connection to enter the character. The pattern on the PC board is often gold-plated.


Mechanical keyboards also have sub categories. The most commonly found are red, black, and blue keys; each with it's own advantages and disadvantages. Commonly, players will recommend red switch keyboards because they are a lighter version of blacks (lighter presses means you can make more presses with less strain). As I've only truly experienced black switches I can't confidently talk about red/blue switch keybaords however from general feedback it would appear that they are all fine for osu! I would personally recommend black switches after trying both red and black. I found that black switches allowed me to click faster and stamina could be built up faster using them.

Here is a more in depth guide for mechanical keyboards explaining the difference between switch types in more detail.

Down to actually streaming. I like to split streams into two categories, long and fast. A long stream for me is anywhere from 20 to 200 notes while a fast stream is any stream which you would consider hard to click from the start of the stream to the end. It helps to be able to recognize the two streams as it will allow you to approach them in different ways (I certainly do this).

Fast streams are generally the area you should practice to improve your general streaming ability, you can't stream for a long time if you can't stream for a short time. Personally I find that to clear streams of this speed I unconsciously tense my arm whilst lifting my fingers only as far as they need to go. To achieve speed you must practice speeds that are above your comfort level (but not to the point where you miss every single note), I would recommend using the doubletime mod to improve your streams.

On the opposite side of the spectrum, longer, slower streams require a very different approach for me; rather than tensing heavily you should be relaxing your hand to get comfortable with the speed of the map, if you aren't relaxed you will burn out a lot faster.

Some other things which I believe has helped my streaming ability is simply raising my pinky/ring finger whilst I'm streaming. This may just be my preference but I have done it since the beginning and it's worked out fine for me. One other thing which aided my streaming stamina is the hand rest which came with my keyboard. At first the rest felt like a hindrance but after adjusting to it my stamina did improve a noticeable amount in a rather short period of time.

Basically: practice.

Here are a few maps to practice streaming. WARNING: some of these maps are incredibly hard and not for starting players.

List of short stream beatmaps with additional information.

List of long steam beatmaps with additional information.

07th Expansion - Eiji Kuinbii [Collapse]
DJ Swan - Beautiful Angel [Another]
SHIKI - Pure Ruby [Another]
KIEN - La Grand Bleu [SHD]
Niko - Night of Fire [Insane]
Chata - Yuujou Pop [Ai]
xi - FREEDOM DiVE [Another]
kors k - Wuv U [dksslqj Style]
dj TAKA - AA [Another]
Toshiyuki O'mori - Justice [Divine]
dj TAKA with NAOKI - Kakumei [Another]
SHK - Identity Part 4 [Another]
Ryu* - Rondo Alla Turca (Ryu* Remix) [Challenging]
Makou - Fermion [Maximum]
Memme - Extreme Fantasy [Hard]
Mizuki Nana - Massive Wonders [Beyond]
Kitsune^2 - Rainbow Tylenol [lol201]
SHK - Weep Irish [Another]
Tatsh feat. Kanako Hoshino - Gekkou [Another]
07th Expansion - lixAxil [Another]
Last Note. - Setsuna Trip (Short Ver.) [Chew 'N Sane]
ChomuP - Gate of Steiner [Insane]
07th Expansion - rog-unlimitation [AngelHoney]
07th Expansion - Rougoku [Insane]
IOSYS - Kitto Mou Hatarakanai [Lunatic]
Camille Saint-saens & FIRST AID - D2 [Maximum]
SYNC.ART'S - Garasu no Kairou [Nightmare]
Comp - Kyoai [Insane]
xi - Parousia [Another]
Rche - Todestrieb [Another]
PokeRemixStudio - Primal Dialga Remix [Vs. Primal Dialga]
ZUN & Ryu* - Second Darkside [Lunatic]
Shounen Radio - neu [Platinum]
Memme - Extreme Fantasy [Insane]
Amane - Midsummer Festival [Lunatteke]


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Accuracy.
thelewa wrote:
If you have really bad accuracy then just try to really look at the approach circles and really try to get acc that is above 97%, increase this minimum accuracy once you get better at it, capping out at 99%. Going for SS is useless for your general accuracy if you use a billion tries for it, so it's not worth the effort. Eventually something will click into place and accuracy will get easier.


darkmiz wrote:
First, please use hit-sounds. This is a rhythm game, and like taiko you need to match every beat or else it will sound bad. I strongly recommend everyone play some taiko (with hit-sounds, of course) to improve accuracy.

Second, practice slow streams. Playing too many fast streams will get you into bad habits (like mashing through slider-streams or fast parts you can't read) which is bad for accuracy. The only way to improve is to play these same streams/parts in a slower speed and read them perfectly and get 100% accuracy. You can use the edit-mode and pratice reading these streams/parts with slower speed. When you get comfortable you will read them at a faster speed. That is the real way to improve accuracy.


Basically, practice.

Here are a few maps to practice accuracy. WARNING: some of these maps are incredibly hard and not for starting players.

Demetori - Solar Sect of Mystic Wisdom ~ Nuclear Fusion [Atomic]
Demetori - Emotional Skyscraper ~ World's End [Extra Stage]
Demetori - Wind God Girl[Extra]
AU - Infinite of Nuclear Fusion [Regou's Extra]
Bring Me The Horizon - Anthem[Lucifer]
Amuro vs Killer - Mei[Another]
Blackhole - Lagomorphic[Lagamorph]
Memme - Plasma Gun[eXtra]
Comp - Gensou no Satellite[Extra]
ONE OK ROCK - Re:make[Remake]
Ikareru Kin no Shishi - G59[Another]


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Fast Singles.
Singles are the counterpart of streams which can either be jumps or spaced normally. It is advised to only use your fingers for slow singles (singles that are about half as fast as your comfortable streaming speed) and to tense up your hand and use your whole arm for faster singles. That way one can easily exceed ones BPM limits in terms of streams.

The most efficient method of playing singles with your arm that I found is to
  • Tense up your finger
  • Lift your wrist from the table a bit
  • Move your elbow up and your hand down at the same time
  • Move your elbow down and your hand up at the same time
  • Repeat last 2 steps. This essentially is rotating your forearm around the point between your elbow and hand back and forth.

It can be very tiring and hurtful for your arm in the beginning if you are not used to it. But don't worry, it will stop after a few days.
Here is an example video:


Here are a few maps to practice single tapping. WARNING: ALL of these maps are incredibly hard and not for starting players.

List of single tap beatmaps with additional information.

LEAF XCEED Music Division - YuYu Metal[Doko]
Wotamin - Rubik's Cube[Puzzle]
Hatsune Miku - Kusaregedou to Chocolate[Insane]
Hatsune Miku - No,39[0108 style]
Hatsune Miku - With a Dance Number[0108 style]
Hazel - I Love Poland (Extended Dirty Mix)[Almost 0108]
HujuniseikouyuuP - Talent Shredder[0108 style]
HujuniseikouyuuP - Talent Shredder[Lesjuh style]
Lily - Scarlet Rose[0108 Style]
Megpoid GUMI - Carnival[Carnival0108]
Megpoid GUMI - Cosmos[Cosmos]
paraoka - boot[Shoe]
Yousei Teikoku - Asgard[Valhalla]
Chata - Remind[Overdrive!!]
utsuP - Adult's Toy[Desecration]


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Squares.
Squares are some of the hardest patterns you can find in osu!. Nearly every player has problems with properly doing them.
Image
They can appear in any kind of spacing and rotation.
Some mappers even go a step further and map multiple squares in a row in the form of tornado jumps.
Image


There are several methods that helped me succeed certain square patterns. The most important thing that all of those methods have in common is:
Don't look at the pattern as a whole. Ever.

However this can be quite hard. What really helps is trying to see the square as 2 lines instead of a square or alternatively 1 HitCircle, 1 line and another HitCircle. Another method is to sacrifice accuracy and hit the first 2 HitCircles of the square too early on purpose, this is not recommended unless you absolutely need to fc the pattern.


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Triples.
Triples are simply a set of three notes typically 1/4 beat apart. They can either be places as a stack or a very short three note stream.

There are a few ways to hit triples, each one again with advantages and disadvantages. The first way which is far more appropriate for a user who alternates each beat is the zxz xzx pattern, switching the key used to start each triple allowing for increased speed. Doing triples this way will benefit you in the long run albeit a little harder to learn than the zxz zxz technique. Using zxz xzx allows you to continue ploughing through triples for longer than you could hold a stream at that speed due the break each finger receives between each set of triples.

The other patten used is the zxz zxz pattern. Players who use this pattern may have an easier time in the short run however multiple consecutive triples may be hard to perform due to the fact that it is the equivalent of streaming constantly for your lead finger while the other receives rests between each set. Although this may sound worse in every feasible way, most people generally find it easier to keep a rhythm using this method as performing the pattern requires the same keyboard clicks as a stream would.

In generals triples should run far more naturally on your fingers than a stream would once you learn to read them. The patterns mentioned should also work for tap/mouse + keyboard or mouse only players.

Or maybe you could just... practice.


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To do: dragging vs hovering.
List of square practice maps.
List of triples maps.

~Thanks tom69 for squares and singles.
~Thanks RaneFire for the beatmap lists.
Last edited by jesus1412 on , edited 58 times in total.
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Rhythm Incarnate
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Add this to accuracy as an easy way to practice: If you have really bad accuracy then just try to really look at the approach circles and really try to get acc that is above 97%, increase this minimum accuracy once you get better at it, capping out at 99%. Going for SS is useless for your general accuracy if you use a billion tries for it, so it's not worth the effort. Eventually something will click into place and accuracy will get easier.
Ephemeral wrote:
somebody get lewa a fucking sandwich holy shit
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thelewa wrote:
Add this to accuracy as an easy way to practice: If you have really bad accuracy then just try to really look at the approach circles and really try to get acc that is above 97%, increase this minimum accuracy once you get better at it, capping out at 99%. Going for SS is useless for your general accuracy if you use a billion tries for it, so it's not worth the effort. Eventually something will click into place and accuracy will get easier.


added, thanks baby cakes.
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I give you a lot of credit for compiling this. However, it probably still won't solve the "omg halp me get better" threads that appear. Even if it gets stickied.

nonetheless, ALL HAIL JESUS~~~!!!
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winber1 wrote:
I give you a lot of credit for compiling this. However, it probably still won't solve the "omg halp me get better" threads that appear. Even if it gets stickied.

nonetheless, ALL HAIL JESUS~~~!!!


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Also, for mouse users:
The lower the DPI the more accurate, thus the better.
Even tho using 2000 dpi might seem to be more comfortable for some beginners, getting used to lower will always improve one's movement.
I recommend using not more than 800 dpi. If u're used to 800 try to lower it even more. As for me, I'm using 450 dpi and am constantly getting better.

And yeah, I don't think the people asking this question will check out such threads but it's worth a try. Great work, jesus.
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Thanks for the help jesse! <3
Already feeling the improvement thanks to your advice yay

stream advice from jesse is gdlk
mash mash mash;; lewa's accuracy advice is very good to survive this map too
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whatever
jesus1412 wrote:
Other...
Approach rate 10

Too lazy of adding these right now


Here's an advice for beginners to high AR which is probably shitty but oh well this worked for me when I started practicing it:
lets say you played only AR9 until now and want to learn AR10 but you feel like you can't react in time to notes that appear. Basically, just always assume there will be a note 1/2 of a beat after the last note you saw, and only try to react to the location where it appears. This makes it less pressuring to play in an AR that feels too fast for you. If it never came, assume that the next note is within 1/1 beat time spacing. Only streams will be hard to read like this, so just assume for starters that everything that appears with very small distance spacing is within stream speed. Eventually you'll just get used to that approach speed and you'll be able to read everything comfortably including streams and 3/4 timings and whatever.
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Well Aqo the trick is to practice accuracy in maps that you are able to FC ie. easier Insanes or just normal Insanes (it's pretty damn boring if you don't like it but it works)
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somebody get lewa a fucking sandwich holy shit
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thelewa wrote:
Well Aqo the trick is to practice accuracy in maps that you are able to FC ie. easier Insanes or just normal Insanes (it's pretty damn boring if you don't like it but it works)

I agree, it's impossible to practice accuracy on maps that have BPM/speed higher than your physical speed limit. But no matter how accurate you get on a certain speed that you choose as a checkpoint/stoppoint, you'll be back to ground zero once you start playing on a higher speed; that's why I prefer working on pushing the speed limit up first and postponing accuracy training for later.
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Wrong.

<-- Living example. If you want accuracy do what lewa says.
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Aqo if what you say is right, then me being good at accuracy is impossible. I practiced my accuracy first and THEN started building up my speed. My accuracy was at my current level like 1,5 years ago, when I could only stream 150bpm for a few notes before getting tired. Once you get good at accuracy it never goes away.

edit: I know it sounds stupid to use myself as an example, but I've been giving this advice to everyone who ask me for help with accuracy, and people never complain about it not working. Besides, I was never talented in rhythm to begin with, it's all hard work and guts. So I'm fairly certain that it works.
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somebody get lewa a fucking sandwich holy shit
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thelewa wrote:
Aqo if what you say is right, then me being good at accuracy is impossible. I practiced my accuracy first and THEN started building up my speed. My accuracy was at my current level like 1,5 years ago, when I could only stream 150bpm for a few notes before getting tired. Once you get good at accuracy it never goes away.

yes, if you get like crazy speed for a while and you quit osu! for too long you'll have a GREAT MASSIVE chance of losing that speed. Been there.
It's best to listen to thelewa's advice, burning accuracy into your body is the best thing to do(also the best for a rhythm game)
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Rhythm Incarnate
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lewa I do agree with your advice, that wasn't my point.
back when you had good accuracy with 150bpm, could you still have the same good accuracy with 230bpm? I don't think it's possible to have good accuracy in a speed you can't go at
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It seems that your understanding of rhythm and accuracy in osu is flawed. Yours seems to be based on muscle memory. Also obviously I can't have good accuracy in a speed that I can't go at, but the instant when my fingers get strong enough to go at that high speed, my accuracy is already there. I wouldn't even need to reach that speed by practicing with streams, I could do other stuff to strengthen my fingers and still have the same accuracy. And I'm saying that it's something anyone else can do, it just takes a lot of time.

Accuracy is all in a person's head, that's why it's so tedious to learn but will never go away once you get it down.
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somebody get lewa a fucking sandwich holy shit
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thelewa wrote:
Aqo if what you say is right, then me being good at accuracy is impossible. I practiced my accuracy first and THEN started building up my speed. My accuracy was at my current level like 1,5 years ago, when I could only stream 150bpm for a few notes before getting tired. Once you get good at accuracy it never goes away.

edit: I know it sounds stupid to use myself as an example, but I've been giving this advice to everyone who ask me for help with accuracy, and people never complain about it not working. Besides, I was never talented in rhythm to begin with, it's all hard work and guts. So I'm fairly certain that it works.


this is exactly the way i have been playing from the beginning
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