Getting Started

by PitterPanda, 3 February 02

There are some key things that you must remember when you first play ddr. First of all, it's best that you have a little bit of rhythm. And by rhythm, I do not mean you know how to bob your head at a dance party. A big thing is you have to be able to pick up the "bass" beat when playing. It's typically a constant beat and pretty much all the steps on basic mode fall on that single beat. When you're listening to music typically, a lot of people tap their feat. When you're doing that, you're typically tapping on the "bass" beat. So just do the same thing in ddr, except step on the arrows. Remember, just because there isn't an arrow on the screen, that doesn't mean you can't tap your feet to stay on beat. You can always stay standing on the arrows even when there aren't any arrows on the screen. And even if there is an arrow, you can hit one of the other arrows that do not appear on the screen. For example, if a left arrow appears, you can hit left and right at the same time and you will still be counted as hitting left.

Secondly and possibly one of the things I can't stress enough is, "DO NOT STOMP". Trust me, just because you're playing "stomp to my beat" that does not literally mean stomp. All you have to do is put your weight onto the arrow and it will register. It will look and sound a lot better when you're playing if you're not stomping. Especially on single beats, all you have to do is transfer your weight to another arrow.

Third, try to remain on the arrows as much as possible. As in, don't step back into the center metal square after you hit an arrow. Just stay standing on the arrows and you will be less tired after you play cause you won't always be moving back to the center then out to the arrow then back to the center, etc.

Fourth, keep your feet low to the pad. The higher you lift it, the more energy you will exert. If you keep it low, you will be less likely to stomp and you'll be able to play a lot longer. I frequently hit the bolts on the pad with the bottom of my shoe cause my feet don't go very high at all.

Fifth point, don't play by watching the arrows, play by listening. You will hit a lot more arrows if you play off of the beat of the song rather than trying to hit it perfectly when it reaches the top part on the screen. Just listen to the beat and hit the arrow on the beat.

Sixth point, a lot of beginners do this. This is very important, "don't play with one foot." I mean don't use your left foot for the left arrow and your right foot for up, right, and down or vice-versa. Instead get used to hitting all the arrows with both feet. And always alternate your feet when possible. Of course use your judgment on when to switch. Obviously if it's a constant stream of right arrows you're not going to switch back and forth with your left and right feet. Here is a solution to stop playing with one foot. I'm not saying this is the best way, but the way I got myself from always using one foot to play was that I forced myself to play only with my other foot. So when I started out, I stood on the left arrow and used my right foot for up, right, and down. But then I forced myself to play standing on the right arrow and hitting left, up, and down with my left foot. After a while you get accustomed to playing with both feet and you will naturally alternate between feet. This is also a good way to get your feet faster at hitting the arrows because you're forcing each foot to learn to take up 75% of the arrow load.

At this point, you should be reaching trick mode songs. Now there are a lot of "3 steps" in trick mode which means that in-between the single beats, there is an extra step. The only thing I can say about this is try to listen to the song and stick in an extra beat in your head so you know when to step. It's kind of strange at first but you'll get used to it. Just play slower songs on trick so that you can get accustomed to the "3 steps".

One thing that can get your legs untangled or can be used on the "3 step" is the slide. I'm not going to get into this here cause it's covered in the freestyle section. It definitely looks cooler to do this than to just step on the quick beats and it helps out a lot if your legs get tangled.

If you get stuck on a song or you just want to improve your skills, watch other people play. I don't mean watch them freestyle. I mean take a look at their feet and see how they handle certain patterns of arrows. Then try to do the same thing or something similar. You can learn a lot from people who are good just because they've already gone through making their mistakes and have found the best solution to hit certain patterns of arrows. And lastly, I cannot stress this more. The best advice anyone has ever given me was from cristyne, who said "don't be afraid to play SSR." The best way to not waste your money and to play SSR songs is to play with someone who can pass them. Don't be afraid, no one is going to bite your head off if you ask to play with them. And seriously no one cares if you didn't pass. Everyone who can play SSR songs had to reach this point by just playing and failing at the beginning. And eventually you will learn to play it too. So don't worry what the crowd or anyone else thinks. Go out, play a lot, and have some fun ^_^