This page covers various common gameplay and community terms.
Gameplay Concepts & Features
FC & Tech FC
Short for Full Combo, the act of hitting every note in a song without breaking the combo.
A tech FC is the act of FC'ing every section of a song separately.
"Hammer On" and "Pull Off" notes do not require a strum as long as you have an active combo. If you do not have an active combo, then you must correctly strum at least once to begin a new combo.
No-fail enables you to play songs without being able to fail due to missing notes or over-strumming. It is enabled by default in CH, and can be disabled in the Settings.
The visual scrolling speed of the note highway. Does not affect the actual song speed. Can be changed in the profile menu.
These notes are indicated by a purple bar and require you to strum without holding any frets when the indicator reaches the strikeline.
Score and Stars
Stars are awarded based on how well you play, like a grade of your performance.
Each note grants a base score of 50 points (chords grant 50 per note in the chord), plus 25 points per beat that a sustain lasts (single and chord sustains count as just 25 per beat, while extended and disjoint sustains count each sustain individually).
Solo sections give score based on your total % of notes hit during the solo section. 100% will award 100 points per note hit, 50% or below will award no bonus, and everything in-between will award more points as the percentage increases.
Solo bonus does not affect average multiplier, it is factored out before calculating for stars.
Star Power (SP) helps the player score more points by doubling the current multiplier. SP is obtained in phrases; each note of the phrase must be hit to obtain. A successful phrase raises the SP Meter by 1/4. If a sustain note is in a phrase, whammying will gradually increase the meter as well. To activate SP, the meter must be at least 1/2 full. A 1/2 filled bar will last for 4 measures of music.
Star Power can be activated by either pressing Select (aka the Star Power button) or tilting the guitar (in guitars that support tilt).
Tap notes are transparent notes that don't require you to strum at all. Unlike HOPOs, they can be tapped even if you break your combo.
Guitars allow you to physically tilt them to activate Star Power. However, not every guitar's tilt is supported on PC.
The Whammy Bar can be wiggled on sustained Star Power notes to increase the amount of Star Power you get. It will also create a wavy visual effect, and distort the audio in songs that have separate audio files for instruments.
Techniques & Gameplay
The act of holding down a lower fret while playing higher ones.
The act of alternating between your left and right hand to hit a note pattern, such as tapping the highest note of a trill.
Fretting a note that is not required. This can make hitting certain patterns more comfortable, but will add to your ghosting counter the game displays at the end of a song.
The act of strumming more than you need to, or strumming when there's no notes, which causes your note streak to break.
The act of playing a chart you've seen but haven't played before.
A strumming technique that allows the player to hit the strum bar more than once in each up/down motion by strumming with the index and middle fingers instead of holding the strum bar with the index and thumb. When combined with faulty guitar switches, this can lead to double or triple the amount of strums per swing. A video tutorial can be found here.
Rake tapping is used for fast trills where Alt Tapping is not fast enough. The basic concept is similar to Rake Strumming, but two fingers on the right hand tap the fret, one after each other, then a finger from the left-hand taps the fret for 3 consecutive taps.
The act of playing a chart for the first time without having seen it before.
Songs & Charts
The playable note track that comes with every song. Although the game accepts both .mid and .chart tracks, the community generally calls them both the same thing.
Disjointed chords are extended sustains that start with a chord, where the notes in the chord can have different lengths, as seen below. Support for this type of note was added in Clone Hero v.21.5, and it does not work on any earlier versions.
Extended sustains are notes that require you to hold down a fret while hitting other frets.
A chart that has all instruments charted.
A chart that has all playable difficulties charted, Easy through Expert.
A type of chart that includes more notes than can be heard in the song's audio, or makes note patterns harder than they actually are.
The opposite of an overchart, a type of chart that omits notes and simplifies patterns to make the song easier.
Chimneys & Reverse Chimneys
A Reverse Chimney is the same thing, but reversed. Beginning or ending with the lowest note.
Short for zigzags, a 3-or-more-note pattern that loops back and forth. Can also be reversed.