beatmania (PS2)
beatmania Beginner's Guide v1.0 - Sephirothson
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beatmania Beginner's Guide

by Sephirothson   Updated to v1.0 on
-Beatmania US:  Beginner's Guide-

Version 1.0

Written by:  Michael Kautzman
AKA:  Sephirothson


Table of Contents

I.  Introduction and Purpose of this FAQ
II. Reading and Understanding this Guide
III. A Beginner's Guide
	a.  Using the Controller (S3P1)
	b.  The Turntable (S3P2)
	c.  Reading the Notes (S3P3)
	d.  The Wonders of Practice Mode (S4P3)
	e.  Modding The Turntable (S5P3)
IV.  Final Thoughts
V.   Legal Crap
VI.  Other Stuff

I.  Introduction and Purpose of this FAQ

So, you picked up this game and you find yourself overwhelmed or you don't
know where to start.  Well, then you came to the right place.  This FAQ is
written specifically for the newcomer to the Beatmania series and will address
some of the basics of this game as well as some of the essential skills
required to play some of the more advanced songs.  Beatmania US is an excellent
starting point for this series as it's probably the easiest of the Beatmanias
although it still provides a tough challenge as you approach the tougher songs.
Hopefully this guide will give you ideas to improve your game and if you have
any ideas for expansion of this FAQ, please do email me.

Right now, this FAQ only covers 7-Key mode but almost all the ideas here can
be transferred to 5-Key mode.

II.  Reading and Understanding this Guide

There are a few terms and phrases I will use that may need clarification so if
you are confused about terminology, this would be the section to look at.

Firstly, we need to be able to define the keys with numbers.  Below is a
(Crude) chart that should help clarify which numbers represent which keys:

|             |ッ|   |ッ|   |ッ|      |
|   /ッッッ\     |2|   |4|   |6|      |
|  /     \    |_|   |_|   |_|      |
|  |  T  | |ッ|   |ッ|   |ッ|   |ッ|   |
|  \     / |1|   |3|   |5|   |7|   |
|   \___/  |_|   |_|   |_|   |_|   |
|                                  |


|     |ッ|   |ッ|   |ッ|              |
|     |2|   |4|   |6|      /ッッッ\   |
|     |_|   |_|   |_|     /     \  |
|  |ッ|   |ッ|   |ッ|   |ッ|  |  T  |  |
|  |1|   |3|   |5|   |7|  \     /  |
|  |_|   |_|   |_|   |_|   \___/   |
|                                  |

III.  General Tips and Tricks

a. *Using The Keyboard*  (S3P1)
Getting used to the Keyboard is half the battle of this game.  Once you can
use the keyboard fluently without having to actually look at the keyboard to
find the keys, this game becomes much easier but there are still many things to
consider.  First and for most, do not assign a specific finger to a specific
key and any time.  I see new people trying to always play like this and once
they get past level 1 and level 2 songs, they learn they need to be more
flexible with finger movement then they currently are.  If you find yourself
assigning fingers to specific keys, try lifting your fingers above the
controller and using different fingers for different keys when you can.  This
should hopefully get you used to pressing the keys with any finger at anytime,
a required skill in the advanced stages of the game and even some of the
earlier ones such as the level 4 or level 5 songs require this skill.
Hopefully upon mastering this, you will find the songs easier to play.

b.  *The Turntable* (S3P2)
This little toy sets this game apart from every other music game out there.
It also creates a hell of a headache as a lot of new comers find this thing
very difficult to use consistently.  When you start playing this game, you'll
probably find that the turntable is difficult to use and requires the attention
of you're entire hand to spin.  Out of the box, the thing is pretty difficult
to spin and even pinky scratching is rendered difficult but I'll cover these
things later...

When you begin playing, You'll probably be using your entire hand to spin the
disk.  This is fine for awhile but eventually, you will need to learn how to
pinky scratch.  Pinky Scratching is just that...Using your pinky to turn the
turntable so you can use your other fingers to play some of the remaining keys.
It's tougher then it sounds and will take some practice to get used to bet I
recommend this:  Once you decide to learn to pinky scratch, take a few steps
into a pinky scratching instead of just plunging into and trying to play with 2
or 3 other fingers at the same time.  Start by just trying to scratch with your
pinky.  This is quite tough when you start doing it and is hard to get
consistent.  After a lot of practice try pinky scratching and playing the note
next to the turntable (#1 or #7).  When you can do that without blinking, add
the black note above it, then see if you can reach the turntable and note #3
(or #5),  Once you have mastered pinky scratching, you have mastered one of the
tougher parts of this game.  Give yourself a pat on the back :D.  Mind you this
is a slow process so don't get overly frustrated if you don't learn how to
pinky scratch perfecting in 3 hours...

c. *Reading the Notes* (S3P3)
When you first start playing this game, you'll obviously be reading the notes
one at a time and reacting accordingly.  In the later levels of the game,
Reading each note individualy will be renedered very difficult, if not
impossible.  This is why you need to practice reading notes in groups and once
you master it, you'll do it subconsciencly with ease.  Reading notes in groups
takes advantage of your muscle memory.  A Big part in mastering this game is
developing muscle memory and recognizing partterns in the songs and then being
able to play those patterns without a second thought.

	For example, one of the most common set of notes in the game is this:

1, 2, 4, 6, 7

It's a very common run featured many times in different songs.  The first time
you see this pattern, you will probably read it one note at a time.  After
while, your goal is to see the pattern and read it as a whole and then play it
straight from muscle memory.  This is another skill that just doesn't "happen".
It requires practice, persistence and patience from you, the player.  So if you
screw it up the first few times, don't get too frustrated, just try it again.
There are many other common groups of notes that you will see such as these:

1, 3, 5, 7

2, 4, 6

just to name some of the most obvious and common of them.  Over time, you
should be able to memorize various patterns and master applying them to all of
the songs.

d.  *The Wonders of Practice Mode* (S3P4)
Practice Mode is what makes learning this game a lot simpler.  Use it and use
it often.  If you're not familiar with practice mode, here's how it works:

Once in practice mode, you can choose a specific range of measures of any song
and practice on any difficult.  You can slow down the song to about a 1/5th of
what it normally plays at so if you are struggling with a measure or two in a
song,  Slow it down and practice it until you got it down.  Once again Muscle
Memory is a great tool to utilize here.

This is a great tool to practice those tough lines with so make sure to
utilize it often when you are having problems.

e.  *Modding Your Turntable* (S3P5)
If you have been reading through this entire FAQ, you'll remember the part
when I mentioned that the turntable is difficult to use right out of the box.
Well this part of the FAQ will instruct you on how to make using the turntable
MUCH easier.  If you wish to become proficient and consistent at pinky
scratching, this is a must.  Mind you that modding your controller requires you
to take apart your controller.  You do this at your own risk and neither myself
nor Mickael Kelehan will be responsible for anything that goes wrong during the
process.  Do this at your own risk..

The following controller modding FAQ was originally written by Michael
Kelehan, a.k.a. mkelehan.  The original topic in which it was posted can be
found here:

	Making the turntable spin easier

This mod is pretty much a requirement if you want to be able to pinky scratch
without a second thought, and when you're playing, you'll barely have time for
a first thought. Modding this is done exactly the same as the Japanese
controller. Get yourself:

	- wax paper
	- pencil
	- scissors
	- big Philips screwdriver
	- little Philips screwdriver

Okay, let's start by taking the controller apart. Remove the key unit by
pressing the button under the controller, sliding it out, and putting it aside.
Now, with the controller still upside down, remove all of the screws. Lift the
blue bottom off. It may resist you a bit, but if all the screws are out, just

Now we see a lot of circuitry that looks very intimidating. Fortunately, you
don't need to touch it. See the screw in the middle of the turntable, on top of
a white bit? Unscrew it. Once it's off, the turntable should just pop out

On the underside of the turntable you'll see 2 plastic rings. Take one of
them, trace it on a sheet of wax paper, and cut that out, so you've got a wax
paper ring of the same size and shape. Make sure that you cut it so that
there's no pencil markings on your wax paper, thus making it ever-so-slightly
smaller than the plastic rings.

Put the wax paper in between the two plastic rings, and put that operation
back where it goes, on the underside of the turntable. Put the turntable back,
and screw back in the screw on top of the white bit, that holds the turntable
on. Don't screw it in tight, though; leave a little less than a millimeter of
the screw out. This will loosen the turntable a little more. Replace the blue
underside of the controller, screw that back in, and you're golden.

There it is!  After you're finished modding your controller, you should
immediately notice that it's much easier to spin...making the menu's a little
trickier to navigate due to the extra sensitivity...

IV. Final Thoughts

This FAQ consists of strategies and techniques that I use myself and have
developed as I've played through the songs.  No of these ideas are "right",
they are just suggestions and ideas that may help your game if you find
yourself struggling.  I hope you took something away from this FAQ and if you
personally have ideas that may help the beginning player, please shoot me and
email so I can add it to this FAQ.  I'll make sure you get credit where credit
is due.  If you have any comments or questions, you can contact me at  I look forward to your mail.

Also, Thanks goes from me to Michael Kelehan for letting me use his part of
his Controller modding FAQ.  If you also want to get a little more sensitivity
out of your keys, check out the link provided for more information.

V. Legal Crap

This is my work and the only site that has rights to use it as of now is
Gamefaqs and Neoseeker.  If you would like to get permission post elsewhere,
drop me an email at and we can probably work something out.
Anyone who emails me will probably be able to post this FAQ unless your domain
is in which case, I hope your servers burn in a massive fire...
Either way, please email me first.