Rocksmith For 360 – Initial Impressions

We got Rocksmith for ourselves for Christmas.  If you don’t know what Rocksmith is, it’s basically guitar hero.  But instead of playing a plastic toy with square buttons, you plug in an actual electric guitar.  The experience ends up being something in between playing the guitar and playing a video game.

Interesting to note — they’ve got a woman in one of their new commercials.  (Not unlike the World of Warcraft video featuring Aubrey Plaza.)  It seems that video game designers are really trying to get more women to play video games.

Here’s the commercial I’m talking about.

I wish I had access to all the guitars she’s using!

We’ve only had the game for a few days.  I’ve played three of the songs, and done two of the technique challenges.  Here’s my initial impression — it will sort of teach you how to play guitar.  The technique challenges are pretty good.  Right away, they teach you the difference between sustaining a note and stopping it.  You learn hammer-ons, shifting position, string bending.  So you will definitely learn techniques right away.  And… you will learn how to play a version of the songs that are on the game.

That said, it’s not going to teach you how to read music at all.  Not chords, not tab, and not standard notation.  At least it’s not going to teach you that as quickly as you could teach yourself.  It doesn’t teach you the name of the strings, using a color-coding system instead.  (Instead of E, A, D, G, B, and E, you learn red, yellow, blue, etc.)

So basically if you are really good at playing guitar, it will probably feel much more like playing a video game than playing guitar.  If you’re intermediate, it will feel sort of like playing guitar, and will help you with some of your techniques.  If you’re a beginner, it might be a helpful teaching aid, but you are probably better off going to a class, or private lessons, or getting a decent book.  Or watching lessons on Youtube.

I will write more when we’ve had it a bit longer and have a better idea of what the more complex lessons entail.

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2 Comments to “Rocksmith For 360 – Initial Impressions”

  1. As someone who plays guitar, I might be interested in buying this game. I was never interested in the previous games with the plastic pretend guitar.

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