My personal story involves ONE OF THE GREATEST TOOLS EVER. For years, I tried to get into guitar, but was put off by the steep learning curve and the lack of funds for private lessons. On top of that, I never felt like I made any progress when I did attempt to learn. One day, I hear that the people who made Guitar Hero are making a product that uses those same elements that made it such a hit, and applying them to an ACTUAL GUITAR. My prayers had been answered. I scrounged together all the spare coins I had, bought a cheapo Squier guitar and a cord to connect it to my PC.
Money. well. spent.
The interface was cool and familiar. I was taught how to properly tune and strum. Each song you play has a mechanic called dynamic difficulty, which reacts to a player’s skill level. For example, I started the song Breaking the Law by Judas Priest for the first time. A guitar neck sits at the bottom of the screen next to a highway, populated by only a few notes at first. I strum the notes when they come into contact with the guitar neck onscreen. The better I got, the more notes the game fills in, until I’m playing every note of an actual song. that bridge or any section is too tough, I can pause the game and enter a mode called ‘Riff Repeater’ where I can practice any part of a song, changing the speed or difficulty if need be, until I master it. Speaking of Master, once you really know a song, the notes fade away onscreen, until they’re invisible and you are truly playing without aid in ‘Master Mode’. It’s the culmination of all the hard work and realized on screen. I hit ‘Master Mode’ on my 6th play-through of the song.
I went from never playing a riff to mastering a song in the time it takes to have a pizza delivered.
I was hooked.
Even though I knew the song, my transitions between chords were gross. Rocksmith knew this to0, and suggested that I go play ‘Return to Castle Chordead‘ in the Guitarcade. I obliged and began to play an awesome hybrid of House of the Dead, where zombies rose from the earth and the only way to defeat them is to play the chords above their heads. Blasting zombies while learning to play better? Absolutely. I know know the difference between F7, E7, and F#. There are many other arcade games, as well as video lessons, to teach palm mutes, tremolos, barre chords, scales, and even more.
I can confidently play ‘Monster’ by Skillet, ‘My Girl’ by the Temptations, ‘Twist and Shout’ by the Beatles, and a dozen other songs. I know various scales and modes, have a better ear from it. Rocksmith is awesome, and gamification is the future.