Rocksmith – A Guitar Teacher’s Perspective

RocksmithI’m sure you’ve heard about Rocksmith by now…it’s a new guitar-based video game similar to Guitar Hero and Rock Band, except for one important difference: you play it using a REAL GUITAR! Those other “guitar-based” games were all basically just “guitar karaoke”…they helped you develop rhythm and timing a little bit, but those toy guitars with the little colored buttons on them didn’t do very much else and now most of them are siting in a closet or in the trash.

But this game is different! Rocksmith actually teaches you how to PLAY the guitar…it doesn’t teach you EVERYTHING, but it’s a great “gateway drug” for getting beginner guitar students into your teaching studio. I’ll explain how in just a minute.

What does Rocksmith do?

In case you haven’t seen or played it yet, Rocksmith comes with a special USB-to-1/4″ cable that allows you to plug your guitar right into your game console (it also works for plugging your guitar into your Mac for Garageband, but that’s another story). It has built-in amp and guitar effect simulators which effectively turn your game console and TV into a guitar rig. The game also comes with 50 or 60 rock songs, ranging from The Rolling Stones to the Stone Temple Pilots to Nirvana…maybe not your FAVORITES, but the songs they include are all definitely FUN to play.

Rocksmith uses the familiar concept of a “note way” from previous guitar games…the notes of a song fly towards you and you have to play them at the right time. It recognizes the audio in the notes you play on the guitar, and it starts you off easy, gradually adding more notes and making it more and more difficult over time. You work through one song at a time in the “rehearsal room”, and then as you get better, you get to play “events” in a series of virtual “clubs” on a stage in front of an audience that responds based on how well you play. It starts you off with single note phrases, then builds up to chords, scales and various other techniques until it has you playing the entire song – solo and all – note for note.

Here’s a great introductory video by Guitar World magazine that explains Rocksmith better than I can in a few paragraphs:

My personal experiences with Rocksmith

Here’s a little bit about my experience with the game. I picked up a copy for my Xbox 360 a couple of weeks ago for around $80 USD…which might sound expensive, but when you factor in the included $30 conversion cable, it’s the same price as any other new game. Rocksmith starts you out with the basics…how to hold the pick, how to fret notes and how to tune your guitar. The built-in tuner works really well, and the game checks your tuning before each song. After that, you get to start playing “Satisfaction” by The Rolling Stones.

I’m an experienced player and pretty tech-savvy, so I was able to breeze through a lot of the songs…but it gradually kept increasing the difficulty on me until it actually became quite challenging. Once I mastered “Satisfaction”, the songs got more and more challenging after that. As of the time I’m writing this I’m at about 2,500,000 Rocksmith points and still going at it. I have to admit that this game is FUN…and it taught me some new songs and helped improve my timing and technique.

I let my 9-year-old son plug in his Strat Mini and give it shot, and he quickly got hooked. I usually have to force him to pick up his guitar to practice, but since he started playing Rocksmith I literally have to pry the guitar out of his hands! Since the game rewards you for your progress and it’s fun, he doesn’t want to put it down.

Finally, I talked my 59-year-old father-in-law into trying it out. He’s been playing guitar for almost 50 years and is one of the most accomplished musicians I know, but he’s not really into games or computers. He actually liked it, and he thought that Rocksmith would be a great way to learn new songs on the guitar. So, at least in my family, Rocksmith is a hit just as a motivator to pick up your guitar and play…not to mention the other benefits it brings to the table.

Pros and cons

Here’s a quick run-down of what Rocksmith DOES and DOESN’T do well, from a guitar teacher’s perspective:

Pros:

  • It makes you want to spend A LOT of time playing your guitar (huge motivational force)
  • It teaches you the basics of how to play rock guitar using SONGS (and then it takes you beyond the basics)
  • Every song you learn “pre-teaches” you the techniques you’ll need to play the next song (making it easier to move forward)
  • It forces you to play without looking at your hands (which, surprisingly, was a real challenge for me)
  • It rewards you for your efforts (with unlocked amps, pedals, guitar tones, more excited crowds, encore songs and bigger venues)

Cons:

  • It doesn’t check your fingering or picking direction (the game has EARS, but it doesn’t have EYES…maybe a future version for Xbox Kinect will help with this)
  • It doesn’t tell you the names of the notes you’re playing (you’ll have to work on fretboard memorization on your own)
  • There can be a slight lag between what you play and what you hear (but the latency isn’t too terrible)
  • There isn’t an easy way to quickly repeat parts that you want to drill on

So it’s not PERFECT (yet), but it’s still a great way to get introduced to the electric guitar. It gets people going with the basics and leaves plenty of room for you as a teacher to help them with better technique, theory and everything else a well-rounded guitarist needs to know.

What Rocksmith means for guitar teachers

OK, so some of you are probably thinking “Great…this stupid video game is going to put me out of a job!” I actually think the opposite could be true…Rocksmith can be a GREAT way to attract more students if you EMBRACE it and approach it the right way. I’ve already seen forum posts by guitar teachers griping about how they would rather send a student away than mess with someone who is learning through a video game. One guy even went as far as saying that he didn’t want a bunch of “copycats and cheaters” for guitar students…but I’m guessing he probably doesn’t understand how the game really works.

My advice is to embrace this game! Buy a copy of it and try it out for yourself. I’m telling you: Rocksmith is opening up a HUGE new market of potential guitar students that just might be a great fit for you. Even if you HATE the other guitar-based games like Guitar Hero, and they caused you endless frustration because of what they did to some of the beginning students you’ve worked with…Rocksmith is different, and it’s your FRIEND. If you’re still skeptical after reading this, at least go down to your local Guitar Center and try it out for yourself.

How to use it to your advantage

I’m sure once you play Rocksmith, you’ll get a bunch of cool ideas about how you can incorporate it into your teaching business, but here are a few of mine to get you started:

1) Do a Rocksmith marketing campaign

Target beginners who play Rocksmith…emphasize how you can take what they’ve already learned and help them get to the next level (both in their guitar playing AND in the game). Lots of people will be getting Rocksmith as a Christmas gift, so this would be a perfect thing to launch at the beginning of the new year.

2) Create a guitar curriculum around Rocksmith

Take the approach and songs used in the game and create your own curriculum around it. Work through it with your students during the lessons, and then have them go back home and practice using the game. Instant motivation and rewards!

3) Put on some “Rocksmith Night” events for your students

Set up a couple of Xboxes and invite all of your students over to try the game out. Turn it into a promotional event for your teaching business and have them invite their friends to come, too! Give away prizes for the people who get the top scores. This will be fun for your students and it can bring in a bunch of new faces who might potentially become your students in the future.

4) Give away a copy of Rocksmith in a “referral contest” for your students

Occasional contests like this are great for your business. They help keep people excited, and they keep you in the front of their minds. Contests work even better when you tie them to something you want your students to do, like bringing in referrals. Tell your students that whoever brings in the most new referrals within the next 4 weeks will win a free copy of Rocksmith.

There are probably 100 different ways Rocksmith can boost your teaching business, even if all you do is use it as a way to help some of your students get more excited about practicing the guitar! Just think outside the box and don’t allow yourself to feel threatened by something new and different. The most successful guitar teachers (and business people in general) are the ones who can adapt, adopt and adjust with the changing times. Taking advantage of Rocksmith is a perfect example of this!

Got any questions or personal experiences with Rocksmith? Let’s talk about it in the comments below!

Rocksmith – A Guitar Teacher’s Perspective was last modified: November 14th, 2012 by Donnie Schexnayder

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  • Christopher

    Donny,

    You said the Mac version is another story. Can you elaborate on that?

    • Christopher

      Sorry I misspelled your name Donnie… ;0

      • http://www.startteachingguitar.com Donnie Schexnayder

        No worries :)

        Yeah, what I meant to say was the CABLE that comes with the Rocksmith game can also be used to plug into your Mac (or PC) to let you record your guitar direct.

        I’m a Mac user, and it comes with Garageband…which has built-in amp and pedal simulators, too. You need a 1/4″ analog to USB converter cable to get your signal into the Mac to use this…and the Rocksmith cable works great for that purpose. You could also use the external mic jack on your computer, but the sound quality isn’t as good, and my Mac doesn’t have a mic jack, anyway.

        There’s no Mac version of Rocksmith, unfortunately…it only currently runs on Xbox and PS3, but there’s supposed to be a PC version coming out in a few months.

  • http://www.scottpaterson.org Scott

    I’m not sure if you found it, but there is a setting in the game options that allows you to adjust the latency.

    • http://www.startteachingguitar.com Donnie Schexnayder

      Thanks for the tip, Scott!

      The game comes with good instructions on how to minimize the latency. I haven’t been able to completely eliminate it on my system, but it’s good enough for me.

      I’ll check out the setting you mentioned to see if I can dial it in some more.

  • Billy

    re: latency, I had heard that it may be related to the way individual TVs process signals through HDMI. consider using the non-HDMI sound outputs from your consoles to see if it’s any better (i.e. sound through Optical)

    • http://www.startteachingguitar.com Donnie Schexnayder

      Thanks, Billy!

      The instructions recommend not using an HDMI cable for audio when you play the game, and they say that doing audio out into your stereo system will give you the best performance. Here’s a photo of the instruction sheet:

      http://help.support.ubi.com/images/rocksmith/RS_X360_Latency_Insert.jpg

  • Jen

    I was just playing around on the Internet to see if what other players thought of rocksmith. I have to say I love the game and I agree with Donnie. I know that rocksmith will give the basics of guitar playing, but if I want to be a real player at some point I would need lessons. As a kid I played saxophone for 10 years, I then taught myself to play drums…I always wanted to learn guitar, but I couldn’t put it together myself. I think those who are playing rocksmith are mostly in their late 20′s to early 40′s (found on a rocksmith poll) and from what I’ve read many people share stories like mine. We are adults who are playing this “game” because we have always wanted to learn how to play.

    Just last week I went into guitar center…I was there for 5 minutes and walked out totally intimidated. I think the same goes for lessons. If someone were to advertise advanced rocksmith lessons or something like that it would be very helpful.

    I don’t want to be a fake player but right now I wouldn’t take lessons because I question if what I’ve learned is really comparable to what a real beginner guitar player goes through.

    • http://www.startteachingguitar.com Donnie Schexnayder

      Thanks, Jen! Just for the record, Guitar Center freaks me out sometimes, too. :)

      When you’re ready, a good teacher will be able to help you take what you’re learning from Rocksmith to the next level. Just believe in yourself and walk into that fear…you can totally do this.

    • Kyler

      Take this from a guitarist, those metal-heads aren’t as talented as they seem, if you start practicing guitar daily, those tapping methods are easy to pick up. Also I’ve taught guitar lessons and most of the “Beginners” that start know absolutely nothing, Rocksmith is a great foundation to build so if you want to start lessons with some talent you could master Rocksmith. Remember this though, everybody starts playing guitar at the same place, nowhere. You have to change that yourself.

  • Dan

    I’m in my early 40′s and have been playing for 3 months. The pro mode in Rock Band 3 (and button guitar) got me started. Rocksmith takes this to a new level. The noteway works far better and nothing beats hearing yourself play through the guitar as well as the screen. Rocksmith adjusts to your level of proficiency, and although there is room for improvement it is a fantastic tool. Just make sure you work on your fingering and picking basics and you can’t go far wrong.

    • http://www.startteachingguitar.com Donnie Schexnayder

      I agree, Dan! Thanks for the comment and good luck with your guitar playing. :)

  • http://www.paulandrews.info Paul Andrews

    The game looks great just got to wait for it to cross the pond. some great ideas in the ‘How to use it to your advantage’ section I will have to test them out.

    • http://www.startteachingguitar.com Donnie Schexnayder

      Thanks Paul! Hopefully you won’t have to wait too long.

  • Tony

    Donnie,

    Thank you for the honest post from a guitar teacher. It’s nice to see one that isn’t just complaining about the game cutting into business and really solidified my choice to buy the game instead of pass on it as I was struggling to decide for a while.

    I just purchased this game the other day and haven’t yet tried it. I have never touched a guitar before in my life but am hoping that an hour or two a day on the game will allow me to get comfortable enough with it to actually seek out some formal lessons (that I’ve been afraid to try in the past due to time constraints). Your ideas around utilizing the game to open up the possibilities for formal lessons are brilliant and I hope they work to your advantage.

    • http://www.startteachingguitar.com Donnie Schexnayder

      Thanks, Tony! I think your idea to start with the game and then use lessons as the next step is a great way to go. Good luck!

  • Keith

    Hi Donnie,

    I’ve been watching this game for a while waiting for the uk version to hit the shelves as I would like to learn and introduce my 10 year old to guitar. I’m looking to get a 3/4 size so we both can use it but I’ve not been able to see anywhere which confirms they work ok with rocksmith.

    I noticed in your article you mention your son using a fender mini, were there any issues due to the reduced number of frets, lack of whammy bar or tuning pitch?

    Out of curiosity I’m swaying between a fender mini or an Ibanez Mikro, any thoughts on which would be best or is it just personal choice?

    Cheers

    Keith

    • http://www.startteachingguitar.com Donnie Schexnayder

      Thanks for the comment Keith…the Fender Strat Mini works well with Rocksmith. It struggles a little bit to stay in tune when you pick notes too hard, but that’s just the nature of a smaller, cheaper guitar, I guess. I haven’t used the Ibanez model, so I can’t really speak to that one…but I’m sure either guitar would work just fine.

      There aren’t any problems with pitch recognition or anything like that…the cable just does a straight analog-to-digital conversion in real time, and the game pretty much recognizes anything you send to it.

  • Eric

    I absolutely love RockSmith! Plenty room for improvement, but its increased my practice time from a couple times a week for a half hour to every day for 2-3 hours! Its just a great, fun tool. I told my guitar teacher about it, and he’s excited to check it out. I really see RS bringing more people to guitar, but you still have to do the work. Its not a magic pill, but it makes the work fun. It has mini games to help you work on your speed, technique, chord transitions, and hand/eye coordination. The songs are all very interesting, even if I don’t particularly like, or listen to the style, still has been fun to play, and learn. Megadeth DLC is coming out in a few days, can’t wait! My daughter who is 6, sees me play, and she really wants to play guitar now. I am picking her up a pink mini strat for Christmas, so she can learn, and play RS.

    • http://www.startteachingguitar.com Donnie Schexnayder

      I completely agree! My 9-year old son plays RS all the time.

  • Dan H

    Hi all,

    I would have to say that the biggest problem with the game in the way that it “attempts” to progress the player through a guitar solo. The game will give the player a random note from the solo and in the same random manner add notes as you correctly hit the previously given notes. In my opinion, this way of teaching couldn’t be more wrong. When trying to play a solo, the player tries to replicate the melody of the solo that they hear in their head. Aiming for scattered notes doesn’t offer too much and at times created problems for me.

    If there are any changes with the future Rocksmith games (assuming there will be future games), I would suggest to the developers to design the game so the player advances through the solo from beginning to end in short phrases.

    I also think there should be a way to look at the tab for the song when not playing the song.

    • http://www.startteachingguitar.com Donnie Schexnayder

      Yeah, I would agree. If I’m going to teach someone a solo, it’s not going to be a random note here and there…it would definitely be in a linear fashion, one phrase at a time.

      I think this is the best the game can do, though, since it’s trying to teach the solo in “real time” without slowing it down or stopping and repeating the various sections of it. I don’t think it’s necessarily a “bad” way to learn…just not the easiest or most effective.

      I think where Rocksmith really shines is as a practice tool. Grabbing the tabs of the songs would definitely help you learn the notes offline and do better at the game.

  • Jesse

    Your brilliant, embrace this new technology!! This “game” is definitely amazing. I have been playing guitar for 15 years, took maybe 3 or 4 lessons. I never realized how little I knew the fretboard or how low my accuracy was until this game told me. I have also learned that I need to fix the intonation on my floyd rose. This game opens so many new doors that can be explored. Sure it wont be for every teacher out there, but I would take lessons again if it were done in a structured method based around the usage of this amazing tool. Learning guitar can be stale for some, those who plateau in skill would breach that with the use of this tool. Even after 15 years of playing and learning song after song thanks to ultimate-guitar.com I am seeing chords that I have never played AND now know what they are called!! Sure there is no circle of fifths in the game, or a mode that shows you every note on the fretboard within a certain key, but there is so much there that can be utilized to teach in a fun and exciting environment! Instead of a student JUST watching your fingers and trying to accomplish what you set forth, they can also learn songs that they like in an exciting manner!!

    You definitely have the right about this program when it comes to teaching, and an Xbox, PC monitor and a little stereo with an optical in isnt hard to take from the home to where you teach. Embrace this method of teaching, and if your near the Rome GA area, I would love to sign up! ( I would also be willing to teach those less game savvy how to play a video game =P haha! )

    • http://www.startteachingguitar.com Donnie Schexnayder

      Thanks, Jesse! Any guitar teachers out there in Rome, GA up for the challenge? :)

      • Jesse

        No problem Donnie, your approach is brilliant. I look forward to seeing more reviews from you. Open minded and very well thought out approach to a concern that probably plagues some old school guitar teachers!

    • Jesse

      On a side note – it wont teach you to sweep, wont teach you how to alternate pick, how to tap, so there are still things that need someone at hand to show. Alot of the songs are going to utilize these techniques but not give a good explanation how. Also fingering in songs is crucial, the game does not show you in the early stages of learning a song that you could be fretting an Am to hit those notes easier, but a guitar teacher should be able to recognize it with ease and can pass that along. Not to mention teaching a student a song from the game is going to be alot easier on the instructor than writing out the tabs of the song for the student. Best technological advance for the better of guitarists ever!!!

  • Mark

    I saw there was some kind of riff repeater where you can break down individual sections to practice on. I just got it a few days ago, so I haven’t tried that out yet. I think it’ll take some getting used to learning the songs this way, instead of reading left to right, going from bottom to top of the screen (haven’t played a lot of those four button guitar games). So I think if someone just used Rocksmith for learning guitar, they may be good at playing Rocksmith, but really that great a playing guitar, since the music you play with covers up a lot of your faults

    • http://www.startteachingguitar.com Donnie Schexnayder

      Well, the cool thing about Rocksmith (that I found out later on) is that once you master a song it turns off the note wave thing and makes you play it completely by ear. It’s definitely not the same as reading tab or music notation, but it’s a cool way to learn.

  • Clint Tweed

    Thanks for the article, Donnie. I’m in my 40s and I’m having fun with RS. I started as a teenager and never got very far. I know this game won’t teach everything but I wish it was available when I was young!

    A couple of things:

    1. A good, decent quality guitar for younger players and those of us who travel is the Traveler Guitar (available at Amazon, Musician’s Friend, etc.). Designed by a pilot, it fits in an overhead bin but has a full scale fretboard. The tuners are in the body. They have Strat and LP style bodies. They only weigh around 4 pounds.

    2. As mentioned above, you can go to the Main Menu (start button), got to Songs and then Riff Repeater and master individual sections of a song. It has several ways to do this including:

    Leveler: increases the % of the notes in the section after you perfect (or almost perfect) the current % level.

    Accelerator: You play a section at the current level and it determines, from how you play, what speed to slow the music down. Then after, you perfect the section at the slower speed, it gradually increases the speed until you reach 100%.

    There are a couple of others but I haven’t used them.

    If you need more than the 5 “lives” these gives you, you can press the Start button before the section ends and then choose Restart. This saves time rather than going back to the menu after the lives have been used up, reloading, tuning and starting again.

    • http://www.startteachingguitar.com Donnie Schexnayder

      Thanks for the tips, Clint!

  • Joe

    I’ve owned a guitar for fifteen years but never had lessons, and I could never advance beyond basic level or stay motivated to practice. Rocksmith changed that. I’ve played for two hours a day for two months now. It’s very motivational although sometimes I feel I’m learning more about quick-reading note streams than actual guitar. It would be nice if Rocksmith advance more slowly and somehow directed you to choose and memorize performance pieces along the way. I agree that Rocksmith is a great teaching tool. I also agree that it would be even better if used in conjunction with a real teacher. The game just lacks way too much in the way of theory and technique to work as a stand-alone tool. Some of the songs, like Playing with Fire, are virtually impossible to learn without additional instruction because you really need all the notes in order to learn the picking pattern, and Rocksmith simply doesn’t give them to you or even give any clue at all as to how the song should be played. It just starts feeding you a few random notes. I spent hours searching for a proper tab online (it doesn’t seem to exist) and finally had to figure it out on my own, playing the mp3 at slow speed in VLC. I was really wishing for a teacher. On other songs, I start out playing base notes on the 3rd and 5th frets with my first and third finger only to find out later (after leveling up) that I’m suppose to move hand position to play power chords.

    Anyway, despite it’s shortcomings, it’s a fantastic resource. It would be a perfect lesson interactive lesson book for a guitar teacher who embraces it, and it will create vast numbers of half-taught student who will eventually have to seek out instructors.

    • Milo

      Regarding the shifting to later play chords… When the song is leveled down you can still see a blue light behind the notes that tells you where your hand should be positioned

      • http://www.startteachingguitar.com Donnie Schexnayder

        Yeah, they did recently release an update for Rocksmith that fixed some bugs and added additional functionality. I haven’t had time to check it out yet, but perhaps that was recently added.

  • Krista

    I just wanted to say that I belief RockSmith can definitely generate business for teachers. It worked on me today! :)

    I bought this “game” for my 19 year old daughter after we watched someone else play it a few weeks ago. We both tried it out for the first time last night. I had taken guitar lessons decades ago and always regretted not sticking with it. So I had fun trying this out last night.

    Well, I got so motivated that today we ran into town and picked up a second (used) electric guitar so we could play together. Furthermore….while at the shop, I also signed us both up for some lessons! So there ya go. :)

    • http://www.startteachingguitar.com Donnie Schexnayder

      Very cool Krista! I think it’s awesome that you and your daughter are learning together. Best of luck!

  • Mike

    I thought that this was going to be an article by a guitar teacher poo-pooing Rocksmith, so I’m really glad to read your positive opinion. I took lessons as a kid, but I never progressed far. Now in my 30s, I’m having a lot of fun learning guitar again.

    Donnie, you did a great job laying out some of the limitations of the game. It definitely requires supplementation.

    • http://www.startteachingguitar.com Donnie Schexnayder

      Thanks, Mike!

  • jason

    I agree with the author. Been playing guitar for 25yrs. I love my rocksmith game. It’s not perfect, the first version of anything is usually not perfect. I believe it to be an excellent instructional aid. It provides a LOT of motivation for folks to pick-up the guitar frequently. It also teaches what is in my opinion one of the biggest challenges to learning the guitar, which is muscle memory.

    • http://www.startteachingguitar.com Donnie Schexnayder

      Thanks, Jason! I’m glad you agree…

  • Wes

    Rocksmith is flat out AWESOME. I’m 30 and I have never played the guitar even though I have wanted to my entire life. In just 2 weeks I have gained the abilty to quickly move from cord to cord and fret to fret most of the time without looking. I know with even more time I will probably learn so much more. But i do know from just what I have learned so far if I do take lessons from a teacher I am going to learn so much faster than I would have without rocksmith. The game has everything you would need to know about playing guitar with enough time and practice without ever having a teacher. It even teaches you the proper way to restring your guitar. Tonight I played outshined by Soundgarden and it had me on max difficulty and i nailed 91% of the song. Not bad for only playing for 2 weeks.

    • http://www.startteachingguitar.com Donnie Schexnayder

      I’m glad it’s working for you, Wes! Rocksmith will teach you a lot, but it can’t teach you everything. When you get to the point where you want to take things to the next level, a good teacher will be able to show you the finer points of playing guitar…Rocksmith only deals pretty much with the mechanics.

  • Julia

    I have an Indiana Scout acoustic/electric guitar. Will this work for this game? I’d like to ask before I purchase it, but it really looks amazing.

    • http://www.startteachingguitar.com Donnie Schexnayder

      Sure, Julia…any guitar with a working pickup (1/4″ input jack) will work with the game.

  • http://www.printablechordprogressionsguitarscalesandmore.com Chris

    Cool review Donnie.
    Rocksmith hasn’t arrived here in New Zealand yet but I’m eagerly anticipating it. I’m even contemplating importing it!
    I’m happy that you are advocating its ability to help teachers. I’ve been mentioning it to some of my students who are equally as excited as me. In my eyes it is another learning tool and that can only be a good thing. I like your idea about basing your song repertoire around the songs on the game. It is something I could potentially try.

    • http://www.startteachingguitar.com Donnie Schexnayder

      Thanks, Chris! If you can get your hands on a copy, please let me know how it works out for you.

  • Carl Wagstaff

    I’d like to give my opinion of Rocksmith from an absolute beginners perspective. I’m a high school teacher and coach and am 28. I have always looked for a hobby to get addicted to in my limited spare time (about an hour or two a day). I have never touched a music instrument in my entire life and have no family members that have either. I have spent my life in sports. A fellow teacher I work with plays the guitar and mentioned how cool this game was (he just got it but has been playing guitar for 10+ years). I thought about it for a week or two before committing to it. I bought the game and a beginers guitar set off amazon. I anticipated using this cheap guitar as a “controller” only and could care less about it’s quality. Once it all arrived, I was hooked within 15 minutes. I have had if for three weeks and must have put at least 40 hours in! I am SOOOO addicted. It is not “easy” but as challenging as it gets without making it frustrating. My hands hurt all day and it just reminds me how I can’t wait to get home and play a couple hours before bed. I have already bought a new guitar (Epiphone Les Paul Special II) and to me it sounds much better than the davidson beginner kit I bought (though I’m not digging on that beginner kit… did excatly what I asked for it for the price). I have forced myself to learn standing up… so my lower back is a little sore after hours of play, but deffinately worth it. I still can’t imagine ever being able to be good enough to be up in front of people playing, but I SO hope one day I’ll be able too (not rockstar status or anything, but be good enough not to get laughed off stage with some buddies at a local bar or something). This game teaches you the physical requirements of guitar playing (hands, body, rythem, ect…) but I still feel like a Gorilla holding a tree branch when the XBOX goes off… because of that, I KNOW when I “perfect” this game in a year or two (which I’ll do, its crack for my addictive personality)… I will most deffiantely get guitar lessons at that point to understand the ART of guitar, not just the emotional high of PLAYING with the instrument. Donnie, what I’m saying is that I will spend money on guitar lessons BECAUSE of this game. If this game had never come out, I would never have attempted the guitar, but I LOVE feeling like I am creating a skill in my spare time as opposed to trying to shoot Nazi’s on my XBOX :-)

  • Steve

    It would be really helpful if Ubisoft was to make the tabs available for download,this would enable you to practice when you can’t use your game console.

    • http://www.startteachingguitar.com Donnie Schexnayder

      Yeah, I agree…but those are pretty easy to find online.

    • Tyler Grote

      bingo