#1
Hey, Amazon recommendations have been pushing the new "teach yourself guitar" game, Rocksmith 2014, so I'm curious. Has anybody here tried it out? Is it any good for actually learning/improving guitar technique? Is it worth the hefty $80 price tag?

Thanks!
#2
... This is about to be one of the most divisive thread you will ever make. May God have mercy on your soul.

For the record: I haven't used it.
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#3
I mean, it's the best guitar game out there, in my opinion, if you're trying to learn guitar. It's a good way to have fun while playing a game, but in general, there's several better ways to better your playing, and then just play a video game of your choice. Unless there's particular songs you want to play along to, or just have fun, there's much more of a learning benefit to classes, or learning online, etc as compared to Rocksmith
#4
It's a video game for learning songs. I didn't find Rocksmith as good as tablature programs such as Guitar Pro but it does has slightly more entertainment value.
#5
For a novice its a recipe for bad habits if used alone. As complementary material its excellent. Good way to learn songs and having fun while doing it.

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#6
very good... the session is worth it alone. you can jam with a virtual band and its quite cool to learn your scales. Imo its really worth it
#7
I have mixed feelings on it. While it does teach a lot of square 1 basics, it can be a bit all over the place. A lesson will vary from performing an example of a hammer on or pull off, then go into applying it in a 260 BPS shredathon (maybe a bit exaggerated, but still a bit too quick of a jump). Also while it is pretty decent at picking up notes, when you get into fast picking, as long as you pick really fast and the notes are hitting even if it's the wrong rhythm, it still recognizes it as correct. Idk I just feel like if you seriously use it to learn guitar from the beginning, you're bound to develop some bad habits. That being said it's great for learning new songs. Within a day or two I had Stone by AIC and Sweet Mountain River almost 100% down having never attempted them before. So it's hit or miss. I'd recommend borrowing it if you can, play it for a few days then decide if you want to invest in it.
#8
not sure if its worth 80 notes it has good and bad points one bad point is i prefer play into an amp with effects much better sound than in the game sometimes for me it doesn't feel as natural as when i am using my amp.
I do use it from time to time i like the scales with the backing track playing i find that a fun way to learn them , Also i don't know if its just me but they seem to try and make some song's more complicated than it actually should be almost like they want to make it challenging but i don't think its Necessary most of the time .
#9
I own Rocksmith 2014 as well as the original Rocksmith and Bandfuse. All 3 games have accellerated my learning but I would NEVER start from scratch and try to learn from these games. They are not a teaching tool as much as a fun, practicing tool, even though there are lessons built into the game. You'd learn much much more from a qualified instructor, a beginner guitar book, or some YouTube videos. With that being said, the game is FUN and keeps me interested in learning guitar because I "feel" like i'm playing the songs even though i'm not playing them note for note. The game does a great job of taking any electric guitar no matter the type and making it sound somewhat like the tone in the song you're trying to play. If you're looking to supplement your learning and have fun then I think it's worth the $$. You may want to try picking up the original Rocksmith game used from CL or Gamestop for probably under $30.
#10
Hmm, my question has been kind of answered, but I'm interested from the intermediate beginner perspective, not the raw recruit. I've been playing for a month or two shy of a full year, a portion of that time with an instructor. So, not as long as most of the serious guys here, but long enough that I know the basics and I've curbed most of my bad habits. The reason why I ended up stopping the lessons was because most of the music teachers (of any discipline) in my area are all affiliated with a non-profit music "school" that caters primarily to teaching kids in an after-school capacity. So, the teacher that I was paired with taught like I was a very slow kid (very frustrating), and would only work on acoustic-oriented basics: open chords and basic rhythm guitar. We were strongly encouraged NOT to bring electric guitars to practice. Since I've stopped lessons there and switched to playing music that's more my style, I've been very happy, but without the structure of lessons, I've been struggling with figuring out how to measure my progress in learning to play. I was hoping the game would help in that regard.

So, with this new information, any further thoughts?
#11
I have all 3 of the games too. They are fun when they work. RS 2014 has had a stupid bug in it that randomly lowers your mastery to zero. Its supposed to be fixed soon though. They get me to play so I'm cool with them.
#12
I have recently gotten these games and put in many hours (which is a good thing). I'll go straight to the issues, from the perspective of someone who's played a couple of years.

-Rocksmith uses a "dumbed down" version of tab (and sheet music notation). If you know how to read tab, expect to have to learn it over again in a different way - associating colors with strings. This is not useful outside of the game.

-Note durations are generally not tabbed accurately. There's often no way to distinguish staccato from sustain or where there are rests. If you get tremolo pick, it doesn't say if it's 16ths, triplets, etc. Bends are awkward to read - things like half bend or full bend, etc.

-The nature of the game and no fail makes sloppy playing acceptable. You can play like trash and the game will still compliment you with a great performance

-Learning a song is far less effective. Usually, you'll practice/learn all riffs individually and then play the whole song. RS throws the whole song at you right away, reversing the learning process in a way. Typically, you may only struggle with a couple of bars. You cannot isolate these, you'd have to play a section of i.e. 16 bars in the "riff repeater"

-Game forces you to play exactly like tabbed. If it says B5 - 799, x244 is no good. Same goes for single notes. For example, I know a few songs the game has to offer already - like Muse - Knights of Cydonia. But I fret/finger it totally differently, though I play the correct notes - the game requires to re-learn it their way - this is really annoying and takes away a lot of the freedom that this instrument usually offers.

+There's a ton of great stuff about the game. Playing along with songs you love is always fun. The tones are good. The tutorials are good for beginners and everything is explained well. The minigames are OK and it's a more fun (but again less effective) way of learning the common scales. If you're a beginner struggling to put in time with your instrument and finding it a bit tedious, this will certainly help. If you're already a good player who knows advanced good technique and care about detail, the game will probably annoy the crap out of you. Overall this should be a good investment for beginners and moderately experienced players who like a wide range of music.

If you do decide to get this game, completely ignore the original Rocksmith and only get 2014. The first Rocksmith tried to make/rip off Guitar Hero into a real guitar game and has several dumb and pointless features - 2014 fixed it. The cable is also OK as a backup audio interface that you can use with Amplitube or Guitar Rig etc. It's worth getting if you like music, video games, are beginner or low/medium intermediate and find it at a decent price.
#13
At its core it's interactive TAB. I think it would be ok to use it while you're learning through other means, but I'd never count on learning the guitar only with Rocksmith.
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#14
My comments on this from a previous thread:

Rocksmith does not help develop great technique (and may even be detrimental in this aspect), but it will broaden your musical tastes and keep you motivated.

Would I recommend you get it? If you have the money for it, sure. It's pretty fun, and it'll build up your repertoire very quickly if you like to play it, but if you really want to get better quickly, your best bet is still to get a teacher who knows what he's doing.

Edit: I don't know if 2014 has any improvements in this regard, but if your note recognition (by virtue of using a shit cable or otherwise), be prepared to be very annoyed at the game. It will fail to recognize your note, refuse to give you 100% mastery, and then give you a shitty watered down version of the song.
Last edited by triface at Feb 9, 2014,
#15
I've played for around 20 years. Have not played electric in around 5. I picked up a cheap jackson and the game last week. I've been working on maiden, def leapard and pantera from the game. I would have to say that I would probably learn the song faster using tab per hour of practice. But I don't remember a time when I sat down and played (practiced) for a 6 hour stretch. It keeps me playing longer than I normally would. My biggest problem is the lag when playing fast.
All of that being said, it is worth it to me simply because it holds my interest longer than just looking at tab.
#16
Yes, you should get Rocksmith. Of course it doesn't teach you everything itself, but it does a hell of a job of *exposing* you to things that you can then go follow up on with external resources. As a beginner, I learned *about* things that I never would have even known to pursue. And I don't mean just the lessons content. I mean playing a wide variety of songs exposed me to a bunch of different techniques and playing styles that I never got in years of sitting around trying to learn with just tab printouts in years past.

The only caveat is what others have touched on. Its strength can also be its weakness. By playing the full song in the background it makes it fun to play along and keeps you playing. But it also definitely hides your sloppiness and mistakes. So you can't play Rocksmith exclusively. You have to take breaks from the game and focus on hearing yourself play. Also, the 3D tablature (the note highway), is so easy to sightread, it counter-intuitively makes it harder to memorize songs. You may find yourself tabbing things out on paper just to practice and memorize offline.

- Oh, one more thing. One thing fanapathy said above is 100% incorrect. The game absolutely does not care where you fret your notes as long as you play the right notes. Reptilia is a perfect example of this. It's charted with a big jump up the A string but I stay in position to play the main riff instead and there's no issue. Why would there be? The note detection works based on the pitch of what you are playing. This goes for chords too.
#17
Quote by thoman23
(...)
- Oh, one more thing. One thing fanapathy said above is 100% incorrect. The game absolutely does not care where you fret your notes as long as you play the right notes. Reptilia is a perfect example of this. It's charted with a big jump up the A string but I stay in position to play the main riff instead and there's no issue. Why would there be? The note detection works based on the pitch of what you are playing. This goes for chords too.


I must not have tested this out thoroughly. The note detection is a bit weak on some of the higher strings on the main guitar I use, I assumed it required the tabbed notes when lots of normal power chords started missing - I'm typically not gonna play EA powerchords on frets above 12 because they sound terrible. Thanks for pointing this out, should make things more enjoyable assuming you're right. I agree the sight reading is quite easy on average songs and though you may play a song nearly perfect looking at the notes, you may not actually know it that well in reality. I'd suggest just starting to play blind/not looking when getting good at a song and disregard master mode which tries to do this for you.
#18
For a beginner it was a tough start. It went too fast for me. I have now learned to adjust the setting in riff repeater and it is going better now. Rocksmith will get you going and if you get to know the setup, you can pick the lessons and do riff repeat etc and learn a lot.
If you want to be a good bass player, Rocksmith can not stand alone. I just purchased "The complete electric bass method" by David Overthrow and practice these lessons too.
Can't say it is the best book, but I have learned some basic stuff and can recommend it for beginners.
#19
Quote by GeetarGal
Hmm, my question has been kind of answered, but I'm interested from the intermediate beginner perspective, not the raw recruit. I've been playing for a month or two shy of a full year, a portion of that time with an instructor. So, not as long as most of the serious guys here, but long enough that I know the basics and I've curbed most of my bad habits. The reason why I ended up stopping the lessons was because most of the music teachers (of any discipline) in my area are all affiliated with a non-profit music "school" that caters primarily to teaching kids in an after-school capacity. So, the teacher that I was paired with taught like I was a very slow kid (very frustrating), and would only work on acoustic-oriented basics: open chords and basic rhythm guitar. We were strongly encouraged NOT to bring electric guitars to practice. Since I've stopped lessons there and switched to playing music that's more my style, I've been very happy, but without the structure of lessons, I've been struggling with figuring out how to measure my progress in learning to play. I was hoping the game would help in that regard.

So, with this new information, any further thoughts?


Sounds like it's going to be ideal for you after reading that. If you had never touched a guitar before then I'd recommend Rocksmith combined with an online resource like justinguitar.com but seeing as you already know the basics it should be right up your street.

Even if the track list isn't that attractive to you it's worth buying the PC version just to play custom DLC which has now seen a new home here. There are over 2500 custom songs available with more being added every day. The site just started this week so it's going to be periodically down every now and then as the site is still being worked on.

Custom DLC is also available on Smithy's Anvil but the site owner threw a hissy fit and has stopped new songs being added, so Customs Fourge is now the new home for custom songs for Rocksmith.
Last edited by arv1971 at Feb 20, 2014,