Rocksmith+ makes learning guitar fun for a newb like me
Interested in learning what’s next for the gaming industry? Join gaming executives to discuss emerging parts of the industry this October at GamesBeat Summit Next. Register today.
I do not know how to play guitar. I have, however, played games that use plastic guitars as controllers. Rocksmith+ can serve as bridge for people like me.
In Rocksmith+, out now, players can use an actual guitar to interact to learn and play a large catalog of songs. As part of a subscription service, Rocksmith+ gives users access to a library of thousands of tunes across a variety of genres, including artists like Alice Cooper, Nsync and even Mozart.
But, more importantly for a novice like me, it also comes with a suite of learning tools.
Starting from zero
If you’re completely new to guitar, like me, Rocksmith+ can teach you the basics. It offers videos tutorials on topics like guitar tuning and even on how to properly hold the instrument.
Soon, I was learning some basic chords. A video tutorial would show me where I need to place my fingers, then an on-screen lesson would begin. Here, I had to strum the chord when instructed by a note highway, similar to the UI you’d see in games like Guitar Hero. Except here, you’re playing actual strings on a real guitar.
From these starting blocks, you can begin to learn actual songs. Once you pick a track, you can tackle it as either a beginner or a vet looking to learn the song note-for-note. For someone like me, I can play a simplified version of the track. I can even use a setting that pauses the song each time I need to play a note, patiently waiting for me to get my fingers where they need to go and strum before the track continues.
Rocksmith+ will even isolate sections that you struggle on and offer practice. You can repeat the same section until you get a better handle on it.
A large range of accessibility and personalization options also make things easier. You can change the layout of the UI in some key ways, for example the orientation of your in-game fret. You can even play songs with tabs if that is a more comfortable way for you to visualize notes.
A powerful tool
Now, I’m not saying that Rocksmith+ has turned me into a Van Halen. No matter the method, learning a instrument like guitar means devoting yourself to practice. But Rocksmith+ makes practice easy and accessible, and it can give you direct feedback on how you’re doing.
It’s a clear step up from simply following tutorials on YouTube, and it’s even a decent substitute for an in-person tutor. I have little doubt that if I actually devoted the time to it, I could get a decent handle on guitar or bass.
But Rocksmith+ isn’t just a teaching tool. If you already know how to play guitar, it can become something closer to an actual game. That’s when it can feel more like a Guitar Hero experience, where you’re playing along to your favorite songs. Except now you’re actually playing real notes on a real instrument, and you can take that experience outside of the game.
A gift for the guitar hopefuls
Like I said, I don’t play guitar. I do dabble in some other instruments, like the tin whistle. I would kill to have software like this to help me learn songs and techniques for that instrument.
So if you are a guitar player or are interested in picking up the instrument, I’m honestly kind of jealous of you. If you have some motivation, Rocksmith+ offers the tools to help you become an actual string-strumming musician.
Ubisoft gave me preview access to Rocksmith+, a guitar and a Rocksmith Real Tone cable for my hands-on time.
GamesBeat’s creed when covering the game industry is «where passion meets business.» What does this mean? We want to tell you how the news matters to you — not just as a decision-maker at a game studio, but also as a fan of games. Whether you read our articles, listen to our podcasts, or watch our videos, GamesBeat will help you learn about the industry and enjoy engaging with it. Discover our Briefings.