As I mentioned in my last post, one of my favorite gifts I received this year was a copy of Rocksmith 2014 for my PS3. With a new year dawning just a few days ago, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to pick an awesome New Year’s resolution… learn to play the guitar. So I opted to participate in Rocksmith’s 60 Day Challenge. What is Rocksmith?
From the Rocksmith website:
Rocksmith teaches you how to play fast and effectively by letting you plug any real guitar or bass* directly into your Xbox 360® games and entertainment system from Microsoft, PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system, Windows® PC or Mac.
Rocksmith becomes your personal guitar teacher as it monitors how you play, dynamically adjusts the difficulty to your skill level, then slowly introduces more notes and phrases until you’re playing your favorite songs note-for-note.
Rocksmith makes guitar and bass practice fun because it’s built by Ubisoft – one of the world’s largest video game developers. Built-in scoring, goals, and mini-games take away the pain of drills and repetition. Rocksmith teaches you to play so fast because it makes learning guitar both fun and interactive.
Here’s what the experts are saying about Rocksmith 2014:
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Since I was off from work, I decided to head down to the local guitar shop in town called The Fret Shop. They’ve been in Huntsville for 30 years and they’re one of the largest dealers of stringed musical instruments in North Alabama. It’s situated inside this cool looking building and when you walk inside, you’re greeted with exposed wood beams in the ceiling, rustics floors, and a warm and personal staff. I told the gentleman behind the counter that I was new to guitar and I had received an acoustic guitar for Christmas several years ago and despite haven taken lessons at Guitar Center, I never stuck with it. I told him I needed a good entry-level electric guitar to play with Rocksmith. I made it clear that I didn’t want to get one of those $150 kits that come with a guitar, amp, bag, and songbook, all of sub-par quality. If I was going to pass this challenge, I didn’t want tap out because of junky equipment.
I was given a brief introduction to electric guitars and the salesman was very patient, answering any questions I had. I decided I was going to spend around $150-250 for my guitar. He pointed me to the Squier Stratocasters and the base model was about $125. It was pretty simple, bright red with a white pickguard. Not bad, but for some reason, the guitar next to it was just beckoning to me. It was Squier Standard Stratocaster with maple fretboard and a gorgeous antique burst body.
So I grabbed it, a gig-bag, and a black suede guitar strap. He threw in a half dozen guitar picks to get me started and I rushed home to try out my “Strat.” You can log into the Rocksmith.com website and track your progress. Even though I had my guitar on Dec 31st and played a few lessons in Oklahoma during our Christmas trip, I didn’t actually link my Ubisoft account to Rocksmith on my PS3 until yesterday.
I gotta say, I’ve definitely enjoyed the lessons so far. I often find myself playing past the hour mark, either trying to nail the lesson or reach the next level in Guitarcade, a collection of minigames that “gamify” the techniques needed to play guitar. While I’m trying shoot ducks, or serve thirsty cowboys in a saloon, I’m actually learning fret positions and string positions!
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I’m excited to see what the next 60 days holds and if I can continue to play at least 1 hour a day, by March 3rd, 2014, I should have some pretty mean chops to grind on my new axe!