264 of 266 people found the following review helpful
For those of you, like me, who just needed some help...
, October 31, 2011
This review is from: Rocksmith (Video Game)
I've only played this on the PS3, as that's the only console I have. I'm in my mid-40s, and have tried to learn guitar off and on for the last 4 years. I've bought books, and courses, and downloaded tabs from the web, and watched videos, and while I've learned some scales and lots of chords and even memorized some guitar solos, the mechanics of playing have just never come to me. It's always frustrated me to know that despite all the chords and scales and tabs I've learned, if I were in a group around a campfire and the group asked for someone to strum guitar, I wouldn't volunteer because I just don't sound good when I play. I know that mechanically, it's just not there, and having 100 chords memorized doesn't help when you're constantly fighting with the guitar because your fingers are never in the right place and you never seem to land on the right fret. I think my big problem is that I never really learned how to play without looking down at the fretboard, and if I don't look, I'm lost. Books and videos can be read or viewed slowly, or paused, and they don't force you to learn without looking down.
I've now been playing Rocksmith for 4-5 days, and already I can tell that I've improved in this area, and the reason is so simple: you're forced to keep your eyes on the video screen, so you can't look down, and your hands have to learn how to find the 5th position (5th fret) without looking, and how to find the D string without looking, and how to slide from the 17th fret down to the 10th fret without looking. The challenge games, like shooting the cartoon birds, or practicing slides from all over the fretboard, actually work because they repeatedly force you to play without looking down. That may sound like such a simple thing, not looking down, but for me (and maybe lots of other people?) it means the difference between just noodling with the guitar and actually playing the guitar.
The song selection had me hesitant at first - many of the songs I'd never even heard of - but the reviews are right....it's easy to enjoy all the songs because each of them is catchy in their own way, and each poses a particular playing challenge.
It's is a challenging game, at least for me, and I still have plenty of moments where I reach for the controller to hit pause just to give my hands a rest, or to get mad at myself because I messed up a progression I think I should have nailed, so my advice to beginners is to take your time and just relax and let it come very slowly. Forget about how all those instruction videos make playing guitar look so easy - I don't think it is easy, and it takes work, and hundreds (or thousands) of hours of practice over time to truly learn guitar. So you're probably not going to be playing the solo to "Sweet Child O' Mine" by week 2. But you will be playing, and making actual music, and for someone like me who has never gotten over the hump and never gone from a tinkerer to a player, this game might be the best $80 I've spent on any video game, and it may be the best learning tool I've ever come across. I wish I'd had it 4 years ago, but I'm glad I have it now, and I can't wait to see how much better I'll be playing in a few months. It's very exciting to feel like I'm finally getting over the hump, and that learning guitar may not be impossible after all.
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