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Customer Review

264 of 266 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars For those of you, like me, who just needed some help..., October 31, 2011
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
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'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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Tracked by 3 customers

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Showing 1-10 of 19 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Nov 6, 2011 9:42:53 AM PST
Scoot395 says:
You have said everything that I have been thinking! I am 42 years old, and experiencing the same problems that you described! I got Rocksmith yesterday, and in less than 24 hours I have noticed a very drastic improvement. Since yesterday I have gone from thinking that maybe I am just too old to learn a new skill like the guitar, to playing along with Red Hot Chili Peppers on "Higher Ground" and getting a 92% accuracy!! (And, man, I love how the game replays your performance after it rates you, so you can actually listen to yourself instead of concentrating on the notes flying at you... I kept listening and thinking, "Wow, did I really play that??!!!")

But at any rate, I just wanted to comment on your post and tell you that you are not alone! I understand completely what you are talking about, and after fooling around with this game a bit, I think there may indeed be hope for old guys like us! Good luck, my friend!!

Posted on Nov 17, 2011 6:41:08 AM PST
Great review - spot on!

Same here. I'm 36 and have been playing for about 6 months. I can noodle with the best of them, but to actually play a song on time and in tune is another story. I can play rythym without any issues - but being able to learn lead and effectively improvise has been something that Rocksmith has helped with a lot.

I didn't give it 5 stars in my review becuase the actual game aspects are pretty terrible (menus, structure, inability to see what an entire song looks like right from the start).

I've got 5 songs mastered - nothing like a 1000+ note streak on a real song and am already looking forward to Rocksmith 2.

Posted on Dec 14, 2011 10:25:20 PM PST
Gman says:
Bought this for my kids, played a couple licks and well...Buying me a xbox just for me and another RS game so I can get some game time. LOL. Fun as all get out.

Posted on Dec 21, 2011 5:11:40 PM PST
Great review...very first person and appreciated.

Posted on Dec 22, 2011 9:13:17 AM PST
bcgator says:
Thanks for the positive feedback everyone, I'm glad the review was appreciated. Rock on!

Posted on Dec 24, 2011 1:57:31 PM PST
Mac says:
great Review; i'm 61 and feel just like you do, but for a lot longer. So I asked my wife for 1 gift only for Christmas, well let me say 2 gifts; a PS3 and Rock Smith. I have never played a video game in my life; does Pack man and Pong count.
Merry Christmas and thanks for the review.

Posted on Dec 25, 2011 8:43:26 AM PST
Tryp Tamine says:
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 26, 2011 5:57:26 AM PST
bcgator says:
Thanks for the input Tryp, but I don't know that people are buying the game thinking that if they play this for a few hundred hours they'll be opening for Aerosmith's next tour. I'm sure most people have figured out that, aside from this game, being an actual expert on guitar doesn't even necessarily mean you're a rock star. I will correct one part of your comment, about this "not being a teaching software". The game actually does include video tutorials on how to create harmonics, how to palm mute, etc. And you can also use it to memorize and learn scales, completely separate from playing any songs. The tutorials and games are the biggest surprise - there are so many of them that you could use this game just to practice and learn scales, or just to learn chord fingerings. But you're absolutely right, with or without this game, it takes a very long time to become a professional money-earning musician.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 7, 2012 10:38:39 PM PST
BEEZER says:
If I didn't know any better I would say I wrote the original review as you described me perfectly as well. Thanks for the great review, gonna give this a try!

Posted on Jan 9, 2012 7:11:55 PM PST
Thank you for the great review. I bought this awhile back and was considering taking it back because I wasn't sure how good of a learning tool it would be especially since I didn't really care for most of the songs. I think I'm ready now!
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