Two years ago, shortly after I found out my wife was pregnant, I went out an bought a cheap electric guitar and amp. I wanted to be a Dad who could play music with his kid – if my child so happened to be interested in playing music that is.

However, over the two years, I haven’t gone out and taken lessons. I’ve been teaching myself through a few books, tabs online, and YouTube videos. But without that lesson per week, or really knowing what direction to go next, I found it hard to stick to it. Thus, my guitar began to stay hung on the wall more often than with me, playing chords.

Enter RockSmith.

RockSmith does what I had always hoped a video game would eventually do. It uses any real electric guitar. The game comes with a cord that has a quarter inch jack on one end, and a USB on the other. It works perfect too.

The game itself is geared towards beginners. If you’re an advanced guitarist already, this would probably bore you quite quickly. But if you’re a novice such as myself, it keeps you interested.

The first thing I loved was I found myself suddenly getting very good at where the frets are. Instead of staring at my fingers all the time, my eyes are forced to look at the screen to see what note is coming next. This was soon followed by me getting better at where the strings are without looking. I’ve had the game for 8 days, and I feel I’m already ahead of what I’ve been trying to do on my own over 2 years!

RockSmith also has mini-games within it. They really take the focus off the music, but make you concentrate on where the frets and strings are. Others will test your memory where the chords are. Here are a couple of video examples:

An acquaintance of mine is a guitarist and actually plays the game. He also records himself and has shared a few videos. This in one shows how the game itself can work.

I’m hoping in a few months I’ll be good enough at at least one song. Right now I’m hooked on Nirvana’s “In Bloom”. If it works out, I’ll be sure to record myself and upload it for all to see.

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