Can you actually learn from Rocksmith?
Since the guitar is one of the most popular instruments on the planet, there are many ways to learn it. You can learn from a tutor, join online classes, or tough it out yourself by watching YouTube.
Another popular option is to use gamification-style learning systems, such as Rocksmith. However, how good can you be if you learn from Rocksmith? Can you actually learn from Rocksmith?
Yes, you can actually learn how to play guitar from Rocksmith. This is because it teaches you the basics, as well as all the necessary skills to be able to play guitar well. On top of that, the gamification feature made learning more supportive, motivating, and less boring for you.
This article explores if you can actually learn from Rocksmith. We will also look at what the learning experience from Rocksmith is like.
How Does Learning From Rocksmith Like?
You start your learning session with Rocksmith and connect your guitar to your console using their Real Tone Cable. When you play, you will see prompts on the screen, showing you exactly where to play. If you struggle, the game may slow down, simplify its prompts, or pause to let you catch up.
Learning from Rocksmith could be considered a pleasant experience. It combines having a personal tutor and playing a game similar to Guitar Hero or Rock Band.
CHECK THIS OUT: Guitar Hero vs. Rock Band
You start by launching the game on your console of choice. Then you connect your guitar to the console using the Real Tone Cable.
This unique cable plugs into your guitar’s 3 mm audio socket and has a USB plug on the other end to connect to your console or PC.
Once you connect your guitar, you can start playing. You select a song or practice on things such as scales. You will see several lines representing your guitar string as you play. On these lines, you will see prompts.
When the prompts travel down to the bottom of the screen, that is the time you should play the note. Many players also describe this line and the prompt system as ‘note highway’.
The whole experience may remind you of playing Guitar Hero or Rock Band. But unlike these games, Rocksmith supports you during the learning process in several ways.
The game may adapt to your skill level if you struggle to play the notes. It does this by simplifying the screen prompts, allowing you to keep up and play better. If you continue to miss notes, the game may pause, to allow you to catch up.
Another feature is that the game helps you focus and does not punish you for not performing well. Unlike Guitar Hero that will start playing boos and show an angry crowd, Rocksmith remains neutral. This helps you to focus on learning instead of trying to ‘please the crowd.’
Can You Actually Learn From Rocksmith?
You can actually learn from Rocksmith. Despite it looking like a video game, it is teaching you how to play guitar. Rocksmith works by implementing gamification techniques into the learning process, making learning guitar fun, motivating, and less stressful.
Some people may not be convinced that they can learn any musical instrument without going through the usual learning process. This means spending time with tutors or learning online classes such as Guitar Tricks.
To them, the whole thing about playing guitar while looking at the prompts on the screen looks artificial and does not do much to help with guitar playing.
However, you can actually learn how to play guitar from Rocksmith.
This is because Rocksmith teaches you the skills without actually teaching you directly. The approach is more indirect and uses a more fun factor in it. This is achieved by using gamification features.
For example, suppose you are learning how to play scales. Rather than hours and hours of practice without much idea what you will do, you get to play a game instead. These minigames may require you to play a certain note to shoot at the enemy or to evade obstacles.
This results in a more fun learning experience, and you indirectly also pick up the ability to play the scales better.
How Does Rocksmith Help You To Learn Guitar?
Rocksmith can help you to play guitar by:
- Teaching you the basics of guitar playing
- Providing instant feedback on your playing
- Bringing in gamification features to motivate you
- Supports and cradles your playing process
- Helps you to play your favorite songs
Rocksmith teaches you to play guitar in a different way, which may be unfamiliar to many. However, it does deliver results by focusing on the following features:
Teaching You The Basics Of Guitar Playing
If you are a beginner, you must learn how to complete the basics well. You need to learn how to hold the guitar and position your hands. You also need to learn the strings, frets, and how to play the strings.
Next up, you can move into the playing itself, such as strumming and getting the strumming rhythm right. Then you can work on your open chords, focusing on the simpler ones such as C, D, Em, G, or A.
As you learn how to press the chords, you also get better at transitioning between them and harmonizing the whole process with your strumming hand. Aside from that. You also learn how to tune your guitar using tuners in the game.
These are all covered in Rocksmith, meaning you can learn them using the game. You do not need a tutor to help you in these areas.
Providing Instant Feedback On Your Playing
One of the biggest challenges for guitar players is getting feedback on their playing. While you are in the heat of trying to play, you may be unable to listen to your playing.
For example, you may be hitting the notes but not sure if you are keeping to the beats or if the notes are being played cleanly.
Many players will resort to having a fellow musician listen to them, but not all musicians can tell you what is wrong. A tutor may help best in this situation, but you need to pay money for their attention and time.
You may be better off relying on Rocksmith instead. The ‘note highway’ system that Rocksmith uses would be much more useful to help you get instant feedback on your playing.
For example, if you play your notes right, the console will pick up the sounds and keep your streak going. If your notes are played in the right beat count, you will also get your streak and score going.
This means Rocksmith can help you to play better guitar by giving you instant feedback on your playing, note by note.
Bringing In Gamification Features To Motivate You
This area truly separates Rocksmith from other ways of learning guitar. Rocksmith keeps learning fun with gamification features.
When playing the songs in Rocksmith, you are playing to a ‘note highway’ instead of looking at tabs, chords, or sheet music. This may remind you of playing arcade-style guitar games such as Guitar Hero or Rock Band.
The interface is also much more colorful and exciting to the mind. This makes the playing experience fun.
Aside from that, there are also small minigames that you can play to practice a certain skill in Rocksmith. These minigames are also in arcade style and may require shooting at an enemy, avoiding obstacles, or racing a car.
To win these minigames, you must play your guitar correctly. For example, you may need to play a certain note to fire your laser blaster in the shoot the enemy game. Play the wrong note, and your enemy shoots at you instead.
As you play the game, you keep practicing playing the right notes. It could be playing a pentatonic scale, mastering the right timing to pull the whammy bar or more.
This means you are indirectly learning and improving your guitar-playing skills while playing a game. This is not what a personal tutor can bring in for you. Even if they can, it may not be as good as Rocksmith.
Supports And Cradles Your Playing Process
Rocksmith is also capable of helping you learn guitar but supporting your playing process. By supporting the learning and playing process, Rocksmith reduces friction, which can help you to stay motivated and enjoy learning more.
This is done in several ways. Suppose you are learning to play the Aquatic Ambience song from Donkey Kong. As you play it, it becomes harder and harder for you to keep up, and you start to miss notes.
Games like Rock Band would punish you with boos, while a personal tutor may stop you. Not Rocksmith.
Instead, Rocksmith will notice this and automatically simplifies the prompts on the note highway, and help you catch up and regain confidence. If you can play the simpler notes, the prompts may return to the difficulty you have set.
Another way Rocksmith helps is by pausing the game automatically. Suppose you keep missing notes and struggle to keep up with the song.
Rocksmith may pause automatically, allowing you to catch up and mentally reorganize yourself. Once you are ok, strum the guitar, and the game continues.
These two features generate that continuity and help you to enjoy the playing experience better. You will be less frustrated, and stop playing, if you learn using Rocksmith.