You may have heard of the adage that if you want to make something fun to do, turn it into a game. If you carry that concept into playing guitar, you may be looking at games that teach you guitar-playing skills, such as Rocksmith.
However, Rocksmith is not the only guitar-playing game out there, with options such as Yousician available as well. If you are a beginner, which should you choose? Is Rocksmith good for beginners?
Rocksmith is good for beginners. It can help you to develop skills that beginning guitar players need to focus on, such as building finger controls and developing a sense of rhythm. The game also helps you to pick up new and easy songs for easy wins to keep you motivated.
This article explores Rocksmith, especially considering whether the video game suits beginner guitar players.
How Does Rocksmith Work?
Rocksmith works similarly to electronic music games such as Guitar Hero or Rock Band but uses an actual guitar instead of guitar controllers. You play guitar to the screen prompts, arranged in lines and dots. Rocksmith can be played on many computers and gaming consoles.
You may imagine Rocksmith as a Guitar Hero or Rock Band but on steroids. When we say steroids, we mean throwing away the guitar-shaped controller you use to play these games.
Instead, pick up a real guitar, and hook it up to your gaming console of choice.
The game is published by Ubisoft, makers of games such as Far Cry, Assassins Creed, and Skull and Bones. Rocksmith runs on many computers and gaming consoles.
You simply connect your guitar to your device of choice using the guitar jack to the USB dongle. If you purchase a copy of Rocksmith, it usually comes with the dongle, which Ubisoft calls the Real Tone Cable. You can always order one from Amazon if you do not have one.
The challenge here is since you are using a real guitar, there are more than 5 buttons to press. On top of that, you have 6 strings to play, not just a simple summer on the guitar controller.
Rocksmith, however, understands the challenge you may go through while playing the game. As a result, you may notice the gameplay difficulty automatically adjust as you play.
Suppose you miss multiple prompts in succession. In this case, the upcoming prompts may be simpler to help you to catch up and rebuild confidence.
If you end up missing a lot of notes in succession, the game may pause automatically. This small break allows you to catch up with the play, reposition your hands, and recollect your thoughts. Just Strum your guitar, and the game will continue.
Aside from Rocksmith, there are similar games helping you learn guitar, such as Yousician.
What Do Beginner Guitar Players Need To Focus On?
Beginner guitar players must focus on building finger controls and developing a sense of rhythm. New players should also practice frequently and learn simple songs that are not too technical to stay motivated.
Beginner guitar players, in general, are excited, keen to learn, and cannot wait to shred their guitar like Slash or Carlos Santana.
However, learning guitar can be a long journey. Beginner players should instead focus on laying the foundation first to ensure they have the right basic skills to play more complicated later.
Building Finger Controls
Pressing chords well may require a good sense of where your fingers are. On top of that, if you are to progress into barre chords or chords that take up four frets, you will need strong and flexible fingers that can stretch.
You also need to learn to control your picking and strumming fingers, as these also need you to develop a keen awareness of where your fingers are to pick or strum the right strings.
Develop A Sense Of Rhythm
One of the biggest challenges for beginner guitar players is to develop a good sense of rhythm. This is not something a tutor can teach in full, but you must spend time picking up finer things, such as counting beats. This allows you to match your playing to songs.
This could be achieved by listening to songs and focusing on the rhythm of the guitar. This includes how the guitar was strummed to match the song’s beat. You can then try to play along and match the strumming pattern to the song.
To develop finger controls and rhythm, you must spend a lot of time practicing. The key is not to pick up a guitar and play but to actually be able to receive proper feedback or to have a specific goal when practicing.
The best is to practice with a tutor. However, the cost and availability of tutors may be an issue here, so it may help if you approach practice with specific goals instead. For example, you want to learn how to transition from the open C to the open G chord.
You can also play along to songs and see if you can follow along, keep to the beats, and strum the right rhythm.
Learn The Right Songs
One way to really sour a beginner guitarist is immediately learning the hard stuff. Despite this sounding like perfect sense, people may not follow it.
You may see some over-enthusiastic new players try to go straight into learning the opening of One Last Breath by Creed, only to give up.
As a beginner player, you should try to learn simpler songs and ensure you can play them right. This will give you a good confidence booster and keep you motivated in your journey.
Is Rocksmith Good For Beginners?
Rocksmith is good for beginner guitar players, as it helps them learn skills they need to master. Rocksmith also provides gamification features that may keep beginning players motivated to keep learning. It also contains a library of simple songs which learners can start to learn from.
Now that we have looked into what Rocksmith is and what beginner guitar players need let’s see if Rocksmith is good for new guitarists.
The answer is yes, for several reasons:
Builds Finger Dexterity And Strength
In Rocksmith, you spend time learning about basic fingering control practices, such as playing scales, chords, picking, and strumming patterns. These skills are learned quite early in the game, which helps a new player to do well later.
For example, consider a simple exercise where you repeat the process of transitioning chords and then strum to check the sound quality. This practice helps you develop finger agility, speed, strength, and awareness, which is helpful for you as a new guitarist.
Makes Learning Fun
Rocksmith has many gamification features to keep the learning process interesting and fun.
First is how the prompts are given. The prompts may look more like a Guitar Hero game rather than the plain boring sheet music or tablatures. This alone would have excited many new players.
Aside from that, there are also many small minigames that you can play to master simple skills such as pulling the wah pedal, bends, slides, hammer-on, and much more. These skills take time to master, which means if you can do it with games, the learning process may be more bearable.
Teaches Common Techniques Beginners Should Learn
Beginner guitar players must focus on finger control and develop a sense of rhythm. These skills are taught extensively in Rocksmith.
You spend time learning how to play scales, move between chords and notes, as well as pick and strumming exercises. You also learn to play simple and basic songs to build confidence and the ability to play to beat and in a set rhythm.
These skills are crucial and will help beginner guitarists to develop a solid foundation. With the base, they can now go ahead and tackle more difficult plays with their guitar later.
Great For Learning New Songs
Rocksmith contains thousands of songs to play across multiple levels of difficulty. In fact, Rocksmith claims that their library has over 8,000 songs for you to choose from.
This means as a beginning player, you can be sure to choose songs that are easy to play. This ensures you do not pick up songs beyond your skill level and make your learning journey more difficult than it needs to be.
You also do not need to go out there and try to find songs yourself, which can be a minefield of its own. You may either end up with songs too difficult for yourself, or you may be forced to try to read tablatures that are not written properly.
Inspiring For New Players
Finally, Rocksmith is good for beginner guitar players because it presents a different way to learn how to play guitar.
Before games like Rocksmith appear, new guitar players must choose between either learning through a tutor or self-learning online courses such as Guitar Tricks. This means spending hours looking at tablatures or sheet music and playing without much excitement.
Games like Rocksmith bring a whole new dimension to the learning experience. You can actually play guitar as if it is a video game, which makes the learning process much more fun and enjoyable. You may pick up guitar much faster with games such as Rocksmith!