There are many ways to learn guitar. Some choose the traditional learning route from a tutor in person, while some prefer online classes. Another popular option is to use apps or software.
When it comes to apps and software to learn guitar, people immediately think of Rocksmith or Yousician. This is because they are good software, and can help you to learn guitar. However, are Rocksmith better than Yousician, or the other way around?
Rocksmith and Yousician may not be compared directly, as they focus on teaching guitar differently. Rocksmith uses a more gamified approach, while Yousician has a more structured, class-like feel. Your learning preferences may decide which app suits your learning style better.
In this article, we discuss if Rocksmith is better than Yousician and their pros and cons. Finally, we look at how you should decide between the two.
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Pros And Cons Of Rocksmith
Rocksmith is actually a series of electronic music games published by Ubisoft. Rocksmith focuses on teaching you how to play guitar in a gamified way. You may be reminded of Guitar Hero or Rock Band when you use Rocksmith.
Ubisoft first launched Rocksmith in 2012, with Rocksmith 2014 following later. The newest version, Rocksmith+, was released on 6 September 2022. Rocksmith+ takes the software online, turning it into a subscription-based app.
As with most applications, Rocksmith has its strengths and also weaknesses. They are:
Pros: Gamified Learning Experience
However, many also wished they could inject more realism into the experience. Instead of playing with a ‘dumbed-down’ controller, they prefer playing with a real guitar. As a result, Rocksmith was born.
Rocksmith combines elements of these games and a real guitar. You get a lot of gamified experience when learning with Rocksmith, such as scores, minigames, and more.
However, since you are playing Rocksmith with a real guitar, you will pick up the skills needed to play them. You may consider Rocksmith as playing while learning at the same time.
Pros: Large Song Library
Rocksmith is known for its large song library, with over 5000+ of them in 2022. The song library is expected to increase as the app stays in the market longer. The official website states that they now have over 6000+ songs.
The good thing about a large song library is that it helps your guitar-playing journey in many ways. Some basic songs may help you to practice specific skills without being bored.
Some songs are popular or known by many. You can play these songs for pleasure or also as a way to challenge yourself to play better. You can choose from public domain songs, such as classics from Tchaikovsky, or licensed songs like Taylor Swift.
Finally, a large song library ensures you will never be bored or feel you have run out of songs to play in Rocksmith.
Pros: Multiple Platforms
Rocksmith is also supported across multiple platforms. You can play it on popular gaming consoles like Playstation and Xbox. There are also versions of Rocksmith+ available for PC and Mac.
There are also versions for Android and iOS. You can access your Rocksmith+ subscriptions everywhere, making your guitar learning journey easier.
Cons: Not Much Theory
One of the issues with Rocksmith, however, is that it does not seem to teach you much about music theory. When using Rocksmith, you may not learn much about reading sheet music or tabs.
This is because Rocksmith uses a playing interface similar to Guitar Hero. This means you do not need music theory to play or use Rocksmith.
Reading sheet music may not be necessary for some guitar players. Still, if you intend to play classical music, you will need to be able to read them. You must at least read tabs for popular music, and Rocksmith may not cover these concepts well.
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Cons: Steep Learning Curve
With Rocksmith, another issue is the steep learning curve. There is not much focus on helping learners pick up the necessary beginner-type skills, such as positioning of hands and the instrument or tuning.
You may find the early stages difficult to adjust to if you are completely new to guitars. However, if you have some guitar-playing experience, you may find using Rocksmith easier.
The steep early learning curve may be because of the initial idea of Rocksmith. Rocksmith may try to help players of electronic music games to transition to an actual guitar. This means they may have had some experience with guitar guitars, even if it’s from simplified controllers.
Pros And Cons Of Yousician
Yousician is an educational music service available as a software/app subscription. You use Yousician to learn how to play a musical instrument. It is currently used by over 25 million people worldwide.
You may now use Yousician to learn to play guitar, piano (keyboard), ukulele, bass, and vocal. Once you have chosen an instrument, you can go through the courses. They usually contain lessons, exercises, tutorial videos, and minigames to motivate you.
Many critical reviews of Yousician have revealed its strengths and also weaknesses. They are:
Pros: Structured, More Traditional Learning Experience
Compared to Rocksmith, Yousician has a more structured, traditional learning experience. This takes out more fun and gaming-like features and adds a tone or two of seriousness.
For guitar, Yousician breaks down the learning process into multiple learning paths. Within these paths, you focus on specific skills, such as melody, riffs, etc.
These paths also can be broken down into levels and themes. You can only proceed to the next level once you have covered the previous level.
The easiest way to describe the learning paths in Yousician would be to describe it as a tech tree in games. You can only upgrade to better tech once you achieve the necessary tech.
As a result, Yousician may be more suitable for those that want some structure in their learning process. This ensures you pick the right skill before proceeding with something harder.
Pros: Direct Feedback
Yousician is also known for its good direct feedback. This may be because Yousucian focuses on structured learning rather than gamification.
Yousician does this in several ways. One is by using Yousician Score. This scoring system listens to how you play through the microphone of the device you use to play Yousician.
Then, it compares what you play with what is on the screen, and assigns you scores. As you play along, you may see the score highlighting areas where you have done well or not too well. You can then use this feedback to improve your playing.
You can even adjust how detailed you want this to be, using the Accuracy Threshold feature. You can adjust the sensitivity of the feedback. This means you can decide if you want a more ‘lenient teacher’ or if you want to really play something perfectly.
Pros: Multiple Instruments
Yousician is a music learning app that focuses on not just guitars. Within the app, you may also use it to learn keyboard, bass, vocals, piano, and even ukulele.
This means you can apply Yousician’s learning structure to other instruments, should you ever consider learning those.
However, if you are going towards this route, do understand that your monthly subscription fee may go up since you are looking at trying to access many instruments.
Cons: Limited Song Library
One issue with Yousician is that it does not have a large library, especially compared to Rocksmith.
Yousician used to be the leader in this area. Yousician produces songs independently and also allows its users to produce tracks and upload them.
However, Yousician removed this feature in 2018, probably for several reasons. One is to avoid licensing and copyright issues with the original song owners. The other is to entice users to upgrade to the more expensive subscription plan.
Cons: Less Engaging Interface
Another common issue people have with Yousician is its less engaging interface. This may be from its original root to provide a more structured and serious learning experience.
As a result, you do not get a colorful user interface with graphic animations. You do not get massive lighting strikes and popping scores on the screen when you play songs, unlike Guitar Hero.
Some may not like this, but there will be people who appreciate this. This is because a more calm and simple interface helps focus and removes distractions during the learning process.
Is Rocksmith or Yousician Better For You?
If you enjoy a more gamified, playful learning experience, get Rocksmith. If you prefer a more structured, serious way to learn guitar, Yousician may be better for you. If you may want to learn other instruments in the future, Yousician will be a better choice too.
If you are still undecided whether Rocksmith or Yousician is for you, perhaps we can break it down into several consideration points.
Firstly, ask yourself how serious you are about learning guitar. If you want to be serious and focused on your learning process, Yousician is the choice. Yousician may be the closest you can get to simulating learning from a teacher.
However, if you prefer to take it a little easier, Rocksmith is better. This is because it has more gamified features to take away the air of seriousness. It also has more songs, so you may have more fun playing Rocksmith.
Secondly, do you just want to learn guitar, or will you expand into other instruments? If you only learn guitar, then both Yousician and Rocksmith are ok.
However, if you plan to learn piano or vocals, Yousician may be better. This is because it has courses for many other instruments too.