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Did rocksmith teach anyone here how to play guitar?


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35 replies to this topic

#21
Offline   Mystic368

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I have been trying to decide whether to purchase RS as a way to share my enjoyment of guitar with my 10 year-old son, so this is a timely question. I see a distinction between learning to play the guitar and learning to play the guitar parts in songs. The former, taken seriously, requires heavy lifting with scales, modes, and rhythmic practice against a metronome, etc and is not an appropriate path for me as a 49 year-old guy. Being able to approximate the guitar parts to songs I love is what moves me and what I want to share with my son, so I have been buying multitrack song cover versions from a karaoke-type site, re-compiling the stems back into an mp3 file in Audacity (minus the guitar part or parts we want to play), loading those into a Digitech GNX4 floor pedal and using the pedal for guitar tones and as a foot-operated backing track player. Just 2 inexpensive Squier bullet strats and two used Digitech GNX4 pedals ,so my son and I are using identical equipment and he doesn't get the idea that Dad sounds better because Dad is using an expensive guitar or a high end guitar effects unit. My son is almost making it all the way through 'Teenage Kicks' by The Undertones and his face lights up when he realizes he is 100% responsible for the guitar sound that he hears when his recorded part is played back to him along with the backing track.    

 

I just learned that RS does not use track stems so you cannot fully mute instrument parts and completely replace the song's guitar parts with your own. .The GNX4 pedal contains an 8-track recorder and I use it to record my guitar part to a track separate from the backing track. To me, the only way you know you are doing it 'right' or authentically is to listen to your recorded guitar part after you are done. So it seems with RS, you don't get much back in exchange for tethering yourself to  a computer other than point-scoring or watching graphics go by on the screen.

 

Also, even with there being over 900 official downloadable songs available, there is so much classic material missing it's not even funny. I understand this is principally about licensing, etc, and UBISOFT's hands are tied if a licensing deal can't be made, so I guess that's that. I guess RS isn't for me and my son. It took me quite a while to arrive at a 'system' that works for us involving creating my own backing tracks from multitrack stems I buy for a couple of bucks each and running them from a floor pedal. It's not perfect - everything is  a compromise - but I like it. Plus, if my son decides he wants to play guitar at school talent day, he won't feel naked without RS on a computer. He can just plug his guitar into his GNX4 and the GNX4 into the school's mixing board, step on the pedal to start the backing track and away he goes. Barring nervousness, the 'live' experience is not all that different from a technical point of view from his practice experience. Job done.

 

If I'm misunderstanding something or missing something reference RS, I'm happy to listen.      



#22
Offline   firekorn

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@Mystic368 i don't think you misunderstand much but i think you underestimate some aspect of RS outside of just playing along a song.

 

Session mode could be a very fun way to practice scales and improvisation with your son.

 

Guitarcade and lessons inside the game are a great way to practice specific technique in a more interactive way instead of just working along side a metronome, it's less boring and still offers a great way to practice specific stuff.

 

Note that even when playing inside Rocksmith, you could use the GNX4 (in between the guitar and the Rocksmith cable) to record yourself and listen back to what you did or mix it with stems/backing track that you can found online anyway.

 

In regards to the song available in RS officially, well that's an eternal issue, those artist that are consider classic/must have but aren't there because Ubisoft can't do anything legally, they've been contacted (multiple times probably) and are simply answering "no" or have crazy condition that can't be met by Ubisoft reasonnably. But you also have to keep in mind that we still get 3/5 DLC every week and the more Rocksmith have active user putting in request the easier it is for them to push toward some artist and the more power they have when discussing term. Also some artist are known to hate video games or had bad past relationship with different partners, things aren't easy. All that said, the variety in the DLC offers is interesting and can help you discover new stuff that might have never appreciated otherwise.

 

And of course there's always Customsforge to fill up the missing gap.

 

Regarding stems, RS don't use them because it makes getting artist even harder and more costly and that doesn't mean that you won't hear anything of what you are doing, putting the song volume down to 70/60% will make what you play stand out enough to really listen to what you do (and with the GNX4 you could always output to the amp at the same time anyway!).

 

 

he won't feel naked without RS on a computer.

That's a lot of BS, memorization has nothing to do with the support you use to read the partition from, you can learn lyrics by singing in a karaoke so you can learn riffs/songs by playing them from RS. It's just a question of effort, tab don't usually force you to memorize stuff to actually play it cause it's hard to sight read tab. RS makes sight reading a lot easier so memory is a lot less useful at first but that doesn't mean that you have to stare at the screen like a zombie. So yeah if you only look at the screen and don't make your memory work, a lot less will stick compare to tab but that's because you won't have made the effort to memorize it anyway but that's also a strength. You don't have to memorize everything down to the little variations to be able to play along songs which means that you can easily plays tons of songs back to back simply for fun and still have lot of space to memorize stuff that you really want to remember. And at one point, when you've played a riff thousand of times, it will stick anyway...

 

Note that RS will also likely make slowing part down and repeating a lot more practical/easy which is very important for intensive practice and memorization.

 

All that said, if you think it won't be worth it, you are free to not get it anyway. But it's not like it's that expensive for a good number of songs (especially if you count CDLC).

 

So i do think it would be worth a try, doesn't mean that you have to extensively use it anyway and note that steam has a refund system that you could always benefit from.


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#23
Offline   Mystic368

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Firekorn, thank you for such a comprehensive response. I agree completely that UBISOFT can't twist an artist's arm to make even a stereo mix available, let alone track stems. I'm aware there are too many variables and legitimate concerns at play to 'blame' UBISOFT for that and you outlined some of those concerns in your response. Of course when it comes to early Beatles material, as an extreme example, one-instrument-per-track stems don't even exist anyhow. I must say, though, it is still tantalizing to fantasize about the availability of original studio tracks as stems (where they exist) when you listen to some of the more-or-less isolated track stems on YouTube for something like 'Layla,' for example.

 

When you think of the average cover song performance scenario, you're typically talking of a bar band / patio band type situation where you simply can't perfectly replicate the song in precise detail anyhow due to instrumentation among other factors. That's why I think using the track stems of cover versions of classic tracks doesn't compromise much and there is the benefit of knowing the only guitar you are hearing as you play along (and record) with the track is yours. It's just my opinion, but I think playing along with even a turned down song that contains the guitar part you are playing tends to mask your own playing and, psychologically, you might then credit yourself for playing better than you did, ha, ha. That's how I feel anyhow when I hit play on an original track in a media player and just play along with it. I realize RS provides visual training cues and learning tools, etc, and there is a fun game-play element but, at the end  of the day, you are playing along with a song that already contains the part you are (trying) to replace. That's how I feel about it, but I realize no-one else is obligated to feel the same.  

 

My comment about being tethered to RS on a computer wasn't a negative judgement on my part that RS has no value as a training tool or as a memorization aid. It was a comment about the potential psychological effect on a young learner, specifically, of being connected to a computer while they practiced and played. Would they subsequently feel naked trying to perform the song without the support of the visuals and a subdued but still present original guitar track? That's what I was alluding to there, but I didn't flesh it out.  

 

Session mode seems interesting, but it's a first generation feature isn't it? Well, RS is not a major outlay, so I think I'll get a copy and play around with it for a while before I decide whether to introduce my son to it. Maybe I'll get hooked on it, I don't know. I have to admit I'm curious about the custom downloadable content . I'll give it a shot and report back at some point. Thanks again, Firekorn.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



#24
Offline   firekorn

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That's why I think using the track stems of cover versions of classic tracks doesn't compromise much

 

And that's true but as you pointed out, stems aren't always available and what do you do then? That's one major issue regarding RB tracks nowadays, they sometimes kinda recreated stems by advanced filters and effect on the song but i didn't heard many good thing about the result or they go for covers which brings us back to the issue that it might not be 100% the song you know and love.

 

I do agree that stems can be nice but i gotta admit that i prefer to have access to more songs than to have stems available.

 

Note that there is multitrack CDLC but those won't be working "properly" if you do multiplayer.

 

 

the potential psychological effect on a young learner

Classical music is learned by being tethered to music sheet. It just requires effort to then detach yourself from the support but it's effort you would have put in anyways when you simply glance at a tab and try to figure out the rest as you go.

 

 

Session mode seems interesting, but it's a first generation feature isn't it?

It is but that doesn't mean it's not worth it and in your case i think it would be really nice and less expensive than a decent drum machine.


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#25
Offline   MellonFarmer

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What I love the most about Rocksmith is that it gets you past the "Suck phase". Pretty much everyone sucks when they start playing. Rocksmith gives you the rest of the band where you can keep playing and it doesn't sound like cats being murdered. The game never gets old for me and I keep playing pretty much every day.

 

But, that can also be a crutch that is tough to get rid of as well. Make sure that you can hear yourself play like the others have mentioned. And just practice, practice, practice. I think Rocksmith has some decent tools that will help with music theory, like the scale games and session mode.

 

Just keep at it is really the only piece of advice..



#26
Offline   QOTSANINSOADKORN

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Using a Y splitter to run your bass or guitar to a practise amp + Rocksmith at the same time is pretty good...

I dare say it helped allot with not trying to play Acoustically when it's meant to be electric :P


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#27
Offline   QOTSANINSOADKORN

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Also using Audacity to record your sound input while you use a Recording of a previous RS performance for timing / notes... It'll have no effects though unless you have pedals...


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Les Paul Special II - Guitar 

IBANEZ - USED MODIFIED MODEL... After-market Tremolo Bridge + head-stock locking nut thingys --- Free 1994-ish Guitar =  :)


#28
Offline   Aaronhagyard95

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when I first bought Rocksmith when it first came out I had already been playing for a year but thanks too rocksmith I have improved loads I learnt how too play lead guitar and my favourite guitar solos through Rocksmith. Rocksmith is a great educational and fun tool too me I could spend a whole day on Rocksmith if i had the time for it.

 

so if theres anyone who is still reading this topic and is thinking about getting rocksmith too teach them how too play the guitar then go for it.



#29
Offline   lilstrats

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I'd say oh yeah easily.



#30
Offline   med521

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I personally believe Rocksmith teaches nothing except how to play songs; it's just a moving tab. Sure it gives you lessons on how to do techniques, but it doesn't have practice to improve yourself on these techniques.



#31
Offline   firekorn

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@med521 So practicing the lesson track isn't like working on a specific technique? And what about the minigame regarding a specific technique, it isn't practice? I mean no offense here but the way you seems to claim that there's no practice possible via RS seems incredibly out of touch with what RS offers overall.

 

Note that i'm not saying the lessons are perfect either and it doesn't mean that there's no better way to practice at all but saying you can't practice with RS seems a bit weird to they the least.


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#32
Offline   Henkinator

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So I have been playing RS for 6 years or so now. And It is a good way to get started. Unfortunately I am not very good because of RS. Like many people say it is just a moving tab and it's more a game than a teaching tool.

 

Not too long ago, I was asked by a band to start playing bass, because they just could not find anyone. So they were like; this guy can kinda handle a guitar maybe it will work out. What I learnt with the band has made me progress more in the 10 months since than I have in all the years previously playing rocksmith. RS is nice to get a good feeling for the neck of the guitar, some understanding of various techniques like bending and some chords. But, the most important thing is missing: learning to listen.

 

When I used to play the songs I knew, I was overthinking things. Basicly trying to play by visual. You know, 5,7,5 mute this chord that. But that just doesn't work. You need to know the sound of the next note not the visual of the position. I started learning some theory, like knowing each note's name on the fretboard, scales and rootnotes that kinda basic stuff. Then I just started messing around with it. Improvise a little, experiment. Look at songs and discern their structure. And more than anything, listening to what I play not looking. You have to like what you're hearing to get better. And you need to be in the beat to feel a riff come.

 

So my advise, apart from getting a teacher, (which I have never done) is basicly to really listen. Let the music come, don't make it. Also, doing magic mushrooms and playing guitar is eye opening. But that's not for everyone.

 

Hope this helps



#33
Offline   yuppicide

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I definitely think RockSmith is worth it. RockSmith costs one price.. guitar lessons cost money every 30 minute session. My first night with RockSmith I was playing The Ramones - Blitzkrieg Bop in it's entirety. Granted it's only chords, I was very happy with that. I've since moved on to playing other songs with Chords that I like.. namely Misfits and stuff like that. A little Deftones. Hatebreed. Metallica.

 

I've had lessons in the past a little. The problem wasn't so much the money for me. It was finding an instructor who can teach me songs I like. With RockSmith you can choose to play only things you are into. My guitar instructor? One was into blues and I was totally uninterested. 

 

The riff repeater is great. You can slow things down and then speed them up.

 

My only negative thing to say about RockSmith? It won't work on computers with dual monitors. I refuse to move my full tower computer (heavy) or even try to reach around my desk and unplug a monitor. It's just not doable for me. I'm the type of person that plays RockSmith say for 20 minutes, then goes to play a game, then goes to surf the web or watch a TV show, then back to RockSmith. My computer is the only source of entertainment in my house (besides a cell phone). It's unrealistic that tech supports wants me to unplug the monitor every time.

 

I also don't want all that strain on my cable and the port in my PC of plugging and unplugging it like 10 or 20 times a day.



#34
Offline   Xellot

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I responded to your thread.. I do EXACTLY what you're saying you wish you could.   This game will work on 5 monitors.. But you better have one hell of a set up to run separate games on one system if that's what you mean lol.  I run the game on a 46 inch TV I use as my monitor.. I have a cheap usb 2.0 hub I bought from walmart for like 10 bucks.. That was so I had enough USB ports.  Basically here's what i play RS on, while also doing exactly what you're implying you wish you could do..   I use a Surface Pro Tablet to run RS.  I run the game in Window mode because I to like to browse, and quit, and browse, or do whatever the hell my add ass is thinking about....   like this one time i saw a SQUIRREL!!!1   J\k lol..  Anyway I bought an HDMI converter cable at Best buy that connects my tablet into my TV just as you probably do with VGA cables from your desktop to your monitors!  That's it!  There's nothing crazy about it....  I do have a 7.1 surround sound turtle beach headset adapater that I bought for my X32 wireless headset for Xbox 360 and Xbox one..  But you can use it on any device as long as it has an aux port..  Anyway after that I run a subwoofer, two pc speakers, and when i'm really wanting to jam the **** out i connect my 400 dollar portable bose speaker to the adapater as well with a Y aux splitter cable and turn the sound up really ****ing loud lol.  That only happens when im feeling confident in my playing that particular day... anyway... if you're wanting to run the game, and browse facebook, and play a youtube video all at the same time, you can forget about it!  That's going to slowdown any computer.. you can browse the web and play at the same time though... it's easy.. another thing too.. have you bothered going into your rocksmith main folder and clicking on the configureation file?  It's a break down of how to set up your visuals, or your audio for the best possible set up.. Start there and lower your resolution or turn off all your other extra visuals.. You cant tell a damn ddifference when playing...  I also run the game in window mode because for whatever reason if say I hit my windows key on my keyboard to bring me back to my desktop itll  interrupt the game and do it.. but after i click back on RS to maximize the game, the screen is solid white and i have to ctrl alt delete and close RS..  But another thing that helps is even if say you put it on some shitty low resolution in window mode for example.  You can drag the RS window to the center of your tv, then on your tv select wide, or zoomed on the TV itselp and you can basically run the game as if it were on fullscreen but you're technically just zoomed in on the TV ;)  Goodluck!  Go fidget around with the contorls and check out that configuration file in your RS folder!



#35
Offline   Nevioso

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I read a lot of what was mentioned here, but not all of it.

The way I see it is this.. If you can play along with 100 songs on Rocksmith.. odds are.. you can play the guitar.  If you know it or not..that is a different story.  But, if you find a chord pattern in a song you like.. then take a strum pattern from a different song... add a few touches of things you personally like.. Guess what?!  You just made a song.  You don't NEED to know music theory, you don't NEED to know scales.  If you have ears, and a good sense of music then you can play the guitar just based upon playing along with Rocksmith.  If you are not musically inclined, and you are one that will have to work for it.. then yes.  You may need support in music theory and the likes. 

BUT.. even if you know every bit of music theory and the likes, without practice it means nothing.  Just because you know exactly how something is played, doesn't mean that you are physically able to play it.. hence Rocksmith can teach you to play and create your own stuff.  Just a matter of if you have the ear and creativity for it.



#36
Offline   Goranpaa

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I can definte say that RS can learn you to play ....To some extent at least. I'm 64 years old and have tried at 3 occations since my teens to learn  how to play the guitar and failed miserably! I simply can't read this up from books. But about 7 months ago I stumbled over Rocksmith 2014 at YouTube and decided to give it a try. So I bought it and a cheapo but decent Epiphone, electric guitar.

( I have 3 guitars and a short scale bass now ). :D

 

Now, after have played for an hour every day, I can say that I definite have done some progress.

But a couple of weeks ago, I started to feel that I needed another "teacher" as compliment to RS. So I headed over to justin guitar.com

And now, I feel I get all the help I need when learning how to play.

 

Rocksmith are good in many ways, but can't teach you everything. And it have some minor flaws.

 

1. The progession are sometimes a bit too fast  for a beginner, when RS thinks you are better than you actually are and ramps up the difficulty over your head.

Luckily, the Riff Repeater can fix that though. And you also have Score Attack.

 

2. You must keep track on by yourself that you actually are playing clean notes! If you just trust what  the program says about your playing? You may soon have picked up some bad habits, that will be the pits to get rid of.

 

3. This is my personal point of view about the arcade games:

 

Most of them aren't that useful. With the exception of String skip saloon, Ducks Redux and Ninja slide. They helped me a lot in the beginning and I still play them as a warm up.

 

As for learning scales? You are better off praticing them in the Session mode, than running the Scale Racer game. And as for chords, I think that justinguitar.com is a great place to learn this.

 

4. I just wish there where more slow or slower and easy songs to learn in the original game. As a beginner, it's  hard to try to keep up in a Metal, Grunge or an Indie song wich there are quite many of in this game. But likely, UBISoft had youngsters in mind first hand and not old geezers like me when they made this program / game :)  But luckily, this great forum exist where one can find ones favourite, slower and easier songs.

 

But despite this, RS is a very nice learning tool, that keep you motivated all the time. I just wish that this program / game and to days computers had been availiable some 40 years ago. I might have been a Richie Blackmore Jr. then by now. :D