The Rocksmith Experience Part 1: The Beginning

The Rocksmith Experience will be my journey as a newbie who has no prior experience playing a guitar as I learn from scratch. I have a slight background mind you in classical music having played a clarinet for five years (there were no saxophones left!!). So I have the principle of reading sheet music, tempo, etc but will it translate well…I have no idea but just giving you all a heads up before I dive into this adventure with you.

As a background, I have had my eye on Rocksmith from the earlier edition. It intrigued me greatly however I could never bring myself to purchase it. Was it good? Was it more for people who had experience? I had a lot of questions and sure sites reviewed it but there was still the skeptic in me as this was the first game / tool of it’s kind so thought maybe that it was a fad with no further support.

But now Rocksmith 2014 is out and finally I decided that I was going to give this a go. I read reviews from multiple sources making sure to read customer reviews in particular. Some seem really mixed but skewed towards the extremely positive. It made the decision a bit easier.

When buying Rocksmith and are a total newbie like myself then I highly recommend finding the bundle of the guitar / game / cable. The guitar is really nice is it’s styling and feels good. Having not played a guitar in my life I was surprised at the weight. It was heavier then I imagined but was not cumbersome.  The strap provided while not the most comfortable, does the job as any strap would. I will play around with the adjustment to get it just right and maybe it will improve things.

A big thing to note is that it is recommended you plug the audio of your console directly in your home theater itself rather then going through the tv then to the home theater. What can happen is that you will encounter lag between when you play and the the actual sound.  At any rate this is generally doable. I was happy that I got the 360 version as it was running from component anyways.

With all that I was ready to rock on. But keeping in mind all the reviews and just obvious assumption, this will be a long road to learn to play.  Rocksmith gets you started by getting you to tune your guitar. You have a meter and have to strum the guitar while making adjustments to equalize it all.  In my day 1 experience this was probably the most awkward as it wasn’t obvious for a newb like what what sense to turn the nobs to tighten. Devil’s advocate though in that maybe they wanted it to be exactly this way focusing you on dicking around and actually getting to know your guitar. Show no fear!!

Finally we are all tuned up and ready to go. From what I understood based on complaints was that the game is not exactly intuitive for a beginner but I bed to differ. It asks you what style of play you want to do. Lead, backup or bass. Then you tell the game you experience level. From there you are taken right to the menu. On the main menu you have plenty of options. Learn a Song, Lessons, Multiplayer, Session, Shop, etc. I figured that Lessons was a place to start and I was right. In order you get to learn how to play your guitar.

You can start by adjusting the strap, getting to know the fret board, holding the pick and then playing some basic notes. It’s all very cool and the game is very supportive of your efforts. If you have any trouble the game will repeat the cords to play but at a slower pace and as you improve, it will increase the tempo back to regular. It also throws out encouraging “excellent” and “awesome” phrases. But if you mess up as I did often, the game slowed down, alerted you of the fact it was slowing but not in a way that made you feel bad. It was encouraging.

So while I had initial trouble getting some notes and getting my fingers in the right places I was able through practice to get better to the point that I felt good of my little accomplishment for the day.

Having played for about an hour, I didn’t play any official song but I didn’t feel like I needed to. I am not there yet and there is nothing wrong with that. In fact I decided to peruse the menu and see what all the game had to offer and of surprise was the Guitarcade. Guitarcade is arcade style old school games that require you to use the guitar to accomplish goals. You have high scores, leader boards and actual fun game play to keep you going. I thought this was amazing as it was teaching you basics while providing you a simple game to play it.

Day 1 is over now and I have nothing but praises for this solid game / learning tool. Whoever said learning cannot be fun certainly wasn’t playing this game. I really cannot wait for my next play sessions.

Note: I didn’t think of this when I purchased this guitar / game bundle but think about maybe getting a guitar stand for your living room .The guitar is way to nice to leave lying around. This isn’t your plastic guitar hero guitar.

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Was recruited back in the first year of high school to play this odd game called Dungeons & Dragons by his friends who would become his family. Tending more towards darker themed games like Call of Cthulhu, Ravenloft, Gemini and other such titles; he has also ventured into other genres as his interest has developed. If there is something cool to play out there, he will play it even if it hurts his brain.

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