Any thoughts on Rocksmith as a teaching aid

Discussion in 'Guitar Lessons' started by melikecookies, Dec 14, 2011.

  1. melikecookies

    melikecookies Member

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    So I've been wanting to get more serious about learning to play the guitar. I've had sporadic lessons throughout my life, but frustration kept me from getting serious about playing. I was looking at a few video games the other day and noticed one called Rocksmith... was wondering if anyone (preferably those with little experience in playing) could provide input on how effective this game would be in teaching me the basics? I only ask because it seemed like a great way to go due to my hectic schedule, I could practice when I had free time and it being interactive would help keep the frustration at bay. Thoughts?
     
  2. melikecookies

    melikecookies Member

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    Thanks, I appreciate it!
     
  3. Nay

    Nay Senior Member

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    It wont teach you guitar per say, but it does teach you roughly how to play a nice helping of songs, no doubt with more comming.

    It could be a fun way to get into playing guitar... but thats about it. Many reviews have kicked up saying the game is good, but complained that this with more interaction on actually teaching guitar would have been better.

    Either way, it'll get you playing some nice licks and then you can always spend a bit of time each week devoting yourself to practicing properly.

    However, I can't wait for a UK/EU release. If I get the USA copy I wont be able to get DLC from the PSN store... so I'll bide my time!!

    Oh, and for the record, my degree is heavily focused on the aspects of software, interaction, play and understanding tricks in video games. So I'll say it again, this game wont teach you guitar, but will have you playing guitar...

    Theres still a bit of difference there... :D
     
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  4. sidious911

    sidious911 Senior Member

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    It's really not a bad teaching aid, to a degree. You shouldn't depend on it as your teaching aid, but it is a fun and interactive way to learn.

    Offers some fun mini-games to make familiarizing yourself with scales easier, and playing along with the songs in the game will help you learn to feel some of the rhythm and develop your sense of it. It will also help you learn some chords and related them to their names.

    Playing guitar on your own, just improvising, jamming along with songs without the music infront of you is also very important. If you want to understand music theory, reading about it is important, as the game isn't nearly enough.

    At the end of the day you'll end up with some good technique practice, but don't depend on rocksmith alone!
     
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  5. naturalblack

    naturalblack Senior Member

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    Just bought it tuesday took all day off yesterday from work and put some hours in on it and played some more this morning before work. It is definitely a good tool and fun.

    I like that its taken my focus off watching my fingers on the fretboard already. I can see it being a big help in navigating the fretboard plus. Lots of good drills that arent just mindless drills but are musical. I like that it does a replay after every song or drill so you can hear back what you just did(can be eye opneing). And the mini games are fun and, they each center around a certain skill. (Im still working timing my bends with the base ball pitches). But the best part is when you fall into the pocket on a song and are just having fun. Its way more like sight reading than memorization so I dont think anybody will be just stuck being able to play these songs and nothing else. I think it just strengthens their foundation

    Ive been using gibson learn and master guitar. I like it a lot but it can get boring at times. I think adding rocksmith to it and still playing to backing tracks and learning riffs and licks here and there off youtube will work well for me
     
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  6. WhatDoIKnow

    WhatDoIKnow Senior Member

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    -- User deleted. I am going to post it in the big Rocksmith thread. --
     
  7. Mike-t

    Mike-t Senior Member

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    The most amazing part of the game is that people who have never played it know exactly how good of learning tool it will or won't be!
     
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  8. Nay

    Nay Senior Member

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    How do you learn guitar? Theres many, many methods. But, as for video games, I've spend a damn tough couple of years refining my knowledge of software development to learn about, urm, no way to say this nicely, but fooling people into false sense of human to computer interaction... Games companies need "interaction" to cause immersion in video games. Immersion keeps people playing. The more immersed they are, the more "fun" they are having. So, Rocksmiths aim will be to have you playing something and immersing you as quickly as possible. Their selling point is its on a real guitar. It is guitar hero, but on a real guitar.

    Right, bare with me here...
    Guitar Hero. Not quite the same, but fundamentally... Guitar hero doesn't teach you a god damn thing. Maybe a tiny degree about timing, but thats about it. Even the drums. It teaches your brain to create a shorter neural circuit towards connecting something that looks like a blue dot to a muscle reaction that involves pressing a blue button and clicking the strum button/switch thing.

    Right, rocksmith gets you to recognise locations on the fretboard and string and hit them. Its more difficult, but I'm sure it starts off pretty easy. It will get to the point where someone who is good at that game (but never played any instrument before) would end up litterally hitting notes. People will be able to sight-read that game, and forget it all 5 secs after they "nailed" a song. However, they might even get the hang of some scales, and even a bit of understanding about correct finger placement.

    The game wont teach them guitar. It will tell them what to do at all times. Learning guitar comes through dedication and hard practice. Spending hours and hours learning how to a tiny bit of a lick correct, or even a scale... You learn guitar by developing the neural connections between you and your guitar over many years, bit by bit. Untill everything you've learned to do is learned good'n'proper.

    BUT, it acts as a damn good buffer for getting into guitar, a fun way to learn songs and whatnot.

    I'm not doubting it as a product. I've already said I can't wait to get it. But to use it to teach yourself guitar? No. Maybe might learn some cool licks that I could then muck around with later on and develop my skills more, but thats because I play guitar and know enough about them to say "oh thats a cool lick, it seems to fit really well into the key of A, so if I'm playing something in the key of D, I could do this instead..." or whatever...

    For someone who doesn't know anything or not much, will not really gain much from this game. Bar some amusment and maybe develop interest in going that step further with learning how to actually play.
     
  9. Mike-t

    Mike-t Senior Member

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    I started playing guitar when I was 27 and I'm 31 now. I've taken lessons, learned scales, chords, licks, strum patterns etc.

    Would I still have needed to learn those things if I had Rocksmith from the beginning? YES

    Would I have needed outside sources to round out what I learned from Rocksmith? YES

    Would I have had a HUGE head start by learning from a game that teaches at the same time as it entertains? GIANT YES

    What surprises me about the Rocksmith naysayers (and not pointing to you specifically, just in general) is how much they've forgotten about their first couple of years playing guitar. When you start playing, you don't care about theory, notes, scales etc. After your first month, you start to believe that people who can improvise and just play must be wizards of some sort because their is no way you will be able to do that ever

    In the very beginning you learn the A chord, the D chord and the E Chord. Then you do everything you can to keep your desire to play alive while your fingers hurt like crazy and you struggle to make those three chords into anything that sounds like music.

    Back then I didn't care about note names or where they were on the Fret board. Should I have? Maybe, but guitar knowledge seemed so vast back then that I would get discouraged just thinking about it. I really just wanted to play songs and most of the time that seemed really far away.

    The first time I made an attempt at playing guitar was when I was 21 and I quit almost before I started. Part of the reason was because I started getting too deep, to soon and it just overwhelmed me. If I would have had Rocksmith back then, I think the outcome may have been much different because it could have been fun at first, not a form of slow torture.

    Now, moving on to someone that is in a intermediate guitarist like myself. I'll make one point and leave it at that. Saying Rocksmith won't help me become a better guitarist is like saying that joining a band will not make me a better guitarist.
     
  10. naturalblack

    naturalblack Senior Member

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    either give it a shot or don't but the vast majority of those on this site who have given the game a chance and posted about it have enjoyed it and been glad they did.
     
  11. GuitarToneFreak

    GuitarToneFreak Senior Member

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    It'll help for sure - I feel that Rocksmith is a great place to start, and then if you get more and more interested in the instrument; you'll learn more just through practice and curiosity.

    I have Rocksmith and have known how to play for about three years now, but Rocksmith is a great learning tool - it's been successful and teaching me chords I never knew existed, so it's pretty cool :thumb:
     
  12. chrisobrien

    chrisobrien Senior Member

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    My parents picked it up from GC for $49 on black Friday. Can't have it till Christmas though - rats!


    I played it for the first time at GC yesterday while picking up some strings though. They had a demo set up, and I actually had a blast playing it. Learning or not, it makes for a good time.
     
  13. rockstar232007

    rockstar232007 Senior Member

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    All I can say is, I've been playing for over 24 years, and I REALLY, REALLY, REALLY WANT THIS!!!

    But, I don't really look at it as a reliable "teaching aid" as it doesn't get into any specifics other than how to do certain, limited techniques, and how to play certain songs.

    As someone previously mentioned; No theory, chord-names, etc, but it should make it a little easier to get into the groove, and help students/players develope some important skills (like actually being able to play the guitar)?

    The best part is, as long as I've been playing, I've never bothered to learn all of that stuff anyway (I play by ear), so this should be pretty fun.
     
  14. Nay

    Nay Senior Member

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    Sorry, I'm not a naysayer but, the game wont "teach" you guitar. I said my points above, in what you quoted, and I suggest you consider analysing what I said again.

    Rocksmith is an aid, a tool, a marketed and profitable game. Not tutition.
     
  15. Mike-t

    Mike-t Senior Member

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    Here are two reasons why I really don't want to take the bait...

    1. You've never played the game so no matter how many degrees you have, you are not in a position to make an informed argument on whether Rocksmith is or isn't a teaching tool.

    2. Your whole argument is based on splitting hairs between what is "Playing Guitar" and what is "Learning Guitar". So you are either looking to drag me into a philosophical debate on that topic or you are setting yourself up to be in a position to never be wrong because you always have that loophole to fall back on.

    If your assessment of the game and its value as a teaching tool was even a tiny bit correct or well informed, we could spend all day debating the benefits of experience as a teaching tool and how there is, if your definition of teaching the guitar were correct, nothing in the world that "teaches" you guitar because no one method is all encompassing as you claim it should be to properly teach someone the guitar.

    Instead of all that nonsense, I can easily shatter your whole position by pointing to one of many mini games in Rocksmith called "Chord of the Dead". In this mini game, they give you a Chord Name, a Chord Diagram and you must find and play that chord correctly to move on to the next chord. Now, if after reading that, you still feel that Rocksmith "won't teach guitar" then your blank is too far up your blank to see the light of day.

    In other words, why don't you wait to play the game before you try to convince other people about whether or not they should look forward to using it as a teaching tool. Some people may be turned off of the game because of your comments, especially when you claim to be an expert on the subject.
     
  16. River

    River Senior Member

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    Great posts, Mike-t. I don't want it for myself, but I'm going to get it for my nieces. The older of them has previous piano, violin, and voice training, and I was able to teach her songs, plural, in our first lesson. The younger is much younger (short attention span) and starting from scratch. If it engages either one of them, particularly the younger, I think it'll give a leg up I don't have time for, and her out-of-house activity dance card is already full.

    I'll report back after the New Year.
     
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  17. naturalblack

    naturalblack Senior Member

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    They will enjoy it river.

    Another thing I think people are getting hung up on (Its even mentioned in the title) Is that rocksmith is more of a teaching aid than a teacher. Rocksmith is not my only resource. I have gibson Learn and Master guitar, Which I believe is awesome and recommend to anybody but It can get boring. I also have a couple books and of course youtube. And while all of them have something different none has what rocksmith has or is a fun. Which Is why its a good "teaching aid" in my opinion
     
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  18. River

    River Senior Member

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    Good point, worth underscoring. My hat's off to all those who claim to have never had a lesson, but no one will ever convince me there's any substitute for a good teacher. I've only had two three-hour sessions with my niece, and she already knows about six songs and is now working on two more.

    That's not because I'm some kind of great teacher, but rather that I can help her make sense of the aids (chords and lyrics charts) she scrounged up on her own - explain the rhythms, correct the chart errors, show her easier fingerings and "cheats", etc. I can sneak in theory when I see it's relevant and will help her remember how to play a certain song. Much more effective than "go study this book", IMO.
     
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  19. Mike-t

    Mike-t Senior Member

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    I think that even if Rocksmith had the ability to download Jimi Hendrix's skills directly into your brain, people would still get hung up on it because its not the way they learned and therefore isn't the right way to learn.

    Haters going to Hate and all that :D
     

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