Any thoughts on Rocksmith as a teaching aid

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

  1. naturalblack

    naturalblack Senior Member

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    I hear waht your saying. But It doesnt change anything. If a guitarist wants to be great they will put in the time same as always. Many people play all kinds of instruments, most still suck. Still nothing new...

    Ive been making music; hiphop producer, dj, and engineer for nine years. I have really good relative pitch and can actually work out most melodies or chords on the keyboard with out too much hassle. I understand the piano keyboard It makes sense to me after puting in the time. I have very little formal training on the keyboard and learned very little theory. I picked up the guitar to properly learn a instrument and build up my theory knowledge. From my other music learning Ive developed excellent rhythm, an awesome groove, a good ear for pitch and tone, and am a decent arranger And all that musical knowledge i previously had has helped in my guitar journey.

    The guitar has brought new life into how I view music but only being about a year into it I lack the control to pull off alot of the stuff I want to be able to add to my music. This game has already helped immensely with that. I feel I have already gotten my 80 dollars worth. Im 25 now and have other musical obligations. When I was 16 I spent day and night mastering the turntables and plinking away at my keyboard. These days I spend alot of time mixing down song and producing for other artists. Anyhting that helps me practise technique in a musical context and then instantly give recorded playback of my progress so I can critique my self all in a structured and fun way is like a gift from god himself.

    I don't have many guitarist around that im cool with(Id like to change that) which is why I spend time here. Singers, rappers, other guys with skills on the keys are in abundance in my circle. I feel like this was made for me specifically. I will always keep looking at other ways to improve and still even when just watching tv noodle around with my guitar clutched to me I love it just can't put it down but thats between my 40 hrs a week working and my 15-30 on other music projects. I am happy with my purchase and just want the ones who are on the fence to know they should just go get it
     
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  2. RichGibson

    RichGibson Junior Member

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    No disrespect, but I think your a little off. I'm going to try to word this so I don't sound like a smart azz since I can't play anything and you are probably in a famous band or something. Just because you learned the hard way doesn't make you a real guitarist as opposed to some one that didn't put any sweat into it.

    My cousin is a fairly decent player in my opinion. Plays in a band. It's his only job. I quiz him about learning. He says he still has to learn and memorize every song note for note after all these years. I figured a "real" guitar player would just be able to hear a song and play it after 30 years of playing. Guess I was wrong, though it gave me some satisfaction.

    Now my Uncle is a real guitar player too. He took to it like it was nothing. Was accomplished by 15 years old. He can hear a song and be able to copy it. He can write songs too. Is one less of a guitar player than the other? I think not.

    I learned motorcycle mechanics on the internet. Not by going out and taking my engine apart over and over, so I screwed it all up. I'm a pretty decent mechanic when it's called for. I didn't earn it the old school way. I don't even love it. I actually hate it, but when my clutch goes to crap I can go change it because I took a short cut. Don't have to pay anyone and didn't need an instructor either.

    I'm not working on a piece of junk bike either with a gleam in my eye. It's high dollar crap, but I take special care when I touch it.

    So, the moral of this story is............Well I forgot because I'm a grumpy old man now too. But, if you want your bike fixed, I can fix it even though I'm not a mechanic. Also, some people can play the guitar even they aren't guitarist in your mind, because they didn't kneel on broken glass while practicing in the snow naked.

    You should at least try the teaching aid called "Rocksmith". It's not a game. It's hard as hell and frustating too. I might beat my game console to death with this damn guitar.

    Peace,
    Rich
     
  3. Malikon

    Malikon ゴジラの復活 V.I.P. Member

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    I see you've been checking out my practice routine. Hope that wasn't you taking pics of my sexy bum.

    and no thanks on Rocksmith, I have no interest in it. The thread was, "any thoughts on Rocksmith as a teaching aid?" So I gave my opinion. I hardly expect people to agree with it, it's just a discussion after all.

    I see it like this. If you're using it as a supplement to real lessons, using books and your mind and ears, plugging into an amp and playing by yourself and isolating yourself and your technique and really focusing on learning your guitar, the notes on it, and just what exactly it is you're doing. Then fine, maybe it can help.

    If you're using it in place of a teacher, not studying books, not practicing on your own, and spending all your time playing a video game with a guitar as a controller? Then no, I can't get behind that. And the person that 100% "learns" guitar that way and wants to call themselves a guitarist or musician?

    ...well if they can call themselves that, then I can call that pretty lame. :thumb:

    Look at it like Kung Fu, (I do anyway)...

    Who's a real Kung Fu Master? The guy who spent his life punching trees and refining his craft? Realizing that the more he learns the less he knows and that he'll always be a student of the arts?

    Or the guy who plugs into The Matrix, downloads some info and suddenly goes, "I know Kung Fu!"

    Sure, it's a cheap and trivial way to kind of round up the idea, but that's kind of how I look at it. You gotta pay your dues and put in the time really studying and practicing. Playing a game with a guitar controller just isn't real studying and practicing.

    So yeah, supplement? Sure, whatever. Using it as a guitar teacher? Hell no, that's stupid.

    And to be perfectly honest the person that 'needs' the game to get them to practice? Well that just makes me question their commitment to learning the guitar at all. You shouldn't need a game to want to play guitar,..you should want to play guitar.

    But still like everything, there's grey area.

    What is the goal of the person learning? Do they want to be a real musician and freely express themselves and all their thoughts on the instrument? Do they just want to jam some AC/DC songs? Two different endings will take different paths to get there. I always assume that everyone has this burning desire to try and be the greatest guitarist of all time. I have to constantly remind myself that not everyone is obsessive about the instrument and some just want to learn some chords and rock out, and they're perfectly happy with their journey ending there.

    Those guys could probably use Rocksmith and achieve that goal.

    But if you're intensely serious about the instrument? Then imo Rocksmith is just a game and a distraction.
     
  4. naturalblack

    naturalblack Senior Member

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    SHO NUFF!!!!!

    [​IMG]
     
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  5. WhatDoIKnow

    WhatDoIKnow Senior Member

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    I agree that you will probably never be able to "master" the guitar using Rocksmith, but how can learning scales and fretboard position be a "distraction"? Because it is learning in a different way?

    Is it wrong if someone chooses to read music theory books and a Kindle instead of buying the hard copy book? Is it wrong for someone to use software like Amplitube on their iPad to discover different tones before investing thousands of dollars in equipment? Technology changes.

    As a teacher would you rather have one of your students practicing their scales on Rocksmith, or playing Call of Duty?

    Games like Guitar Hero and Rock Band are a distraction. If kids would have put as much time into a real guitar as they did those games, they would probably be on their way to being guitarists.

    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V46Yt5bQawA"]South Park Guitar Hero - YouTube[/ame]
     
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  6. RichGibson

    RichGibson Junior Member

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    This is just a discussion based on opinion. My opinion is based on actually using Rocksmith. Yours is not.

    I like your kung fu analogy. Let me use one. Who is more of the baseball player? The little guy that struggles and sweats in the minors for years only to get a cup of coffe in the majors? He hits .200 and gets sent down never to be heard from again. Or a guy that pisses his talents away, never practices and hits 45 homeruns a year? He could have hit 50 if he really tried. Who is more of a baseball player? We can go on forever.

    Without yet having a guitar lesson, what am I supposed to practice? I'm trying to learn finger placement and some chords. This does that. I could do it from a book, but this tells me when I'm wrong right on the spot. I don't even play the game portion of Rocksmith, because it is impossible at my level. I have to use the technique section, which makes you move your had from one place to another. I shoot ducks. that sounds like a game, but what it is, is it calls out a fret and I have to find it quickly and hit the note and see how many ducks in a row I can kill. I can't for the life of me see how that is not learning. I can only use one string at a time now, but then it will progress to more than one string than so on. How can that not make me better. Remember, this has nothing to do with the portion that you know as Guitar hero.

    Your turn to kick the not dead, but suffering badly, horse. :fingersx:
     
  7. RichGibson

    RichGibson Junior Member

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    That's the way I see it.
     
  8. Malikon

    Malikon ゴジラの復活 V.I.P. Member

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    Not trying to kick a dead horse, just giving my opinion. I don't care for it.

    My argument isn't that shooting ducks will help someone learn frets, my argument is that if someone really wants to learn they don't need a video game to do it.

    The joy should be holding and playing the guitar, not the video game.

    Will the guitar seem boring if it's not connected to a TV with flashing colors?

    That's all I'm saying. The fun is in playing guitar and learning guitar, not a video game. My whole premise has been that the guitar itself is enough of a reward without having to hook it up to a computer to make it enjoyable.

    To each their own. I've given my honest opinion, people are free to agree or disagree with it as they see fit. I don't expect people to agree, but then again I never say what I think it is people want to hear, I say what I actually think about the subject.

    It's all good, I have no ill feelings towards this thread. Whatever makes people play guitar I suppose is a good thing.
     
  9. RichGibson

    RichGibson Junior Member

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    My joy isn't the game, its an aim to the means. It's a way to learn. So, we agree.

    I wish I could quote you line for line, but I cant, so ill try to respond.

    You are the one saying the guitar is about the game. It just makes learning more fun.

    The guitar is no fun to those who can't play it.

    Your opinion means nothing if you haven't tried it. How can you review a food you never tasted? Oh, you're not interested in eggs, never ate eggs, bug you hate eggs. See how that sounds?

    Now, the inventor of the guitar didn't have an instructor. Didn't have tabs, lessons, books, or videos. Why should you? Do you hate modern medicine?
     
  10. Nay

    Nay Senior Member

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    @Rich

    Its not about new methods or technologies. I have the similar opinions to Malikon, and I program video games. I'm completely with this new technology jazz. I love guitars, I love video games, I can not wait for the EU release of Rocksmith, as I'm sure I'm gonna find it a lot of fun.

    I teach many students programming. Now, its an incredibly complicated soft science that has continously been simplified for developers. Kids who get taught programming in modern frameworks really suffer trying to adapt to real world core programming (such as C++) because their habits are enforced.

    Now, I peer-assist about 90 students this year. About 30 of them came to the course with no real prior knowledge of programming and learned C++ right from the word go. They now understand, within a year (and a 1/3) what modern frameworks do for them and can adapt to anything we throw at them. The rest were taught C# or Java during A-Level years (17-18yo) and really struggle to break away from habits that are unique to one framework. You can see the roll-on effect of bad habits.

    Now, not saying guitar and programming are the same, in fact they are quite different. But how you learn things has an interesting effect on the final result. I'm sure you've met people who talk a bit funny, repeat words a lot, or even swear a lot...

    Everything you learn affects your perception of something. People who learn things more effectively are often better at the subject or skill. Natural talent is one thing, but in many cases thats quite often down to sheer interest in something.

    Guitar is no different. Rocksmith I imagine is fun. Many people have said it. But guitar is fun.

    I started about 11/12 years ago now on bass. I learned smoke on the water (played wrongly of course) and it took a few days to nail it... sort of. I had great fun just playing that famous riff, on bass, over and over again. I then really challenged myself to learn Californication bass line, which took its time. But each time a tiny thing "clicked" in my head I could see a nudge of improvement. This drives you to continue and up your game untill you feel your a rock god playin MJ's smooth criminal! (playing it completely wrong of course!)

    As Malikon says the game shouldn't be the thing to spark the fun in learning. Learning is fun. Say... A kid who can play some guitar and have fun with it, decides he wants to learn to sweep (which is quite a technique to learn!), will still have to spend hours and hours and hours and hours just trying it, untill it clicks, then hours and hours practicing it before he could even attempt it in time with a piece of music. But gratification in learning something that seems too difficult is the fun part.
     
  11. Mike-t

    Mike-t Senior Member

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    Based on your argument, even playing the guitar for enjoyment is a distraction. I'm starting to think that in your perfect world, people are given a picture of a guitar to star their journey. Only when they can point out all the notes and frets on the guitar are they actually allowed to touch a real one. And even at that point they are not allowed to play it until they memorize every chord shape and can recite the circle of fifths in Arabic.
     
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  12. Mike-t

    Mike-t Senior Member

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    If your career is really in this field then I think you need to get with the times. Studies have shown time and again that people learn much more efficiently when teaching is modified into an enjoyable game.

    Simply take a walk through the pre school section of your local toy store and let me know if it seems like your archaic way of thinking about how humans learn has any relevance. Short answer, it doesn't.
     
  13. Nay

    Nay Senior Member

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    Games encourage motivation and attention. In groups it incourages participation by breaking formality barriers. It has little effect on how well you learn something.

    If your motivated or interested, you learn. If your not, you dont.
     
  14. Sin Nombre

    Sin Nombre Senior Member

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    OK, I've done the math- at least $200 for a console, $60 for the game, at least $40 for the extras to make it work= $300, which could buy 12 lessons from the good teacher that I fortunately have.

    I think I'll have to pass but I can see how it could be useful for those who have a gaming background (and equipment).
     
  15. Mike-t

    Mike-t Senior Member

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    I love how you say in the first paragraph that games encourage motivation and attention, somehow leading you to the conclusion that they have little effect on how well a person will learn. Then in the second paragraph you claim that a person needs motivation and interest to learn.... :hmm:

    I think you should just admit your theory... Rocksmith isn't a teaching aid because Nay says so and what Nay says is the troof. It would certainly make more sense than the stream of contradictions and back peddling you've presented us with so far.
     
  16. Mike-t

    Mike-t Senior Member

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    What extras to make it work?

    You could buy a used console :hmm:
     
  17. Sin Nombre

    Sin Nombre Senior Member

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    I think it was on the other thread they were talking of needing $30 html or whatever cables to avoid the dreaded "sag" etc. Some reviewers didn't like that you have to progress through levels in order to access all of the capabilities of the program. Having never owned a console but now being well immersed in the world of free mobile device apps, I am reluctant to invest a lot of time and money in a game, useful as it may be, that I have not tried.

    I do agree however that anything that keeps one involved with their guitar during the early stages is a good thing. When I first took up guitar there was nothing except lesson books and hard to find good teachers, so I gave up guitar for forty years. Things like this game may have helped me hang in there and I might might have been a good player today. :cool:
     
  18. Mike-t

    Mike-t Senior Member

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    My local Guitar Center had a Rocksmith booth setup and ready to play.
     
  19. Nay

    Nay Senior Member

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    Really?

    I was replying to this bit in particular. This is huge-ass lump of tabloid BS and there is still not a single --> credible <-- concensus approved by a respected institution revolving around an --> academic <-- study that states games are a "better" or "more effecient" way to learn.

    My point was revolving around games increase a groups' social motivations/interactions, but dont teach any better. If your motivated in general (with or without a game) then your more septible to take in information. Therefor if you are motivated and reading an indepth guide to a subject, you will learn more than just the main points which a simple game will cover. It was countering the completely missguided information you spewed out and I'm sorry I didn't fully explain myself. I hope this was a slightly more composed response.

    Now...
    As usual, you making up your own arguement here, and continuing to roll with it. I always said its a teaching --> aid <-- and that the game will be "fun" and that "I'm waiting for a copy". Anyone can scroll back and read this.

    I say that there is a difference in learning and playing guitar. Playing in a sense of following instructions over playing regurgitated, but learned information. Unless you following industry standard sheet music, then that is just pure skill and hard practice.

    In the same way someone learns to touch-type, which a game of a similar psychological concept towards learning, "Typing of the Dead", this game recieved --> excellent <-- feedback on people learning to touch-type.

    However, once researchers pulled in numerous participants of secretaries, IT enthusiasts against TofD players, they learned just how little "touch-typing" the gamers were actually taught.

    You see, they were regurgitating reflexs to recognised words that the game used (I can't remember the amount but it was a few hundred words) and this heavily affected their ability to "touch-type". They could not follow a dictation or copy documents as they read them.

    Simply put, they had reflex reactions. Anything else related resulted in failure.

    Now, I'm not saying Rocksmith is identical, but... major similarities exist between this, Guitar Hero and Typing of the Dead.

    I'm not saying education software doesn't work. Even software, such as language training, with mini-games to help reinforce taught knowledge work. Rocksmith doesn't follow the same principles...

    The point I'm getting to is Rocksmith is, unfortunately, a game. It is hopefully that next major step towards dedicated guitar learning software, with training, backing tracks, loops, and everything else...

    A game is designed to immerse you to hook you in. They want that hook. That hook keeps you playing, keeps you interested, gives higher ratings and better user comments, which means it sells more copies and they make more money. This is important as development houses only make bonus money if the game reaches the publishers targets...

    Rocksmith wouldn't sell as a game if it started you off with twelve bar blues scale practice and said spend a few hours on that... Or practice alternate picking for 30 minutes every day!

    And to release something on the Xbox or PS3, using the philips CD-based medium then it must be classifiable as a "game" in order comply with the sales and distrobution regulations of the Microsoft or Sony (or Nintendo) registered-partner publishing companies, such as Ubisoft, who published Rocksmith.

    Does this make any more sense?

    My initial point (near the beginning of this thread) is that people who have the basic concepts of guitar and even a bit of theory will make more use of this game than beginners. Soley because more intermediate guitarists will pick up on things in the game (that is only accessible if you are good enough, refering to difficulty levels) and be able to take a lick or riff or whatever and apply it to their existing musical theory in order to build upon their knowledge.

    When you play "Sweet Home Alabama" does the game tell you that it starts in D and then C then G and that the best way to attempt this is to hold the chords and pick the notes? no, it gets beginners fumbling all over the place not even playing the correct line.

    Watch guitar hero, then a novice guitarist on rocksmith and tell me the difference. It is just a more complicated guitar hero.

    P.S. For anyone reading this, again, please go ahead and buy Rocksmith if your interested. It will be fun.
     
  20. twangydave

    twangydave Senior Member

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    The guitar is a tool. Anything that can help you learn to use that tool quicker or better must be worth looking at. The world is constantly evolving and part of that evolution is the production of new tools and new tech that help us all to have access to old tools should we wish.

    Think of the progression, years ago a master craftsman would jealously protect the secrets of his processes and tools skills to protect his profession, he might only take on one lucky apprentice in his whole lifetime and that apprentice would need to labour for years before he was deemed worthy to use the tools himself. In the years up to the 1990s (in the UK at any rate), apprentices became much more numerous and training was shorter, due in part to advances in teaching which allowed trainees to pick up skills quicker. In the modern era, almost any career path you can dare to dream (and its associated tool skills) can be trained by anyone with the inclination. You can learn at home or in college or over the internet. Teaching aids have all embraced 'fun' aspects to accelerate the progress of learning. This is just the march of the world, just because learning is now quicker, it isn't necessarily of less worth or quality. It's just a reflection of our increasing technology and the advantages it delivers. You still need some basic hand skills, determination to suceed and the self -discipline to keep going even when things are difficult.
     

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