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Does Rocksmith 2014 Really Work? PS3 Review

Two guitar newbies spent three weeks with Rocksmith 2014 to find out just how good of a learning tool it really is.

Review by Jaz Rignall, .

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To give this review some context: when I started, I had absolutely no guitar-playing experience whatsoever. Which is why I thought I'd be the perfect candidate to test it out.

Adding additional perspective is V-Dub, an experienced musician who can play cello, bass and piano. She doesn't know how to play guitar, but has always been interested in learning. I thought the contrast between non-musician-gamer and a musician-gamer might make for some interesting reading.

We played most nights for around 15 mins to an hour, and wrote up our thoughts at the end of each week. We've also provided a conclusion based on our experiences.

For the latest information about the upcoming PlayStation 4 and Xbox One versions of RockSmith 2014, click here to go to the second page of this article.

Rocksmith 2014's lessons cover everything from the absolute basics, like how to hold your guitar, to finessing advanced techniques.

Week One

Jaz: Setting everything up was surprisingly easy. Indeed, getting Rocksmith 2014 up and running was no worse than putting together a typical Rock Band or Guitar Hero setup. Plug in your guitar, run the audio through its own discrete channel to ensure no lag, and that's pretty much it.

In terms of the music selection, there are just over 50 tunes to choose from initially, and well over 100 additional ones to download should you want more. The selection runs the full rock spectrum and spans five decades, which means there's plenty of variety in both the style and the complexity of the songs. Adding even more variety are options to play either lead or rhythm sections, and even bass, should that be your thing.

Jumping straight into the game, my immediate reaction was one of confusion. I had absolutely no idea what I was doing, and fortunately it didn't take Rocksmith very long to realize that. Whereupon it very obligingly dumbed itself down to its lowest difficult setting. If it was a human, I'm sure it'd be shaking its head and rolling its eyes. But fortunately it's not, and instead it made some helpful suggestions about what I should do next. Which was, as you might expect, to start at square one with the first of the ultra-newbie lessons.

So that's where I started, and slowly but surely began to learn the basics. And when I say basics, I really do mean the basics. Like how to hold a pick, where to place my hands on the guitar, and even how to put it around my neck. If you're a more advanced player, you can skip all this and go straight to the hard stuff. But for me, this newbie instructional content was a Godsend. It helped me get my head around the very concept of playing a guitar, and build up some confidence. What I particularly like is that with many lessons, Rocksmith gives you feedback as you play that's as helpful as it is sometimes embarrassingly obvious – like having my hand completely in the wrong place and holding the wrong strings. But that's great, because it does actually teach you, and it never gets frustrated if you keep making the same mistakes over and over. You just keep practicing, it keeps telling you what you're doing wrong, and eventually you get it. And yes, I really am that bad.

After playing for a few days, the beginner lessons got me to the point where I was really ready to start to learn. That might sound slow, but let me stress that when I started, I couldn't even hold a guitar properly. Now I can, and I'm beginning to understand how to play notes and chords. I still can't play a song, but weirdly, I'm finding it fairly easy to play some of the Guitarcade games. I think because I'm a gamer, it's simply easier for me to relate finger positioning and strumming as a bizarre kind of controller. But it's good practice, and is basically teaching me the kind of finger positioning memory I need to have to be able to play notes consistently.

So for now I'm going to stick at this and concentrate on the basic lessons and see how well I do.

V-Dub: It took me a few days to get used to the way the game turns tablature into a strange Rock Band hybrid. I didn't find it immediately intuitive, and had to work to learn the system. It's almost like learning notes again, but what you see is what you do: it's very clear once you understand the way it works and can "read" the instructions without having to "translate" them into finger positioning. It just takes some practice to get to that point. Because of that, most of my early sessions felt more like I was learning how to use Rocksmith's teaching process, rather than learning the guitar.

However, when reading Rocksmith's instructional format became second nature, I started hitting the right notes. I must have been doing something right, because the game began to throw more and more notes at me until I felt I was really playing the tune, rather than selected notes from it. This felt very rewarding, and made me feel I was making quite rapid progress after my fairly slow start.

It might look a little like Rock Band, but learning to play a guitar using Rocksmith is a tad more complex than strumming one "string" and pressing five buttons.

Week Two

Jaz: This week I was shocked to find that, after a fair bit of practice, I could almost play along to the most basic version of "You Really Got Me." I still have a long, long, looooong way to go, but it's encouraging to see that I am making some kind of progress, even though it's not a huge step. What's clear is that I need to practice a lot more, which is something I'm sort of struggling with. When I started Rocksmith, I liked the idea of learning to play the guitar, but it's not like I really had a deep-down desire to do so. And because of that, sometimes it feels like work (which it is, because I'm reviewing the game). But my greater point is that this isn't easy. I mean, I can see how Rocksmith 2014 makes learning guitar easier, but that doesn't mean it IS easy. It just makes learning something that's hard, easier, if that makes any kind of sense at all.

V-Dub: Sometimes I feel like I'm playing a sophisticated version of Rock Band, especially when I'm playing a song repeatedly, and Rocksmith is showing me how I am improving by giving me a score. This makes practice repetition more fun, and I feel encouraged to have another go to see if I can do better. This is an excellent aspect of the game. If I was just playing the same thing over and over without that feedback, it would eventually feel like a chore. But having this extra performance data really motivates me, and makes one of the more tedious parts of learning an instrument – the repetition – more fun than it should be.

Now I'm familiar with Rocksmith's visual presentation, I can switch from song to song fairly easily and learn it quite quickly, especially since the game adjusts itself if I'm not quite getting it right. I also like being able to practice parts of a song until I get it right. The different options that enable me to focus on specific parts of a song, or practice techniques in a lesson are very useful. It lets me learn what I want when I want, and focus on the areas where I feel I need more practice rather than having to follow a set course.

Rocksmith automatically adjusts its difficulty setting as you play. Which meant it looked something like this when V-Dub was playing, but when Jaz was up, you'd be lucky to see more than a couple of notes on screen at a time.

Week Three

Jaz: I was hoping that by now I'd have reached a tipping point where the amount of effort I was putting into learning techniques would be reflected by the amount of progress I was making in terms of learning songs. But the reality is, I'm still struggling through some of the basics.

That's not to say Rocksmith isn't working. Indeed, far from it. It's working very well – because what it's doing is sticking with me, and helping me continually repeat the things I need to learn until I finally get them right. I'm just frustrated to be learning this slowly, especially with V-Dub already able to play bits of songs without even looking at the damn screen. But then, that's why she's also part of this review. To see how two people of almost diametrically opposed musical talents get on with playing the same thing. In V-Dub's case, she's learning very quickly. In my case, it's at a snail's pace. But what that tells us is Rocksmith is very well designed in terms of the sheer spectrum of abilities it can cater too – and that's very impressive.

V-Dub: This week, I feel I'm making significant progress. I know how the system works, and the non-linear learning structure is letting me pick and choose what to work on next. This is keeping things interesting and fresh: sometimes I'll pick a new tune and play it and in doing so learn a few new things. And sometimes I want to try a specific technique, and once I've learned it, apply it to a new tune.

I've been hearing Jaz complain about not making progress and not being cut out to be a guitar player. He's frustrated because he thinks he should be learning to play the guitar as fast as he usually learns to play a game, which isn't a realistic expectation. Learning an instrument is not to be taken lightly, and it requires work, dedication and plenty of practice. There's no substitute for that, and no shortcuts. Even though Rocksmith makes learning easier and fun, you still have to put in the time. It's important to remember that you will eventually learn - it just might take longer and require more practice than you might have first anticipated.

If you can play guitar, or once you've learned to strum some basic chords, Session Mode lets you jam with AI musicians. It's a really entertaining and fun feature of Rocksmith.

Conclusion (25 days later)

Jaz: After working with it for three weeks, I can tell you that Rocksmith 2014 really can teach you how to play guitar. Coming in, I knew absolutely nothing – and now I know most of the basics. In many respects, it's much better than a human teacher, because you don't have to pay by the hour, it's infinitely patient and its lessons are infinitely repeatable. That means whether you're a slow learner, or some kind of gifted guitar maestro, Rocksmith 2014 will help you learn to play, whether it takes days or weeks or months.

It seems I'm a fairly slow learner, and it took me much longer to pick up the basics than I hoped. But looking back over the past three weeks, what I can tell you is that I have actually come a long way, even if I don't necessarily feel it. I was hoping that by now I'd be playing songs competently. I'm not: I'm still bumbling along. But you know what, bumbling along really isn't bad considering that three weeks ago, I didn't even know how to hold a pick. So maybe I shouldn't be so hard on myself. I mightn't be as good as I'd like to be, but what I do know is that if I stick at it, I know I will eventually get there – even if it takes another three or so weeks.

And therein lies the crux of this review.

Rocksmith 2014 does help you learn the guitar, and it does so at your own pace. It doesn't necessarily make it easy - it isn't like Rock Band where you can pick up your faux guitar and very quickly feel like you're banging out tunes. This is the real thing, and it's complex and challenging. As I've learned over the last few days (and thanks to a bit of coaching from my co-reviewer), practice makes perfect. In that sense, what you put into Rocksmith, you get out of it. If you're expecting to become a guitar god within a few hours, you're going to walk away disappointed. But if you're genuinely interested in learning guitar and are prepared to put in the time, this will teach you how to play - and you'll have fun while you learn.

V-Dub: I am very impressed with the way Rocksmith 2014 works. It took a few days of getting used to, but once I got comfortable and familiar with its teaching system, I made progress quite rapidly. I was initially concerned that I wasn't really going to be learning to play a guitar, but instead was just going to be taught how to play specific songs by repeating patterns. But I needn't have worried. While playing songs is a big part of the learning process, Rocksmith 2014 also lets you work on techniques and take your skills way beyond just repeating the chords of a great tune. So in that sense it's a genuine learning tool that helps you develop your skills, as well as teaching you chords and notes that you can then improvise with and start making your own music.

The best part of Rocksmith is the Session Mode, which I've just started to play with. The AI musicians respond quite well to what you're doing, and even if you're just playing basic riffs, can make you feel like some kind of virtuoso. That is definitely a really good thing, as it helps build up your confidence and gives you the freedom to try out new things, and even make a horrible mess of a noise without having to worry about annoying fellow human players.

As it is with learning any instrument, you need patience and perseverance to become an accomplished player. Rocksmith 2014 won't make you a great guitarist if you're not prepared to put in some effort, but if you have the desire and are willing to invest the time, it really will make a guitarist out of you.

Addition (Oct 27th): Why didn't this get 5 stars?

A question that was asked by Charlesphelps35 was why we didn't we award Rocksmith 2014 5 stars? I answered him in the comments thread, but thought I'd include my response here, just in case anyone else was wondering the same thing. Ultimately, the score was a long and interesting debate between V-Dub and I. I was thinking five stars, because I liked the way Rocksmith helped me learn all the basics. But V-Dub thought that the way the game presents notes makes the initial learning process a little challenging because it's not that intuitive. That's something I eventually noticed when I reached the point where I was trying to play songs.

So in the end I agreed with her to knock off the half star. Rocksmith is a truly great learning tool, but there is still a little room for improvement. V-Dub feels that if Ubisoft added options like learning from a tab-based system, or perhaps the ability to select a different format for the song learning process (tabs falling down the screen, for example, rather than playing the game like Rock Band) that would enable the player to pick a presentation style that might be more natural and intuitive for them, thus making Rocksmith a little easier to use. Perhaps such a feature might be added to the next edition - and that could well elevate it to 5 stars.

Addition (Dec 9th 2013): In-depth multiplayer mode review

Since writing this review, V-Dub and I have spent a lot of time playing Rocksmith's multiplayer mode. It's something we didn't talk about much in the review, so we thought we'd write a feature about it - because it's really good!

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Comments 45

  • Avatar for charlesphelps35 #1 charlesphelps35 3 years ago
    Why the half star off?
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  • Avatar for dean0null #2 dean0null 3 years ago
    Sounds good. I bought the original Rocksmith so I can import the songs. I'm going to wait for the price to fall a bit but I'm definitely getting this.
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  • Avatar for Y7748837 #3 Y7748837 3 years ago
    I definitely want to get this because I never bother learning covers, but the cable costs more than twice as much here in Japan :(
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  • Avatar for pixelatedsoul #4 pixelatedsoul 3 years ago
    I'm actually interested in this game, but what exactly do I need to play it? I mean obviously I need a guitar, but what else? How does the guitar connect to my PC or console? Does the game come with needed accessories or do I have to buy them separately?
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  • Avatar for Jaz_Rignall #5 Jaz_Rignall 3 years ago
    @charlesphelps35 Ultimately, the score was a long and interesting debate between V-Dub and I. I was thinking five stars, because I liked the way Rocksmith helped me learn all the basics. But V-Dub thought that the way the game presents notes makes the initial learning process a little challenging because it's not that intuitive. That's something I eventually noticed when I reached the point where I was trying to play songs.

    So in the end I agreed with her to knock off the half star. Rocksmith is a truly great learning tool, but there is still a little room for improvement. V-Dub feels that if Ubisoft added options like learning from a tab-based system, or perhaps the ability to select a different format for the song learning process (tabs falling down the screen, for example, rather than playing the game like Rock Band) that would enable the player to pick a presentation style that might be more natural and intuitive for them, thus making Rocksmith a little easier to use. Perhaps such a feature might be added to the next edition - and that could well elevate it to 5 stars.Edited 3 times. Last edited October 2013 by Jaz_Rignall
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  • Avatar for Jaz_Rignall #6 Jaz_Rignall 3 years ago
    @pixelatedsoul 1. Electric Guitar. 1. Rocksmith 2014 Cable Edition ($79.99). And you're good to go.
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  • Avatar for Mega_Matt #7 Mega_Matt 3 years ago
    This sounds pretty awesome. I've been a guitarist for the past 15 years or so and because of that I've always hated the Guitar Hero/Rock Band games. I still don't see myself purchasing it but it's something I wouldn't mind trying out some time. One question. Can you use your own electric guitar for this?
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  • Avatar for renatocosta90 #8 renatocosta90 3 years ago
    I've played guitar and bass on and off for the last seven years, and I think that the original Rocksmith was one of the best tools for practice for me, since it usually keeps me focused, making the usual boring stuff, like practicing scales and chord composition very engaging and compelling and the visual side of learning songs doesn't allow my short attention span to kick in and make me do something else.

    Can't wait to play it later today. Even got some new strings on my bass to celebrate this new version
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  • Avatar for Jaz_Rignall #9 Jaz_Rignall 3 years ago
    @Mega_Matt Yes you can. Ubi lent me a basic Epiphone guitar for this review (I think it costs around $200). I wondered whether it was modified in any way. Turns out it was just a regular guitar.

    V-Dub liked Rocksmith so much, she invested in a PRS Mira (which is freakin' awesome) and that plugged right in. Basically, as long as your guitar has a 1/4" jack so you can connect it to your console/PC via the Rocksmith USB cable, you're good to go. I believe you can even use an acoustic guitar if you add a pickup with 1/4" jack.
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  • Avatar for Mega_Matt #10 Mega_Matt 3 years ago
  • Avatar for bryceallen51 #11 bryceallen51 3 years ago
    I'm a beginner and slow learner as well, with no real music experience or rhythm game experience. I bought the original Rocksmith, and found myself going to books and DVDs instead because the difficulty ramped up too quickly, even in guitarcade (which had an obnoxious game over screen and long load time to get back into the game to practice more).

    I purchased 2014 after all the great reviews, hoping they had fixed this. Being able to pick any song and use Riff Repeater anywhere are major improvements, but I still have some big frustrations with the design. Guitarcade is still way too hard and still kicks you out on game over, instead of encouraging you to practice until you get it. I also wish it would drop me into a slow play/wait until I play the note mode instead of just throwing a few notes at me. I can probably fiddle with Riff Repeater and get it to do some of what I want, but the interface is klunky.

    Another thing I'd really like to see is songs that use only the first four frets. Personally I think playing all the notes in Ode to Joy is way more rewarding then bumbling threw a few of the notes in a rock song. There are a lot of songs in this category that have long expired copyright, and are staples for teaching new students music on any instrument. Being able to focus just on the vertical movement, and use the same finger for each fret on each string, makes things much simpler in the beginning.

    I would definitely not recommend this to novice players without major reservations. For me it amplifies the frustrations of being a slow novice, and the modes that could help make doing drills to get past this are themselves too difficult. The tech is great and they are so close, but it still falls short.
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  • Avatar for stephentownsley90 #12 stephentownsley90 3 years ago
    I read the review since it presents such interesting viewpoints for reviewing Rocksmith. The song list for the 2014 version looks great, might end up getting it later, but the version of Rocksmith I have is doing a good job of teaching me to play guitar and bass. As Jaz put it, you do get benefit out of Rocksmith in direct correlation to the effort you put into it. I think too many years of playing air guitar are making learning harder, but I just have to keep practicing and I know I'll get it, and Rocksmith really helps
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  • Avatar for Jaz_Rignall #13 Jaz_Rignall 3 years ago
    @stephentownsley90 Indeed! I do think this new version is a nice step up. It almost feels like Rocksmith one was a weird kind of game Ubi made that helps you learn. This new Rocksmith really feels more like a straight-up learning tool that just happens to have some gaming elements in it. It makes it slightly more challenging to learn to use, but it certainly delivers the results!
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  • Well, I only have the first Rocksmith's experience, but regarding what@bryceallen51 said, I kind of get where they're coming from. Just yesterday a friend asked me which method I think is best to help learn guitar. And while I DO think Rocksmith is a huge evolution in terms of interactive teaching, and fills the huge lack most starting players (and some that have been playing for quite a while) have of not being able to play a full song start to bottom (many people focus on learning the main riff, or learn the verses, the chorus, play it a few times and then drop the song, which means they don't build a song portfolio), it also got me thinking it has some disadvantages against other now-ancient methods like those guitar-teaching CDs some of us used. Because, while it teaches us valuable techiques of variable difficulties, it lacks the more natural progression of teaching you a few basic chords and then a few songs that use only those chords, then on to barre chords, then through more complex progressions, etc.

    I also agree that, even for a intermediate player, it can have some wild jumps. After my third event, which was only comprised of a few combos with simple chords and single note songs, I'm thrown for a fourth event with Evanescence's Bring Me To Life - which after a few right notes at the beggining, thrown at me the complete chords, including stuff I haven't yet seen (not being much for hard rock or metal music). Now that's a big jump.
    It does give credit to improving by repetition, and makes me a bit sorry I didn't practice the earlier songs a bit more, to learn to handle more complex sequences of notes and chords being thrown at me. IMO, though, it still doesn't excuse the ramping difficulty. But maybe some songs aren't as easilly scalable as others.
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  • Avatar for total_gamer1989 #15 total_gamer1989 3 years ago
    V-Dub is an experienced musician, so tabs would be more familiar to her. But tabs don't have the benefit of being in 3d. Rocksmith's method of denoting musical notations onscreen is several orders of magnitudes more intuitive than tabs. I have learnt to play several songs via tabs, but that method requires me to read the tabs, translate it into fret positions and then keep a visual memory of the fret positions in order to play anything. I don't have to translate numbers to frets with Rocksmith's system, and I can actually play while looking at the notations on the screen. Its not a perfect system I have to agree, the colour coding confuses me a lot of times. With the dynamic background, sometimes its hard to tell the yellows from the oranges. But this is where the minigames come to rescue. Oh and I love the ninja jumping tower minigame.
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  • Avatar for Jaz_Rignall #16 Jaz_Rignall 3 years ago
    @bhaskarbrahma You're right about V-Dub's point of view. For me, a beginner, I'm finding the way the game is presented very easy and intuitive. For her, she felt she had to "relearn" or "unlearn" some of what she knew before she could play intuitively.

    Ultimately, I think her point is an interesting one. Not to change anything - but to perhaps add a tab option for more experienced musicians. She felt that would take up a level to something that would be superb for beginners like me, and perhaps an even better practice/song learning tool for the more pro musicians amongst us.

    She still loves playing it - as do I. We recently got a second cable and have been playing multiplayer, which is actually really freakin' good. We'll be writing that up soon: we think getting two cables and a cheap bass or guitar for your partner is a really great way to learn together and have fun!
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  • Avatar for michaelwiehle42 #17 michaelwiehle42 3 years ago
    First off, I love this game. You would think it odd that given this review. Let me explain. The first major hurdle you run into when playing this game are the frequent game freezes (or lock ups) that occur. At first, it was every other day, now I can't get through 3 songs without having the game lock up. This requires a mandatory reboot of the entire game. This can take 5 - 10 minutes to get all the way back online, logged in, and back to a song you want to play. I played for an hour yesterday, had 4 freezes that cost me about 15 minutes of my life. I talked with ubisoft tech support, each time they took 48 hours to get back to me. I have had other companies respond in hours. Their first response was unload all rocksmith files and installs from the xbox harddrive and re-install. This is turn your computer off and then on again support. An hour later not very surprised that their advice didn't work, but I suppose that may fix some issues. Then they ask to unplug all usb accessories. I do and no surprise it locks up again.

    I feel that this is as bad as it can get and just try to play through the pain because the game really did help me learn guitar and it is FUN. In non-stop play I hit "skip song" and get a message that, my file is corrupted, losing 122 hours of game play/ranking up in the songs. So as great a teacher and fun as it is - the frustration level is through the roof! If you can deal with the constant freezes and an occasional complete loss of all achievements, and have to deal with a clueless and uncaring customer service department this is the game for you.

    BTW, they have been talking about a 'patch' for a few weeks now. Game has been out 3 weeks, no patch. No offer from company for free song dlc, partial refund or anything else. No, I did not ask for anything, but come on man.

    Here is tech support response today. Note no mention of a patch coming anytime soon: “I sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused you. Thank you for reporting this issue. I will be forwarding this issue up to the development team for further review. That is all I can do at this time, as we have no further information. If any additional information becomes available, it will be detailed on the game's official forum at http://forums.ubi.com and our Support Website (http://support.ubi.com).” So, basically stop emailing us.
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  • Avatar for Bruce_Hancock #18 Bruce_Hancock 3 years ago
    Jaz and V-Dub. What a great review. Exactly what I was looking for: written from the viewpoint of a TOTAL novice. And having V-Dub's insight as a musician - but not a guitarist - was a bonus. Like Jaz, I've never played guitar and I'm not driven to do so, yet I like the idea of playing. When I first saw promos for Rocksmith 2014, I was really enthused, but as I watched various online videos, I became more and more intimidated. Frankly, I wasn't sure that someone like me with zero musical background could succeed. I had just about given up the idea when I came across this review. I so appreciate the honest assessments and the interplay between Jaz and V-Dub. From the beginning, I think I was realistic that I wasn't going to be a rockstar in 3 days or even 60, but I hoped the program would help me learn to play if I put in the required time and practice. Your review has convinced me that it will do just that. Thank you. I'm off to buy Rocksmith 2014 AND a Squier Strat beginner's guitar.
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  • Avatar for benjaminhorn51 #19 benjaminhorn51 3 years ago
    This review is surprisingly the exact thing I was looking for. I want to learn to play, but have little time to learn by ear, and little money to pay for lessons. So, I think you've sold me on this one. I'll grab it here in a week or two and will definitely be diving into this. Thank you so much for a more than decent review.
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  • Avatar for donaldturner16 #20 donaldturner16 3 years ago
    Thank you for the thoughtful and amusing write up! Have always wanted to play..but never invested the time and discipline to accomplish it. Saw an Ad for this app this weekend.. piqued my interest. Googled reviews, found this. I would be using a PC, as opposed to a console, and probably an acoustic, as opposed to electric, at least initially. ( prefer conceptually, the portability of an acoustic ) PC and Acoustic shouldn't be 2 hurdles, did I read that right?
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  • Avatar for peterlaube #21 peterlaube 3 years ago
    @Jaz_Rignall Are you aware that you can flip the strings on the fretboard, so that the lower E string (red) is on bottom and the high e string (purple) is on the top of fretboard? This is more like the classic tabulator view and I am working with this view from the beginning. I think I will have not much issues to use the tabulator view for learning non-rocksmith songs. I think the option is called: inverted (string) layout
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  • Avatar for Jaz_Rignall #22 Jaz_Rignall 3 years ago
    @Bruce_Hancock I hope you're having fun with it. Due to the crazy rush of the next-gen launches, I've been unable to play for about three weeks, but I can't wait to get back to it. What I love is that even though I haven't practiced in a while, I still remember everything. Just being able to pick up a guitar and play a few cords - indeed enough for someone to be able to actually recognize what I'm playing - feels so cool.
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  • Avatar for Jaz_Rignall #23 Jaz_Rignall 3 years ago
    @peterlaube I'll give it a go. I just started playing it "as is" and got used to it, so never bothered to change. I'll tell V-Dub and see how she gets on with it! Thanks for the info. =)Edited December 2013 by Jaz_Rignall
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  • Avatar for summitradio #24 summitradio 3 years ago
    Im going to see if i can line out to my mesa boogie amp.
    Should be a fun change up from playing along from tracks. The Gibson and the boogie are MONSTEROUS
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  • What about strumming patterns?
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  • Avatar for RubyAutumn #26 RubyAutumn 3 years ago
    Thank you so much for the review! I read another review, but it was so one-sides and the guy was a semi-pro guitar play so it was so refreshing to hear you were a noob. I definitely will give the game a try. My only question is can I use an Acoustic guitar instead of an electric
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  • Avatar for RobEvans #27 RobEvans 3 years ago
    I have never picked up a guitar but want to learn. i am left handed and was wondering if the instruction will work with a left handed guitar.

    Thanks
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  • Avatar for Aguitarman #28 Aguitarman 3 years ago
    Great review! Just a few small things to add

    For credibility I finished university with a major in guitar have been teaching for 15 years.

    The game essentially is making you read a sort of TAB and it will help you with your tab reading skills HOWEVER make sure you use the option to invert the strings meaning the RED string is on the bottom because that's how you will see TAB in the real world if you do choose to look up tabs online. I agree with V-Dub that the game should have some more options in the way it presents the notes.

    As a teaching tool they did quite an amazing job with the game and the ability to go into riff repeater and play along with the SLOWER version of the song with the band backing you is great! Plus it's instant gratification and it really does make you WANT to sit down and practice no matter your level!

    However, I would advise you to use this as a tool or aid along with having teacher. I realize this is biased but there are a lot of things you'll learn from a teacher that you won't be able to get from the game. First 2 things that come to mind are picking and articulation. It's great that it tells you about them with examples but when you go to play a song it makes no suggestions as to how you should pick it and dynamics/tone changes aren't there either (This is technically very advanced) Honestly it's not something I would expect the game to have but my point is the game has its limitations.

    I would also like to point out that I have witnessed students getting 100% on a song with notes that are hit super late (as they call it "saved", when they're on the wrong fret and quickly slide into the correct note) So really only you know when you've nailed something so use good sense, not just the games feedback.

    Either way I think the game is fantastic and would recommend it not just for those who want to start learning the guitar but even those who already know how to play you'll enjoy it!

    Cheers
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  • Avatar for Aguitarman #29 Aguitarman 3 years ago
    @RobEvans They have the option of flipping everything but all the video lessons are taught right handed and they don't make a second set for lefties

    In my opinion though guitar doesn't really have a handedness to it. You will need to use both hands regardless and in coordination with each other so whether your pick hand or finger hand is better coordinated to start with really has little bearing on how good you will turn out to be.

    If you've never picked up the guitar I recommend sticking with "right handed". Also the sheer selection on guitars for lefties is pretty small. If you visit any music store you'll see they might have 3 or 4 lefty guitars... if that... depending on how big the store is
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  • Avatar for Jaz_Rignall #30 Jaz_Rignall 3 years ago
    @RubyAutumn Glad you enjoyed the review. I'm a lot less of a noob these days - which is a testament to just how great this thing is. To answer your question - yes! As long as you have a pickup on your acoustic guitar so you can plug in the standard 1/4" jack, you're set! You can buy and fit one yourself if needed. I'm sure your local music store will help out.
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  • Avatar for CKlody #31 CKlody 3 years ago
    This was the only thing I was looking forward to this Christmas, and it turned out to be a total piece of siht! WORTHLESS ON PC. After going through the hour of updating stupid crap and finally getting my G.D. cable to work, it would freeze up and shi the bed every time I tried to do a lesson. My computer is one year old with plenty of balls to handle their requirements. The game (on PC) is just garbage. I'm trying to keep my language PG-13, but I'm furious!!!! I keep stressing that it is worthless ON PC, because I bought one for a kid who has an Xbox, and it works great. Why can't they make the PC version less dependent on Steam and the online Stih? Are they so interested in selling you more songs for a buck and a half a piece that they are willing to make the game playing experience miserable. F@#$ Ubisoft! F@#$ Rocksmith PC! And F@#$ me for being stupid enough to buy this worthless, plastic coaster.
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  • Avatar for kevindrury07 #32 kevindrury07 3 years ago
    I love the game (PS3). Mostly great songs, all my downloads are available under the new system. The slow down riff repeater is brilliant. I love the amp sounds. Only a couple of years ago a computer couldn't produce a decent guitar sound - now we have a perfect conversion. What's not to like? The only thing missing for me is a short video showing the way a guitarist would play the riff in question. Usually a riff is based around a bar chord but the game has you fingering separate notes until you get given the chord. I'd rather see how the actual riff is played and replicate that with the aid of the fretboard. Still brilliant - just managed 90% on Are You Mine!
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  • Avatar for jasonpradun06 #33 jasonpradun06 3 years ago
    Thanks for the excellent review. Based on a lot of research and in particular this review I took the plunge and bought this for PC along with a new Epiphone guitar. In just under 2 months I have come along nicely and can complete a few songs on 100%. I also purchased RS1 and imported the catalog and found that some of the RS1 songs are a bit easier, in particular Song 2 by Blur and Stone Temple Pilots Vasoline.
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  • Avatar for baronhyatt46 #34 baronhyatt46 3 years ago
    i have ben wwanting to learn to play the guitar for year but i can not aford the lessions the question i have is will this help me i know nothing if you have any ansewers hit me on my e mail baronhyatt@yahoo.com
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  • Avatar for bobsmith09 #35 bobsmith09 2 years ago
    Persistence and practice are the key to learning/playing guitar. This game/learning tool is no different. If you think that it will have you ready to go on tour after a month, well your in for a let down. If your looking for an alternative modernized way to learn the guitar then this is for you. Its also not gonna hurt anyone who already knows how to play guitar. But the main thing is the time you put into it. I just find that Rocksmith makes that time a lot less monotonous and a lot more enjoyable to learn.
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  • Avatar for johnsummers07 #36 johnsummers07 2 years ago
    ok so if you have a meth pipe glued to your mouth you might learn to "learn to play the in 60 days with rocksmith 2014" well not such the case. Have contacted PS3 for a refund but no answer why because they make to much. my PS3 user name is itzmeant contact me freely, however false, bullshit, greed is all they have advertise to do. I want my money back because they used meth heads to test this game not everyday players, though everyday meth heads are to busy to play because they have to find their meth for the day. does the game help you learn, yes but in 60 days, no one should have advertise this, I have video of 60 days. Refund my money to my account or will utube all proof from tons.
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  • Avatar for davidball41 #37 davidball41 2 years ago
    Same goes here regarding too much air guitar. Im 42 and first picked up a guitar when I was 12 or 13. My buddy's guitar. My family moved 100 miles away I didn't even ask for my own guitar. I was always a 3 sport athlete and the first must learn basics made me think all the guitar players on my walls were born virtuosos. So I convinced more and more the greats all just picked up a strategic or LP and shredded I finally bought my first guitar at 42. EPI sg pro and signed up for lessons. If u can read and comprehend English there is no need for lessons for a true beginner. I took lessons 2 months and started to get discouraged as well as pissed for paying to learn the names of the strings.some instryctors
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  • Avatar for danmcguire59 #38 danmcguire59 2 years ago
    V-Dub didn't see the option to change to standard notation? As a reviewer, Jaz should have looked into that before complaining about it the note format.

    A word of warning for those who want to import songs from the previous version, you have to download an import pack that costs about $10.
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  • Avatar for Jaz_Rignall #39 Jaz_Rignall 2 years ago
    @danmcguire59 She did, but she really didn't like it. We'll be going through the largely the same PS4 version soon, and that'll give us the chance to re-address that side of things. It's the only area of the review I felt we didn't give enough time to.
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  • Avatar for samitaaissat82 #40 samitaaissat82 2 years ago
    Thanks for making this review :)

    I'm playing acoustic guitar for 1 month by myself and I was interrested in buying an electric guitar and your review helped me. Especially with V-Dub's comment about the tab system. I think tha will be difficult to unlearn the tabs for playing rocksmith but that will be funnier than playing alone.
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  • Avatar for joeherald26 #41 joeherald26 2 years ago
    this game SUCKS ass. can't get it to work right can't even get past the tuner the very first lesson (hitting the second fret of the a string. since it wont even register that I'm hitting the string. I'm so frustrated and pissed off and feel like I just got NAILED for 60 bucks! hunting my receipt now so I can take this p.o.s. game back!
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  • Avatar for joeherald26 #42 joeherald26 2 years ago
    does NOT work, sucks! save your money
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  • Avatar for low351 #43 low351 A year ago
    Ok I bought RockStar 2014 and my cable recently. Background: Pretty much a begginer. I've been using online lessons and youtube to learn for a couple of months now. I have the basics down, know how to hold the guitar, pick, strum, chords C, Am, Em, G, D etc and my fingertips are now calloused.

    I fired up RockStar last night and went through the setup, tuned my guitar and started.

    Three immediate cons.

    1) I got 97% of the first song I tried wrong because my low E string tuning, despite being bang on in the tuner setup was slightly high and I couldn't figure out why everytime I hit it I got a "Miss" until I figured out that the chevrons that kept popping up were trying to tell me I was on the wrong fret when I wasn't. I de-tuned and suddenly I was then getting 97% right.

    2) I've been following lessons for a while, I'm used to being told what fingers to use to hold a note or at least the closest chord form to hold when striking it. That's what makes it easy and fluid to play. RS doesn't seem to give you that information so wouldn't that make for a whole lot of guitar players with bad habits?

    3) The most annoying. Perhaps I'll understand later. But the song list was sorted by recommended. So I figure that's to guide me on learning right? But I messed up on the first song because my tuning was off then the next thing I know I can't find that song on the list again, it's disappeared. I imagine it erroneously thought that plucking the low E string was too hard for me and switched it up. But I really wanted to retry that song and then get more and more in depth but it seems to be switching song recommendations at random in the beginning.

    We'll see if I get used to it, like V-dub said, if you have any knowledge you start by having to get used to how RS does things. For instance I'd still not sure whether or not I should be palm muting notes that have only a single block, but I guess it's implied since notes that should ring out have a tail...
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  • Avatar for stuartbuchanan99 #44 stuartbuchanan99 A year ago
    @low351 FYI once you play a song, this goes to the bottom of the list (well above the ones which you cant play because they are denoted by an X, you will see the mastery percentage is above 0 for songs you have already played.
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  • Avatar for philipsazz #45 philipsazz A year ago
    My computer is one year old with plenty of balls to handle their requirements. The games (on PC) is just garbage. I'm trying to keep my language PG-13, but I'm furious!!!! I keep stressing that it is worthless ON PC, because I bought one for a kid who has an Xbox, and it works great. Why can't they make the PC version less dependent on Steam and the online Stih? Are they so interested in selling you more songs for a buck and a half a piece that they are willing to make the tudo sobre xbox one playing experience miserable me for being stupid enough to buy this worthless, plastic coaster. So in the end I agreed with her to knock off the half star. Rocksmith is a truly great learning tool, but there is still a xbox net room for improvement. V-Dub feels that if Ubisoft blog ps4 added options like learning from a tab-based system, or perhaps the ability to select a different format for the song learning process (tabs falling down the screen, for example, rather than playing the futebol like Rock Band) that would enable the player to pick a presentation style that might be more natural and intuitive for them, thus making Rocksmith a little easier to use. Perhaps such a feature might be added to the next edition - and that could well elevate it to 5 stars.Edited 2 times. Last edited January 2016 by philipsazz
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