So once upon a time when I was 10 years old people played a game called Guitar Hero where you played coloured buttons and effectively played songs on the game and it sounded awesome like a real guitar straight away. And that made me want to play real guitar and I am sure it did for many people back then. But of course, most people knew that playing real guitar and guitar hero is not the same thing.
Nowadays there is a more realistic version called Rocksmith where you play songs on the real guitar and you play the right frets and chords instead of buttons. Unlike Guitar Hero people have recently started thinking that they will be able to learn to play the guitar well just by playing Rocksmith. Well I am here to tell you that if you think this you will be disappointed in the long run and here is why:
1) Rocksmith does not teach you in a personalised way
You can learn quite a lot of “stuff”on Rocksmith but it is stuff in the same order for everyone who plays it. As a result, some people may make some progress and some people won’t make as much. Now you might be thinking “well yeah but I can just do things in the order that is better for me”. You have no clue what order is better for you. Even if you are an intermediate player already, you might think you have a clue but you do not yet have enough experience to know how you learn best. And a video game doesn’t either!
2) Learning “stuff” by itself doesn’t give you the ability to play well
Even if you could learn in a personalised way on Rocksmith and even if you truly knew the best way you learn and what order will be best for you, you will not get anywhere just by learning stuff. Don’t believe me? How many guitar players do you know who can play all kinds of stuff but they can’t fluently use that stuff, create music, play fluently, tie everything together and have fun playing guitar? That is because they have not been trained or coached to do that. And that is what everybody needs even if your goals are modest. And the video game does not provide that.
3) You can and will pick up bad habits without realising it
And the game will not let you know about that! If you are with a great teacher who can spot this and better yet have you avoid a lot of those pitfalls in the first place you will be able to play guitar well. But the game will not do that for you.
4) You will not learn how to practice
Learning how to practice the things you learn is extremely important. And different people need to practice in certain ways depending on where they are at but again the game is not personalised and you do not learn how to practice the things you can learn.
5) The way you learn on Rocksmith will cause overwhelm and/or boredom
You can get overwhelmed because there is so much stuff at once and on top of that how are you supposed to play a song and focus on what frets are coming up on the screen next if you have to look at your guitar. This will be overwhelming and tough and as you learn a lot of stuff but can’t use it and have fun playing guitar you can and possibly will get bored. And what happens if you are overwhelmed or bored? You stop practicing and playing. You don’t want that.
What you need to do instead is to find an excellent teacher who can teach you in a way that is personalised to you and train you to have fun playing guitar and play guitar well as soon as possible. The game alone will not cut it.
About the author:
Jake Willmot is an excellent guitar teacher who teaches guitar lessons in Devon, Exmouth and he specialises in songwriting, creativity, rock, metal and shredding. If you are interested why not give him a shot?