Ever thought of learning to play a guitar? The good news is that you may now be able to swap your air guitar for the real thing, thanks to a new video game called Rocksmith. According to the makers, even the most musically challenged can learn how to play in just a few sessions. This is backed up by a Toluna Consumer Survey which found that 95 per cent of players improved at playing the guitar. Similarly, Research Strategy group Inc claimed that ‘it was the fastest way to learn guitar’.
The software, now in its second year, is developed for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC. It works by allowing users to plug their electric guitar into their consoles via a ‘Hercules’ adapter. The Hercules adapter is a USB cable that connects the guitar’s output jack. Although acoustic guitars can also be used, they may require additional hardware.
The game monitors how you play, dynamically adjusting the skill levels to suit your level of expertise. Over time, more notes and phrases are introduced and before you know it you will be playing your favourite songs note for note.
On screen there is a virtual fretboard with coloured notes housed in coloured lanes that indicate what you should play on the guitar.
To help track your progress, difficulty, previous scores and lyrics are all shown at the top of the screen. You can join the growing number of players who are turning to YouTube to show off their achievements – with some videos already scoring hundreds of thousands of hits.