60 Days of Rocksmith

Rocksmith 2014 states that in 60 days a person can learn how to play guitar. I'm going to see how realistic that is. I just bought the Rocksmith guitar bundle and plan to see how well I can learn to play it. My play will probably come most on weekends and a few week nights and will add up to around 2-5 hours per week. I'm getting my bundle on 11/5. So by 12/28 (cross your fingers my math checks out) I should know how to play electric guitar to some degree if the advertising is accurate.

So here's the thing, I know a tiny bit about acoustic guitar. I know about 20 chords, can play about 5 songs, and re-written one song to something that sounds like the original song to some degree but different enough I'm calling it my song damn it. I can also read tab and have somewhat of a sense for beat and tone. So I'm somewhat musically and guitar inclined. But from what I've heard electric is a lot different then acoustic and even if they were exactly the same I'm not that great at acoustic anyway.

I'll try to update this blog weekly with check-ins on how I'm doing. So we'll see how this goes?

31 Comments
31 Comments
Posted by Colourful_Hippie

ok

Posted by CheapPoison

I'll step in and say that after those 60 days you will know some songs and know your way around the fretboard, but i am not sure if Rocksmith gives you stuff on theory, chords scales..
And in 60 days, with 2-5 hours a week, that makes 16 to 40 hours.

It is probably a great starting point but i do feel that advertisementt is boasting a bit too much. That being said it will probably show you enough progress to he hungry for more.

Also, ye you can pretty much assume that acoustic and electric are pretty much interchangeble up to 80/90%

That being said i think this is a great idea and i am curious to hear someone thoughts and experiences with rocksmith like that.

Posted by Sinusoidal

Interesting experiment, but a pretty stupid claim by Rocksmith. Anyone can learn to "play" guitar. Hell, I've seen people who've never played in their life pick up a guitar and figure out Smoke on the Water or some such on their own in a matter of minutes. Now if they claimed you'd be (competently) playing the entirety of Stairway to Heaven in two months (very possible) or something...

Posted by Xeiphyer

That's only 53 days! Plus if you only play some nights and not every night, that's not 60 days either! I want my money back!

Posted by billymagnum

im seriously surprised to see Pantera on the songs list. even more so that its cemetery gates. fantastic.

Edited by Ramone

How's your technique? Can you switch from chord to chord relatively quickly? That was the big hump for me when I was first learning.

Edited by Jimbo

I don't want to discourage you, but putting x hours into Rocksmith will teach you how to play Rocksmith, not how to play guitar well. It is better than not playing at all, but -unless you require the constant encouragement Rocksmith gives- you would be much better off sitting down and putting those hours into the beginner course on justinguitar.com or similar.

Posted by csl316

I'm curious how this turns out, but I worry that playing this won't teach you more than some basics and how to play Rocksmith. Actually learning songs through this game seems inefficient to me (waiting for it to add notes, waiting for the animation to scroll back with riff repeater, etc.)

But hey, they can't put that on the box if it isn't true!

You'll get some benefit. Hell, even playing the Guitar Heroes with a pick improved my rhythm and right hand control.

Posted by triviaman09

2-5 hrs a week is not enough to learn any instrument thoroughly.

You'll know a lot more guitar than if you hadn't done it at all, but don't expect too much after the 60 days are up.

Edited by JasonR86

@triviaman09:

2-5 hours is my estimate with my work schedule and other things that come up during the week that might keep me from playing. It may be more or less. I'll have a better idea when I get the game.

@jimbo:

I'm doing this more to see how if it can do what it claims. It's only 60 days and if I get into it I can look elsewhere for better lessons.

@xeiphyer:

I SUCK AT MATH ALRIGHT!

@ramone said:

How's your technique? Can you switch from chord to chord relatively quickly? That was the big hump for me when I was first learning.

I'm ok at it. I'm good when the chords are relatively close. When I have to move quickly around the neck of the guitar I have some problems.

@cheappoison:

Yeah, I don't really buy the advertising either. But we'll see.

Hey Hippie.

Posted by DarthOrange

NERD!

Posted by JasonR86
Posted by Hone_McBone

@jimbo: Actually the initial stages of learning guitar are hand placements, finger exercises, chords & scales which are all covered in rocksmith.

Posted by Rick_Fingers

@ramone: I'm exactly the same - I took to it very quickly, but swapping chords brought me undone; my fingers are just too janky.

Good luck Jason, I hope you're rocking out by the end of this experiment.

Posted by penfold01

If you're going to test their claim to the letter, technically they say that that's 60 days at 1 hour per day and the end result is that you should be able to play through a song (presumably at 100% speed/difficulty)...so what they really mean is after 60 hours of practice you should be able to play a song. I'd say your starting point is well above total beginner, so you're probably well on your way already. My starting point was closer to beginner than you and I'm enjoying it so far. Either way, good luck.

Posted by tourgen

@ramone said:

How's your technique? Can you switch from chord to chord relatively quickly? That was the big hump for me when I was first learning.

yeah, same. At the very beginning it was all about the fundamentals - chord transitions, muscle memory for picking and fretting the right strings.

Actually the very first major hurdle for me was finger flexibility and finger strength. I couldn't do bar chords until I was a few weeks in.

Posted by Jimbo

@hone_mcbone: Being 'covered' doesn't mean that those foundation skills are being taught well. Rocksmith's teaching method is based around covering ground as quickly as possible, regardless of how many bad habits you are picking up along the way. Ultimately, once you step away from Rocksmith's OTT positive reinforcement and start relying on your own ear to tell you what sounds good or not, most will just have to go back and spend more hours unlearning the bad habits and sloppiness Rocksmith has hammered into muscle memory.

It's much easier to learn to play cleanly and correctly (starting slowly and building up) from a blank slate than it is to fight mistakes already in your muscle memory. Which is why teachers will typically encourage you to play 'clean' first of all and not worry about speed, rather than throwing a simplified song at you and telling you to keep up no matter how badly you have to play to do so. The latter -Rocksmith's approach- might be more fun, but teaching your fingers how to play a song/scale/chord badly doesn't get you closer to being able to play it well. Practice doesn't make perfect; practice makes permanent.

Posted by JasonR86

@jimbo said:

@hone_mcbone: Being 'covered' doesn't mean that those foundation skills are being taught well. Rocksmith's teaching method is based around covering ground as quickly as possible, regardless of how many bad habits you are picking up along the way. Ultimately, once you step away from Rocksmith's OTT positive reinforcement and start relying on your own ear to tell you what sounds good or not, most will just have to go back and spend more hours unlearning the bad habits and sloppiness Rocksmith has hammered into muscle memory.

It's much easier to learn to play cleanly and correctly (starting slowly and building up) from a blank slate than it is to fight mistakes already in your muscle memory. Which is why teachers will typically encourage you to play 'clean' first of all and not worry about speed, rather than throwing a simplified song at you and telling you to keep up no matter how badly you have to play to do so. The latter -Rocksmith's approach- might be more fun, but teaching your fingers how to play a song/scale/chord badly doesn't get you closer to being able to play it well. Practice doesn't make perfect; practice makes permanent.

Well, we'll have to wait and see. I'm not aiming to be some sort of expert. I'm just messing around with it and having fun. I'll let everyone know how it goes as I play. I get what you're saying. But until I've tried it myself I can't say one way or another. I'll just have to find out.

Posted by Hone_McBone

@jimbo: I think the new lessons in rocksmith have been done really well, sure jumping past them straight into the learn a song mode isn't going to be the best way to learn but it sure beats watching youtube & giving up after a few hours.

Edited by KittyVonDoom

U GUYS I'M AN EXPRT @ GUITAR PLAYIN AND LEMME TEL U A THING ABT DIS ROCKSMITH VIDEO GAME IT WONT TEACH U HOW 2 PLAY MARY HAD A LITTLE LAMB AS WELL AS ME

I've only played Rocksmith 1, and can tell you that while not perfect, it's far better at encouraging you to work through the tedious parts of learning guitar than any amount of personal tutoring or website/book/DVD could. With that said, you also have to be pretty enthusiastic about learning any instrument to have any hope of sticking with it longer than a month.

Edited by SasquatchRuby

I've played for about 24 years. I'm very interested in how this works out. I think quality of practice is very important as well as time spent. I'm certainly not going to dismiss Rocksmith it may get beginners to a level they can go on from, it may be a good practice tool for veterans.

I will always remember one night putting a clock next to me and did 45 mins of constant finger picking exercise no breaks v intense. After that I felt fluent with right hand technique. Those 45 mins were more important than many of my 5-6 hour sessions.

Posted by guiseppe

It'll be interesting to see how this goes, as I've been curious about Rocksmith myself. I've been playing guitar on and off for about 10 years, and I wonder if this "tool" could do anything for me.

Posted by gaminghooligan

Same skill level with my acoustic as you, excited to see your results.

Posted by csl316

I've played for about 24 years. I'm very interested in how this works out. I think quality of practice is very important as well as time spent. I'm certainly not going to dismiss Rocksmith it may get beginners to a level they can go on from, it may be a good practice tool for veterans.

I will always remember one night putting a clock next to me and did 45 mins of constant finger picking exercise no breaks v intense. After that I felt fluent with right hand technique. Those 45 mins were more important than many of my 5-6 hour sessions.

Focused practice is the way to go. Did a lot of that for ten years or so, but now I practice less and just jam. I may get better at improvising or whatever, but I know my technique won't take the leaps it did when I did stuff like that.

Posted by DuskVamp

I'm interested to see how this goes. I gave up on my guitars a few years ago and keep meaning to get back to it, I was thinking of selling them before moving to the US, but after watching the QL it's made me really want to try it out.

Posted by Sin4profit

I highly recommend going to the Guitarcade and playing the Score Attack game. It's the "gamification" of rocksmith which plays much more like traditional rhythm games you're use to.

The score attack mode i find more fun than the vanilla "learn song" mode they put up front but Rocksmith kinda has it buried out of sight and you may not think to check it out.

Edited by JasonR86

@sin4profit:

I've actually never played a rhythm game before. So another part of this learning curve will be getting use to the note path/track.

Posted by JasonR86

Well, I have the game and the guitar. I tried it out and have some early impressions that I'll put in another blog. But I'm going to have to push off the next blog in this series for a bit. I'm playing on the 360 because I thought I had component cables to use (as the lag, which I can now confirm, is terrible over HDMI). Turns out I can't find those cables. But I'm getting new ones delivered soon so once I get them I officially start my 60 days.

Posted by Nekroskop

You need more than 2-5 hours a week. Practice at least an hour per day-with the game or without.

Posted by JasonR86

You need more than 2-5 hours a week. Practice at least an hour per day-with the game or without.

I've only got so much time in the day with work, family, etc. I'm going to do what I can but I'm not going to put other things on hold to play this guitar. We'll see how many hours that ends up being as I do it. But I don't need to be the best guitarist.

Posted by CheapPoison

@jasonr86 said:

I've only got so much time in the day with work, family, etc. I'm going to do what I can but I'm not going to put other things on hold to play this guitar. We'll see how many hours that ends up being as I do it. But I don't need to be the best guitarist.

It might be oke, a lot depends on how you approach what you want to learn and how you set your goals. Learning one incredibly stupid thing a day adds up in the long run. I would say in the beginning try and least do 15 minutes a day. Constant practice of 15 minutes a day is better then one bing session of 2 hours practice every week.

I guess it does get you to a point when you start having fun with it.