“Rocksmith” Experiment: Week 1 Journal

By John Sollitto

I GOT BLISTERS ON ME FINGERS!!!! Sorry, I’ve been saying that all week and if my coworkers have to deal with it then you all do too. You know why I’ve been saying it all week? ROCKSMITH EXPERIMENT! That’s why, baby.

Okay, so if I tell you EVERYTHING that happened so far then there’s no point in all of you watching the videos when they come out, so I’ll give you an update as to what we’re doing and what’s been going on so you can feel like you’re there without actually being there. S’alright? S’alright.


So, day one? Pretty good, we all showed up, got our duel TVs set up and we all began workin’ away like busy bees. Our experiment group, the guys who are doing both tabs and the game came and we talked them through their portion of the experiment and what they would be doing. We’re checking on them periodically to make sure they’re workin’ cause we want good data.
Everybody picked a song and here’s the list:

John: Tighten Up (The Black Keys)

Michael: Take Me Out (Franz Ferdinand)

Jesus: Breed (Nirvana)

Heath: Sunshine of Your Love (Eric Clapton)

Russell: Plug In Baby (Muse)

What’s that? You don’t like reading lists? Oh, okay, here’s a little picture to go with it:

The reason Parker isn’t participating is because we found out that he actually knew how to play so we couldn’t have him mess up the data for us learners. Oh, P.S. we found that out about Anders too so he got booted from the group. Buncha liars. Okay, so they didn’t lie about knowing how to play, I guess I just wasn’t paying attention. Which happens…a lot. That’s probably not good since I’m Editor-in-Chief but it’s because I think about editor-y things all day. Yeah, I just made up a phrase. Deal with it.

Here are some wonderful pictures of us all attempting to be musicians:

  Mike looks so pensive.
Jesus is not amused by us taking pictures of him while he rocks. And I think those are my feet in the back.
And me wearing my oh-so-appropriate Hard Rock Café Hong Kong shirt.

I’m sure this all looks so scientific right? Well, actually we’ve been really testing out the game and putting it through its paces and I’m very honestly impressed by it. Are there issues? Yes. It can be very finicky when it comes to getting certain chords exactly right, and that can grate on your nerves if you’re a beginner and don’t know how to play. It’s really about finger strength and dexterity which, surprisingly after years and years of videogames, we don’t quite have.

However, I’m really enjoying learning guitar this way. I actually switched the type of music I was learning mid-way. Let me explain this. At first learning I was learning the rhythm guitar part of Tighten Up and was finding it very difficult due to all of the chords. I found that the lead guitar part was an option in the game and checked that out. I did just as good at that as I had been doing after three days of playing rhythm so I put in the appropriate amount of time for lead and have switched so that the data isn’t skewed.

The fact that the game offers such a variety of learning methods, parts of songs, and types of songs is so awesome because you can go from bands like Megadeath and Red Hot Chili Peppers, to The Rolling Stones and T-Rex and learn the type of music you like at your own pace.

This is an honest and completely unbiased opinion right here: If you are thinking about learning guitar and you want an introduction to the instrument and would like to learn at your own pace with a program that acts as an amp, tuner, and partial tutor, seriously consider this game. I paid about $200 in total for my guitar and the game and honestly, I was a great decision. The game now costs about $80 and you can snag a good learner’s guitar at Guitar Center or wherever you wanna buy it for about $100. It has to be electric though so it can plug into your system, keep that in mind. And you have to have an X-Box 360 or PS3, so there’s that too. Other than that, it’s up to you to decide if you want this.