A real educational game that rocks

I am typing this with some very sore finger tips on my left hand as yesterday Rocksmith arrived in the post from Amazon. I known this has been out stateside for a year but it has finally hit these shores. If you have not seen Rocksmith or been dubious about it, it is a music game where you play along with tunes with a guitar. Hey that sounds like Rockband/Guitar Hero! Well this time you get to use your real guitar and play the full notes (hence the sore fingers).

I have dabbled with guitar since I bought a Fender Squire and an amp with my first pay check. I never played anything much though I know a few chords and the blues scale is always nice to wibble around.
Loving music and not being quite able to match my guitar playing to the music I sort of lapsed. Music games were a great way to get back into playing something in some way. I wrote about the early, pre Rockband, experiences back in 2007 on eightbar whcih then got picked up by
the Boston Globe in 2008 !
I had noticed that my ability to play rhythm had improved using the basic Rockband instruments. It is why I upgraded to the 102 button guitar to get closer to real guitar with a game and even got to play a bit on the TV on the Cool Stuff Collective
I recently finished the tour mode of Rockband 3 (I had been playing for ages but not bothered with the tour too much it was always a party game)
Feeding Edge is also embedded in Rockband both as tattoos and our bands name and Logo as a bit of fun
Feeding edge rockband 3 style
Having finished Rockband 3 it seemed time to upgrade to the all new Rocksmith. My Fender was still sitting in the corner and Predlet 1.0 has also started guitar lessons at school.
I plugged the guitar in with the lead that is jack to usb into the xbox, loaded it up and I was instantly amazed and how well it worked. You are straight into a tuning section and the guitar was spot on in seconds. Clearly it was picking up the right signals!
Like Rockband/Guitar here the notes drive down towards you. They are coloured based on the string, a picture of the guitar fret board shows whats about to be played. When the notes arrive you pluck them.
The really clever part is the auto adjusting skill level. If you start to get the basic single notes and rythm it will start to add more. In the career mode it gently eases you through songs, but you start instantly with the Rolling Stones Satisfaction with the iconic sounds of that tune. Predlet 1.0 dived straight in and was really happy to play the song. She already had the guitar basics from her lessons so knowing strings and frets made it easier as it did with me.
I carried on the career line for a while then just dived into playing house of the rising sun. This is where I saw it adjust to my level very quickly. It gave a few notes and before I knew it it was showing the proper chord progression. Chords that were stored away in the back of my brain, C, A, E etc. So there I was playing rhythm guitar on my old electric with a responsive backing track that if things went slightly wrong it would turn down the level let me get my act together and back into it again. That makes this the best of all music games.
Now is it orange peel I rub on my finger tips to harden them? ouch!

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