Rocksmith Is The Best Way To Learn Guitar, According To Research I Don't Trust!

When companies release infographics showing a series of statistics about how incredible a product is, alarm bells ring in my head. Who paid for this research? Who commissioned it? Did this skew the results?

The above infographic claims that 95% of Rocksmith users have improved their skills using Rocksmith. I actually believe that. Anything that allows you to practice playing the guitar will undoubtedly help you improve in some capacity. The thing on the graphic that has me cynical is the "a nationwide study confirmed that Rocksmith is the fastest way to learn guitar" part.

Really? How was that deduced? How did the study come to that conclusion? There is no real info shown.

The results came from a study done by 'Research Strategy Group Inc' a Canadian company that specialises in market research. According to its LinkedIn page, Research Strategy Group Inc uses "key strategic marketing input to drive predictive results" to help companies "find focus and direction" as they "move forward".

The homepage of Research Strategy Group Inc states the following...

We're unique in our ability to package and translate our findings into useable, effective and practical marketing tools. Our team of dedicated experts can help you understand the implications of your research findings, enabling you drive corporate strategy and guide tactical decision making.

I think it's fairly clear that Ubisoft has most likely paid this company to undertake this research, and part of that package involves translating these numbers into something that can then be used to sell Rocksmith as a product.

This is a fairly common occurrence in marketing. The info is then put into an infographic, like the one above, which is then sent out to press outlets like Kotaku. Ubisoft is hardly alone here, but it is a bit sly. I'm not saying the information isn't legitimate — I have no doubt that Research Strategy Group Inc did some legitimate research — but how were the questions framed? Who was being asked what and by whom? It's very easy for research like this to be skewed and when the line between marketing and research is blurred, just how much of this information can we take at face value?


    HA! Good headline.

    (bought this game a while ago for Xbox. It was fun but I just forgot about it)

    The infographic isn't particularly controversial in any way.

    95% have improved.. based on what, the metric of a successively better score in a game? Hardly a surprise. Most of the other stats are just based on sales.

    I love music games that have real music benefits but every one of the options I have tried and owned have paled in comparison to Guitar Pro and the looping function.

    (Aside from getting a score for your rendition - that is).

    Can I just say, I spent two years trying to learn guitar, and did not progress very far. Last October I picked up Rocksmith on PC.

    It gives you a great and enjoyable way to practice, particularly if you're a beginner.

    I have since put over 200 hours into the game, as well as I now practice far more regularly outside fo Rocksmith as well. I've improved tremendously.

    It does work, granted you put the effort in. That said, if you put the effort in outside of the game you would see just as much progress. The benefit of Rocksmith is it makes it more enjoyable and easy to do.

    The custom songs available to PC users also make it more amazing, with hundreds of songs tabbed by the community.

      "It does work, granted you put the effort in."

      So much THIS. I think Rocksmith is a great tool for people who want to learn guitar and also are willing to put in the time.

    Y'know, call me old fashioned, but I was always under the impression that to get good at something you needed to practice.

      Rocksmith gives you an easy way to practice Guitar. Hence, it can help you get good at it.

        Oh, can you plug in an actual guitar now?

          Yes. That's the entire point of the game. You plug in a real guitar via the supplied cable. It always has been that :S

          Yeah, it's a really great program (people complain most about the UI), which makes practicing and learning real guitar a heap of fun. See my post above. It's a great learning tool for real guitar. I think it cops the most flak from those who have never actually used it, or gave it a good attempt. A second one is very likely to be announced at E3.

          There is also a really strong custom song community on the PC, which tabs hundreds of songs from every genre and from every band and artist. So if you get tired of official DLC and the setlist, well, there's lots more to learn and practice.

          Ubisoft are also well aware of the custom song community, and doesn't mind its existence, because they really regulate themselves well to ensure that no official DLC (and songs that do become official DLC) are no longer available as a custom free DLC song.

            I make my living selling guitars and I've actually had heaps of customers, including some really proficient players with very high end equipment, praise the hell out of Rock Smith. Yet to check it out myself but I'm definitely keen to.

    No you hit the nail on the head Mark.

    Market research results tend to be about as accurate than those studies you hear about that begin with, "Researchers have found" or "Experts have released a study" followed by some either stupidly obvious fact or one that applies to very few.
    What was the sample size? What was the control? How long did they conduct the study to accurately test the progression of players?

    "We’re unique in our ability to package and translate our findings into useable, effective and practical marketing tools."
    Yeah right, I imagine you asked a few people a few questions then averaged them across a number of statistics supplied by Ubisoft

      Research really does need to be analyzed. It might not always be as completely outlandish and obvious as asking questions like, "How often do you beat your wife?" (Results: "Candidate denies wife-beating.") but it's very, very, very easy to skew just about any research if you want to.

      That said... From reviews by folks who already play, I was kind of planning on picking up Rocksmith to improve my skills anyway. Worst-case-scenario, I practice more due to flashing lights and gamification than I would've practiced without.

    I bought a copy of this back at Christmas but haven't really had any time to get into it.

      Mine has also been shunned for some time, really need to get back into it.

    I bought a copy on steam, first cable I got didn't work, replaced it, second cable broke in a month, replaced it, third cable broke after 3 days, replaced it, used a different guitar, fourth cable broke in a month. Put my own money into buying a significantly more expensive audiojack to USB cable... has worked fine ever since.

      Do you know if I could just download it off Steam and then just plug my guitar in through my interface (Focusrite 18i20)?

      Have you ever used a cable?

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