How Rocksmith 2014 Will Teach You To Play Guitar

The dream is a good one: An interactive application that can really, truly teach you to play guitar. And Rocksmith 2014, even more so than its ambitious predecessor, is aiming to do just that.

In this video, the game's makers demonstrate how the new "lessons" will function. The lessons look pretty cool, and it sounds like the sequel is structured in a way that's more scaffolded and approachable than the first game.

I'm looking forward to revisiting this series — I've spoken with many readers who strongly disagree with my take on the first game, and some of their own critiques are convincing enough that I'm willing to revisit the entire notion of Rocksmith with fresh eyes and fresh ears. I'm glad Ubisoft is making a sequel, since it'll give me the opportunity to do just that.


    Did play last one and was entertaining, but just cringed when kids saw it as something more, no need for teachers or music books or how to learn music theory. Play rocksmith and felt they were musicians, guess kinda like these singing shows like the voice and x factor.

    Last edited 31/08/13 6:47 pm

      yeah it seems kind of pointless. Sure you've learnt how to play the guitar a bit but you have no understanding of how to read music, so would be basically relegated to tabs. I wonder if they have the all important lesson of the fact that until your fingers build up some calluses playing guitar is going to hurt.

        You don't need to know how to read music to be a great guitarist, Jimi Hendrix was proof of that.

          You do however need to know how to read music to be a great musician.

            haha, yeah. hendrix was a terrible musician.

            I don't know that that's true. Inherent talent plays a larger role than any type of musical reading skill.

              talent will only get you so far if you lack the knowledge required to actually make use of it.

                As someone who learned to play bass guitar using Rocksmith, I disagree that it doesn't teach anything.
                It teaches a lot of the techniques required, and builds up the needed dexterity (and calluses) to play the instrument. From simple things like learning where all the frets are (and muscle memory to instantly jump to the require fret) to more complex things like chords, hammer ons, and a bunch of other lingo that escapes me.
                The fact that you're playing to real songs means that ... well, you can play real songs.

                But one of the main things for me, was that it made playing guitar fun. You'll learn a lot more if you're having fun. Compared to the books and guitar lessons I had that felt like they were going nowhere, you constantly get rewarded for playing Rocksmith, and thus get the emotional feeling of "damn, this rocks!"
                In turn, you keep at it longer, and I now find myself picking up my bass and not even plugging it in - just playing around, coming up with my own tunes.

                Now, compare all this to say, Guitar Hero - that game doesn't do anything for learning an instrument, since it's so far removed from any instrument people use. Those sorts of games do not teach anything useful for playing a real instrument, from my experience.

      I'm self taught on guitar, and something like this looks perfect for me. Something to help me out with all of the techniques i've either avoided or didn't know about, or correcting things I didn't learn properly. To make my playing and writing better. There's definitely a market for this.

      I very much disagree with your opinion that music theory is the be all and end all. It definitely is important, and at some stage, you're going to need to know all that. But I play by ear, I never know the names of the notes I'm playing, and I just supported Cloud Control last night in Perth, one of the biggest alternative bands in Australia right now based on what i've written and recorded, there's many ways to approach the artform, and none of them are wrong.

      If something like this can help someone like me get better, I don't think that should be discounted, or if it gives people the confidence and experience to pick up guitar and play, in a completely stress-free, no pressure environment, how can it be bad? There are different learning styles, some people flourish through rote learning and theory, others, like me, find that learning by doing, with immediate feedback, works better for them. As long as you have the guitar in your hands you're making progress.

        Rocksmith (not 2014) has been out for a while, I highly recommend it - the collection of songs will be different in the new game, so it's worth it to check out the first one.

        You need the Rocksmith cable, but that cable can be used on 360, PS3 and PC (I even use it to record on PC.)

    I recently bought Rocksmith having never picked up a guitar before. Im feeling that the game is great at teaching you techniques but it should be supplemented with lessons on reading and understanding music and tabs.

    RS1 wasn't as good as i'd hoped at actually teaching, the lessions weren't great and there weren't any basic beginner songs - didn't play it as much as i'd hoped

    Rocksmith is not a standalone teacher - it's a fun, motivating tool.

    Pff, I doubt this will teach me anything. Especially with that third party DRM on top of Steam.

    Has no one learned the lesson from GFWL??? Do we really need 2+ Steam-like applications running side by side, just to increase resource consumption and the chances that something will fail spectacularly and we will lose progress???

    Seriously, why do we need UPlay to play Rocksmith 2014? Why not use Steamworks, since I had to activate my physical copy of Rocksmith on Steam inputting the serial key, as the one and only DRM this game needs???

    I'm not buying. I was tempted, but I'm not going through this hoop.

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