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Rocksmith 2014

posted Jan 22, 2014, 5:53 PM by Christopher Ellison
When I was in high school and college, I used to play bass guitar.  I picked it up because I knew a few people that played guitar and I wanted to play along with them, but I also knew I wasn't going to be rocking any Van Halen riffs in a jam session.  I thought that bass might be a fun way to join in but play a supporting role.

The down side of playing bass, though, is that isn't not terribly fun to play solo, or at least it isn't when you're not amazing at it.  After college and moving away, I fell off of playing because I no longer had friends to play with.  Eventually the bass moved from the den to the office, then to the closet.

At the end of last year when I was writing my goals for 2014, I thought about that bass and about how much I miss playing.  I also thought about how little I could actually do by myself on bass.  Since various places were having end-of-year instrument sales, I picked up a cheapo guitar and Rocksmith 2014 and decided I was going to try to spend at least 90 hours this year learning.  

So far, I've only been playing for maybe 5 or 6 hours, but I have to admit that it seems to be working.  I can tell I've been making some improvements... though, granted, there was basically nowhere to go but up.  Still, I generally like how the game pushes you to stretch yourself.  I mostly hit the technique games and Learn a Song since I'm most definitely the beginneriest of beginners, but they both push up the difficulty as you start figuring things out.  If I have a complaint, it's that they maybe push a little too fast for me.  I'd be a little more comfortable if I could manually turn down the rate of difficulty bumps until I'm confident I've mastered what I was working on.  As a result, I've been working on things outside the game as well, practicing chords and riffs I know I'm having trouble with.  

I'm definitely directly in the target audience for this type of game - I'm highly motivated by points and todo lists, so the tracking and accountability of the game helps reinforce my practice sessions.  If that type of thing works for you, I'd recommend it.  Of course, I'm just learning for fun, so keep that caveat in mind.