More Than A Feeling – My Rocksmith 60-Day Challenge

Aug 30, 2014

I have a very unsuccessful history with learning musical instruments.  I’ve tried my hand at piano, violin, flute (Jethro Tull did it, so shut up), and electric guitar.  Sure, I’ve owned/still own a harmonica, but I’m saving that for my inevitable stint in prison.  It goes without saying that I can play none of these instruments competently to this day.

But, on the night of August 14th in a theater in Kansas City with two of my friends from high school, I had a slightly religious experience.


38 years of awesome guitar playing… imagine the calluses!

My favorite band, Boston, came to the Starlight Theater in Kansas City and played one hell of a concert.  The thing that Boston is most known for, aside from their guitar-shaped spaceship theme, is “multiple lead and blended harmonies guitar work” or an awesome sound made possible with several guitars.  You really can’t have a conversation about Boston without mentioning the word “guitar”.

It wasn’t until the next day that I realized that I needed to unpack my old strat and amp and get to jamming.  The only problem is that I suck.  I don’t have the time or money for lessons and I don’t really have the patience for books and cds.  That’s when I decided to try Rocksmith 2014.

To fully understand what Rocksmith is, you can easily say that it is Guitar Hero with a real guitar.  Simple as that!  The program (indeed, while being a game, it is a self-proclaimed guitar-learning program) offers 50 or so songs spanning multiple genres that allow you to learn and play along as lead, rhythm, or bass guitar and scale to your ability.  As you progress it gives you baby-step goals such as increasing your note hit percentage.

Don't be fooled: it's much more difficult than Guitar Hero.

Don’t be fooled: it’s much more difficult than Guitar Hero.

But that’s not all!  Rocksmith 2014 also features several tutorial videos that allow you to learn new methods and put into practice what those videos teach.  Everything from how to hold the guitar to tapping is covered.  If you want to inject more “game” into your guitar-learning, they also have a “Guitarcade” mode that allows you to hone your guitar skills while playing mini games.

That’s the gist of it.

Rocksmith claims to be the quickest way to learn guitar and suggest that you take the 60-Day Challenge.  One hour a day with Guitarsmith for 60 days is purported to be sufficient for anyone with no prior guitar experience to be able to jam along with their friends.

Challenge accepted.

Beginning on Sunday, August 31st, I will begin Rocksmith 2014’s 60-Day Challenge.  It is my intention that every week I will provide you good people with an update detailing my experiences, thoughts, difficulties, and successes.  Some posts will be longer than others, undoubtedly, but I hope to have a short video of me playing along with it on each one (pray that technology cooperates).

If you’ve ever been interested in learning guitar and have the means to pick this up, I challenge you to join me on my 60-day journey!