Should you spend your free time practicing the guitar or playing video games? You can now do both! At least that is what some are saying about video games tailored towards music lovers and musicians.
- Guitar Hero. The classic guitar-centered video game. With a huge library of songs spread over various versions of the game, it is one of the best choices if you are browsing guitar games.
- Rock Band. Playing guitar games has rarely been more enjoyable than Rock Band. Get together with your friends, form a band, and play the game for hours. Like Guitar Hero, there have been several iterations of the game so your options for jumping into this franchise are extensive.
- RockSmith, unlike Guitar Hero and Rock Band, aims to be a game that teaches you how to play guitar. It is a fun game that also provides a more in-depth way of learning the guitar with precise and progressively harder songs to play.
- BandFuse: Rock Legends is one of the lesser-known rock rhythm guitar games. Playing guitar games like this with a real guitar can help solidify your skills and even inspire you to learn some new riffs and licks.
- GuitarGames.Net. An online attempt at making it easy to learn guitar and music theory. It is comparatively low budget and geared towards a simpler learning experience. It is a game that teaches you how to play guitar through ear training and music theory exercises.
- JamPlay. Learning guitar from games has never been easier but there are also ways to learn guitar online through proper lessons. Jamplay has served over half a million members with premium online lessons for beginners and pros.
- Guitar Tricks, a popular online site offering high-quality guitar lessons, that also has some useful fretboard guitar games for free. You can use this site to train your musical knowledge and finger techniques.
They are the perfect kind of learning guitar games that allow you to jam for hours in your living room with your friends.
There are also games like Rocksmith which eschews the gamey elements found in Guitar Hero and Rock Band and aims to teach you the guitar. Despite the many musical video games there is plenty of debate surrounding the idea that you can really learn guitar through video games.
You have probably heard of Guitar Hero before. It is an intensely popular musical video game. Since its inception and development in 2005 new versions have continued to be released on several consoles such as the Wii, Xbox 360, PS2, WiiU, Xbox One and PS4. It also has a substantial following online and is played throughout the world on PC.
Guitar Hero is a music rhythm game that can be played on various controllers that come in the form of plastic guitars and drums. Unlike Rocksmith, it is tailored towards gamers rather than aspiring musicians. The game is built around rhythm and is not focussed on teaching players guitar techniques and skills.
So what can you learn from Guitar Hero? If you are looking to learn guitar from video games, you may struggle to do so with Guitar Hero. The one thing it can teach you is rhythm. This may be especially valuable if you have had no musical training in the past. Some people have innate rhythm, and others have to learn by practicing. The Guitar Hero video game revolves around playing notes in time with the music.
The wide catalogue of songs that are available across all versions of the game is a good incentive to buy Guitar Hero. The chances are that some of your favourite songs will be on a version of Guitar Hero. While the game doesn’t strive to teach you the exact finger placement and technique, playing regularly will help. Over time you will internalize the rhythm of the catalogued songs. This can help you learn the songs on a real guitar.
Rock Band offers something similar to Guitar Hero with an added element of collaboration. The clue is in the name. Guitar Hero is centered on guitar melodies and riffs, whereas Rock Band offers a wider experience. Both encase their controllers in guitar shaped plastic but neither purports to be able to teach you to actually learn guitar.
Rock Band, like Guitar Hero, will help you with rhythm. It will also simulate the experience of playing with bandmates. Rock Band is a great game to play with your friends. If you have all the kit you can set up a full band in your living room in front of the TV and play all night. The huge catalog of songs offer a wide variety of musical gaming experiences.
You will struggle to learn complex melodies and strumming techniques with a Rock Band controller. But as with Guitar Hero, the game exposes you to a gigantic selection of music. If you play the game for a while you will naturally develop a sense of the guitars place in a band. You will also learn the rhythm and pitch of the guitar parts in some of your favourite songs.
Ultimately, there is a limit to what you can learn with Guitar Hero and Rock Band. The same cannot be said of Rocksmith.
A Game That Teaches You How to Play Guitar
Rocksmith is a video game released by Ubisoft that allows you to plug in your electric or semi-acoustic guitar and hone your skills. The game has been praised for being an incredible guitar learning tool that enables players to build up their guitar skills as they progress within the game. In this sense Rocksmith is a unique experience among video games. Unlike, Guitar Hero or Rock Band, the resounding purpose of the game is to help you become a better guitar player.
Rocksmith is geared toward gamers and prospective guitarists. The game provides the player with a linear journey through the career of a guitarist. As you play and improve your skills you unlock new game modes, songs and challenges. You are shown a virtual fretboard on the screen that indicates where and when you are supposed to be playing.
A core feature of the game involves acquiring Rocksmith guitar points by playing the songs accurately on the guitar. As you play through a catalogue of songs Rocksmith aims to teach you different techniques, chords and fingering styles. The game emphasizes the value of practicing on a real guitar. This is why it has been praised by many for pioneering the ability to learn guitar through video games.
“The idea behind Rocksmith is simple: to improve on Guitar Hero and Rock Band by plugging actual guitars into a gaming console.” When it comes to learning guitar games Rocksmith is one of the best.
BandFuse is one of the few guitar games that allows you to connect real instruments and learn through real-time performance feedback. When it was released in 2013 it largely flew under the radar because of the popularity of the other guitar games, Rock Band and Guitar Hero.
BandFuse: Rock Legends aims to do something a bit different. Whether you are a novice or an experienced guitarist, BandFuse hopes to teach you through a simple interface and some expert tips from professional musicians.
You can connect electric guitars and bass guitar and form a whole band in the multiplayer modes. The difficulty progression will help you steadily advance your skills until you are playing ripping solos and complicated riffs.
It is one of the best learning guitar games because it focuses on the fundamentals but also allows you to have fun. It provides a good blend of atmospheric rock songs and lets you develop your skills on your guitar.
Other Online Guitar Games
Guitar Hero, Rock Band and Rocksmith are the heavyweight hitters in the genre. If you don’t want to commit to purchasing these or if you don’t own a gaming console fear not! There are several cheaper and less involved guitar games that can help you learn guitar on computer.
This online collection of guitar games aims to teach you with a focus on practical and theoretical skills. It leans more heavily on education rather than providing a video game version of a jam session.
Playing guitar games can sometimes give you a false sense of security. After a few hours of Guitar Hero, you might begin to think you’re a rock legend. GuitarGames.Net is more realistic with its goals.
They propose that the secret to learning guitar is by focussing on ear training and music theory. This path might not be for everyone. But learning these skills will certainly give you a solid foundation of knowledge that will make playing guitar more rewarding.
The simple and colorful interface means that the games can be played by kids. However, there are also more advanced sections that will be useful for experienced guitarists too.
With all these online platforms playing guitar games have never been easier. There are guitar games for free and also a wide range of games that you can pay for that will provide a more in-depth learning experience.
If you have a computer or a smartphone then you can play some of these games hassle-free and without making a substantial investment. JamPlay offers several easy-to-play games that can help you improve your technical guitar skills. Games involving pitch recognition and fretboard memorization are a valuable resource for the budding guitarist.
Many of the exercises are low commitment so you can pick them up and play them anytime. They provide a hassle-free learning experience that can be tailored to your skill level. JamPlay shows how playing guitar games can be a valuable and rewarding part of your weekly practice routine.
Their whole online presence is geared towards providing the best possible learning experience towards teaching guitar. They boast world-class teachers, a breadth of resources, and a well-designed interface.
Similarly, GuitarTricks has a handy fretboard trainer that will help you remember how to navigate the fretboard on your guitar. The game provides some added motivation through by timing and comparing your answers to fellow users. A bit of competition is a great way of improving your skills.
Many of these online guitar games use simple interfaces and programs. This makes it easy for beginners and more advanced users to hone their skills without picking up a guitar. Fun guitar games online serve as a valuable supplement to actual practice.
Playing guitar games regularly will help you focus on the guitar all the time. For some people, this might be too much. But for others, this holistic approach to learning an instrument will ensure that practice sessions are purposeful and informed.
Limitations with Learning Guitar Through Video Games
There are certain limitations to learning guitar through video games. Other than Rocksmith many of these games don’t involve holding and playing a real guitar. When it comes to putting in hours of practice there is no alternative. A good amount of theory and listening can be down without the instrument but ultimately you need to be playing the guitar on a regular basis to get good.
Of course, most people look at these games as pure entertainment or competition. For most people they will not purchase Guitar Hero or Rock Band and expect to be a consummate guitarist the next day. Many of the games we mentioned are fun distractions. If you play Guitar Hero for hours on end your finger dexterity will improve. Unfortunately, this will not directly translate to increasing your real guitar fingering accuracy.
The limitations on your ability to learn guitar through video games is plain to see. Many of the guitar games we mentioned are designed to provide light relief. The stand-out game is RockSmith because to play you need a real guitar and you can develop real skills overtime. There is a limit to what you can do with a plastic guitar. If you are attempting to learn guitar through video games you should do so with a certain amount of caution.
Learning by Playing
There are several great video games like the many versions of Rock Band and Guitar Hero that can teach you certain guitar skills. Obviously, there are limitations to learning guitar through video games. If you really want to learn proper technique there is no alternative to the real thing.
Thankfully, some of these games like BandFuse will allow you to use real guitars to play them. This is one of the best ways to do hands-on practice in an enjoyable and rewarding way. Guitar games have never been more accommodating to the needs of novices and professionals alike.
You can do great things with these kinds of video games. There is a wide community that revolves around competitive video game guitar playing. This is a great way of introducing people to the guitar and new music. But ultimately, video games fall short when it comes to learning the guitar.
Many of these video games will provide a rocking experience but will make picking up a real guitar quite uncomfortable. There are things you can do on Guitar Hero that will seem impossible on your acoustic guitar. You will learn so much more about the guitar by simply spending a bit of time practicing with the real deal.
Even some online guitar games for free that focus on ear training and music theory will be more valuable than picking up a fake guitar and staring at a virtual fretboard. But if Guitar Hero or Rock Band makes you more enthusiastic about music and inspires you to pick up a real guitar then they may be worth it.
Have you improved your guitar skills by playing video games?
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