Rocksmith 2014 - Back to Basics

I’ve been playing guitar for about fourteen or so years, and when I say ‘playing guitar’ what I mean is that the guitar sat in my room for years gathering dust, but for a little aimless noodling by yours truly. Because my practicing has been erratic and often unfocused I’m really nowhere near what level I should be at. Recently I’ve been trying to practice more, write more and just play more in general, but it’s still been pretty unfocused as a whole. I’d pick up and noodle for a while, or play the same songs I’ve been playing for the past few years. Which, as most guitar players will tell you, is when you’ve hit a deadend. 

To actually progress while learning something you get out of your muscle memory comfort zone and learn entirely new things. With guitar it could be new chord shapes, key patterns, techniques, or better yet: a completely new song, which can contain all the former things. I know I know, everyone wants to play their favourite songs. It’s usually why most of us picked up the instrument in the first place. However, it’s good to branch out into uncharted territory with a new band, or even a completely new genre. 

While Rocksmith may be marketed for beginners, I’m coming into it with a previous history with the instrument. I know my way around a fretboard, if you catch my drift. I can rock yeah, but I also want to roll. In other words I’m decent, but when I started playing Rocksmith I was immediately humbled with the realisation that I am one sloppy as hell guitar player. Even stuff I thought I could already play I was actually kinda bad at. I threw on some Green Day cuz a little punk rock will be easy to play accurately, right? Nope. It’s a hard pill to swallow, but this is why I bought this game in the first place. 

I plan to write a followup article in a month or so to show my progress in the game and how much it’s helping my guitar playing in the long run. So far with thirteen hours played it seems to be working. And if you want to listen to my band’s music which contains a load of guitar playing by yours truly, you can check us out right here. I plan to record new music very soon to showcase if Rocksmith has improved my playing.

- Aaron Mullan