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I've been using Rocksmith 2014 to help learn guitar and bass. So far it's been great for keeping me motivated to practice, and the riff repeater is excellent for learning difficult phrases. I'd like to know which elements of the game are most helpful for music instruction, and how to set up the various options to optimize learning.

Here's an example of the kind of advice I'm looking for: The riff repeater works well as a kind of “super metronome.” To learn a difficult phrase, set the riff repeater difficulty to 100%, tolerance to None or Low, and speed repeats to 3. Start the speed slow – as low as 15% for very difficult passages. The game will automatically increase the speed when you can play the phrase perfectly three times in a row, just like you would do with a metronome. If the speed gets too fast, or your playing is too tense, back off the speed until you are comfortable enough to play perfectly without tension.

Please mention if any of the game modes or guitar arcade games are especially helpful, and why.

Note: This earlier question is related, but it emphasizes what's missing from Rockmith, rather than how best to use it.

  • I would avoid getting too dependent on Rocksmith for practice. I decided to give it a go to see what it was all about (despite already being able to play almost all the stuff on there) and found that it was good for the simpler stuff but the more complex the chords, riffs and solos got, the more often Rocksmith would incorrectly accuse me of making mistakes - I am still yet to complete the palm muting tutorial for example. It is great for getting the motivation to start learning but it is important to be able to evaluate and improve your own performance without the aid of a game too. – Tim Hargreaves May 5 '14 at 19:28
  • @TimHargreaves I had a similar problem with the glissando tutorial in RS2014, although that case appears to be a bug in the game. Anyway, I've been working a lot on music theory, timing, scales, etc. outside of Rocksmith, but I'm still curious what I can do to get the most out of the game when I do play it. And in particular I'm curious whether there are any hidden gems in the game (e.g., in Guitarcade). – Bradd Szonye May 5 '14 at 20:45
  • I have tried both Rocksmith and Yousician. Although an advanced or high intermediate (|-) player, still use Yousician for warmups or in case I want to practice timing. – blusician Jan 24 '17 at 10:51
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I have still a long way to go regarding guitar playing but i have found in Rocksmith a valuable tool for learning.

There are a couple things you need to have in mind when using it:

  1. Make sure your guitar intonation is right, or Rocksmith will throw errors when you are near the 12th fret.
  2. When there are several notes on the same string and fret at a high speed, Rocksmith will recognize them even if you play it only once. Just have this in mind when practicing and make sure you are getting it right.
  3. Sometimes Rocksmith will miss your slides and bends, but if you calibrated correctly your guitar you won't have this issue much.
  4. There is a latency that you have probably experimented when trying to play in session mode or outside the songs. A way to overcome this is to use an external setup to play. If you are interested on this, check this guide.

Rocksmith is a great tool...for learning, improvisation and having fun in general. It has a couple issues but it is mostly a good option.

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I started rocksmith 2014 four days ago with zero knowledge of guitars. I've played 30 hours so far. My fingers are killing me lol.

I'd say the best tool in guitarcade is the "return to castle chordead." It is far better for learning chords than the other games. The reason I feel this is so is because it progresses you very slowly, there's lots of repetition, and it really helps you memorize the NAMES of the chords. Switching around from A5 to E5 to F1 and back to E5, E5 A5, F1, F1 E5, etc. all with the frantic desperation of fighting off zombies is exactly the idea behind learning theory. And it works. Also, unlike the "star chords" minigame, it introduces a chord one at a time, allows you to practice it for a bit, along with proper finger placement, before throwing it into the mix.

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I've been playing Rocksmith since it came out and have clocked in over 500 hours in it. It has never been my intention to play the guitar in any other way then to unwind after a long day. That said, there are a few suggestions I would make:

  • Inverse the strings. This may be hard if you've been playing for a while. But if you inverse the strings then you can more easily read tabulator notation outside of the game.
  • Make sure your guitar is setup properly. Since Rocksmith listens to the notes to determine if you've hit the right note there is nothing more frustrating then hitting the right note and it not tracking it because the tone is off a bit.
  • Set tolerance to none. You said this but I agree 100%. The game is designed to help you improve your guitar ability. If it's not being picky about the notes then you're only cheating yourself. The exception to this would be if you have a bad guitar that doesn't play well and you can't afford a better one or if you don't care how well you're actually playing but just want to play.
  • Play while standing up. From what I've read it's better for you. I've always stood because I move around too much to sit while I'm jamming out some semblance of a song. But after time my feet start to hurt. But when I looked into getting a stool I read that ergonomically it's just better to stand anyway.

If I had aspirations to play professionally or in front of anyone then I would invest in private lessons to make sure my technique isn't total crap. I would still use Rocksmith as a fun way to practice.

There is a lot around using effects and amps that Rocksmith handles for you. There are also the intricacies of working with a band that I don't think it can prepare you for. (Again, just my non-professional opinion)

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