30 Days of Rocksmith: Day 1 -- Guitar Anti-Hero

by: Randy -
More On: Rocksmith 2014

[I'm doing 30 Days of Rocksmith and seeing how far that gets me.]

I grew up in the band. Marching band. Playing alto saxophone. Kenny G was my musical hero. So, if you can picture a 5'6" kid wearing aviator-sized eyeglasses in a yellow-and-brown polyester uniform with white rubberized shoe covers marching on a high school football field, humming "Forever in Love" in the freshman hall all day, then you have an idea of what we're working with here. I am not a rockstar. I am not a guitar hero. 

But I will be. Or, at least more of a guitar hero than that former Kenny G-lovin' heartbreaker might lead you to believe. I'm doing 30 days of Rocksmith. I'm journaling my progress. And, if you think holding down "first chair" in a line of acne-ridden sax players somehow gives me a leg up on someone starting an instrument for the first time ever, let me assure you: it doesn't help. Saxophone and guitar have literally nothing in common. Nothing that I can detect, anyway. So what you'll be reading for the next 30 days here on Gaming Nexus isn't someone learning to ride a bike again. This is, musically, a whole new mode of transportation. So, if I can maybe do it, you can maybe do it.

My only piece of advice, so far, is that you need to be motivated. That's a lesson I can take from my younger days. You can't learn an instrument if you're just going to be a weekend warrior about it. Especially early on, it's got to be a daily thing (or at least as close to daily as you can get). 

After plugging into Rocksmith, tuning the guitar took a few minutes, but Rocksmith walked me through it, patiently, with a super-nice-guy tutor. He's very patient. Has a soothing voice. Encouraging without sounding like a cheerleader. Asks me to do something again, again, very patiently, if something's not quite right.

Each string, then, was tuned. And I navigated to the Lessons. Learn a Song looks tempting, right on top of the menu like that, but I had no idea what I was doing yet, so: Lessons. 

I have no idea why more lesson teachers don't start off the way Rocksmith does. There are five strings on a guitar [Edit: Six. There are six strings on a guitar. See? Told you I'm a newbie] but it had me playing only one. Just the top string, the E string. It's the lowest note on the guitar, so it has presence, and it the first one you touch when strumming down. Up and down a few frets along the neck of the guitar, and I was doing it. I was rocksmithing. The notes streamed toward me slowly on the screen, and I was doing it. 

[Stay tuned (har har) for more 30 days of Rocksmith. Next.]