As a huge Prince fan, I’m amazed that my laziness and impatience have kept me away from learning how to play the guitar. So when I saw Rocksmith released a couple of years ago, I thought, “Finally, someone is using video games to TEACH!” As I played around with the software for a while, I quietly lost interest so that my air guitar skills could stay in full swing with Rock Band. Of course, the hard thing with that angle is that you can’t convince your wife and family that a gold star effort in Rock Band means much of anything!

In steps Rocksmith with their revolutionary software that helps you to play songs without guitar tabulature. They cue the notes on the screen using a system that shows the strings and identifies areas of the guitar’s neck to signify what to play. Icons for all of the different ‘guitar tricks’ like chords, vibrato, hammer-ons, and slides all are cleverly depicted to give you the technique to play actual songs. Amazing is an understatement for how great the concept of this game is.

Now Rocksmith 2014 is out and while the core concept is the same, the execution of it is completely overhauled. With improvements like less ‘unlocking’, less loading, and dynamic difficulty, Ubisoft restructured the game to speed things up and enhance the ‘fun’ aspect of the game.

Rocksmith menu


New Modes:
Riff Repeater – If there is a specific section of a song that you wish to learn and get better at, activating this simple mode will allow you to repeat it at varying speeds, skill levels, and more to finally nail that hard part of the song.

Learn A Song – No more unlocking and playing through a progression. With 50 songs on disc and hundreds as DLC, Rocksmith lets you pick your favs and jump right in.

Master Mode – As you get better at playing songs, the game will eventually fade out the notes in the parts that you play well encouraging you to memorize. If you mess up, the notes reappear.

Session Mode – play with a virtual band that dynamically takes your lead. Here you can learn to improvise and practice playing with a group.

Missions – compete with friends to learn new skills


Of course, Ubisoft kept aspects of the game that attracted students in the first place to the revolutionary series. Guitarcade is an interesting way to learn techniques while playing actual games. This inventive way to shake things up is a lot more fun that sitting around staring at tabulature as you repeat a technique.

Also, the tuner in you can be unleashed as Rocksmith 2014 expands the amount of custom amps and pedals allowing you to change the sound of your axe on the fly to find that unique sound.

Sound interesting? It does to me! While it is going to take a while for me to dig into this game and provide a valuable review, in the meantime you can go and check out whether this option to guitar lessons is for you. Check out the trailer and the Youtube Channel to learn and see more!

Rocksmith 2014