So, you know how I’m always talking about wanting to learn an instrument, but never actually doing it? Well, my most recent instrumental acquisition is a beautiful electric guitar I purchased brand new for $130 off ebay last week. Now, that might sound like a foolish thing to do when I have three other string instruments that I still can’t play (violin, acoustic guitar and ukulele, for the record), but there was method to my madness, I assure you.
See, I like to learn things on my own. I’ve never taken music lessons, and in any case, I don’t have the time for them these days anyway. But the problem with teaching myself how to play an instrument is that, in addition to having no time, I am far too easily frustrated. It annoys me that I don’t know how to do everything straight away, and so I usually give up in some kind of “I suck at everything” rage, and don’t touch my instruments for the next month. I’ve tried from time to time, fiddling about with the strings and playing the same two chords I manage to remember over and over. Suffice to say, it’s not the quickest or the easiest way to learn.
Now, about the electric guitar. A couple of years ago, my best friend told me about this game for PS3 called Rocksmith, which is supposedly the ‘fastest way to learn guitar”. Ever since he first told me about it, the idea was in the back of my head to buy it. It’s a video game, so in the same way you develop a muscle memory when you play traditional games, you do so with Rocksmith. Only instead of using a console controller, you use your guitar. So earlier this year, I finally managed to get my hands on a copy of Rocksmith. My excitement at having purchased the game quickly turned to dismay when I realised that my acoustic wasn’t compatible with the game. It was too quiet, and the game couldn’t pick up the notes I was playing even though to get past the calibration stage. Alas, the game was put away. Until this week.
Ever since coming to the realisation that I couldn’t play the game with my acoustic, I have had the notion to purchase an electric guitar. So last week, on a whim, I decided to have a look on ebay and…well, you know how the rest of the story goes. I started playing Rocksmith a couple of days ago, and already I feel like I’ve learned more in the last two days than I have in the last two years of owning a guitar and trying to teach myself. And I haven’t even started the proper game yet! I’ve been making my way through the lessons, so I now know how to play three chords (which is a big step up from the two I’ve been playing for years), as well as a couple of other guitar techniques I never even knew the names of.
I will give a proper review of the game once I’ve played it a bit more and have managed to develop some music talent as a result, but in the meantime, I can say that now I am one step closer to my goal of being a singer who can actually play an instrument. So if my writing career doesn’t take off, maybe you’ll find me rocking out in some world famous band or something.