Guitar Video Games – do they help?
I don’t know if they help your skills at playing guitar (especially Guitar Hero), but I do believe in the power of exposure. Younger kids who don’t get out much, learn about the Blues, Rock’n’Roll, Classic Rock and other music genres through these channels and I am all in support of it. Especially if there’s a chance to get some guitar playing improvement along the way.
All right, maybe the band you formed in high school wasn’t that successful. Maybe your dreams about becoming a rock star but ended up with being a white collared slave. Maybe… Well, you get the idea. Don’t worry; guitar games are here for you and your shattered dreams!
Playing a guitar video game is a unique experience, it turns you into a rock star, just like in your dreams, but this time in the comfort of your living room. Before kkguitar will proceed further; let’s answer the “what is a guitar game” question. Guitar games represent a special category in video games, which you play by using a controller shaped like a real guitar. (For example Guitar Hero games used to be packaged with a reproduction of Gibson SG model)
The controller/guitar has 5 colored buttons on its fingerboard. While the video game guitar tabs scroll from the screen, you get awarded points for correctly hitting notes, chords and sustains. If you don’t miss a beat – crowd goes wild. There are lots of guitar video games on the market, but nearly all of them are produced for consoles.
Reasons for this are obvious; you need to play on a bigger screen than the PC monitor and the special controller is suited for consoles, not the PC’s. A digital attempt to get as close to that stage feeling as you can and put you into that environment.
Although, there are titles such as Rockband and Rocksmith 2014, specially made for PC’s. Rocksmith 2014 is the advanced one, you even use a real guitar with it and the game is also an actual guitar learning experience. I mentioned RS14 a couple of times on Keen Kord Guitar before, being a fan of it. I don’t think that any of my favorite Blues guitar masters would ever agree with me but when my mind is heavy and my heart aches, I look for a place to rest my head and having both B.B. King and Howlin’ Wolf accurate tabs on Rocksmith makes my evening much more tolerable.
For some reason I am slightly shy of even having an article about guitar video games out of thoughts that someone like Buddy Guy might say “What the fuck is Rocksmith?”. Can’t wait for the developers to contact Damn Right Blues Band about having Skin Deep, Jungle and Baby Please added to RS. Anyway…
There are also some guitar games online, which you can play directly from your browser – just google “guitar hero games online” and you will find literally hundreds. But since these are played with your mouse, they are just mere imitations to put you in the mood.
Guitar Hero Franchise
Speaking of “Guitar Hero” games, let’s move on to the most successful guitar video game out there – in fact, the one that started them all. Go to their site and watch an awesome Guitar Hero: Live trailer with Lenny Kravitz and Green Goblin.
The first Guitar Hero game was developed by Harmonix and published by Red Octane in 2005, for the PlayStation 2. There were 30 popular rock songs in it, spanning five decades of rock – from the 1960’s up through 2005. The game became a surprise hit and sold literally millions, earning sales of more than 2 billion dollars. And like any successful game, it turned into a series, where we get a new title in each year.
Currently, list of Guitar Hero games looks like this:
- Guitar Hero (2005)
- Guitar Hero II (2006)
- Guitar Hero 3 Game: Legends of Rock (2007)
- Guitar Hero Smash Hits (2009)
- Guitar Hero 5 (2009)
- Guitar Hero: Aerosmith (2008)
- Guitar Hero Encore: Rocks the 80s (2007)
- Guitar Hero Live (2015)
- Guitar Hero: Metallica (2009)
- Guitar Hero: Van Halen (2009)
- Guitar Hero World Tour (2008)
- Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock (2010)
With more than 12 titles, this is the most up to date Guitar Hero games list. There are also mobile versions of the game too, but we skipped them. What is the best Guitar Hero game amongst them you ask? Well, all Guitar Hero games are quality titles, but most people think the first one is the best – just because it was unique and different than any other thing in that era.
We also have high hopes for Guitar Hero Live; it will be released in a matter of days and looks like it successfully captured the spirit of the first one… Kravitz and Goblin!
Rock Band Franchise
Another special thanks to Rock Band titles who allowed for those interested to play different instruments in Guitar Hero settings to take place. Bass, Drums, guitar and banjo-fiddle are the things that imitate instruments.
This, is a shout out of appreciation for the companies who keep the Blues alive via any means or channels. Ubisoft for adding Johhnny Winter recently and Harmonix for making kids learn who he might be. Play whatever your heart tells you to play as long as you don’t play with people’s feelings. Care for those instead. I’m off for some Kenny Wayne Shepherd – Blue on Black on RS14. Hope to get to listen to it live before I’m pushing up daisies.