I learned to play guitar with Rocksmith+

rsp-home-promo-get_started-bg – Credit: Ubisoft

try to learn an instrument from scratch can be daunting and painfully exhausting, especially if you worry about finding the right tutor and practicing daily. Whether it’s piano, guitar, or violin, you could spend weeks learning the first few notes, keys, or chords, never being able to play an actual song.

Lucky for you, there’s new guitar learning software in town, and it’ll get you playing songs right off the bat – no, seriously. We got our hands on Rocksmith+ from Ubisoft and spent two weeks trying to learn how to play bass. Here’s how it happened.

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What is Rocksmith+?

Following Rocksmith 2014, Rocksmith+ is a guitar learning service, designed for beginners and advanced players. The service costs $14.99/month and gives you access to a library full of songs, tutorials, and helpful tips. Rocksmith+ also plans to periodically add new lessons and songs, allowing you to try out new tracks or learn new skills.


Price: $14.99+

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Surprisingly easy setup, suitable for beginners

Currently, Rocksmith+ is only available for PC users (check system requirements here), so make sure your Microsoft desktop or laptop is ready to go before you begin. The service is compatible with all kinds of guitars, including acoustic and electric guitars, so you can choose what’s right for you. Finally, you will need to either download the Rocksmith+ Connect app on your smartphone or purchase a Real Tone cable to connect your new guitar to Rocksmith+. We suggest using cable for more accurate representation of notes and minimal delays.

Rocksmith Real Tone Cable

Price: $29.99

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Once you launch the app, you’ll be guided through a quick setup. This will include choosing your instrument, tuning it, and checking if Rocksmith+ can “hear” your guitar, either through the app or the cable. From there, you’ll be asked to choose your favorite songs from 16 genres, including pop, hip/hop, electronic, and jazz. Rocksmith+ organizes these chosen songs at the top of your homepage, allowing you to access them at any time. That’s it!

The whole setup took me around 15 minutes, although if you’re more advanced it might be even quicker for you. At each step of the tutorial, Rocksmith+ also offers quick one-minute videos – we suggest you don’t skip these if you’re a beginner.

Interface is slightly overwhelming but packed with useful features

Once setup is complete, you will be redirected to the Rocksmith+ homepage. On the homepage, you will see your list of favorite songs. You’ll also see your Skills Profile, which shows your accuracy in a myriad of techniques, including holds, hammers, and turns. Do the terms sound unfamiliar to you? Don’t worry, just tap on each technique in your skill profile to learn more.


Price: $14.99+

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The homepage also has quick links to tutorials, including how to properly hold your guitar and learn the basics of strumming. If you’re new to Rocksmith, there’s also a nifty “Get to Know Rocksmith+” section that walks you through what the stats at the end of each song mean and how to generally use and understand Rocksmith+.

There’s even a health and wellness session with a few videos on taking care of your posture and your fingertips while you play. Finally, Rocksmith+ Inbox has short videos of questions asked by fans and posted on Rocksmith+ social media.

Yes, that’s a lot of information, but Rocksmith+ has even more tabs at the top. You can switch to the “Learn” tab for lessons and exercises for your guitar. This includes basics like learning to play open strings to more advanced lessons including how to play certain styles of music including Texas Blues and Indie Folk. There aren’t many lessons in each section to choose from, so we strongly suggest trying a few before trying a more advanced song difficulty level.

Interested in Rocksmith+ music? Just check out the “Play” tab to learn more. The “Play” tab includes popular songs in your area as well as other fun playlists like “Bass Legends” or “Pick Up and Play” (songs suitable for beginners). The library is still being emptied with Rocksmith+ adding new songs over time, so if you don’t see your favorites there, don’t worry, the service will probably add them in a few months.

Playing songs right off the bat was my favorite part

So what does he actually look like on Rocksmith+? Well, the lessons are quite simple. I tried the basic beginner lessons which all started with a quick tutorial video, an opportunity for me to tune my guitar (you can skip this if you need to), and then a practice session where I I could toggle the playback speed of the song and if I wanted to go ‘note by note’ – this basically means the song will stop until you hit the right chord.

You can also jump directly into songs. Whether you play More than that by One Direction or Should I stay or should I go by The Clash, you will be able to choose your hard target and review the chord chart beforehand. We suggest enabling adaptive difficulty in the settings so that Rocksmith+ can automatically adjust song difficulty levels based on your learning pace.

Our Verdict: Rocksmith+ Makes Learning the Guitar Exciting and Easy

If you’ve ever struggled to learn to play the guitar or were worried that you weren’t learning fast enough with your tutor, Rocksmith+ is a great tool for you.

It goes at your own pace, letting you choose the lessons and songs you want to learn. It is particularly suitable for beginners, thanks to its multiple tutorials and its adaptive difficulty slider. At the same time, it’s also a fun tool for advanced players who just want to show off their skills or are trying to learn a new song.

While it may seem like Rocksmith+ doesn’t have *every* song under the sun, the service plans to add more music periodically. All in all, it’s an easy way to learn guitar, right from the comfort of your couch.


Price: $14.99+

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