Thursday, February 07, 2008


Even though I've hemmed and hawed about it for at least six months, I have yet to purchase either Guitar Hero or Rock Band. The primary reason being that I know if I do it's just going to make me feel guilty about neglecting the six real guitars I already own.

So I was thrilled today when I saw that a company called Game Tank announced a game called "Guitar Rising" Basically, if you ever playing Rock Band or Guitar hero and thought "This would be cooler if I could use a real guitar." than this game is for you.

The way it seems to work,from the video, is that you will have the familiar "piano roll" type of interface you get with guitar hero, except instead of just having you press a specific button it shows you which string and fret combination to hit. You will be plugging your guitar into the computer somehow (sound card? USB interface? MIDI interface?) and the game will let you know how accurate you are.

To me, this is more than a game, it's a powerful teaching tool. It's more effective than sitting in a practice room with a metronome, and easier than getting a whole band together to practice whenever you want (what do you mean sleep, I wanna jam!).

Some things that I think would be great in this game:

  • Amp modeling. Presumably you are going to have to plug your guitar into this thing somehow. Line 6 has already show that PC based amp and effect modeling is possible. It would be cool to be able to not only practice the songs by your favorite band, but to do it with the same "rig" that they are using.
  • Composition mode. Basically, a type of "musical notepad" that would allow you to "dictate" notes into a song WHILE showing you the piano roll of what you have played. A lot of players try to do this with tape, but lack the "ear" to be able to figure out what they played afterward.
  • I have a small mountain of sheet music I have collected over the years. A great feature would be the ability to somehow transcribe the sheet music into songs in the game. This would make practice much more rewarding!

Suffice to say, unless there is some HUGE barrier to this game (huge price tag, need to "mutilate" one of my guitars, requirement that you wear spandex while playing) I am TOTALLY getting this!


Jon Kruger said...

Wow, I just talking with a friend of mine about how something like this would be cool. So maybe someday you will be able to create a "virtual band", where you will be able to play along with other people over the internet in real time (e.g. you play the guitar at your house, I'm playing the bass at my house)! Then people could even get together with their "virtual band" on their Xbox, record a song, and publish it up on some website. I bet the RIAA would love that!

Justin Kohnen said...

I've shared the same thoughts:
"Guitar Hero seems so close to the real thing why don't they just make a game for the real thing. Then we all can learn to play guitar."

Video games are slowly going to become the teaching tools for physical activities.