Played it til our fingers bled…

I never really understood the Bryan Adams song, Summer of ’69 where he talks about playing his guitar until his fingers bled. I mean, first of all, how? And secondly, why? I just never understood what it meant to play a guitar I guess. Fast forward to this week. I have long wanted to tinker with playing bass guitar. I don’t know why but I just like the sound of bass. They say a lead guitar gets the girls but a bass guitar gets the gigs. I don’t really want either but I think I would prefer gigs over girls since I sort of like the girl I have. So, by dumb luck (the best kind of luck), I discovered Rocksmith 2014, a “game” that works on all of the various gaming consoles. I happened to have a little extra money that I had been saving up so I hooked dumb luck together with extra money and bought a new bass guitar and Rocksmith 2014 for the XBox!

Fender Jazz Bass
Fender Jazz Bass

We hooked it all up the other night and started playing. You see, the game comes with a cable that allows players to hook a real guitars (bass or 6-string)  into the system so a real guitar becomes the game controller.

Playing Rocksmith 2014 on new bass
The game screen

It’s pretty cool how game-play merges with guitar-play. Basically the player sees notes coming down the screen and has to adjust fingerings and hit the string at the right time. The system picks it up and measures tone, accuracy, timing, etc and adjusts the notes to the player’s accuracy.  There are a number of different songs that span the 80s through today.  It doesn’t teach players to read music but it does build experience with playing notes on a real guitar and teaches a form of tab playing for guitar (check out this guy playing).

Playing Rocksmith 2014 on new bass
Get outta my way Dad!

So, Isaac, Abigail and I played for a few hours the other night and had a lot of fun.  I kid you not, though…my fingers are still numb!  I stopped before my fingers bled (I am sharp that way) but now I definitely get that there is a painful part of playing guitar that I hope will be overcome with callouses and experience.  I don’t know if I will ever amount to much as a rock star, but I am sure enjoying the chance to play now and the kids and I get a lot of time to goof around together!  With my playing, it is more likely that our ears will bleed than our fingers!

6 thoughts on “Played it til our fingers bled…

  1. As soon as I saw the title of the post, that song was instantly an earwig. Could have had worse songs stuck in my head for sure.

    I’ve always wanted to play the guitar and fresh out of college I bought one. I looked around and found an instructor to give me lessons and he lost his day job and quit teaching after my third lesson. For some reason, it has since sat in the case gathering dust. I guess I just didn’t really enjoy the whole instructor/student relationship to go look for another one. But now that you have written this post, it has sparked my imagination and I’m willing to bet that somewhere out there you can find a computer/DVD/video game where they teach you how to play the guitar on your own. I just may have to dig out that guitar again.

  2. We played a bunch more last night and it wasn’t too bad. I really like the program. It does make it fun and I can sort of play it ok. I usually suck at games but the controller on this one makes sense to me so I am good 😉

  3. Hey Warren,

    Long-time since I’ve been on your blog. This post was great. I’m going to purchase this for the kids and myself.

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