Published Feb 07, 2014Having never played guitar before, I was quite daunted at the start of my Rocksmith 2014 60 Day Challenge. On my first day I was amazed at how badly I was doing. Even when strumming an open chord I seemed to be missing the notes, but thankfully it only took a couple of days to figure out that it was because I was holding the guitar and the pick improperly. In Rocksmith® 2014 Edition you can choose several paths — lead, rhythm or bass guitar – and having had some experience drumming in the past, I decided to go with Rhythm mode, in which I had fun learning a bunch of favourites by Def Leppard, the Kinks and R.E.M. I played a variety of tracks and I got some decent scores playing "Pour Some Sugar On Me" by Def Leppard and "Thunder Kiss '65" by White Zombie. Ironically, however, the two songs I made the most progress with turned out to be one song I didn't know very well but really enjoyed playing — Minus The Bear's "Cold Company" — and probably the most difficult song in the Rocksmith® 2014 Edition library: "War Ensemble" by the mighty Slayer.
After a couple of weeks of playing mostly just these two tracks, with brief diversions into other tracks such as the Ramones' "Blitzkrieg Bop" and the various lessons and Guitarcade games that come with Rocksmith® 2014 Edition, I was just over 60% on both. Perhaps if I had stuck with one song throughout the whole 60 days I could have found a track that I could reach 100% on, but I wanted to get a broad experience of playing different kinds of music rather than a deep yet narrow experience of just familiarising myself with one track.
I don't know that Slayer will be calling me up anytime soon to join the band as their rhythm guitarist, but I've definitely demystified playing guitar for myself and had a lot of fun trying. Also, next time I jam with my friends and we swap instruments, as we often do, I'll be able to come up with something that doesn't have the guitarist frowning in disbelief and rushing to get his axe back!