November 28, 2007 4:00 AM PST

Is tomorrow's Clapton playing 'Guitar Hero'?

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November 7, 2007

(continued from previous page)

There are those, of course, who believe Guitar Hero signals a death knell for real guitars.

"It's going to kill music," said San Diego bass instructor David Hilton. "It seems to me that as long as (Guitar Hero fans) can get really, really good playing this console, (and) it's not really easy to play (a real) instrument," that the guitar is dead.

"When a kid gets filled with the fire of rock 'n' roll, they're going to practice four hours a day. Desire drives the guitar business."
--Dan Emery, owner, New York City Guitar School

But Hilton's fears may well be in the minority, and the enthusiasm of teachers like Emery and Skyler indicate that there's a real chance the ultimate result of millions of people getting hooked on games like Guitar Hero and now Rock Band will be a new love of rock 'n' roll.

Part of the equation, Skyler said, is that Guitar Hero teaches rhythm.

"In the game, you have four buttons," he said. "You have to get them in time, in sequence. So in a sense, even though (you're) not learning the specific strings, you are building rhythm in a musical context, which is valuable."

Not only that, but the wide variety of songs included in the various editions of Guitar Hero may be opening up kids' ears to music they haven't previously been familiar with.

"It's also interesting kids in great bands of the past that they might not have been exposed to," Skyler said. "So I think we'll see a resurgence of rock. Rock 'n' roll is about fantasy. If you can go and you're having a good time (and saying), 'Hey, I'm jamming with Slash,' that's great."

Even more important, suggested Emery, is that the guitar is a unique instrument when it comes to the way people connect with it.

"The thing that drives guitar playing is not the same thing that drives violin playing (or) piano playing," Emery said. "It is the desire to connect with the spirit of rock 'n' roll, and anything that builds the spirit of rock 'n' roll is going to build the spirit of guitar."

And that, of course, is good for those in the business of teaching the instrument.

"When a kid gets filled with the fire of rock 'n' roll, they're going to practice four hours a day," Emery said. "Desire drives the guitar business. So I view (Guitar Hero) as a totally good thing."

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48 comments

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Les Paul...what happened???
Very interesting. So, based on the article, Guitar-hero afficianados are fast becoming the next generation of "console-icians"?

I think it's a stretch. Watching youngun's play the game, it's the competition factor that drives them. Being good enough to do it right. The fact that it's oriented to rock music and shaped like a guitar is just entertainment value.

Personally, I hate to see the talent required to play guitar reduced to something that you "decide" to pursue after mastering a console game. The REAL players know it's something much much more than that.

To illustrate, spend some time with Steve Morse or Joe Satriani or Eric Johnson or Ty Tabor. They do so much more than simply play the instrument...Their creative prowess manifests itself thru the guitar. And they're not the only ones.

But...then again, how many drivers on the road today cut their teeth on Mario Kart?
Posted by Kings X Rocks! (89 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Les Paul...what happened???
Very interesting. So, based on the article, Guitar-hero afficianados are fast becoming the next generation of "console-icians"?

I think it's a stretch. Watching youngun's play the game, it's the competition factor that drives them. Being good enough to do it right. The fact that it's oriented to rock music and shaped like a guitar is just entertainment value.

Personally, I hate to see the talent required to play guitar reduced to something that you "decide" to pursue after mastering a console game. The REAL players know it's something much much more than that.

To illustrate, spend some time with Steve Morse or Joe Satriani or Eric Johnson or Ty Tabor. They do so much more than simply play the instrument...Their creative prowess manifests itself thru the guitar. And they're not the only ones.

But...then again, how many drivers on the road today cut their teeth on Mario Kart?
Posted by Kings X Rocks! (89 comments )
Reply Link Flag
seriously?
i know a lot of kids that are damn good at video games, but the majority don't possess any creativity... i'm sure there will be some kids that eventually learn to play a mean guitar, but can they write a song? Maybe this will spawn the largest growth in cover bands in known history
Posted by usualsuspect87 (35 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Well...
You have a point that theres a good chance that most of these new guitar players aren't going to be creative people. But if you have 1000 kids, 10 of whom will be creative... and you have 50 kids learning guitar, your chances of finding a genuinely good guitarist is a lot slimmer than if 1000 kids are learning guitar. It only takes one person (or group) to change the industry.
Posted by TheSpaceGoat (2 comments )
Link Flag
seriously?
i know a lot of kids that are damn good at video games, but the majority don't possess any creativity... i'm sure there will be some kids that eventually learn to play a mean guitar, but can they write a song? Maybe this will spawn the largest growth in cover bands in known history
Posted by usualsuspect87 (35 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Well...
You have a point that theres a good chance that most of these new guitar players aren't going to be creative people. But if you have 1000 kids, 10 of whom will be creative... and you have 50 kids learning guitar, your chances of finding a genuinely good guitarist is a lot slimmer than if 1000 kids are learning guitar. It only takes one person (or group) to change the industry.
Posted by TheSpaceGoat (2 comments )
Link Flag
the answer is NO
seriously...its just a video game
Posted by terminalblue (423 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Tell it to the DOD
They after all made a video game to entice people to sign up for the Army even though clicking a mouse and pulling a trigger are vastly different.
Posted by JadedGamer (207 comments )
Link Flag
the answer is NO
seriously...its just a video game
Posted by terminalblue (423 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Tell it to the DOD
They after all made a video game to entice people to sign up for the Army even though clicking a mouse and pulling a trigger are vastly different.
Posted by JadedGamer (207 comments )
Link Flag
The game re-kindled my passion!
Actually, the game DID inspire me to return to my guitar! I have an accoustic that I started playing back when I was 12. I got quite good at it, but after getting married and having kids, well, I hadn't played in at least 5 years!

My husband bought me Guitar Hero II in August, and re-kindled my love for the guitar. I started taking lessons again to learn finger-picking styles (I still remember how to read music and do chords), and now, for Christmas, I told my hubby I want an electric guitar.

The console has also helped me in playing my real guitar--I have the weakest pinky in the world, and while playing my guitar I tend to tuck it in toward my hand instead of using it on the strings. The game helps me to remember to USE my pinky and strengthen it. I'm getting better-at both the game and my guitar! It's finally starting to feel less "awkward" to keep my pinky out and "available" instead of tucking it away while I play.
Posted by immystique (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
The game re-kindled my passion!
Actually, the game DID inspire me to return to my guitar! I have an accoustic that I started playing back when I was 12. I got quite good at it, but after getting married and having kids, well, I hadn't played in at least 5 years!

My husband bought me Guitar Hero II in August, and re-kindled my love for the guitar. I started taking lessons again to learn finger-picking styles (I still remember how to read music and do chords), and now, for Christmas, I told my hubby I want an electric guitar.

The console has also helped me in playing my real guitar--I have the weakest pinky in the world, and while playing my guitar I tend to tuck it in toward my hand instead of using it on the strings. The game helps me to remember to USE my pinky and strengthen it. I'm getting better-at both the game and my guitar! It's finally starting to feel less "awkward" to keep my pinky out and "available" instead of tucking it away while I play.
Posted by immystique (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
A Musician's Comments
Anything that gets the younger amongst us interested in real music is to be commended. Purists have decried the advent of the electric guitar and electronic keyboards for decades, yet they don't go away. As a dedicated puveyor of original pieces for Piano, Organ, Guitars, Flutes and Instructor therein; we have nothing to fear from the new, but only our own lack of imagination.
Posted by dragon69R1 (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Bingo!
You hit the nail on the head! I can't believe how close minded some so called "musicians" are about Guitar Hero. My goodness, it is getting a whole new generation interested in the guitar. Many of these kids wouldn't have even given the guitar a second thought otherwise. I'm an adult and the game now has me interested in playing guitar too.
Posted by astdan (10 comments )
Link Flag
Another Musician's Comments
I agree that anything that gets kids interested in music is a good thing; it's sad that music has been removed from a large and growing number of school curriculums.
However, the article poses the question of whether this game will lead to the next Clapton, assumably this means a real virtuoso, a person who can not only play the thing, but actually create with it. I don't have a problem with the idea that the game might inspire such a player, but then again, the next Clapton might also right now be popping the heads off of Barbie dolls.
My point is, I don't think this game, or any game, can instill the skill and creativity needed to be the next Clapton, Jeff Beck, Johnny Graham, Hendrix or Ernie Isley, but I think it might turn a lot of folks on to the guitar who might not have become interested otherwise. How far they go depends on propensity (which no game can influence) and desire, which they will have to maintain through the bleeding-finger stage!
Posted by Toulinwoek (394 comments )
Link Flag
A Musician's Comments
Anything that gets the younger amongst us interested in real music is to be commended. Purists have decried the advent of the electric guitar and electronic keyboards for decades, yet they don't go away. As a dedicated puveyor of original pieces for Piano, Organ, Guitars, Flutes and Instructor therein; we have nothing to fear from the new, but only our own lack of imagination.
Posted by dragon69R1 (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Bingo!
You hit the nail on the head! I can't believe how close minded some so called "musicians" are about Guitar Hero. My goodness, it is getting a whole new generation interested in the guitar. Many of these kids wouldn't have even given the guitar a second thought otherwise. I'm an adult and the game now has me interested in playing guitar too.
Posted by astdan (10 comments )
Link Flag
Another Musician's Comments
I agree that anything that gets kids interested in music is a good thing; it's sad that music has been removed from a large and growing number of school curriculums.
However, the article poses the question of whether this game will lead to the next Clapton, assumably this means a real virtuoso, a person who can not only play the thing, but actually create with it. I don't have a problem with the idea that the game might inspire such a player, but then again, the next Clapton might also right now be popping the heads off of Barbie dolls.
My point is, I don't think this game, or any game, can instill the skill and creativity needed to be the next Clapton, Jeff Beck, Johnny Graham, Hendrix or Ernie Isley, but I think it might turn a lot of folks on to the guitar who might not have become interested otherwise. How far they go depends on propensity (which no game can influence) and desire, which they will have to maintain through the bleeding-finger stage!
Posted by Toulinwoek (394 comments )
Link Flag
Yes and no...
Being a long time guitar player I have made the following observations: 1) GH's rhythmic button pushing does not match the tunes very well, so it may actually be interfering with rhythmic "ear" development (it's more a "visual" thing). 2) Unlike the South Park show, my son's teenage friends think it's cool that I sit around and nail the songs on a real guitar. 3) My son tells me that following the notes on the screen is helping his sight reading for viola, and I can definitely see how that could be true.
Posted by A2 Joe (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Yes and no...
Being a long time guitar player I have made the following observations: 1) GH's rhythmic button pushing does not match the tunes very well, so it may actually be interfering with rhythmic "ear" development (it's more a "visual" thing). 2) Unlike the South Park show, my son's teenage friends think it's cool that I sit around and nail the songs on a real guitar. 3) My son tells me that following the notes on the screen is helping his sight reading for viola, and I can definitely see how that could be true.
Posted by A2 Joe (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Where is the software and hardware
That allows you to plug in a real guitar?

Guitar Hero is a toy, nothing more.
Posted by The_Decider (3097 comments )
Reply Link Flag
It is coming, my friend. You just wait and see.

I hope you'll have the integrity to admit your short-sightedness when it does...

Everything evolves over time. Rome wasn't built in a day.
Posted by rabidsquirrelOG (3 comments )
Link Flag
Where is the software and hardware
That allows you to plug in a real guitar?

Guitar Hero is a toy, nothing more.
Posted by The_Decider (3097 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Slow down
You're reading too much into the article. Take it easy there. No one is saying you turn into Petrucci or Satriani overnight because of a game. Get a grip. What is being said is that the game is raising awareness and interest in the guitar in ways that haven't been seen in the past. If out of that abundance of interest comes some talented people over time, then great.
Posted by astdan (10 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Slow down
You're reading too much into the article. Take it easy there. No one is saying you turn into Petrucci or Satriani overnight because of a game. Get a grip. What is being said is that the game is raising awareness and interest in the guitar in ways that haven't been seen in the past. If out of that abundance of interest comes some talented people over time, then great.
Posted by astdan (10 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Guitar Hero IS NOT giving guitar playing a bad rep
I love South Park and must admit I have not seen the Guitar Hero episode, but from what I?ve been hearing it completely relates to conversations between my boss and me regarding the game. His point put very short is we?re all learning to play fake air guitars and coming out with no real skill in the end. First and foremost I will agree that there are absolutely no real reusable skills that will apply to real guitars. His point is well received. However, he needs to learn that I?m not playing to learn a real guitar nor do I have any expectation that I?m going to be able to just pick up and play with rock star greats such as Meat Loaf and John Bon Jovi after I beat expert levels.

First off, the game is fun. I have little to worry about how I look playing it since I know others enjoy it too. I also want to point out that I have always realized that artists out there work night and day getting their music right before putting out an album. Think of it this way, you?re in your car listening to Woman by Wolf Mother on the radio. Sounds alright, yet you don?t think about the effort involved to actually make the guitar tracks sound as they do. Now play it on hard on Guitar Hero 2 and see for yourself. It?s a difficult song to play to especially when the solo comes up.

One last example I want to point out is what I thought of the movie Hackers and actual software development. Hackers was a great movie to watch. But let me be honest, virus? do not typically cry in agony that they?re getting defeated like the so called di Vinci virus in the movie. Nor do navigating folders and files get done in three dimensional skyscrapers. Oh yea, another thing, when you message someone in a chat room, usually those messaging programs do not support flaming fonts. Now that being said, do I say that the Hackers movie is totally crap and gives learning computers a bad name? No, absolutely not. Maybe it?s a bad example, but it?s one that I could at least relate with.

My point is simply this; if it?s something you don?t enjoy then don?t play it. It?s your loss. Let others have their fun. I know my family and I are having a great time with Guitar Hero and Rock Band. Rock on everyone!
Posted by tonysugantino (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Guitar Hero IS NOT giving guitar playing a bad rep
I love South Park and must admit I have not seen the Guitar Hero episode, but from what I?ve been hearing it completely relates to conversations between my boss and me regarding the game. His point put very short is we?re all learning to play fake air guitars and coming out with no real skill in the end. First and foremost I will agree that there are absolutely no real reusable skills that will apply to real guitars. His point is well received. However, he needs to learn that I?m not playing to learn a real guitar nor do I have any expectation that I?m going to be able to just pick up and play with rock star greats such as Meat Loaf and John Bon Jovi after I beat expert levels.

First off, the game is fun. I have little to worry about how I look playing it since I know others enjoy it too. I also want to point out that I have always realized that artists out there work night and day getting their music right before putting out an album. Think of it this way, you?re in your car listening to Woman by Wolf Mother on the radio. Sounds alright, yet you don?t think about the effort involved to actually make the guitar tracks sound as they do. Now play it on hard on Guitar Hero 2 and see for yourself. It?s a difficult song to play to especially when the solo comes up.

One last example I want to point out is what I thought of the movie Hackers and actual software development. Hackers was a great movie to watch. But let me be honest, virus? do not typically cry in agony that they?re getting defeated like the so called di Vinci virus in the movie. Nor do navigating folders and files get done in three dimensional skyscrapers. Oh yea, another thing, when you message someone in a chat room, usually those messaging programs do not support flaming fonts. Now that being said, do I say that the Hackers movie is totally crap and gives learning computers a bad name? No, absolutely not. Maybe it?s a bad example, but it?s one that I could at least relate with.

My point is simply this; if it?s something you don?t enjoy then don?t play it. It?s your loss. Let others have their fun. I know my family and I are having a great time with Guitar Hero and Rock Band. Rock on everyone!
Posted by tonysugantino (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Also A Real Guitarist
Games is games. Play 'em and have fun. But...

1. Bad rhythm outs fast. If the information received by the ear is out of sync to the fingers, bad habits result. They are VERY hard to undo later.

2. Good guitar techniques such as pivot fingering won't be learned and these are critical to playing even adequately particularly on an acoustic guitar.

3. Eye movement when sight reading is a critical skill but unless the fingering is right first, bad habits result and these are VERY hard to undo.

4. Ear training for tone production based on plectrum-hand technique takes practice. Bad habits are VERY hard to undo.

IOW, don't for a moment think Guitar Hero is a substitute for learning the real thing. If it increases desire, it will also increase frustration when the novice picks up an axe and endures real shredding of the fingertips and the months of soreness. The best inspiration for learning is a real player who plays real well.

That said, it is a game, it is fun, and it does expose their ears to good licks. OTOH, if they really want to learn good licks, download midis into a guitar editor such as Guitare Pro (cheap!) and either read the tab or the notation with the aid of a real instructor.

Do Have FUN! Otherwise, don't bother. Guitar heros have about the same rate of success as programmers when it comes to the social rewards, but they aren't usually paid as much, so as another picker said to me, "It became a job and when it comes to jobs, other jobs pay a lot better."
Posted by Len Bullard (454 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Very Well Said
I like the way you put it...especially about the bad habits. Anyone who is inspired to dream of actually playing a guitar from playing this game had better get a real guitar as soon as possible.

Experienced players make it look easy. As a bassist with over 30 years playing experience, I have had many a young person moan about how hard it was when they stopped watching me and started trying to learn it themselves. I tell them it's only that hard at the beginning, and that they gotta stick with it. Some do, most don't.

Playing a game like this, while it might inspire someone to want to learn, is not going to prepare them for the pain and sacrifice of developing enough skill to become the next "Clapton".
Posted by Toulinwoek (394 comments )
Link Flag
Also A Real Guitarist
Games is games. Play 'em and have fun. But...

1. Bad rhythm outs fast. If the information received by the ear is out of sync to the fingers, bad habits result. They are VERY hard to undo later.

2. Good guitar techniques such as pivot fingering won't be learned and these are critical to playing even adequately particularly on an acoustic guitar.

3. Eye movement when sight reading is a critical skill but unless the fingering is right first, bad habits result and these are VERY hard to undo.

4. Ear training for tone production based on plectrum-hand technique takes practice. Bad habits are VERY hard to undo.

IOW, don't for a moment think Guitar Hero is a substitute for learning the real thing. If it increases desire, it will also increase frustration when the novice picks up an axe and endures real shredding of the fingertips and the months of soreness. The best inspiration for learning is a real player who plays real well.

That said, it is a game, it is fun, and it does expose their ears to good licks. OTOH, if they really want to learn good licks, download midis into a guitar editor such as Guitare Pro (cheap!) and either read the tab or the notation with the aid of a real instructor.

Do Have FUN! Otherwise, don't bother. Guitar heros have about the same rate of success as programmers when it comes to the social rewards, but they aren't usually paid as much, so as another picker said to me, "It became a job and when it comes to jobs, other jobs pay a lot better."
Posted by Len Bullard (454 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Very Well Said
I like the way you put it...especially about the bad habits. Anyone who is inspired to dream of actually playing a guitar from playing this game had better get a real guitar as soon as possible.

Experienced players make it look easy. As a bassist with over 30 years playing experience, I have had many a young person moan about how hard it was when they stopped watching me and started trying to learn it themselves. I tell them it's only that hard at the beginning, and that they gotta stick with it. Some do, most don't.

Playing a game like this, while it might inspire someone to want to learn, is not going to prepare them for the pain and sacrifice of developing enough skill to become the next "Clapton".
Posted by Toulinwoek (394 comments )
Link Flag
true but...
"1) GH's rhythmic button pushing does not match the tunes very well, so it may actually be interfering with rhythmic "ear" development (it's more a "visual" thing)."

thats very true, on easy and medium...when you get to hard and expert the songs/button combinations become far more accurate (not to say its perfect)
Posted by TinyIoda (503 comments )
Reply Link Flag
true but...
"1) GH's rhythmic button pushing does not match the tunes very well, so it may actually be interfering with rhythmic "ear" development (it's more a "visual" thing)."

thats very true, on easy and medium...when you get to hard and expert the songs/button combinations become far more accurate (not to say its perfect)
Posted by TinyIoda (503 comments )
Reply Link Flag
A Newbie to Both
I'll come right out and say it. I'm a newbie trying to learn to play guitar. Mostly I've been goofing around with mine so far, and have not the chance to take lessons yet but am planning to in the coming months. I actually find that I enjoy playing GH, because it inspires me. Sure, it's just a game, but I like to thrown it on every so often when I am frustrated with my real guitar playing so that I can escape into the "Rock and Roll" fantasy. Guitar Hero pushes me forward in my desire to play the instrument for real. Plus, it is nice to be exposed to some new bands that I have not been familiar with before hand. Freeze Pop Forever!
Posted by 22mojom22 (40 comments )
Reply Link Flag
A Newbie to Both
I'll come right out and say it. I'm a newbie trying to learn to play guitar. Mostly I've been goofing around with mine so far, and have not the chance to take lessons yet but am planning to in the coming months. I actually find that I enjoy playing GH, because it inspires me. Sure, it's just a game, but I like to thrown it on every so often when I am frustrated with my real guitar playing so that I can escape into the "Rock and Roll" fantasy. Guitar Hero pushes me forward in my desire to play the instrument for real. Plus, it is nice to be exposed to some new bands that I have not been familiar with before hand. Freeze Pop Forever!
Posted by 22mojom22 (40 comments )
Reply Link Flag
J U M P to the head of the line
Fed up with the crappy vista offering, incremental h/w tecnologies and greedy hd oems, I was starting to get some of my children into the guitar this past spring.

This Christmas there are no technology/gaming presnts at all, for anyone. The youngest is getting a customized electric guitar package including a Digitech GNX3000 multieffects pedal workstation to tantilize his curiosity and creativity.

It will take time but considering the thousands of hours that might have been spent on gaming - a far better investment.

People are allowing the gaming industry to form their realities - like becoming an airguitar hero - lmao, and good luck with that :)
Posted by Dragon Forge (96 comments )
Reply Link Flag
 

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