Rocksmith strings

Rocksmith assigns a colour to each string, which is consistently used throughout the game. If you live in America you can get sets of actual guitar strings in the Rocksmith colours, which would be very useful for Rocksmith-beginners. It is disappointing that (so far as I am aware) the bundled guitar is not pre-strung with these.

As I mentioned previously the game can only detect what’s going on based on the signals it received from the guitar’s normal audio-out. Given this restriction it does a fairly good job of telling you what you are doing wrong in terms of playing the wrong string or fretting the wrong fret. If you make two simultaneous mistakes it can tend to give you poor advice.

Last week Mark visited us and took the opportunity to have a go at Rocksmith. He picked it up very quickly and annoyingly wasn’t a noticeably worse player at the beginning than I had been. He made a few mistakes, as all of us have, in fretting a different string to the string he was plucking; the game usually mis-detects this error and offers misleading advice on how to correct it. If you have a friend watching your hands and the screen, however, they can tell you very quickly what is going on.

We quickly found that the most readily understood way for me to tell Mark what his hands were doing to which string was to describe it in terms of the Rocksmith colours: not very surprising. The snob in me thinks this is somehow wrong, but the pragmatist says it’s a better system than anything snobbish. For example, if I refer to the “low E string” it is confusing because there are usually two E strings, one of which is sonically-speaking lower than the other and one of which is physically-speaking lower than the other. Depending on the track he is playing, the low E string may have been re-tuned to D, in which case it is not a low E in any sense any more. However, I can always unambiguously refer to the “red string” and be understood by a fellow Rocksmith player.

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