Music Games Drive Kids' Interest In Real Instruments

from the school-of-rock dept

A report from the UK says that 20 percent of the kids there that have played music video games like Guitar Hero and Rock Band have picked up real instruments because of the games. The author of the report says it shows that when music is presented to kids in new and compelling ways, it can get them interested in creating their own music. We'll note it's nice to see that kids getting excited by video games can have some positive effects and not only translate into violence, as one recent study said. It's also interesting to note that Gibson says it's getting a sales bump from the games, particularly for its iconic Les Paul guitar, after which one of the plastic axes in Guitar Hero is modeled. This is a little ironic, after Gibson wanted to extract some money from Activision by waving an unrelated patent in its face and trying to get the company to license it. This further illustrates to record companies how these games can add value to their content and serve to promote it, but sadly, you know that somehow that lesson will still be lost on the labels.


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  1.  
    identicon
    SteveD, Dec 8th, 2008 @ 6:32am

    The thing I love about Guitar Hero is it short-cuts a really frustrating learning curve.

    It can take months, even years of practising before someone is good enough to pick up an instrument and play along well to their favourite songs. With guitar hero it takes around five minutes.

    Unfortunately there's still a lot of snobbery around games like these; people who consider themselves 'real' musicians often dispute their worth (Nickelback even went as far as to call them the reason for the decline in the quality of modern rock, the irony apparently lost on them).

    But I'd think it fairly obvious that while playing a guitar-shaped controller is nothing like playing a real guitar, games like this can help you learn about rhythm, tempo and timing, skills that do transfer to real instruments. Its not a big step in reading the notes in Guitar Hero to reading actual guitar tablature.

     

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  2.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 8th, 2008 @ 7:01am

    Re:

    "Nickelback even went as far as to call them the reason for the decline in the quality of modern rock, the irony apparently lost on them"

    No joke. Talk about a low quality modern "rock" band. They play one song. Sure they can play it well and can change the lyrics, but ITS THE SAME SONG!

    Besides. Guitar Hero != Playing a Guitar. I know guitar players who are pretty good (1 is amazing) and pretty much all of them think playing Guitar Hero is harder than playing a guitar, at least once you know how to already.

     

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  3.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 8th, 2008 @ 7:38am

    Re: Re:

    "I know guitar players who are pretty good (1 is amazing) and pretty much all of them think playing Guitar Hero is harder than playing a guitar, at least once you know how to already."

    That's a ridiculous comment. It all depends on the difficulty of stuff you are doing and how long you have been working on each task. I'm sure many real guitar songs are harder to play than playing guitar hero on normal, and while playing the dragon force song on expert may seem nigh impossible, I challenge your guitar playing friends to play this:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RLHR8zaEsA8&feature=related

     

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  4.  
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    Chronno S. Trigger, Dec 8th, 2008 @ 7:45am

    Re: Re:

    A friend of mine said the same thing. He had been playing guitar for about 4 years before we started on Guitar Hero 2. He said that the only thing Guitar Hero would be good for is stamina and timing.

    Now Rock Band, If you can play the drums on that well, than you're really close to playing real drums. This is coming from the same guy who also has played drums for a few years. The singing part as well, it won't get you all the way there but it will get you close.

    For the record, I have a Behringer because of this game. I'm not that good at it but my arms have never gotten tired.

     

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  5.  
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    Greg, Dec 8th, 2008 @ 7:54am

    Absolutely true

    My son started playing guitar hero and got very excited about playing guitar and music in general. So much so that he asked for a real guitar for his birthday and I bought him a half-size acoustic. It's tough to keep kids interested in something as challenging as guitar, but the initial interest was definitely there.

     

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  6.  
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    Matt, Dec 8th, 2008 @ 8:43am

    Right on

    This is just my two cents...

    My older brother is a band instructor. He has been trying to find a way to get kids interested in music again and playing instruments. He said that since Guitar Hero and Rock Band have come out, he has had quite a few kids come in to learn to play the guitar, drums, etc.

    My brother actually has a TV and PS3 in his class room that has Guitar Hero and Rock Band. The school bought it for him since they saw that kids were interested in music again when they played this. Once a month, he invites non band members to come down to his classroom and see the instruments, play with them and enjoy a little Guitar Hero. It has been an overwhelming success! Over 20 new kids into band just this first semester, with more planning on joining.

    Anything that can be used to get someone interested (note how I didnt just say kids) in music is never a bad thing. Yes, guitar hero and rock band may not be teaching them how to actually play a real guitar, but it gets the interested. The game is meant to be fun, nothing else.

     

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  7.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 8th, 2008 @ 8:56am

    I was going to post something just for fun, but decided against it.

     

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  8.  
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    Twinrova, Dec 8th, 2008 @ 9:42am

    Good news. Now if only proceeds would go back to public education...

    ... so kids can take music in school.

    It's a damn shame many schools across the nation no longer have music classes just so kids can fall asleep in mandatory second languages.

     

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  9.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 8th, 2008 @ 9:59am

    I started on guitar hero myself a couple years back on the PS2.

    I've been playing bass for over a year now, and am in an actively gigging band.

    Who says video games cant encourage you to do something good?

    www.myspace.com/imaimpwns

     

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  10.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 8th, 2008 @ 10:32am

    Re: Re:

    "Besides. Guitar Hero != Playing a Guitar. I know guitar players who are pretty good (1 is amazing) and pretty much all of them think playing Guitar Hero is harder than playing a guitar, at least once you know how to already."

    This really depends on a lot of things... I personally have played guitar for a couple years, and coupled with having been hardcore at ddr/piu for like two years makes guitar hero really easy, except for some parts of the last section of gh3 and dreamtheater in rb.

    That said rock band is much more fun because it is much more of a social activity than gh, which seems to be more focused on just getting better individually. It sucks when you have a bad singer or drummer though...

     

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  11.  
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    josh, Dec 8th, 2008 @ 11:04am

    Re:

    Unfortunately there's still a lot of snobbery around games like these; people who consider themselves 'real' musicians often dispute their worth (Nickelback even went as far as to call them the reason for the decline in the quality of modern rock, the irony apparently lost on them).

    hehe...

     

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  12.  
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    Blaise Alleyne (profile), Dec 8th, 2008 @ 11:41am

    It's true at my house

    My brother (15) and his friends come over ever Friday night to our place to play Xbox. Sometimes Gears or Call of Duty, but almost always Rock Band or Guitar Hero.

    I have an old Fender Squire Strat that I don't use anymore, but I decided a few years back to leave in in the living room where all the family instruments are in case anyone else wanted to play it.

    Now, routinely on Friday nights, they'll set up Rock Band, and one or two of the guys who can play a bit will bring the squire strat in and play along with the tunes.

    Then, more and more, my brother (who's got great musical talent, but usually just gets bored) sits down on the piano or with a guitar during the week and starts to work out parts of the songs he's been playing on Rock Band.

     

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  13.  
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    Blaise Alleyne (profile), Dec 8th, 2008 @ 11:45am

    Re:

    Nickelback even went as far as to call them the reason for the decline in the quality of modern rock, the irony apparently lost on them.


    oh snap!

     

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  14.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 8th, 2008 @ 12:20pm

    "It can take months, even years of practising before someone is good enough to pick up an instrument and play along well to their favourite songs."

    Well, this is quite the exaggeration. If you are actually a player and it took you months or years to learn to bang away with 3 or 4 chord fully diatonic non-modulating rock 'n roll, you should ask your teacher for your money back, 'cause they obviously did a crappy job teaching you how to play, or you just didn't practice. If you're not a player, then you're just spreading more FUD about the difficulty of learning to play a guitar/bass/drums in the rock idiom.

    Now, if you're talking about playing tenor along with Coltrane, then yeah, you're not going to do that right out of the box, but R&R? Comon.

    "With guitar hero it takes around five minutes." to learn how to tap your fingers to the music like almost every human being already does.

    You get scored for keeping a beat and pressing buttons on cue. It has nothing to do with actually playing an instrument. It is what it is, please don't try to justify it, or make it more than it is.

     

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  15.  
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    Suz, Dec 8th, 2008 @ 3:15pm

    No joke

    With Rock Band, you get to one of the most compelling reasons to play an instrument: that rush of playing together and creating something. Sure, it's a shorthand way of doing it, but it's a way of demonstrating what the future rewards of playing an instrument will be. It's a lot harder to see that final payoff when you're a beginning instrument player.

     

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  16.  
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    tammy, Dec 8th, 2008 @ 11:57pm

    Free Myspace music

    So have you ever wanted to try to make your facebook page unique? It's pretty hard considering you can't change colours of your background or text. I decided to do some research and see if I could add some cool pictures or something to make my profile stand out,than I came across a site www.hypster.com that let you make a free account and add music players to your facebook page! not only that but you can change the colours to! so not only will your new facebook profile be playing one of your favourite songs but it will be your favourite colour or colours! please take a look! And if you don't have facebook, this site's codes also work for myspace, bebo, piczo etc. take a look at www.hypster.com

    Free Myspace music

     

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