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Guitar Hero And Rock Band Vs. Real Electric Guitar

By Alan Austin

It’s not so much that Guitar Hero is kind of silly… In fact, it’s actually a very fun, well designed game with some great music in it, and that’s exactly why it’s so darned popular. But… The fact remains that the culture surrounding Guitar Hero can be a little, well… Ridiculous. When you see a kid get rich and famous for being able to pretend to play guitar on the Ellen show, when you hear of friends breaking up because someone wasn’t taking their Rock Band band seriously enough… It’s times like these that you feel a little silly being a gamer at all…

If you’ve never felt slightly embarrassed seeing fellow gamers taking themselves too seriously, then stop reading right now. On the other hand, if you watched that kid on Ellen and thought “Why not have a REAL 12 year old guitarist on the show?” then maybe it’s time you tried your hand at a real electric guitar.

The very first time you pick up the ol’ six string, the Axe, you’ll notice several differences from the Playstation plaything. Guitar Hero is really just a complicated game of Simon Says. It says “Hit the red button” you hit the red button and so on. No wiggle room. A real guitar is something else entirely: A tool, a weapon, an instrument, the key to the door of Rock and Roll.

It’s Actually Easier

If you play The Ramones on Guitar Hero, you’ll notice that the game has you moving your fingers up and down the fret to play the same note over and over again. Besides being kind of silly to have you move your hands just to play one note, this is actually much more difficult than playing a real Ramones song: Put your fingers on the top two strings and strum. Really, punk rock is easier than tying your shoes. Even more complex stuff, like say, All Along the Watchtower… You can start from scratch and learn how to play any song in a day’s time.

You’re More Free

With a real electric guitar, you’re free to play any song however you please. Just try doing that on Guitar Hero. Go ahead, try it. Try soloing, try experimenting the next time you pick the controller up, see if you can put your own spin on Hungry Like the Wolf. It can’t be done. With Guitar Hero, you either do exactly what they tell you, or you lose. With real guitar, you do whatever you want. That freedom can be scary for some beginning guitarists, but this is how the heart and soul comes through in music. You can’t put heart and soul into Guitar Hero.

Of course, there is a major similarity between the two, as well…

It Costs About the Same

The cost of the game, the controllers and the console vs. The cost of a guitar and an amp is pretty much an even equation. Heck if you shop around, you might spend less on the guitar and amp than you did on the game disc alone. So if the reason you don’t own a real guitar yet is because you don’t have the money: Stop making excuses.

If you REALLY want to rock, and we mean in real life, not in a video game, there’s really nothing stopping you. Next time a new edition of the game is put out, just take the money you saved up for it and get yourself the real deal and give it a try. If you’re worried that you won’t know what you’re doing, look up punk rock power chords and basic blues bars and you can start jamming as soon as you get the guitar home. From there you can learn slide guitar, you can pick up a fuzz pedal and so on, but for now, just grab a rig and start rocking.

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Article Citation
MLA Style Citation:
Austin, Alan "Guitar Hero And Rock Band Vs. Real Electric Guitar." Guitar Hero And Rock Band Vs. Real Electric Guitar. 10 Jul. 2010. 26 Sep 2014 <>.

APA Style Citation:
Austin, A (2010, July 10). Guitar Hero And Rock Band Vs. Real Electric Guitar. Retrieved September 26, 2014, from

Chicago Style Citation:
Austin, Alan "Guitar Hero And Rock Band Vs. Real Electric Guitar"

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