Guitar Games Inspire Kids to Try the Real Thing, Says Instructor

While some critics maintain that there is very little connection between playing a real guitar and tapping out note combos on Rock Band or Guitar Hero, a Pennsylvania music instructor would disagree.

The Johnstown Tribune-Democrat interviewed guitar teacher Bo Moore, who claims to have seen a 35% increase in new students over the last two years:

A lot of kids have been getting into [guitar lessons] because of games, especially ‘Guitar Hero. Kids who might never have become interested in learning to play the guitar are now coming to us… The game is a completely different concept from playing a real guitar, but it does help with dexterity in their fingers.

Kids are coming to me wanting to learn to play, which is wonderful… It’s nice that bands like Foghat, the Steve Miller Band and the Rolling Stones are cool again. Kids come here focused and with a game plan.

For guitar players, it’s all about songs like ‘Smoke on the Water’ and ‘Sweet Home Alabama…’ And what’s great about some of those power chords – the garage rock songs – is that they’re relatively easy to play. If that inspires a kid to pick up an instrument, I think it’s great.

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  1. chrisbg99 says:

    While I can’t say that I’m all that interested in playing an instrument after playing Guitar Hero, it did revive an interest in listening to music that I had long thought dead.

  2. janarius says:

    Anything enjoyable can generate interest to other things similar or related. So it’s not surprising to find people who liked Guitar Hero to try out the real thing. However, I don’t know if interest on real guitars sticks on long enough or just fades as quickly as it comes.

    It should be noted that it depends much on contexts (social, culturally, etc.), so FPS games (Halo) might generate different kind of interests, mainly fanfiction or map building. Whereas RPGs might see cosplayers and so on so forth.

    Incidentally, K-On! (music-themed anime) generated a lot of interest for guitars among otaku. ( (NSWF!)

    This just to show how media can have an influence on us…

  3. londinio says:

    potential rapists and killers that should be drafted by the US military so we can kill, rape, and pillage in the name of our country thanks to our extensive videogame training.

  4. axiomatic says:

    LOL you are right. I forgot where I was for a second…. yes, ban Guitar Hero and Rockband, they are rape simulators that teach you how to kill after all the rape! Can you not all feel my righteous indignation!

    (Thanks Saxy, good to remember what most people and media stooges think us gamers actually are…. potential killers and rapists.)




  5. Saxy says:

    These are all lies! Blasphemous, Scandalous, lies! This is s ridiculous! Even a monkey could tell it’s fake! There is not an ounce of truth in this entire article!

    Everybody know video games can only teach children bad things!

  6. hellfire7885 says:

    I’ve been wanting to get into the real thing myself thanks to these games. Sadly I haven’t been able to get my hands on an insturment.

  7. axiomatic says:

    The really sad thing however… once you get good at playing a real guitar, you’ll suck at Rockband/Guitar Hero. It happened for me, once you actually know how to play all the real notes in a song… you unconsciously really want to play them all. Not just the ones the game puts up notes for.


    My solution was to play on Hard or Extreme, only that way are you even close to playing all the actual notes.

  8. zel says:

    I think those are weapons, glock, right? ya… they’re guns!


    I am a signature virus, please copy and paste me into your signature to help me propagate.

  9. Ray Ayanami says:

    That kind of logic pisses me off. What if instead of GH/RB, we were discussing GTA instead?

    Would you find it any good that kids are committing real-life crimes instead of "going the video game route"?

  10. Vake Xeacons says:

    Instead of STICKING to the game route. It’s great they’re taking up the real thing, but the games are still for fun.

  11. Fedule mk II says:

    Without wanting to get too drawn into the endless Moon/Peart discussion, here’s one thing that’s reletively undisputed and more a point about Rock Band than about either drummer – Moon’s best drumming (well, to be more precice… Moon’s drumming) was improvised, done on the spur of the moment (and possibly helped by drugs… who knows?). Peart, on the other hand, is calculated, precise, and would rather show off technical skill than just bang the drums with a lot of passion. What it means is that Who songs are, awesome as they are, not exactly ideal Rock Band material, since you’re asking people to emulate, with precision, an improvised performance, and that just don’t sit well.

  12. Zero Beat says:

    This is why big-name bands are the ones smashing their instruments the most.  If you’re starting out, you have trouble affording rent, gas, and food, let alone a new guitar every few shows.


    "That’s not ironic. That’s justice."

  13. Austin_Lewis says:

    Exactly.  Do you think the Nuge shoots his Byrdland every few concerts and then buys a new one at full price?  Do you think he destroys his 4000-8000 dollar guitar so he can buy a new one?

    Not a chance.  Just like the Who, Hendrix, the Nuge, Flogging Molly, etc, chances are Rush has some sponsorship.

  14. DarkSaber says:

    " I’m not sure how much cash he has sunk into it,"

    Probably somewhere in the region of $0, thanks to sponsorship deals.


    I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

  15. Austin_Lewis says:

    Guitar games inspire kids to try the real thing…

    And promptly give up.  Let’s face it, if you want to play guitar, it takes hours of practice every week to be great at it.  Plus, you need to learn how to change strings, etc.  I’ve been playing for over 30 years, and I still learn something new every so often.

    Also, I just bought a Gibson Byrdland.  Badass guitar.

  16. nightwng2000 says:

    I, too, tried learning guitar when I was a kid.  Although I wasn’t bad, my instructor felt I should have learned the drums first to get a better feel for the beats.

    I ended up being more of a piano player, though that skill set is almost gone from non-use for more than two decades.  I do wish there was a piano game like guitar hero or rock band.


    NW2K Software

    Nightwng2000 has also updated his MySpace page: Nightwng2000 is now admin to the group "Parents For Education, Not Legislation" on MySpace as

  17. Defenestrator says:

    I got to see Rush in concert last summer.  Neil Peart’s drum kit is one of the sickest things I’ve ever seen up on a stage.  I’m not sure how much cash he has sunk into it, but it’s an impressive spectacle.

    (I was also amazed at how hard he hits the drums, as well.)

    Keith Moon is still the greatest ever, though.  (Big fan of The Who, so I might be biased.)

  18. Fedule mk II says:

    I have been inspired by Rock Band to learn the drums IRL. Also I discovered Rush, which may be related to the drumming thing.

  19. Defenestrator says:

    Nope, definitely two different skill sets.  But I really think it’s awesome that these games are inspiring kids to try the real thing.  I also think it’s rather awesome that they’re opening up some different music tastes with the kids who’ve never heard of bands like The Who, Jethro Tull or Skynyrd.

    I’ll also point out that older people like me have discovered some of the newer bands that are out there now, thanks to these games.  I’d never have given the Silversun Pickups or Lacuna Coil a chance if they hadn’t been included in Rock Band.

  20. Vake Xeacons says:

    I tried taking guitar lessons back in high school. I quickly gave up because the chords were damn near impossible for me, beginner chords at that. Then I started playing Guitar Hero. If you had told me at two months that I would ever progress beyond Easy, I would have laughed in your face.

    As of now, I’ve almost mastered Freebird on Expert. I mainly a singer, but I might actually try an actual guitar again, if I have the time.

  21. GoodRobotUs says:

    Good luck to ’em, I’ve played guitar for around 20 years, it’s nothing like a Guitar Game 😉

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