Published Dec 17, 2013Being a complete n00b on the guitar, on Day One I didn't even know how I should be holding the pick. I had some vague memory of my friend Sam telling me to hold down the strings close to the fret bar. Is it even called a fret bar or just a fret? Anyway...
Feeling overwhelmed by the enormity of the task ahead, I decided the best way to get into this was to have fun trying to play a song and come back to technique and lessons later. Looking through the default song library I saw quite a few favourites that I was dying to try, including Nirvana's "Heart Shaped Box" and "Losing My Religion" by R.E.M, but I decided to start with a guilty pleasure from my teenage years: Def Leppard.
I chose Lead — you can play Rocksmith 2014 as a Lead guitarist, Rhythm guitarist or Bassist — but picking lead guitar to play '80s hair metal, famous for its unnecessary guitar twiddling, might not have been the right place to start: I got 50% accuracy and 3.1% overall score. A little discouraged, I decided to choose something a little riffier and switched to the Kinks' classic "You Really Got Me" and fared a lot better: 7% on the first try and 86% accuracy. By the end of that hour, I was up to 10.2% overall.
"My Generation" by the Who was similarly satisfying, although the guy loaning me the guitar did warn me "No Pete Townshend moves" so I decided not to smash the guitar into the amp during the final chords of the song (I also didn't have an amp).
After a couple of days I realized I was repeatedly missing chords that I thought I was hitting. My timing was okay — I've played drums in the past, after all — but I must have been hitting the strings incorrectly, so I looked up a couple of the Lessons, which helped quite a bit.
By the third day the tips of my fingers were numb, by the fourth day I woke up dreaming about playing guitar and by the end of the first week, although I was still put off by my low scores, I found myself feeling comfortable enough to occasionally play some notes without looking at the fretboard.