Can Any Guitar Work With Rocksmith?

4Rocksmith is Ubisoft’s answer to Guitar Hero, except in this game you get to actually play a real guitar. This has been an invaluable tool for learning to actually play the instrument for many. It provides the best of both worlds when it comes to visual and hands-on instruction. You can follow along with the songs on screen as a virtual fret board of sorts shows you exactly where you need to place your fingers to play the right notes. Even experienced guitarists have found the game useful in helping keep their chops up.

Of course, the whole point of Rocksmith is that you plug in a real guitar through a special USB cable. It begs the question: does any guitar work with Rocksmith?

If you have any standard electric guitar, it’s going to work with Rocksmith. The cable takes the signal from the guitar pickup and transfers it so that the game will know which note you’re playing. It will work better if you don’t have a complicated bridge system like a Floyd Rose tremolo however, just for the sake of making sure the guitar is properly tuned. It’s best to use an electric tuner before you play so that you can make sure all of your notes are registering accurately within the game.

What if you have an acoustic electric hybrid? The style of pickups is what matters most in this case. Make sure you use steel strings and that your pickup is a standard magnetic style. Acoustic electrics with pre-amps also work well. The only downside is that a lot of acoustic electrics are still a lot harder to play than standard electric guitars, and the limited fretboard access will hinder you on a lot of the Rocksmith songs. Many of them require you to be easily able to play notes on the 20th or even 22nd frets, and there are few acoustic guitars – electric or otherwise – that accommodate that adequately.

So, as long as you have a standard electric guitar, you should be able to use it with Rocksmith without a problem. It’s worth noting that the Rocksmith cable will also allow you an easy way to transfer your playing into a MIDI signal, meaning you can easily plug into your computer and have a new way to perform songs within your favorite Digital Audio Workstation program.

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Does Boiling Guitar Strings Really Do Anything?

3Boiling guitar strings is something that a lot of guitarists swear by. They say that it makes the strings expand, releasing oil and dirt from them so that instead of sounding flat and dead they sound just like new.

Is it true that boiling guitar strings give them a new lease of life? Well, sort of. Boiling your strings will make them sound better than they did before, and it will help them stretch a bit so that they have better tone and more tension.

If you boil your strings, then they will sound sharper, crispier and have a better spring and tone to them. Some oil and dirt will come out, but they won’t end up ‘like new’ not by a long stretch of the imagination.

It’s a good idea to use filtered water, rather than just tap water, because there are a lot of minerals in tap water, and they can actually damage the strings.

Only boil the strings for about 5 minutes for standard guitars, and 10-15 minutes for bass guitar strings. If you boil them for any longer than this, the strings will get weakened and could snap.

Boiling guitar strings is a little risky, and it’s probably not worth doing if you have relatively cheap strings; just replace them so they don’t break at an inopportune moment. Even expensive strings should only be boiled once or twice at most. Boil them any more than that and they are highly likely to break. Really, boiling strings is something that people do to revive old strings if they can’t get new ones, rather than something that you should do on a regular basis. New strings sound better, and they are far less likely to give out on you in the middle of a performance.

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