Guitar Hero and the great untalented

I’ve so far managed to avoid all the fuss surrounding Activision’s Guitar Hero video game that’s taking the world by storm. I’m not really a fan of video games and consoles such as Playstation 3 and XBox, and never have been, and I’d much rather use a computer for either searching on the web or making music. Could never see the excitement or the fun of things like computer games, and even when I had a Spectrum ZX81 when I was a teenager, I tried to learn how to PEEK and POKE it, rather than play games on it. Even had a Commodorer 64 and an Amiga, and used them for making music. However, I’ve suddenly seen the light and think that Guitar Hero 3 is just great. Paul (my stepson) got the demo on a PS3 magazine disc the other day and immediately took to it. Even though he had to use his Sixaxis controller, he loved it. The next morning, he wanted the real mccoy. Paul being Paul, with his impulsive nature (he’s got Autism) desperately wanted the full version, complete with the guitar.

Fast Forward to 9.30pm and a trip to the Trafford Centre,  we found what he was looking for, and traded in a few of his other games to get it. We got home, and Paul thought it was great. I spent ages afterwards just watching him getting hooked and thinking I could do that. I had my first go of it last night, and just wanted to stay on it. It’s a great thing for someone like me who tried to learn the guitar (a real one, with strings) years ago but never had the co-ordination or the ability to play a proper tune.  Now I can play the lead on Anarchy in the UK or Walk this Way without looking a fool if I get it wrong. Paul’s been trying to learn the guitar himself, but hasn’t got much idea of a what makes a good tune. Paul, being Paul tends to give up because of stuff like that. Now he has Guitar Hero, he can learn more about how a song is made and maybe get back to playing the real thing.

I used to think the same as John Mayer – via Rolling Stone magazine – that things like Guitar Hero are  “making it easy for untalented people to pretend they are good at playing the instrument”. just another excuse for people to sit at home and think they were become proper musicians. After seeing how Paul has taken an interest in it, I really think it’s a good thing.

My only wish now is that someone will come up with something like “Synth Hero” for eighties throwbacks like me!

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