Rock Band, as you probably already know, is the ultimate GeekDad inter-generational bonding tool. Even though my kids are really embarassed when I do air kicks ("that doesn’t help, Dad"), they’ve let me join their band, which is kinda awesome. But I’ve now visited three friends’ homes with Rock Band and in each the complaint was the same: "We can’t get the microphone to work".
We had the same problem. Good news: it’s not the microphone. It’s the unbelievably crappy instructions, which don’t explain that you’ve got to connect a standard wireless (or wired) controller to press the A button and otherwise choose player options before the microphone will work. (Why doesn’t the mike just have a few buttons of its own so you don’t need this step?) Go online and you’ll see loads of people going to Yahoo answers to sort this out, sometimes getting the wrong answer.
Anyway, for the few of you out there who don’t already have Rock Band–save up, it’s worth it. And when you can’t get the microphone to work, remember that GeekDad is here to help. Here’s the link to the FAQ on the Harmonix site that says what the instructions should have said from the start.