Singing The “Rock Band Guitar’s Broken” Blues

Geek Culture


Chris isn’t the only GeekDad whose kids allow him to rock out with them now and then via Rock Band.  My trio also let me take to the big stage on occasion, although as PS3 players, we’ve been stuck for months with the single guitar that came with the Special Edition set.  Now that  Harmonix has finally released a standalone guitar, maybe I can gain full-time status as a bass player instead of a roadie.

Unfortunately, as I was displaying my mastery of the whammy bar on Boston’s “More Than a Feeling” last night, the whammy bar decided to show its mastery of me.  It broke.  Apparently this happens pretty frequently, at least according to the Internets.  But to their credit, Harmonix appears to be standing behind their product and having a replacement guitar ordered up was a breeze (other than the annoyance of a two week delay cited for shipping replacements to the Great White North- I know sled dogs can be slow, but really, we have spring flowers out now, it hasn’t snowed in weeks).

Since this is Geekdad, of course you know what had to come next.  It’s nowhere near as adventurous as the guy who hacked the Wii Guitar Hero controller, as reported by Z, but it’s a start.

A broken controller is aggravating on one hand, but a learning opportunity on the other.  For the sake of not having my credit card charged for attempting to return an obviously abused item, I wouldn’t let the kids take it apart themselves, but there was some interest in seeing what makes the guitar tick.  I lost track of how many screws had to come out- 12 or 14 sounds about right, but at least it wasn’t glued together.  You can see the remains of the rather tiny and fragile spring that snapped in the close-up.  I’ve found a few sites that offer instructions on how to repair this yourself, but I’m a little short on wee elastics, so until that replacement arrives we’re going to be playing distortion-free.  Or maybe I’ll break down and buy that standalone guitar and this one can become the temporary bass.


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