I’ve been a Rock Band fan for a long time. The game was the reason I first bought a PS3 and our game shelf includes RB, RB2, Beatles RB and Lego RB. With 244 purchased DLC tracks and libraries that have been carried forward through various editions of the game, my RB song library is over 450 tracks. As an outlet for playing video games with my kids that’s engaging and non-violent (without being saccharin), I find it difficult to top. As a life-long music geek who was just too damned uncoordinated to play an instrument and so turned down the dark path of writing music and concert reviews instead (those who can’t play become critics…), Rock Band has been been a great way to virtually experience the stage without being in the wings, at least to a certain extent. Rock Band 3 finally brings the virtual music game experience full circle, fleshing out the instrument roster to include keyboards and introducing Pro modes for all instruments. Not only that, but even the days of the plastic, color button guitar may optionally be put behind you with the introduction of the Squier Stratocaster, a real six-string electric guitar that doubles as a RockBand 3 axe. With all of this new firepower available, I had to wonder: could my Rock Band skills transfer over to real life, allowing me to actually play an electric guitar? For realsies? What about my kids —will Rock Band 3 finally live up to the promise of a music video game becoming a true gateway to learning how to play a musical instrument?
Harmonix sent a kit with everything we needed to make the most of the Rock Band 3 experience, including that Squier Stratocaster. Read on to see how it went.