New Rock Band Squier Gets Release Date

stratocaster_angle_imgAccording to this teaser page at Fender’s website, the new Squier electric guitar for Rock Band is now officially set for release on March 1, 2011 for $279.99.    There’s also a video demonstrating the gameplay.

I was interested to see that the guitar appears to have a standard MIDI port on the side, and will work as a MIDI controller outside the game.

It will be interesting to see how well this works for learning guitar, with the new Rock Band 3 “Pro” guitar mode.  They say:
“Use the Squier by Fender Stratocaster Guitar and Controller in conjunction with Rock Band™ 3’s Trainer Modes to learn scales, chords, skills, drills and more.”

Fun fun fun!

Rock Band 3 and Real Instruments

Just wanted to pass this along in case anyone missed the news from E3.

Rock Band has been an entertaining way to introduce my kids to playing music.  Cue my daughters singing Eye of the Tiger!!   But it’s a bit frustrating for me that the guitar controllers really don’t introduce the gamer to the skills needed to play real guitar.

rockband3-guitar That’s about to change in Rock Band 3 with a new Fender Squier "hybrid" guitar which can be used as a controller for the game.  It looks like a real guitar, plays like a real guitar and possibly actually is a real guitar- tuned strings, fretboard, pickup(s) and all.  There are corresponding new “Pro Guitar” tracks in the game which feature a sliding fretboard and all 6 strings.  There will also be a more toy-like Fender Mustang Pro guitar controller (pictured at right) which has 17 frets with 6 buttons each, and six little strings (presumably unpitched) to strum – it’s still a toy, but a big step up from the current guitar controllers which have 5 fret buttons and one strum switch.

Engadget has some great photos of both new Fender guitar controllers in action.

The new Rock Band will also feature a two-octave keyboard, and more realistic drums with cymbals.

rockband3-keyboard rockband3-drums

I’ll be curious to see how this turns out as an actual tool for learning.  I love the idea that Harmonix is tricking gamers into learning to play actual instruments.

Meanwhile, I’m giving my kids piano lessons the old-school way – with a book and a piano! 🙂