Vox

Rock Band, Guitar Hero enthusiasts should put talent into learning musical instrument

Every night that I go into work at Hastings, I walk into the music department, look around for a few minutes, and almost always notice some multi-untalented guy going to town on the Rock Band drum set or guitar, and I think to myself, “Man, this is really annoying.”

Games like Rock Band and Guitar Hero have taken the glory – in a way – from true talent. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy the games and find them to be a good way to kill time and enjoy a night with some friends. However, when people start going on about their “mad solo skills” because they can play the new downloadable Metallica CD on Guitar Hero, things get a bit irritating.

In light of the games, gamers are achieving a false sense of musicality, and also, for some reason, an inexplicable ability to flaunt it.

I’m sorry, but having a party and starting a videogame band called “Slayer 2, the Slain” does not mean you’re creative and musical talent is coursing through your veins. I don’t care if you can play “Raining Blood” on expert. If you can’t do it on the real thing, you can’t do it at all.

And so, I’m left to ask, when did video games become a substitute for real, genuine musical talent?

Instead of forking over almost $200 for the new Beatles Rock Band kit, why not put that money toward an actual guitar or drum kit and really do something with it? When did it become acceptable to consider busting out a solo on the X-Box 360 a “skill,” and why are these games replacing what should be a well-adapted hobby?

I know slamming those sticks down onto the plastic drum pads to Jimmy Eat World’s “The Middle” really shows some talent, but if you want to impress, do the real thing.

Or at least make the effort.

The satisfaction of being able to play the simplest song, even if not well, can be a near-triumphant feeling. Instead of being one of those who get three stars at the end of a song on Guitar Hero, be the person who can sit and play a song on an acoustic guitar without any trouble at all. I guarantee it will be time well-spent.

And you’ll probably score a date, as well.

Even at UCA, the opportunity for musical progression is everywhere around campus, leaving students with an inexcusable amount of chances to learn how to play an instrument. Right in the center of campus, there’s an entire music department full of students and teachers that are using their talents in the education system and are likely to help (or at least point in the right direction) any student that asks.

Check out the UCA Community School of Music, which offers semester-based non-credit group or private lessons for all kinds of instruments – it’s about as inexpensive for formal lessons as you can get.

Not to mention that YouTube has thousands upon thousands of instructional videos uploaded for those wanting to learn, play or improve on any instrument.

Hobbies are running short in our technologically-overshadowed world, and the numbers of those willing to put time into talent are falling short.

If you’ve enough rhythm to play a song well on Rock Band, you’ve enough to try an actual musical instrument. Admittedly, the games can serve as a good training exercise; however, they do not provide genuine talent.

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