Using Rocksmith+ to Learn Guitar

I have been using Rocksmith+ for the last few months to teach myself how to play Guitar. I thought it might be a good idea to write my practice down somewhere where it might be helpful to somebody else and I can point to when beginner questions come up.

I have been using Rocksmith+ for the last few months to teach myself how to play Guitar. I thought it might be a good idea to write my practice down somewhere where it might be helpful to somebody else and I can point to when beginner questions come up.

I'll start by saying I keep a simple journal of my progress in the form of a google spreadsheet. I create one tab a month and track my progress for that month in it. The game does a good job of encouraging you, but I like being able to see all the progress I have made month to month in one place.

Here is a view only link to that spreadsheet. Feel free to steal if you like the idea.


I start each month by listing out some goals I think I can accomplish in the given month. I try to format these as SMART goals. SMART being Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time bound.

The goals are around what I think will get me to progress to the next level of playing. As you can see, I am working on practicing regularly, breaking out of the Easy level of exercises, completing the basic learning path and getting a 100% on at least one song.

This month I added a couple out of game goals of working through the first chapter of the book Fretboard Theory by Desi Serna and having 4 lessons with an actual guitar instructor (for those things the game can't teach me like proper form).


The next section of the spreadsheet I like to think of as eating my vegetables. I know that I do not have great finger dexterity, grip strength or pick hand coordination. So I spend a lot of time on the learning tab.


I play each exercise type once a day. I start at 60% speed and play all the way through. I stick with that exercise at that speed until I can 100% the track at that speed. Then I mark it as green complete and create a new line where I bump the speed up by 10%.

I sometimes get stuck getting that last 1-2%, but this is eating veggies right? I should be able to do these exercises easily at some point, so doing this work is valuable in the long run no matter how long it takes me.

Again, I just run through them once a day.

No Look Exercises

Once I got out of the Easy exercises and into Intermediate my progress started to slow down. I had an idea while watching Chainbrain on twitch to start the easy exercises and focus on not looking at my hands. Instead I try to feel where the frets are and shift both down and across the neck with my fingers not my eyes.


I have taken a similar approach with the in game lessons. I started on the basic learning path. I watch the video then try to 100% the practice track. I do not move forward in the learning path until I have 100%ed the practice track. These are fundamental skills, so spending time on them enough to master a practice track seems worthwhile to me.

I got hung up on the Strumming Practice Track 1 for a few months. Switching from D to Dm in the open chord position was eating my face. So I slowed it down to 85% speed and progressed with it like I do the exercises. I 100%'d it in the last week of January.

I am now working on Strumming Practice Track 2 at 60% speed.


Finally, I do actually play songs in the game as well. I picked out some tracks that I was familiar with that are in E Standard at a Basic difficulty and have Rhythm charts. You can see the list of songs in the spreadsheet that I am working on. I tend to start at the top of my list and work my way down until I am done playing for the day.

The goal here has been to just have fun playing along to some songs that I like. I have gotten pretty far just playing at speed and doing the suggested practice sections after. But I think this month I might start doing the same thing I described above and slowing the songs down to focus on accuracy.

Daily Practice

So given all this what does a daily practice look like for me at the moment? Based on the 23 February tab, this is what I will do today.

  1. Intermediate Linear Playing 1 - No looking at hands
  2. Intermediate Linear Playing 2 - 80% speed
  3. Intermediate String Switching 1 - 90% speed (I skip no look because I am working on the same track in both)
  4. Easy String Skipping 2 - No looking at hands
  5. Intermediate String Skipping 1 - 70% speed
  6. Easy Hammer-ons 2 - 100% speed
  7. Easy Pull-offs 1 - No looking at hands
  8. Intermediate Pull-offs 1 - 60% speed
  9. Strumming Practice Track 2 - 60% speed (I might play this one 2-3 times)
  10. I Hate Myself for Loving You - Joan Jett 1-2 times (just trying to get those last 4% on this song)
  11. Never Miss a Beat - Kaiser Chiefs 1-2 times
  12. The Hardest Button to Button - White Stripes - 1-2 times
  13. Father of Mine - Everclear 1-2 times

Anything beyond this is bonus or me putzing around looking for new songs to play.


I will keep going on this path using R+ as a practice tool. I want to augment that with learning music theory. I'll work on that with my instructor and the book I mentioned. Beyond that I want to start recording my own music in my home studio.

I have this idea to take songs that I have 100%'d in the game and start recording my own versions of them using Ableton paired with EZ Drummer and EZ Bass. Basically start creating my own backing tracks. This is something my instructor says he wants to work with me on. The goal being learning songs in R+, recreating them in Ableton and eventually creating my own music from what I have learned.

If this helps you or you are just looking for another beginner to shoot the shit with and stay motivated hit me up.

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