As popular as the Guitar Hero and Rock Band are, they still elicit winces from some musicians who’ve taken the time to learn to play instruments rather than their plastic imitations. Thanks to a partnership between Disney and Washburn Guitars, they should stop complaining soon.
Disney Star Guitarist trains you on the guitar by displaying Guitar Hero-like note information that applies to the frets and strings of an actual guitar. The game can teach you specific songs and ranks your progress as you go, based on how many notes you hit.
In the world premiere demo we witnessed, the game performed remarkably well. When the guitarist hit the right notes, he scored, and when he was slightly off, he didn’t. Meanwhile, an inventive notation system gives the player a clear idea of which notes he or she is supposed to hit, thanks to a color scheme that includes some of the strings on the guitar. Players can choose between rhythm and lead guitar modes, adjust tempo, flip the guitar neck on the screen around so that it’s facing them as a guitar teacher would, and choose between forty or so guitar tones.
We’ve been waiting nearly a year for a similar product, Guitar Rising, which still hasn’t materialized. It’s great to see that somebody has finally managed to pull this off — even if the first edition of the game will be a tween-oriented version with ties to Hannah Montana. With any luck, the next generation of Britneys and Christinas will be able to wield an axe handily, thanks to this new, user-friendly way to learn to play music. The game is slated for a summer ’09 release. Other versions will available for keyboards and vocals. (From Wired.com)