Become a rock star on your own time

Arnavaz “Rosie” Fatemi

The video games Guitar Hero and Rock Band have made it possible for everyone to be a rock star in the comfort of their own home. Guitar Hero is a series of music video games released in 2005-2006 worldwide by RedOctane and Activision. Guitar Hero comes with a controller that looks like a guitar and the game itself involves playing the guitar and hitting the right notes in songs that range from “Iron Man” by Black Sabbath to “Fat Lip” by Sum 41. “It’s more than another video game, but also, it’s not all it’s cracked up to be,” said Pierce College guitar teacher John Schneider. “A lot of students that learn music academically, from paper, sound dry and unmusical because they’re playing with their brains and not their bodies,” Schneider said. “A game like Guitar Hero helps people get into their body and the physicality of their music.” However, what some may view as a flaw in Guitar Hero is that the game only comes with one guitar controller. If you want another controller, you have to go out and buy one which can cost up to $100. Rock Band is much like Guitar Hero; however, Rock Band gives you the option to play guitar, bass, drums, or even to sing. On some songs, if you tap the microphone against your hand, you can play it as the tambourine or cowbell. Rock Band, which was developed by Harmonix and released in 2007, has songs that vary from “Sabotage” by Beastie Boys to “Celebrity Skin” by Hole. “Rock Band is better because the graphics are better,” said Pierce student Christine Baharian. “There’s also a microphone and drums involved. It’s a better game to play with friends.” According to the Rock Band Web site and anyone who has played Rock Band, in addition to the 45 tracks they have listed on their Web site, Rock Band has 13 songs “ranging from a variety of established bands to up-and-coming artists that can be unlocked as you play through the game.” “Now that they’re pulling music programs from elementary schools, anything you can do to get music closer to people is a good thing,” said Schneider. “I mean, who knows? If they had Guitar Hero when I first started playing music, maybe that would have been my first step.”


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