Fun they may be, but one of the problems with video games like Guitar Hero and Rock Band is that they don’t actually teach you to play an instrument. You can invest hundreds of hours getting good at them, but the skills you pick up aren’t really transferable.
Rocksmith is different - this is a ‘game’ that actually teaches you to play. Up until now, its sole focus has been on the guitar, but now Ubisoft, the company behind the software, has added piano lessons to its Rocksmith+ platform.
Available on PC, iOS and Android, this is compatible with both acoustic pianos - their sound can be picked up using your device’s microphone - and MIDI keyboards. There’s support for key ranges between 25 and 88 notes, and you can learn songs via Rocksmith+’s classic ‘falling notes’ 3D interface.
However, there’s also a sheet music view, so if you want to learn to play in a more traditional way - and get the benefit of actually learning to read music - you can.
At launch, Rocksmith+’s range of piano songs includes hits by the likes of Coldplay, Elton John, Van Halen and Pantera, and Ubisoft says that more than 50 news songs will be added to the library each month.
There are also video lessons that demonstrate essential piano skills and techniques, such as how to sit and how to recognise and play chords.
You can try Rocksmith+ free for seven days, after which you’ll have to pay a subscription that costs £13 a month, £35 for three months or £85 for a year. Find out more on the Ubisoft website.