Our resident scholar at London contemporary music school The Institute, Neelesh Vasistha, tells us what he's been up to so far this summer...
Rocksmith-ing at the Isle Of Wight festival
I've just come back from the Isle of Wight festival where I was working for Ubisoft demoing and coaching the video game Rocksmith, due to be released in October.
The game itself is genuinely revolutionary and certainly can be hailed the next generation of guitar gaming. The concept is similar to Guitar Hero or Rockband, with the notes to be played falling from the top of the screen. The huge exception however is that Rocksmith uses a real guitar as its controller, as opposed to a guitar shaped piece of plastic.
It is indeed a technological marvel in itself that the game can register the subtleties of guitar playing, even picking up bending, palm mutes and tap harmonics. Being an experienced guitar player, the game didn't necessarily shake my world.
However, through my three days of showing the game to the general public, I saw clearly enough that the game's slogan of 'Anyone can play guitar' is simply true. I had complete guitar virgins learning single-note arrangement of songs within minutes, and intermediate players picking up new chords and songs impressively quickly.
Not a replacement for self-discipline or guitar lessons for sure, but certainly a tool worth considering for anyone who wants to learn guitar.
The Serbian scene
Last week I found myself in the beautiful city of Belgrade where I managed to catch some incredibly good live music. Serbia is an interesting place. After decades of political turmoil and ravaging war the country is experiencing a youth-driven cultural blooming in its arts scene.
The music scene is thriving, and over there I managed to catch bands I simply couldn't imagine finding in the UK. My favourite was 6Kornbrot, an incredible 8-piece German dub/reggae group who had the youth and energy of a punk band, with the tasty horn lines and groovy bass of a seasoned funk ensemble - well worth checking out!
For the last few years TG has sponsored a scholarship at The Institute (formerly ICMP and The Guitar Institute), one of the leading contemporary music schools in the country.