There’s been various speculation about whether the advent of the video game Rock Band will inspire real-world musicians. It certainly isn’t just a Simon-style button masher. Queue up Rush, crank up the difficulty level, grab real drum sticks, and you’d better actually have a sense of timing.
But maybe the real message of Rock Band’s success is that musicians need some friends to jam with. Witness what happens to MTV Multiplayer blogger Tracey John when she tries to play all four instruments at once:
‘Rock Band’ Challenge — One Woman, Four Instruments, At The Same Time [MTV Multiplayer]
Funny, this is roughly what I looked like trying to play just one guitar in my play test at Harmonix in August. Doh. (I’m holding out for Herbie Hancock Presents Keyboard Hero any day now.)
In all seriousness, the multiplayer aspect of Rock Band is its killer feature. My prediction: back here in music land, while the computer music emphasis remains on one-man-bands, more multi-computer, multi-player jamming functionality could be the wave of the future. In the meantime, I’ll continue to wrangle two or three or five computers in performance at once — probably with similar effects.