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Rock Band 3 Adds a Fully Functional MIDI Keyboard and the "Opportunity To Develop Skills"

Just found this “Rock Band 3 – First Look!” video via @johngrabowski.

Even though I know how to play keys, I enjoy playing Rock Band 2 as it allows me to share me love for performing music with non-musicians in a fun social way. I also feel it gives the non-musician a sense of what it takes to really play from a tempo and triggering notes point of view.

On the other side of the coin, I feel that those who are really into Rock Band and pour hours and hours into improving game play skills would be better off learning a “real” instrument. IMHO, the rewards in the real-world are much greater than simply a high score. You know, like composing an original song, or performing with other musicians, or having the satisfaction of just being able to create and perform music.

In this next version of Rock Band the developers have added support for a 25-key MIDI keyboard controller, and according to USA Today - some sort of a “full-sized, fully functional Fender guitar”.

The video above mentions a new “Pro Mode” features that will “draw the player in and allow them the opportunity to develop skills.” I think this is an intriguing idea and has the potential to allow players to use their gaming skills as a springboard or bridge into the real-world.

Without having played the game, it’s hard to say for sure, but a potential downside is that since keyboard game play focuses on simply triggering notes and not technique (hand position, fingering etc…) there is also a potential to develop some pretty bad habits that you’d have to unlearn if you moved on to real-world playing.

Still, I’m optimistic that this new direction in Rock Band development may inspire some to consider switching from being gamers to players and artists.

What do you think?

Mark Mosher