SMG Review: You Rock Guitar by Inspired Instruments!

The Inspired Instruments You Rock Guitar!

Over the past five years or so there have been a huge influx of popular video games focused on “virtually living the dream” and promising to transform your youngster or teen into the next Guitar Hero. This insurgence of guitar based gaming has done a great job of reintroducing REAL guitar driven music to the modern music market and has introduced countless young potential shredders to some classic music that they may have never been exposed to otherwise. The drawback to these games is that they never really focus on true musicianship or include anything to do with even closely simulating actual guitar playing as pressing colored buttons has absolutely zero benefit to learning notes, pitch, fingering etc. But a little company called Inspired Instruments wants to change all of that with the new You Rock Guitar!

The You Rock Guitar is a fully functional game controller that features real feel and playability using strings to pick and a touch sensitive fret board complete with simulated strings and fret markers all together created in a way that makes gaming much more like actually jamming! Impressive right, but that’s not all…. The You Rock guitar is MUCH more than just a game controller (which in hindsight is really the least impressive function this little sucker packs). It is also a fully functional instrument that can be used with an amp, headphones, your computer, your mobile phone, and even works as a midi controller (a function that I think is amazing considering how difficult it is to accurately replicate stringed instruments when using the standard midi keyboard to trigger sounds). The You Rock Guitar boasts 25 sound presets for guitar, an additional 50 guitar synth presets, 25 jam tracks with “You Rock Modes” for learning scales, 50 built-in drum tracks, 65 alternate tunings with open space to save your own, 100 customizable parameters and presets, multiple play modes, removable neck for travel or storage, multi-directional whammy bar, game controls, and the ability to interchange headstock designs.

Overall a very impressive little unit. The tracking is fast so for recording with midi alone this is a great tool for the recording guitarist. The pre-set sounds are decent and have a vast array of tones and effects, making this a great axe for practicing or jamming anywhere. The removable neck makes it easy to toss in a backpack and take anywhere (even on a plane). The You Rock Guitar comes complete with chord and scale charts and some other beginner guitarist training tools. With the ease and versatility of connectivity to so many different applications, this is a piece of gear that is no one trick pony. So saddle up and take one for a ride, you may just be the coolest cowboy at the rodeo!


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  • James

    I could see this a good for kids, But I wouldn’t record with it myself. It’s better than the Guitar Hero thing with the colored buttons.

  • Des

    I bought one of these and it arrived a few days ago. I’m a veteran guitarist that’s never ventured far beyond my home-studio, and I’ve got 2 kids learning to play. We are ALL fighting over this thing! It’s well thought through as a learning tool and physically easy to play for small people (like my kids). The onboard sounds are really decent, and the midi integration allows you to connect up to soft- and hardware synths. It’s a very recordable guitar for me. A few niggles I don’t like: It _really_ looks like a toy. Build quality isn’t that great, and I don’t think it’s possible to do pull-offs with it. Summary: Once you get the technique, its a great device to play, its portable, sounds good, and pretty good value for money.

  • SVH

    I’m currently Beta-testing the New Gen 2 which is due out in July! SO MANY great improvements on the new version and once I get deeper into it I’ll post a full review on SMG!

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