Is Rocksmith good for learning guitar? That's a difficult question to answer because Rocksmith isn't necessarily designed to teach you as much as it's meant to give you an opportunity to play and apply what you've already learned. It's a video game and it's fun, but that doesn't make it an ideal learning tool.
Our question is simply this: Does it work in the sense that it teaches you guitar? In other words: Can you learn concepts from it?
For the most part, I would say no.
I've been teaching guitar for over 10 years and playing for well over 20. Based on my own experience, this is why I'd argue against using Rocksmith as your primary method of learning guitar.
Part of the Solution But Not the Full Answer
Games and systems like Rocksmith can be part of the solution if you're looking for a fun way to supplement some other guitar lesson resource. Because, to learn guitar, we would argue that you need to actually take lessons, either from a teacher in person or from an online guitar course, like one of the following:
As a supplemental tool to something like Guitar Tricks or JamPlay, Rocksmith can have some good value. This is the same thing we said about Yousician. Programs that are structured in a video game format can be a useful form of application and practice, but on their own they can't really teach you like an actual course or formal guitar lesson.
Neither Rocksmith nor Yousician have any kind of active or spoken instruction. Instead, it's what I'd call "passive instruction" where you learn patterns but you don't really learn the why behind those patterns.
It's somewhat similar to the Rosetta Stone method of teaching language.
But in music, it leaves a critical hole in a program's ability to teach.
You learn patterns but you don't really learn the why behind those patterns.
There's no explanation of theory or concepts, but only a demonstration of those concepts through a video game interface. I would argue that this type of passive instruction doesn't teach you guitar, but instead helps to apply what you might have (hopefully) already learned somewhere else.
Again, this takes us back to my argument that tools like Rocksmith, Yousician, and Learn to Play by Walmart, are all supplemental and not primary means of learning guitar.
Use Rocksmith as Supplemental
As a teacher and someone who has studied the guitar for multiple decades, I would argue against using Rocksmith to learn guitar. Specifically, where Rocksmith is your only learning source and only means of instruction.
In and of itself, it's not a full teaching tool.
Yet, Rocksmith, and similar tools, can be excellent ways to practice, motivate, and engage with the instrument in a way that you otherwise wouldn't be able to.
It has a significant amount of value in that context and can make you better at what you've already learned.
My recommendation would be to check out a program like Guitar Tricks, learn your meaty concepts from there, then practice some songs and have some fun on Rocksmith.
Your Questions and Experience
Have you used Rocksmith?
Is Rocksmith good for learning guitar in your experience?
If you have a story to share or a question to ask, leave it in the comments section below and we'll chat.