Written by Bobby
Updated by Sadie
Recently updated on June 16th, 2021
Updated the Yousician logo and home page screenshot, as well as the Rocksmith home page which now features content promoting Rocksmith Plus.
Yousician VS Rocksmith
While both programs employ a similar format and do a good job reading guitar input, Yousician does a better job with educational aspects of the guitar, while Rocksmith is more focused on song lessons.
Yousician and Rocksmith are both similar programs in that they use a real guitar interacting with a video-game interface to teach you how to play. Rocksmith is a direct descendant of Guitar Hero, while Yousician is a similar concept that focuses more on the educational aspect of guitar, rather than the video game interface.
In this article, we're doing a direct Yousician VS Rocksmith comparison to look at the two learning programs side by side.
Keep in mind:
I've used both Yousician and Rocksmith expressly for the purpose of writing this review. I purchased the programs outright, just like you would, and reviewed them on my own time. I am not being paid by either Yousician or Rocksmith to review their products.
Compare to Similar Programs
However, Guitar Chalk is entirely reader supported. We do this without running traditional banner ads or selling sponsored articles. Instead, we're compensated by the guitar programs we do recommend, which you can browse in the comparison table below, perhaps if Yousician and Rocksmith don't suite your needs. If you sign up for a membership it helps out Guitar Chalk at no extra cost to you. Even a free trial sign up helps.
Yousician vs Rocksmith: A Direct Side-by-Side Comparison
We'll start with some basic information about Yousician and Rocksmith, some of which doesn't necessarily pertain to both programs.
Memberships (copies sold) as of 2019
Free Trial Period
(Revised number: October 2020 - Yousician has previously had seven and 14-day free trials)
Total Number of Lessons
85 edu lessons
Styles (Genres) Covered
$119.88 (per year)
$40 (one-time fee)
There are some comparison issues because of the differences between a console video game and membership site formats. For example, Rocksmith doesn't have "members" like Yousician does, so it's hard to compare the popularity of the two.
Also, the pricing of Rocksmith is a one-time flat fee and not a monthly recurring membership like Yousician.
Rocksmith is a better value based on it being a one-time fee that's already much cheaper than the yearly Yousician membership cost.
I should also note that Rocksmith, like most video games, is developed by a parent company called Ubisoft. Yousician - on the other hand - is its own company and does not have a parent developer group.
Skill Level, Depth and Challenge
Again, it's hard to grade the programs against one another because of format. Rocksmith doesn't really have "lessons" as much as they do songs, though they do provide some EDU material. To grade them on addressing skill, I'm basing my assessment off how effective the Rocksmith song lessons are as well as the 85 educational lessons included in the original game.
Yousician focuses heavily on actual lessons and not just song material, at least compared to Rocksmith. In Yousician, you can't really even use the song lessons without an upgraded membership, where licensed songs are behind a second pay wall.
Structure, Design and User Experience
From a design perspective, both program are quite good, though I didn't like how dark the Rocksmith interface seemed in a lot of places. Navigating course content is better in Yousician, primarily because Rocksmith doesn't really break their material up into courses. Both are fun to explore with a modern aesthetic and updated UI/UX standards.
Interior Course Navigation
Main Menu Navigation
There are instances in Rocksmith where certain sections and elements are harder to navigate and unclear about how to use. The Sessions section for example isn't totally straightforward, while gear and pedal sections were also a little difficult for me to interpret.
Game Interface Quality and Features
Rocksmith looks similar to Guitar Hero, with a vertical fretboard that runs as a song plays. However, it adds a horizontal bar that is supposed to function as your fretboard from your point of view. Again, the interface is just a little dark for my taste and feels too chaotic at times with both those elements competing for your attention.
Full Screen Quality and Pixelation
I prefer the brighter and simpler view of the Yousician gaming interface, with a horizontal fretboard that has you looking straight at the strings, as opposed to the busier and angled Rocksmith setup.
While Yousician is a type of video game, it's also still a membership site, making it easier for them to add supplemental material. Rocksmith is entirely console or game engine based, which means they can't really provide any kind of supplemental or downloadable content. However, their tab library is what's used to play through the songs, so we graded them in that category.
Tabs and Notation
Guitar Pro Files
Yousician stands out as the better of the two options in terms of providing additional material outside of the product's core focus. While chord diagrams and tabs are within the software, it's still more thorough than what Rocksmith has to offer.
Song Lessons Section
One thing hurting Yousician's value is that all their licensed song lessons are behind a second pay wall. This means those signing up for a basic membership won't have access to licensed songs unless they upgrade their account. Rocksmith is essentially built around their song lessons and includes 50 with the purchase of the game. However, they also charge for additional licensed songs, around $3 to $5 for each one, depending on how many you buy at once. In total, Rocksmith makes about 900 song lessons available either in the game or as an additional purchase.
Number of Songs
Around 900 available (50 included)
Song Coverage (completeness)
Easy Song Versions
Rocksmith does a little better than Yousician by offering varying difficulty within lessons for each song. For example, many songs have a single note version and a chord version. Difficulty can be adjusted from single notes all the way up to playing a song in its entirety. In this section of our Yousician VS Rocksmith review, Rocksmith is a clear winner.
Concluding our Yousician VS Rocksmith Review
Both of these programs have their weak spots. Yet there's a clear distinction between the two, depending on what you're looking for:
- Rocksmith: Better with songs but weaker on educational lessons
- Yousician: Better with educational lessons but weaker on songs
If you're looking to just have fun and play some songs, Rocksmith is a better choice. At the same time, if you're trying to improve your playing and educate yourself, Yousician is the better of the two choices. However, I would still contend that there are better options than both of these programs, which I included in the above table.
For those still uncertain about Yousician and Rocksmith, checkout one of these alternative recommendations:
Questions about the Programs
Do you have questions about Yousician or JamPlay? Or maybe you have a question about one of the other programs I've mentioned?
If so, leave me a note in the comments section below.
I'll be happy to help out as much as I can.
Credits, References and Article Info
- Article formatting and Content: Bobby Kittleberger
- Products tested on: Macbook Air, Mac Mini and 27" Apple Cinema Display