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Ubisoft’s Rocksmith+ guitar learning service arrives on PC next week

Ubisoft’s subscription service will arrive on September 6th, the publisher . Following a nearly year-long delay, the guitar learning platform will be available on PC exclusively through the . With 5,000 songs available at lunch, including tunes from Alicia Keys, The Clash and Santana, Ubisoft claims Rocksmith+ will feature the “largest catalog of official songs ever offered in a music learning service.” Additionally, the company has pledged to add “millions” of more tracks in the future.

If you played a previous Rocksmith release or participated in the closed beta, you can take advantage of loyalty pricing. Subscribe for three months upfront and you’ll receive one month free. You can also prepay for a year of service and Ubisoft will give you an additional three months for free. One-, three- and 12-month subscriptions are priced at $15, $40 and $100 per respective billing period.

You will need a way to connect your electric, acoustic or bass guitar to your computer. Your first option is to download the Rocksmith Plus Connect app on an iOS or Android device. It will use your phone’s built-in microphone to detect your playing. Alternatively, you can use Ubisoft’s Rocksmith Real Tone Cable to connect your instrument. The advantage offered by the latter option is that you can add effects to your playing. Ubisoft notes it’s also possible to use a third-party audio interface, but not every single one will work and the company won’t offer you technical support in that case.

Notably, Ubisoft makes no mention of the previously announced PlayStation and Xbox versions of Rocksmith+. It does note, however, that the mobile release will arrive this fall.

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For beginners and pros, the PocketGuitar is like taking your guitar with you everywhere

TLDR: For both beginners and experienced players, the PocketGuitar lets you play a virtual guitar that’s just like picking up the real thing, all at a price right now that’s better than Amazon.

What are the greatest guitar riffs of all time? If you’re a hard rock fan, you can probably list the usual suspects off the top of your head. Like clockwork, readers of Total Guitar Magazine recently made their picks about which hot licks should be on the Axe God Mount Rushmore — and the list includes plenty of riffs that are as iconic as they are instantly identifiable. 

The ominous opening thunder of AC/DC’s Back in Black. Randy Rhoads’ spritely pulse powering Ozzy Osbourne’s Crazy Train. And the list’s no. 1 — Jimmy Page’s generation redefining 3-second riff to blisteringly open Led Zeppelin’s raging Whole Lotta Love.

Students can learn to play all those rock highlights without even owning a guitar with the PocketGuitar Bluetooth-Enabled AI Guitar. And right now, it’s available at even better than Amazon prices, on sale now for only $34.95.

The PocketGuitar from AeroBand is sort of like playing air guitar…except your motions are translated into the notes you’d actually play if you had a physical instrument in your hands. A bit larger than a guitar pick, the PocketGuitar syncs with the AeroBand app, then players use it in their right hand as they strum, with the left hand switching chords to the beat.

And this isn’t like an oversimplified Guitar Hero playing style here. The PocketGuitar uses artificial intelligence to make playing this virtual instrument stack up to the experience with the real thing. The intensity of your strumming is matched to the actual sound your actions would produce, giving the session a true air of reality. The PocketGuitar even vibrates differently depending on the style of its player.

The PocketGuitar also works seamlessly with earbuds and headphones, allowing players to get deep into their playing and never bother anyone else. You can jam out on the couch and get your practice in, even while family or friends sit right next to you.

For guitar beginners, there are modes for learning as you play familiar songs as well as playing freestyle. There’s also a gamification mode where players can challenge themselves or their friends, all while gaining valuable extra practice along the way. And for experienced pros, the PocketGuitar is handy for both keeping your skills sharp or for doing some songwriting virtually anywhere.

Regularly $40, the PocketGuitar Bluetooth-Enabled AI Guitar is now available at a price that’s even better than you’ll find on Amazon, just $34.95 while this offer lasts

Prices are subject to change.

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Rocksmith+ is an Ubisoft subscription service for learning guitar and bass

Ubisoft is reviving its Rocksmith franchise with Rocksmith+, a subscription service that aims to help you learn guitar and bass. You can connect your instrument to your PC, console or mobile device and practice by playing along with master recordings of a wide variety of songs. 

Rocksmith+ works with acoustic instruments and amps as well, since you can use your phone’s microphone to pick up what you’re playing. So, you won’t need any extra gear to use it. 

You’ll get real-time feedback as you’re playing, and songs will have adaptive difficulty. You’ll be able to control playback speed, so you can slow tracks down and really get to grips with them.

Ubisoft says Rocksmith+ will have a “huge amount of songs at launch” from a variety of genres, not just rock and metal. Pop, hip hop, country, Latin and R&B tunes will be present too, as will tracks from Ubisoft games by the looks of things. 

Every song will have chord charts for rhythm players. There will be note-by-note “authentic arrangements,” if you want to learn those parts as well. You’ll be able to create your own arrangements for licensed songs through the Rocksmith Workshop.

Ubisoft didn’t reveal a release date or pricing. However, you can sign up now for a closed beta on PC.

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The PocketGuitar is the way to becoming a guitar god even when you don’t have your guitar

TLDR: The PocketGuitar Bluetooth-Enabled AI Guitar is like playing and practicing on a real guitar…but without the guitar.

If you’re ready to learn to play the guitar, you know it won’t just happen overnight. In fact, it won’t just happen, period. It’ll only happen with lots and lots and lots of hard work.

Experts suggest young players practice a bare minimum of 15 minutes each day. Hub Guitar estimates that to become a competent rhythm guitar player, you’ll need to spend over 600 hours playing, or the equivalent of about 6 months of practicing around 4 hours a day. To become an expert, someone who doesn’t just play the right notes, but can actually shred like an absolute guitar god, you’re talking several years of 3-4 hours per day to attain that mastery.

Forget how many hours of playing that means. Just consider for a second everywhere you have to tote that freakin’ guitar to get all the practice hours in to get that good. Logistics alone is a total nightmare.

Thankfully, the PocketGuitar Bluetooth-Enabled AI Guitar ($34.95, 12 percent off, from TNW Deals) can take that concern right off the table, offering a learning experience that’s basically like practicing and playing on an air guitar that really sounds like the real thing.

The PocketGuitar itself is about the size of a guitar pick, but when it’s synced to your phone and the AeroBand app, it turns the whole package into a realistic-sounding guitar. Your right hand strums the strings, while your left hand changes chords on your phone, replicating the mechanics of a real physical guitar in your hands through the use of artificial intelligence.

And this isn’t just button pressing here. The PocketGuitar responds like an actual instrument, vibrating and matching the intensity of the playing with the real-world sounds you’d be making. 

For young players, they can attack learning guitar from a variety of directions, from learning actual songs to improv playing to even turning lessons into a game by challenging their talents or even friends who play. The PocketGuitar is also well suited for old hands as well, offering a convenient way to either keep skills on point or as a perfect compliment to songwriting.

The app pairs to earbuds or headphones, so players can jam out in virtual silence, and the PocketGuitar also works as a foot sensor with AeroBand’s other cool music tech device, the PocketDrum. 

Regularly $40, you can get serious about playing with the PocketGuitar Bluetooth-Enabled AI Guitar and save over 10 percent off the price, dropping your final cost to only $34.95.

Prices are subject to change.

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Fender Mustang Micro is a low-cost guitar amp with a genius design

Fender has added a new personal amp to its line-up, with the Fender Mustang Micro not only adding some individual amplification but throwing in tones and effects too. Joining the Mustang series as the smallest – and most affordable – model, the Mustang Micro is more compact than a cellphone but still has space to fit Bluetooth and more.

Unlike standalone amps, the Mustang Micro is designed to plug directly into the guitar’s output. A set of wired headphones plug into it in turn, and then you get a choice of 12 different amp models to flip between.

There are also 12 effects that Fender has pulled from the rest of its Mustang range. Altogether, the company says, there’s a range of amp styles from clean through to heavy metal, and effects like modulation, delay, and reverb. It’s all self-contained, too, so there’s no need to lug around a separate effects processor.

As for the Bluetooth, meanwhile, that can be used to pair wirelessly with a smartphone, tablet, or other audio source. Play music on that, and you can jam along on the guitar, with the combined audio piped out to the headphones.

Fender has clearly thought through the design, too. The input plug rotates around 270-degrees, and the controls are chunky and easy to access regardless of the amp’s position. The li-ion battery inside recharges via USB, and lasts for around four hours, the company promises.

That USB port can also be used with a PC or Mac, with the Mustang Micro acting as an audio interface for your guitar. It’s also used to load new firmware, Fender says.

As for pricing, it’s the cheapest Mustang model, at $99.99. It’s available to order now.

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