Jun 10, 2010  •  In Music, Personal, Video Games

Rock Band 3 Keyboard Revealed!

J and I love the Guitar Hero and Rock Band games. My preferred instrument is the drums, while J likes to rock it out on the guitar — on expert mode, no less.

We always joke about how years down the road, J will turn into Randy Marsh (my favorite South Park character), and so I can soooo see him re-enacting this scene in 10 years:

When we first heard about the new Rock Band 3 and how it will incorporate a new instrument — the keyboard — we were definitely intrigued. Will it be a keytar? Will it just be an arrangement of cheap plastic buttons that resemble a keyboard? Or will it actually be a full-sized keyboard?

Today, our questions were answered, as USAToday revealed the new Rock Band 3 keyboard:

According to Engadget,

The keyboard spans two octaves of for-serious white and blacks, but there’s a row of colored labels above those keys. How narrowly you’re required to hit the “real” key corresponding to the note in the song is based on what difficulty level you choose — on the easier levels you just have to smash into the correctly colored neighborhood.

You can see the keyboard in action here:

While I’m glad that the new instrument is basically a miniature keyboard, I’m not sure how I feel about the way it’s played. Being a pianist, I would feel like I’m learning a whole new instrument…nevermind the fact that I believe just pressing a random key in the correct color category seems like cheating.

Are there any other pianists out there who agree with my reasoning?

I have heard that guitarists have trouble playing the Rock Band and Guitar Hero guitars for the same reason. However, J plays the guitar and he had no trouble picking up the gameplay — he’s so good that he actually scares me sometimes! So perhaps I’ll be lucky in learning the new Rock Band keyboard quickly too.

Rock Band 3 will be released this holiday season. I can’t wait!

4 Responses to “Rock Band 3 Keyboard Revealed!”

  1. Yug plays both guitar & bass .. & he’s like J, he picked up guitar hero so easily. As a pianist, I agree with you. But I’m sure being classically trained will help us come up with innovative ways to play & have some advantage~

    BTW, I love guitar hero so badly. Sometimes, Yug & I will celebrate our anniversary by staying home & playing.

  2. Geek in Heels:

    @Jina — We should all get together and rock out one day! (And yes, we have date nights playing Rock Band / Guitar Hero too!)

  3. As a pianist, I think I would have preferred a system in which you would have to press specific keys, rather than just general ranges.

  4. Harmonics has spent a lot of time working out the actual notes of the songs, and it shows. I was more than impressed with the result. All the notes are legit, or rather as legit as a double-octave keyboard can be.

    I don’t think such a system would ever replace piano teachers though. Teachers will always have one thing these gaming systems lack. Tutorials can only take you so far before you get stumped. The ability for a teacher to answer questions is a paramount part of the student’s learning process. Likewise, many teachers ask their students questions that lead them towards the right way to play a note. This is one of the best ways for students to learn the hows and the whys of music theory and performance.

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