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Premier Guitar Reviews Rock Band 3 Fender Squier
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Premier Guitar Reviews Rock Band 3 Fender Squier

The folks from Premier Guitar magazine gave the Rock Band 3 Fender Squier pro-guitar controller a very thorough review in their January issue. The technical review is clearly aimed at the magazine’s target demographic, as the first half is written from the perspective of the veteran guitar player. However, they take it a step further and get thoughts and comments from a cross-section of interested players: a serious gearhead guitarist, a guitar teacher, a hobbyist guitarist, a beginning guitarist and gamer, and a hardcore gamer with no guitar experience. All of them had some very surprising compliments after their hands-on experience, especially the guitar teacher, who noted that “as a learning tool, the combination of the Strat and Rock Band 3’s Pro Mode is undoubtedly the best option out there for learning guitar through a video game.”

Premier Guitar also added a lengthy and in-depth demo video of the Fender Squier taken at NAMM ’11. In it, we get a thorough introduction to learning pro-guitar and specific in-game songs with Chris Wilson of Harmonix. If you haven’t tried out pro-guitar yet on Rock Band 3, this is an EXCELLENT introduction video that shows just about everything you need to get started. That is followed up with Rick Heins of Fender taking “Crazy Train” for a spin on Expert, which I highly recommend everyone watch!

[PremierGuitar.com; Thanks to Marc for sending this my way!]

60 Responses to “Premier Guitar Reviews Rock Band 3 Fender Squier”

  • Sahagún says:

    It seems like an excelent option. I’ll probably try it when it is available and if more Pro-guitar support is provided in DLC (reason why I do not play too much in my keyboard 1232 Songs in library and only 160 with keys).

    In an out of topic question. Is there already a songlist for the RBN 2.0 release?

  • Brady says:

    I’ve been trying for days to Pre-Order the Pro Squire through BestBuy to Oklahoma, but it keeps charging me all these extra fees on the site and has $60 shipping… I’d read that there is free shipping and $25 gift cards- anyone have a clue about this?

    I’d really rather not pay $370 for it. 🙁

    • folkeye says:

      You can get a pretty decent REAL guitar for that price. More than a ‘starter kit’.

    • Bold says:

      The “free $25 gift card” and “free shipping” deals were available back in late December. There was even a couple of days when they overlapped.

      However, I believe both offers expired long ago.

      • Brady says:

        Ah that’s too bad. 🙁 Maybe I’ll get lucky and Schick one, but otherwise I just can’t spend and extra 100 on “shipping.”

  • Croq says:

    The guitar teacher, who noted that “as a learning tool, the combination of the Strat and Rock Band 3’s Pro Mode is undoubtedly the best option out there for learning guitar through a video game.”

    There are other options for “learning guitar through a video game”?

  • Kineticartist says:

    Yeah Im still gonna wait till these overpriced squires come down in price by like half Ive got a Washburn electric that I paid $300 for and its ten times the quality of these midied up squires that or wait for some bright young person to come up with a dongle to midi up a regular electric guitar and use that to play the game with. that or get a you rock guitar for cheaper and mod the ugly body style

    • Croq says:

      The YouRock Guitar would still require you to purchase the MIDI adapter. Still, it would save you $80 – $100 overall.

      Regarding hooking up a real guitar and playing, there was an article posted here about a month ago (http://bit.ly/f2oAru). The two drawbacks to that method were that you don’t get feedback in the game as to finger placement (like with the Mustang and Squier) and the “guitar to MIDI” adapter runs a few hundred dollars more than the Squier itself. And you still would need to buy the MadCatz MIDI Adapter too if I’m not mistaken. Not really very cost effective.

      • Dein Bär says:

        The YRG is no pro mode controller – or?

        • mrkiammi says:

          yes it is also a pro mode guitar, you can with the gameflex use it for classic mode too (except xbox360), and its pretty good i must say, i think the frets are much nicer and strum strings are also better .
          the cool thing about the yourock s that you can adjust pretty much everything like the frets, strings, capo .
          i like it alot, and i have actually sold my mustang.
          i am still getting the squier though, i am curious
          how well it plays.

        • Dein Bär says:

          Or rather: the MadCatz MIDI supports no MIDI Guitars except for the Squier?

          • mrkiammi says:

            it works perfectly with the madcatz midi
            no worries there.

          • mrkiammi says:

            and besides that, its also have the functionality
            where you can play through an amp AND play rockband 3 at the same time, and it also get chart like the squier
            up to 22 frets, (the mustang only have 17 frets)

      • mrkiammi says:

        “The two drawbacks to that method were that you don’t get feedback in the game as to finger placement (like with the Mustang and Squier)”
        not sure, what you mean here?? regarding the yourock, i can perfectly see where i am on
        the fretboard, just like the mustang, in both practice and in game??.
        like i mentioned the yourock even charts up to 22 frets

        • RockBandAide says:

          You can? That runs contrary to what I’ve been hearing from other people that say only the Mustang and Squier (the guitars designed exclusively to interface with the game) can do that.

          • mrkiammi says:

            yep the yourock works like that too,
            just played with the yourock yesterday, and it plays pretty great.

  • Natters says:

    Stopped caring when pro guitar was neglected in dlc. Really disappointed in the options for pro guitar

    • RockBandAide says:

      How is Pro-Guitar DLC neglected?

      • Natters says:

        they get around 1/5 the dlc. That means if i wanted to play a song i like in a dlc pack, it has be the most famous song of the pack.

        • Dein Bär says:

          I would love and buy more upgrades, but they seem to involve more work charting and testing – just look at the complexity of the higher pro guitar and pro bass levels.

        • RockBandAide says:

          Harmonix had acknowledged even before Rock Band 3 was released (hell, they told me at E3 last year) that Pro-Guitar/Bass charting for one song takes as much effort as charting ALL the other remaining instruments for that song COMBINED.

          Because of the effort necessary to produce a single song, they considered pricing the Pro-Guitar/Bass upgrades $1.99 to reflect the additional cost. Because people would complain that Pro-Guitar/Bass DLC would then cost a total of $3.99 (people already bitch about it being $2.99), they decided to avoid that battle.

          Harmonix has further recognized that because playing Pro-Guitar/Bass requires a peripheral more expensive than the others, a much smaller percentage of the Rock Band community would be willing to commit to the large capital purchase.

          Instead, they decided to only chart the most popular or most interesting weekly Pro-Guitar/Bass DLC selections. Not every song has a guitar chart that is popular or fun to play (“Airplanes” from last week, for example).

          Harmonix is trying to find that happy medium between releasing enough Pro-Guitar/Bass DLC to ensure people commit to the Pro peripheral, while at the same time not waste their time and efforts in creating massive amounts of DLC that people are unwilling to buy.

          What people need to understand is that, like everything else, the ultimate fate of Pro-Guitar/Bass DLC depends upon its acceptance among the community. The more Pro-Guitar/Bass DLC people purchase, the more they will make in the future as a result. If people lose interest or spread dissent among the community that “Pro-Guitar DLC is being neglected” (especially when the premium pro-guitar hasn’t even been released yet), you’re only hurting yourself and the community.

          • mrkiammi says:

            i totally understand this, i just wish
            that harmonix very soon would tell people to begin vote for their best
            DLC tracks they only have in legacy mode and really want to become pro guitar/bas
            and as result of those votes, they will announce
            future dlc tracks to become pro tracks.
            with this i mean, if people know that more and more
            of their fav tracks are becomming pro mode tracks, more
            will be interested in the pro guitar squier and or mustang
            but right now i think people are in doubts whether to buy the guitar or not, when only 120?? are pro mode guitar/bas

            and another wish , RBN network 2.0 would also soon have guitar/bas pro mode in their charts.

          • RockBandAide says:

            Harmonix did this when they released the Bon Jovi and Queen tracks and people FREAKED out! I wouldn’t be surprised if upgrades to legacy songs were put on the backburner because of the community’s reaction (in my opinion, OVERreaction).

            What you need to know is that Pro-Guitar/Bass DLC will be released each and every week for the foreseeable future. The quantity is dependent upon the attachment rate of the typical Rock Band player.

          • RockBandAide says:

            There is a possibility in the future for RBN to add Pro-Guitar/Bass charting. Let’s get through the 2.0 upgrade first, and once that’s running smoothly, we can add more functionality.

          • Kelso says:

            And there goes the truth!!
            Thanks for pointing this out tommy.
            People have to think about all the work harmonix have to do to satisfy us, and not only think of the price.

          • Natters says:

            with the thousands of legacy dlc and the lack of exciting current dlc, isn’t it fair to say harmonix should spend some time on legacy songs?

            and before you say that the new songs are for players who don’t play pro, consider the many genres dlc has that not all players prefer. We’d all love to see updated legacy, and if you don’t play pro then its like seeing another week of songs you won’t buy.

          • RockBandAide says:

            First of all, saying “lack of exciting current DLC” is COMPLETELY your opinion, and one that I’m sure MANY people would disagree with.

            There is a LIMITLESS amount of music out there. Who’s to say whether it is or is not fair for Harmonix to concentrate on updating ~2,000 legacy songs with upgraded DLC versus completely new songs? Again, that’s totally personal opinion.

            I’m really trying hard to follow your logic in the second part, but I can’t for the life of me figure it out.

          • Dein Bär says:

            Personally I wouldn’t mind paying more for the pro tracks. I acknowledge the hard work they do.

            I buy all pro g/b upgrades to get this market flying and I would suggest to do the same (if possible) to my fellow pro players.

  • CMM says:

    I love Sony, UMG and WMG

  • MarioDaPlatypus says:

    I can’t find this guitar on the best buy website

  • xX666Xx says:

    Looks awesome but the only problem is the price. £200?! And then there’s another £35 to spend on the MIDI adapter.

  • Cassie Drake says:

    still no word on Canada’s release date, eh?

  • socalsurfs says:

    I hope I am wrong but I think the acceptance of PRO DLC might be short lived. The market for the Fender Squire is limited by its price and the fact that you cannot use it as a regular controller. $300 is a nice chunk of change for the younger audience to dish out and then possibly get frustrated and not be able to use the guitar at all. They will either sell it or it will sit around and not get used. Either way that person will most likely not be downloading PRO Guitar DLC. The gamer who is truly interested in learning to play will be the group that determines the demand for DLC with PRO guitar tracks and I just do not think there will be enough of us. Again I hope I am wrong.

    Another factor is going to be how well the guitar registers the input. If its not accurate or fails to register reliably then it could quickly become a huge frustration and then would not be that useful for learning.

    • RockBandAide says:

      “The market for the Fender Squier is limited by the fact that you cannot use it as a regular controller.” True, but you can use the Fender Squier to play ANY song ever made, as it is a real guitar, versus only those songs charted for Rock Band. The same logic dictates that the standard controllers will ALSO be sold or sit around and not get used, so that shouldn’t be a point of contention to interested players.

      As for how well the guitar registers input, I’ve had my hands on a Squier for nearly the entire month of February, and I can say that you do not need to worry about the guitar failing to register your actions.

      The success of Pro peripherals and DLC depends on the community buying it and enjoying it. Baseless pessimistic speculation only damages the acceptability and longevity of Pro DLC.

  • Jeremy Martin says:

    Had mine on preorder since dec 15…now showing that it has a ups label and ready for shipping 😀