Monday, August 23, 2010

you can put the rock in the boy but you can't get the rock outta their heads

I was talking with a friend over the weekend and the subject of games consoles came up. I happened to mention casually how much I hated RockBand/GuitarHero and their clones to be greeted with astonishment. "But aren't they introducing a generation of kids to classic songs?"

Well, yes they are. But they're also close to destroying any chance of those kids ever playing any of that music.

Warning: 'get-off-my-lawn' moment coming up here folks: I heard some great music when I was growing up, some of it by chance and some of it I actively sought out. It inspired me to pick up a guitar and figure out how to play it. Now good music is inspiring your kids to do what? Push some buttons quickly. What they are learning has no connection to playing music whatsoever and could be said to be making it impossible to learn. After all if you can figure out four buttons, post your video on YouTube and become an overnight hero what incentive is there to sit down with six real strings and learn how to play an actual guitar. Hard work, takes years, includes many, many moments of frustration. Four buttons is much easier.

For those who deplore the descent of the creative force of music into formularised industry and Justin Bieber - look no further then your own front room for one of the reasons.