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Buying a new Rock Band guitar can be more expensive than buying an actual guitar now

jshackles

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So I'll admit, I'm still a fan of Rock Band and still play the game on my PS4 2-3 hours every Friday night and have for years. I know a lot of people don't play this game much any more and it's essentially on life support from Harmonix mostly catering heavily to the few people who still play. I don't play in a "crew", I just play solo - and I'm a guitar guy. I have over 400 DLC songs in my library, and it's a great way for me to relax after a hard week by jamming out, singing / dancing, the works.

Last week, I noticed that my strum bar on my fake plastic guitar was getting pretty worn out and it was causing me to miss some notes that I actually strummed. I was pretty bummed out, but figured I would look around online and see what my options were for replacing it. Much to my surprise, these things cost nearly as much (or in some cases, more) than real guitars!



There are cheaper guitars for Guitar Hero Live, but it looks like those aren't fully compatible with Rock Band 4. I figured I'd check eBay



which is a little better, but still a pretty huge gamble considering these pre-owened or "refurbished" guitars might have just as much or more usage than my current guitar or might run into the same problems pretty quickly.

It's a shame that these are no longer being produced, and that now I'm in a spot where I won't be able to play the extensive library I have built up over the years without dropping some serious cash on a new fake plastic guitar. I know how this sort of manufacturing rarity goes from here too - before long these will be a lot harder to find and like anything with niche demand a low stock, the prices will continue to rise.

Guess it's time to just start learning the real thing, it'll be cheaper.
 

Nymphae

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Yeah that's a bummer, not exactly something easy to whip up DIY like an arcade stick either, and it's not really likely a third party is going to decide to produce some cheaper ones when the only market is people playing the old games, the price would need to be high to justify making them, or they would be junk.

Have you looked into repairing the strum bar? It might not be that hard to get it back into good condition.
 
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jshackles

Gentlemen, we can rebuild it. We have the capability to make the world's first enhanced store. Steam will be that store. Better than it was before.
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You could try rocksmith, it let's you use pretty much any guitar and according to the blurb if you can 100% a song then you're ready to play it in a band.

I've already started in Rocksmith, but even playing on the easiest difficulty is like playing Rock Band on expert. I remember sucking at Rock Band (well, Guitar Hero) when it first released, and I feel a bit like that again. Will definitely keep with it though, Rocksmith seems to have some pretty good teaching tools in addition to learning the actual songs.

Have you looked into repairing the strum bar? It might not be that hard to get it back into good condition.

This is likely what I'll try doing next. It could be as easy as something's got knocked loose or just needs some solder joints patched up. It's still registering about 9/10 strums so it's not completely broken yet - but broken enough that continuing to play with it like that is going to drive me up the wall.
 
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Nymphae

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This is likely what I'll try doing next. It could be as easy as something's got knocked loose or just needs some solder joints patched up. It's still registering about 9/10 strums so it's not completely broken yet - but broken enough that continuing to play with it like that is going to drive me up the wall.

Good luck! I'm not sure what the internals are like on those things, but the strum bar click kinda reminds me of an arcade joystick activation click, it might be as simple as replacing some microswitches.
 

Syrklens

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Mar 9, 2018
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Buying a new Rock Band guitar you buying a skill. Buying an actual guitar you also need to spend money on music lessons.
 

Fox Mulder

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I never got the new one but still play the 360 version. Have Rock Band Blitz and stuff like Beatles Rock Band too. Got a couple of those guitars and you see the all the time at flea markets.

I assume the current gen game bombed horribly along with the new guitar hero, so things are more scarce.
 

DunDunDunpachi

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Bummer! I never considered this happening, but it makes total sense. I've seen these guitars going for $10 or less, stacked all along the top-shelves of local game stores, thrift stores, etc.

Dat resurgence of retro...
 

bronk

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I still use the Guitar Hero 2 guitar from the 360 game. It is the best one imo. I use it with Rock Band 3.
 
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jshackles

Gentlemen, we can rebuild it. We have the capability to make the world's first enhanced store. Steam will be that store. Better than it was before.
Jul 2, 2013
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Not sure if previously mentioned. I’ve got a couple of these beauties....

Logitech Xbox 360 Wireless Guitar Controller https://www.amazon.com/dp/B002FRIEAE/ref=cm_sw_r_sms_tai_6JS1CbE8HWJDH

Proper guitar wood and dimensions. Pure gaming art. Don’t get me started on the drum set.

I started my Guitar Hero / Rock Band journey on Xbox 360 and also still have this awesome guitar. Wish there was a way to make it work with the PS4. For the money it'd almost be worth buying the adapter to make it work with the Xbox One and re-buying most of my DLC there.


Perhaps the fix is as easy as this, just tightening a loose microswitch? Hopefully!

I am definitely going to try this, I'll post back with the results. Thanks!
 
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ReverandCletus

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May 11, 2019
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Heya!!

The rock band guitar actually does NOT use any traditional mechanical switches for its strum bar. There's a magnet on either leg of the strum bar internally. Above these legs and off to the sides are two glass vacuum tubes, with two thin pieces of metal positioned parallel, with less than a millimeter's gap between. As the magnet tilts towards either glass tube, the bars connect, completing the circuit, and this is a strum.

These can crack over time, which is a proper pain.

You can buy a replacement strum bar off eBay. Make sure the sensors are intact. Might need a soldering iron to swap it out, but crimping the wires together works just as well (if you aren't a perfectionist).

Additionally, the actual strummer component is universal (note: based on research, so I could be wrong). So if you have (or find) another rock band guitar lying around, cannibalize that beast. You mentioned having another guitar in hand, so I'd recommend popping it open to see if the pieces can be swapped!

Me? I went full gonzo replacing my broken strum bar. Using this video:


Replace the broken sensors with two momentary long hinge switches/SPDTs. Got 'em off Amazon. I didn't follow the video's guide for placement, and I regret that. Gave myself a ton of extra work. They do the job - better, in fact, than the old strum bar - but PAY ATTENTION TO THEIR PLACEMENT.

ALSO!! make sure to clean the contact pads under the fret switches. That's where I saw my largest improvement in performance (after the switches). Little bit of 99% rubbing alcohol just to clear out the wear and tear.
 

Serik21

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I highly recommend one of these!!! They work awesome, are easy to install and are an actual mechanical switch. I love mine. I've been an RB and GH nerd from day one. Still play my full e-kit drums every week too. This strum fix plus Is totally worth your cash.

 

ROMhack

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Some good advice here but I'll backup your claim that Rocksmith isn't close to being the same thing. Rock Band is a simple, fun rhythm game whereas Rocksmith is a full guitar tutorial, and honestly it's really hard because you have to learn to play by learning to read tablature as it comes at you on screen. I'm not the biggest fan.
 
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billyxci

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for a cheap rip off brand guitar yeah....

let me know when it cost £1,000+ then maybe it'll cost as much as my real guitars. i have one that cost £1,000 and one at £1,300. that's on the cheap side. if you want a really good high quality guitar it can be anywhere between £2,000-8,000.
 
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jtotal

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What about the pro drum kit. For how much it goes?
I've seen them on ebay for around 300. It's ridiculous.

What I'm doing is swinging by this retro store that has two wireless PS3 kits and taking the ps3 board out of it and swapping it with my XB1 board.

(The red pad snapped off within two weeks of owning RB4. I made a base out of an older kit to support it, but it's just fubar now. I've NEVER seen any previous kit do that.)
 

Fox Mulder

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Some good advice here but I'll backup your claim that Rocksmith isn't close to being the same thing. Rock Band is a simple, fun rhythm game whereas Rocksmith is a full guitar tutorial, and honestly it's really hard because you have to learn to play by learning to read tablature as it comes at you on screen. I'm not the biggest fan.

Yeah, I have no interest in learning to play real guitar. Rockband and Guitar Hero were just simple and fun music games.
 

jshackles

Gentlemen, we can rebuild it. We have the capability to make the world's first enhanced store. Steam will be that store. Better than it was before.
Jul 2, 2013
18,083
20,095
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Oregon

Perhaps the fix is as easy as this, just tightening a loose microswitch? Hopefully!

I finally got around to performing this fix and I'm happy to say that it worked really well! :D Taking the guitar apart and putting it back together was the hardest part - the screw they mentioned in the article was pretty freaking loose, and it took a bit of trial and error to get everything right, but once I was done I was pretty happy with the results. I was able to play Carry On Wayward Son on Hard with 100% of the notes hit so that seems to have fixed it. But...

I highly recommend one of these!!! They work awesome, are easy to install and are an actual mechanical switch. I love mine. I've been an RB and GH nerd from day one. Still play my full e-kit drums every week too. This strum fix plus Is totally worth your cash.

Try this. I have both the single and dual strummer and they work great.


I'm really tempted to pick one of these up considering I'd love for this guitar to have a more satisfying "click" than a mushy strum like it has now. The install looks like I could handle it (doesn't even require soldering) and seems pretty straight forward. Also I'm worried that if I don't order one soon these might disappear kinda like the guitars themselves seem to have. I'd rather do a bit of custom work on my guitar and hopefully let is last for another few years.
 

Nymphae

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jshackles jshackles I'm really glad that worked out for you! Good enough to keep you jamming for now, but yeah I would look into that replacement kit, it looks like exactly what you need.