How Many Guitars Can Be Used With Rock Band?

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Rock Band is one of the great electronic music games that can be played by many people at the same time. You can also play Rock Band with guitars, bass, drums, and vocals. However, how many guitars can be used with a Rock Band game?

You may use up to three guitars in Rock Band. You may play with one lead guitar, one rhythm guitar, and a bass guitar. You may also include a vocal, a keyboard, and a drum set playing in what is called an ‘all-instruments’ mode.  

This article explores the number of guitars that can be used with Rock Band at a time. We also explore the types of instruments available to play Rock Band and also when the new Rock Band may be released.

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How Many Guitars Can Be Used With Rock Band?


What Is Rock Band?

Rock Band is an electronic music game developed by Harmonix Music Systems. It has so far been released in four major versions, Rock Band 1, 2, 3, and 4. Players form a band and play different instruments based on the prompt on the screen. The more accurate everybody is, the higher the final score. 

Rock Band was developed, brought to market, and marketed by Harmonix Music Systems and Electronic Arts. You may play Rock Band using various gaming consoles, such as various editions of PlayStations, Xboxes, and Nintendo Wiis.

You may consider Rock Band similar to Guitar Hero, with additional features. Instead of only focusing solely on the guitar, you may find a microphone, bass guitar, and drums in addition to the guitar. 

Rock Band comes with its proprietary musical instrument controllers. These controllers resemble the actual instruments they represent, such as guitar, bass, keyboard, or drums. These controllers help players to have a simulated playing experience, by matching the prompts on the screen while listening to the song. 

Up to seven players can play together. Three vocalists, one lead guitar, one rhythm guitar, one bass guitar, one keyboard, and a drum set. This made Rock Band more popular as a social game than Guitar Hero.

The level of accuracy demonstrated by each player is tallied and added to the total score. More than 50 essential songs are included in the game, and many more are available online as track packs. Some track packs contain a mixture of songs, while some are genre-based, such as country and metal.

Rock Band 4 Band-in-a-Box Bundle – Xbox One
  • Start a Band. Rock the World – Rock Band 4 delivers the ecstatic rush of a live band performance like never before. Grab some friends and live out your rock fantasies on stage, under the lights and in front of a roaring crowd.
  • The Most Music Available – Over 60 new tracks from rock’s biggest names and upcoming acts. More than 1,500 songs available for download through the in-game Rock Band Music Store. Freely import your previously purchased Rock Band music library into RB4
  • Add your Personal Signature – Put a unique spin on your favorite tracks with Freestyle Guitar Solos, Dynamic Drum Fills and Vocal Improvisation
  • Keep the Party Going – New “Shows” mode energizes your Rock Band multiplayer experience. Build multi-song sets, vote for the next song, change difficulty levels and drop in or out. All on-the-fly in one of the best party games available
  • Bundle includes the standard edition of Rock Band 4 for Xbox One, Wireless Fender Stratocaster Guitar, Wireless Drum Kit, and Stage-Grade USB Microphone.

How Many Types Of Instruments Are In Rock Band?

You may see a microphone, drum set, guitar, bass guitar, and keyboard in Rock Band. Up to three vocalists can sing at the same time, as lead and also harmonies. Two guitars can be played simultaneously, one as a lead guitar and the other as a rhythm guitar. The keyboard can be played upright or slung as a keytar.

Rock Band comes with its own set of proprietary musical controllers. These controllers are essentially a simplified version of the original instruments it represents. For example, instead of a full-on guitar with six strings, Rock Band’s guitar has 5 buttons on the fret, a lever to simulate strumming, and a mock Wah pedal.

These simplified instruments allow players to have a close, simulated experience of playing the actual instruments without having to spend countless hours perfecting their skills. The barrier of entry is much lower. 

Microphone: The microphone for Rock Band allows singers to send their vocal sounds into the game to be scored. The closer the singer’s vocals match the songs, the higher the score. 

The microphones in Rock Band are smaller in size compared to the real microphone. Up to three vocalists can sing at the same time in a game, each holding a microphone. Singers may sing as a lead and two harmonies. 

Keyboard: The keyboard for Rock Band is also simplified from an original, with perhaps only two octaves of notes available. Similar to the guitars and bass, the keys are broken into five color sets, with the keyboard having additional individual keys inside these color sets. 

This makes the keyboard one of the harder instruments to play in Rock Band. The keyboard can be played upright or slung on a shoulder like a keytar. 

Drum Set: The drums for Rock Band are simplified down to four drums of multiple colors and a bass pedal. You may upgrade and get the pro version, adding three cymbals of varying colors. This significantly increases the realism of the game and also the difficulty.

Guitar and Bass: The guitar for Rock Band is smaller and simpler than the real guitar. Instead of a full fret, players get to press five buttons of varying colors. There is a lever for players to push up and down to simulate strumming and a wah pedal. 

The bass guitar utilizes a similar construction concept as the guitar but is made to be larger than the guitar. It is still smaller than a real bass guitar. There is also no wah pedal. Both guitars come with straps so players can sling them on their shoulders while playing. 

How Many Guitars Can Be Played In Rock Band?

Up to three guitars can be played together during a game. One lead guitar, one rhythm guitar, and one bass guitar. No more guitars can be added, but you may add other instruments such as vocals, drums, and keyboard. Such limitation is to simulate a full band experience. 

In the all-instruments mode, you may have up to seven players performing together as a full band. Of these seven players, three would be playing guitars. One as a lead guitarist, one as a rhythm guitarist, and one as a bassist. 

Some players may try to see if they can set up the game to have multiple players playing similar parts, for example, three lead guitarists. This is not possible in Rock Band. This is because Rock Band is designed and developed to simulate the experience of playing as a band. 

As such, the game does not allow multiple players to play the same part in a game. If you still want to do this, you may consider Guitar Hero.

Why Was There No New Version Of Rock Band?

Rock Band has not been updated since 2014 due to market oversaturation, player fatigue, and uninnovative gameplay. The trend of electronic music games has also died down towards the mid-2010s, meaning there may be less financial interest to invest, develop and release new versions of the game.

The last full release of Rock Band was Rock Band 4 in 2014. There has been no major release since, with only updates to the game delivered via consoles, sometimes as frequently as weekly. 

Oversaturation: Rock Band and Guitar Hero were the leaders of the electronic music game space, with billions of sales between both. However, many other similar, less popular games also try to make a quick buck from the trend. 

As a result, the market becomes too saturated, and low sales may not justify the effort to invest more money and develop new releases.

Uninnovative Gameplay: Electronic music game developers try to innovate the game to keep it fresh and challenging to players. For example, Rock Band introduces innovations like drum sets with additional cymbals. This makes the instrument harder to play, adding additional challenges. 

However, no matter how the developers try to innovate the game, the basis of electronic music games remains the same, press the button as prompted by the screen. As a result, players eventually got bored of the game and moved on to other types of games. 

A Cooling Trend: By 2014, during the release of Rock Band 4, the electronic music game had been on a downtrend. The game genre picked up in the late 2000s and reached its peak popularity in the early 2010s. 

As a result, sales for Rock Band 4 were probably not as encouraging as the previous version. This made Harmonix rethink whether it was wise to reinvest a large amount of money to develop and bring a new version of Rock Band into the market.

However, despite the long wait, there has been news that Rock Band 5 is actually in development. Harmonix, Rockstar Games, and Spotify announced that they are working on a new version of Rock Band over Twitter. 

However, very little additional information was revealed from the tweet. They did not tell us when the game was going to be released. 

There is also no explanation on whether the game will be available on which gaming platform. The game should be playable on Playstation, Xbox, and Nintendo consoles based on previous releases.

This can be frustrating for impatient and anxious fans. Still, the good news is that you will get something new to spice up your electronic music gaming experience. 

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