It’s probably not news anymore that a keytar is making it into Rock Band 3. (I have to pause writing this for a minute, because I have no idea if I spelled that right since it hasn’t been in pop-circulation for 20+ years. FYI, I did). The real question is, did you realize that you’re going to be able to “learn” the actual instruments this time around?
The keytar is a fully functioning 25 key MIDI keyboard. Perhaps not enough keys to cover your favorite Beethoven symphony or learn to rock out Yes’ Siberian Khatru, but the prospect that it’s a functional MIDI peripheral is an interesting and exciting selling point. Not so long in the past, the infamous Ion Drum kit with sequencer had already started bridging this gap between toy and instrument.
Another selling point is RB3’s new Pro mode, that replaces the colored fretboard with actual musical notes and symbols. Could this be enough get people into the real instrument? It’s hard to say, but the new guitar peripherals that use actual strings, encourage chord formations and real notes definitely beg the same question.
If I had to make a guess I’d say that most people inspired to pick up a real instrument after playing Rock Band have done so, and the people that are content playing on medium will continue to be. However, it’s still exciting that Harmonix is keeping that in mind moving forward.
Kotaku also recently reported on a partial setlist:
Combat Baby — Metric
Dead End Friends — Them Crooked Vultures
Get Free — The Vines
Lasso — Phoenix
Me Enamora — Juanes
Oh My God — Ida Maria
Portions of Foxes — Rilo Kiley
The Hardest Button to Button — The White Stripes
Been Caught Stealing — Jane’s Addiction
In the Meantime — Spacehog
Plush — Stone Temple Pilots
Walkin’ on the Sun — Smash Mouth
Crazy Train — Ozzy Osbourne
Here I Go Again — Whitesnake
I Love Rock and Roll — Joan Jett
Just Like Heaven — The Cure
Rainbow in the Dark — Dio
The Power of Love — Huey Lewis and the News
Sister Christian — Night Ranger
Bohemian Rhapsody — Queen
Break On Through — The Doors
Crosstown Traffic — Jimi Hendrix