So I Bought an Electric Guitar…

May 16, 2011 Posted by Tyler Cruz

Warning: this is a personal post and has absolutely nothing to do with making money online.

Ever since Harmonix announced that they were adding a “pro” mode to Rock Band 3 and showed sneak previews of the pro guitars at the 2010 E3 last year, I wanted one.

I didn’t know how to play real guitar at all, but suddenly had the desire to learn after watching this particular video about a year or two prior. I ended up having to wait months before I was able to grab by hands on the Fender Mustang Pro Guitar, but was thrilled once I did.

I created a YouTube channel dedicated to documenting my progress on learning the pro guitar through Rock Band 3, and really worked hard on improving. The last I checked, I managed to climb the very competitive leaderboards to 27th out of around 14,000 pro guitarists. Because of this, I was also interested in learning how to play drums so I took lessons from Pasadena Music Academy. They have the best instructors, you can view online more about their music lessons.

Anyway, the Mustang (the red one in the photos below) has 102 ‘buttons’ and 6 strings, but is not really a real guitar. It uses plastic strings which is the biggest difference, and can only be played with the game. Here are some options for acoustic axes under 200 bucks, which you might want to check.

Unfortunately, the Squier proved to be even more difficult to acquire than the Mustang… mainly due to the fact that I’m in Canada and no shipping company would ship it here (unless I wanted to pay $300+ extra).The Squier, which is the higher-end model, is a 100% real electric guitar. You can plug it into the game (through a MIDI adapter) and play Rock Band 3 or plug it right into an amp and play it on its own.

Fortunately, Paul from drove down to Seattle last week and managed to find 2 Squiers there. He phoned me asking if I’d like him to pick one up for me and so of course I said yes.

I then took the ferry and drove to Paul’s house on the mainland the next day. Just travelling there and back took around 10 hours… so you can see just how motivated I was to get this guitar.

Anyhow, here’s an unboxing video of the Squier. Please note that this video was made for my Rock Band 3 YouTube channel, so it’ll be quite nerdy and not really targeted to you guys 🙂

Also, you may want to crank your volume up as the audio is very low (I tried to increase it as much as I could):

(Note: You may need to visit the post directly at if you’re reading this via e-mail or RSS in order to see it.)

Here are some photos:


In the above photo, from left to right: my Beatles Rock Band Guitar (5-button legacy guitar), my Fender Mustang Pro Guitar (102-buttons, 6 strings, MIDI), my Fender Squier (real guitar, MIDI), and my Fender Mustang II amp.




So… now I have to learn this thing! I don’t have the MPA (Midi Pro Adapter) yet, so I haven’t been able to hook up the Squier to my Playstation 3 and play Rock Band 3 with it, but I’m pretty sure it’s going to take a while to be able to play on it the way I can with the Mustang.

For example, below is a video of me playing a song (on Hard, not Expert) on the Mustang Pro Guitar (not the Squier) about a month ago:

(Note: You may need to visit the post directly at if you’re reading this via e-mail or RSS in order to see it.)

Again, I haven’t tried playing anything on the Squier other than just fiddling around on the amp, but I’m pretty sure I’m going to have to practice a lot just to get to the stage where I can play the Squier like I can the Mustang.

I’m not going to get professional guitar lessons (at least no immediate plans), mainly because of my weird schedule. Instead, I’m just going to try to learn on my own through Rock Band 3, YouTube, and perhaps some online guitar lessons if I can find a good place for that. For those who are also interested in playing musical instruments such as a violin, sites like Fiddlers Guide would be more than helpful to you.

So – what do you think? Do you play electric guitar? Any tips for me? I’m also thinking to try how to play either a violin or a beginner cello and to document also my learning progress with it.

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Posted: May 16th, 2011 under Personal  

34 Responses to “So I Bought an Electric Guitar…”

  1. Paulymath says:

    You’re so excited in the unboxing video, just like I was when I opened up mine.

    It was definitely worth the drive down to Seattle to pick them up. It feels like a real guitar as opposed to the Mustang.

    At first I was a bit disappointed with how it sounded like while playing the game, but then I realized the guitar had to be tuned. Once I tuned it, it sounded way better.

    The Fender Mustang II Amp we picked up is awesome. I think it’s a great amp for $200 with all the features it has.


    • Tyler Cruz says:

      I’m calling you out for being too chicken to do a guitar challenge with me.

      • Paulymath says:

        I’ve been wanting to do another weight loss challenge for over 6 months and you won’t do it claiming you can’t exercise in your condo.

        You use your condo as an excuse not to exercise, but you CAN learn how to play electric guitar?

        Excuses, excuses…

        I want to learn to play the squier for fun. If I turn it into a challenge it won’t be as fun anymore for me as I’ll have to do practice daily.


  2. Joe Big Time says:

    When you play the rock band songs on the squire, do you play the guitar as you would if you were going to play the song without being hooked up to the playstation? In other words, could you just turn off the playstation and play the song through the amp? I imagine not as with a real guitar you have to press the stings a certain way or you won’t get the proper note.

  3. nice stuff tyler, guitars are cool

  4. exsuit says:

    Amazing you can learn an instrument through video game now. Post videos of your progress on your electric guitar!

  5. I always wanted to learn to play quitar, hope some day I learn!

  6. That is wild, I had no idea you could play a real instrument through this game. That is really cool. I have been out of the loop of video games too long.

  7. George Tee says:

    Hi tyler, what a beautiful squire, but of course you have to tune it well. I love how you reacted when you open up your squire. If there’s a will there’s a way. If there’s one thing you want to have, you’ll do whatever it is to have one.

  8. Ramon says:

    That’s one sweet guitar Tyler 🙂

  9. It’s good they’re making it so the guitar in the game is now the same as playing a regular guitar. Good luck on moving to #1. I’ll be subscribing to your channel 🙂

  10. Jacob says:

    Those two little things are simply to hold the strings in a certain place. It’s so that you don’t cross the strings and result in any unnecessary tension.

  11. Keith says:

    If you’re serious about learning Guitar on your own … is the best and easiest out there online. They cover everything from beginning to end and hit all the little details and terminology along the way.

  12. Jasmine says:

    The videos are awesome… the guitars look really good and real… for me. I am a complete idiot when it comes to guitar, haha.

  13. Happy to see that there are people who love playing guitar still in this days

  14. Looks cool Tyler keep it going!

  15. Looks like a swell piece, Tyler. You’re definitely going to enjoy playing. I really want to get a banjo soon as I love bluegrass music a lot and would love to be able to recreate some of my favorite songs myself.

  16. I play electric guitar too. I am an intermidiate-advanced player though.
    Nice guitar. What’s that little Fender amp ofer there?

  17. used tires says:

    That’s pretty sweet Tyler! Being a noob to Rock Band, I didn’t know there was guitars out there like The Squier that can play in the virtual world too.


  18. paul says:

    Very nice. I have a similar guitar, not as nice tho.

  19. Michael says:

    Sweet looking guitar Tyler!

    Sounds like you’ll be having a lot of fun with it. Enjoy!

    I’d like to learn the guitar sometime. Maybe in the near future when I have a bit more time :).

  20. flash game says:

    nice video i’ll enjoy it very much.thanks for this post.

  21. Awesome to hear Tyler!! You’ll be rocking it in no time I’m sure 🙂

  22. I’m not particular where you’re getting your facts, yet terrific subject. I have to devote more time to learning extra and also understanding more. Thanks for excellent facts I had been hunting for this info for my vision.


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