Acoustic Guitar Setup for RockSmith

Last year, after I took the new job and moved to Philadelphia, I had two occasions to play music with my new team. It was fun, and the experiences inspired me to practice and play my guitar more. Since I’m hopeful for more jam sessions this year, I thought it was time to step up my game.

In addition to trying out a few new online lessons, I broke out RockSmith that was collecting virtual dust on the shelf. The last time I used it, I had a cheap electric guitar that wouldn’t hold a tune and was generally frustrating to use, so I donated it as part of the purge when we left Colorado and hadn’t used RockSmith since.

Now that we’re settled in our new city and I’m inspired and itching to find more opportunities to play guitar, I wanted to find a way to use my acoustic guitar with RockSmith. It turns out, it’s not that difficult.

RockSmith uses this USB to TS Male 1/4″ cable to connect to a guitar.

My acoustic guitar, though, in not amped so there is no input to plug the cable in to. Fortunately, that’s where a handy invention called a pickup comes in.

From Wikipedia:

A pickup device is a transducer that captures mechanical vibrations from stringed instruments such as the electric guitar, electric bass guitar, Chapman Stick, or electric violin, and converts them to an electrical signal that is amplified, recorded, or broadcast.

Amazon had this pickup on the cheap with good reviews, so I picked one up.

Most pickups are meant to go from an acoustic instrument straight to an amplifier or other input, though, so the non-pickup end is also a TS Male 1/4″ cable. Obviously, two male cable ends aren’t going to connect to each other, so I also needed a 1/4″ female to female coupler.

Simply attach the pickup to your guitar underneath the strings and so that the chord will fall under the guitar. Plug the male end of the pickup in to one end of the coupler and non-USB end of the RockSmith cable in to the other end of the coupler. Plug the RockSmith USB in to your computer, and as far as RockSmith is concerned, you’re doing the Electric Side (because “It’s Electric”).

That’s it! I hope this helps. If you’re looking for motivation, join the “Practice Guitar For 20 Minutes” goal on Coach.Me. I’m shooting for 3 days a week to start, which will include rocking out to Muse on RockSmith!

Happy playing!