Rocksmith Legacy DLC Review #7: The Police Song Pack

The Police photo

Hello once again, Rocksmith fans!

This week’s Legacy DLC review will be covering a three-pack from everybody’s favorite Post-Punk/Reggae-Rock/New-Wave band, The Police, released on May 1st, 2012. For all you guitarists out there, get ready for some jazzy chords and solos!

Yes, that is a real photo of The Police. Please don’t ask me where it’s from.

Song: Roxanne
Arrangements: Rhythm, Alternate Rhythm, Bass (Picked)
Tuning: E Standard

ROOOOOOOOOOOOOOCKSMIIIIIIIITH

I dearly apologize, I just couldn’t resist.
Out of all the songs in this pack, Roxanne most clearly shows The Police’s roots in reggae as well as Andy Summers’ abilities as a jazz guitarist; and while this may be the most accessible song out of the three, it is by no means a walk in the park for any beginner- to intermediate-level guitarist. If you aren’t very familiar with jazz chords, the primary rhythm arrangement will take quite some time to effectively master due to the large amount of shifting between different chord shapes during the verses. Surprisingly, the alternate rhythm arrangement is just a single-note version of the main rhythm, so beginners may find it better to practice on first. It’s a really song fun to play, nevertheless, and it certainly showcases the potential for more jazz guitar DLC in the future.

While Sting does posses quite a bit technical instrumental skill (as showcased in the bassline for Masoko Tanga), his basslines on most of The Police’s more popular songs tend to follow a “less is more” philosophy, and Roxanne isn’t much different in this regard; it goes through a very simple groove during the verses and then mostly follows the guitar’s rhythm during the choruses. I know I’ve criticized basslines in songs on past Legacy reviews for being too simplistic or just following the guitar’s rhythm outright, but there’s just something that’s sort of… hypnotically relaxing about Roxanne’s bass track. I know that doesn’t describe it much, but it’s one of those really simple arrangements any bass guitarist regardless of skill level can just zone out to while playing. I would recommend it to beginners most, though.

Song: Message in a Bottle
Arrangements: Lead, Rhythm, Bass (Picked)
Tuning: E Standard

Now here’s a track that might take some stretchy fingers. Containing one of the most recognizable riffs in rock music (comprised of power chord arpeggios with an extra fifth, which Andy Summers partially recycled in “Every Breath You Take”, also on Rocksmith 2014), this song is definitely for any guitarists looking for a catchy riff to sink their teeth into, providing your fingers are strong enough to reach from the second fret all the way over to the sixth fret. The quick transitions between the different chord positions and the numerous solos throughout the song will make for quite a challenge, so I would highly recommend it to any high-level guitarists looking for something really fun and really challenging on lead guitar.

What surprised me about this track was the layout of the rhythm arrangement. While it contains a few of the same arpeggio chord shapes as the lead arrangement, it only uses the two with root notes at the fourth and seventh frets in addition to one rooted at the sixth fret on the A string containing a dissonant tritone between it and a power chord rooted at the 7th fret on the D string. It’s quite different from the lead arrangement, but since it only contains the chords without all of the solos, I would recommend it more to lower-level guitarists before they try the lead arrangement.

The bass is the most simplistic in the whole pack, as it strictly follows the root notes of the lead’s chords with a few octave jumps. It doesn’t really have the same kind of hypnotically relaxing groove as Roxanne, so while serviceable, this ends up being the least recommended bass arrangement.

Song: Synchronicity II
Arrangements: Lead, Alternate Lead, Bass (Picked), Alternate Bass (Picked)
Tuning: E Standard

This is quite possibly one of the more unconventional songs in The Police’s long line of hits. It may not be the most unconventional in the Police’s whole discography, but it’s certainly unconventional for Rocksmith standards both structurally and rhythmically (other than Radiohead, of course). Along with an unusual chord progression that varies throughout the song, it also makes use of a lot of unconventional, dissonant jazz chords and arpeggios; making it possibly one the closest things to progressive rock the Police have ever made. The lead and alternate lead guitar charts are also quite difficult in the pack to master, at least on par with Message in a Bottle. While the repetitive jazz chords at the beginning and the main riff might be relatively easy to pin down, the unusual chords and the many, many fast arpeggios are what will likely trip up most guitarists. The alternate lead arrangement is even more difficult, as it contains much more of these arpeggios, so I would recommend mastering the primary lead before trying the alternate. Nevertheless, both are quite fun to play, and the song’s unusual structure is a different, yet welcome change to the Rocksmith DLC catalog.

Now here’s something you don’t see all too often in the Rocksmith catalog; an alternate bass arrangement. While both mostly follow the guitar’s rhythm, they also have occasionally different sets of notes, with the alternate arrangement diverging from the guitar track a little more than the primary one. Both are certainly more challenging than either Roxanne or Message in a Bottle, so I would most recommend these tracks to any mid-level bass guitarists.

Pick of the pack: Message in a Bottle

I hope you all know some finger-stretching exercises. Have fun, and see you all next time!

 

 

 

Andy Summers stares into your soul

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j
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j

You guys should do one of these on Foofighters pack one. People got to know how good it is. All the songs feel so good to play on 100% and have something worth learning.

Also I couldn’t agree more about what you have said about the Police pack. “Msg in a bottle” is my favourite as well.

C
Guest
C

Fuck the police -- Ice-T

Can we get cop killer by body count? 🙂

nunyafuckingbeeswax
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nunyafuckingbeeswax

I give this band 2 middle fingers down 2nd week in a row of crappy music

Elliott
Admin

Well, this a legacy DLC review, The Police pack came out in May, 2012. You can repeat this comment if you don’t like December 2nd’s DLC though. :+1:

Dan
Guest
Dan

Anyone from the UK not seeing any song packs for sale both in game and on the PSN?

Elliott
Admin

Are you talking about PS4?

Rich
Guest
Rich

Indeed, bonza bloke. Old school punk and rock would be super. Even “newer” punk would be fantastic. By newer I mean punk that is punk and not commercial quasi-punk. Plenty out there for sure. Lagwagon, nofx, face to face etc.

And more police 🙂

Ethan
Guest
Ethan

I got a idea
for each review you should record a video and upload it to the riff repeater
so we can enjoy the layout of the videos instead of just gameplay
as there are so many songs that I would like to see a video like the same layout

Elliott
Admin

Have a feeling Elison won’t like that idea too much :laughing:

Bonza Bloke
Guest
Bonza Bloke

The Police songs are some of my favourite on Rocksmith. Synchronicity II is one of the first songs I got to 100% on Guitar and Bass.

I still love going back to it as a palate cleanser after focusing on new content.

MOAR Police! MOAR Queen! MOAR old school rock and punk!

(Down with homophobia)

Rich
Guest
Rich

Instead of commenting on the homophobic comments by the ??? Person, I will agree with others on the interest in additional Police songs.

I’d love to see more intricate bass lines for sure. Granted, it can still be a workout since I prefer finger style while playing bass. Some of the old Police would be fairly cool. That “down home” rock would…rock

As for Walking on the Moon, that would be ok, but the song is more a showcase of Copeland’s skill than string work. Still, my favorite song by them.

Spanky
Guest
Spanky

Where the fuck is slayer

Elliott
Admin

In Rocksmith 2014 with the song “War Ensemble”

Bonza Bloke
Guest
Bonza Bloke

Whew! I’m glad that problem is solved 😉

dave
Guest
dave

Yeah, I’ve been asking that since Paul said a SLAYER! pack was coming out soon…. 😳

???
Guest
???

what the fuck? we go from emo metal to the most homoqueer fagetass shit on the planet what i would do you to devs u can’t put in a video game

mags
Guest
mags

You remind me of my grandma when her cup of tea gets cold.

Elliott
Admin

talk about a humiliating kick in the crotch amirite?

Bonza Bloke
Guest
Bonza Bloke

:+1: I laughed at the reference anyway

Honky thom
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Honky thom

I agree, message in a bottle is great. Roxanne close 2nd for me. Even on bass I love those 2, but that’s just because I like the songs so much. I like synchronicity also.

dave
Guest
dave

We need a follow-up for The Police

Every little thing she does is magic
don’t stand so close to me
spirits in the material world
so lonely
can’t stand losing you

Honky thom
Guest
Honky thom

I’d prefer Walking on the moon to ‘every little thing’, I’d also like Englishman in new york, but that’s from Stings solo stuff isn’t it? I can’t remember. I like your other choices, and I agree, they need a five pack.

dave
Guest
dave

Yeah, a Sting solo pack would be cool too

Floder
Guest
Floder

Anecdote : I remember heard somewhere that Ian D’Sa (guitar player of Billy Talent) is a huge fan of Andy Summers style. When you see riff from Red Flag and Viking Death March you know where it comes from. 😀