Can a Guitar Hero Guitar be used in Rock Band Games?

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Are you sick and tired of not knowing whether or not can you use Guitar Hero guitar for Rock Band? Have all the other sources you consulted left you empty handed as to exactly which guitars controllers work with which versions of which games? Are you a fan of both franchises and simply wish to play the games in relative peace and harmony?

Then you are in the right place! The subject of this article today is to clarify the various ins and outs of compatibility of these two monolithic franchises of guitar based gaming – Rock Band and Guitar Hero – on the Xbox 360, the Playstation 3, and the Nintento Wii.

CAN YOU USE GUITAR HERO GUITAR FOR ROCK BAND

Table of Contents

Xbox 360 Compatibility

Here listed, we have the veritable compatibility of the various guitars from the various Guitar Hero games and Rock Band games from over the years. And as we can see the answer to can you use Guitar Hero guitar for Rock Band is a resounding yes, at least in this instance.

There are certainly a whole bunch of Guitar Hero instruments from across the various stages of the franchise. Guitar Hero guitars in particular always seem to be found littering a family’s garage of late. And there are certainly no end of them to be found at garage or yard sales.

It does not feel as though the same can be said for Rock Band guitars. Perhaps because the latter is a less popular franchise (meaning that there are fewer of them overall)? Or perhaps it is because of a certain penchant for the Rock Band guitar, which more closely resembles its muse, the Fender Stratocaster.

One thing that is for sure is the continuing popularity of both Guitar Hero and Rock Band, whether through separate games like Band Hero, or through arcade versions of Guitar Hero that can be seen dotted around nowadays. A local venue near me even has one set up in their downstairs bar for the punters to play!

Guitar Hero III / AerosmithRock BandRock Band 2Guitar Hero World Tour / Metallica
Guitar Hero X-Plorer (USB)WorksWorksWorksWorks
Les Paul GuitarWorksWorksWorksWorks
Rock Band USB GuitarINCOMPATIBLEWorksWorksWorks
Rock Band 2 GuitarINCOMPATIBLEWorksWorksWorks
Guitar Hero World Tour GuitarWorksWorksWorksWorks
Rock Band USB DrumsINCOMPATIBLEWorksWorksWorks
Rock Band 2 DrumsINCOMPATIBLEWorksWorksWorks
Ion Drum RockerINCOMPATIBLEWorksWorksINCOMPATIBLE
Guitar Hero WT DrumsINCOMPATIBLEWorksWorksWorks

Playstation 3 Compatibility

And here listed below is the relative compatibility chart with the Playstation 3.

Surprisingly or unsurprisingly (depending on how you look at it), there are a whole host of differences in the compatibility between all of the individual elements that are otherwise provided through purchasing games in either the Rock Band or Guitar Hero franchises.

Of particular note is the change in the compatible drum kit. It seems to have shifted considerably in comparison with the compatibility with the Xbox. This basically means that to play drums with the opposing franchise’s gear will require a little more forethought.

I used to have a fantasy as a teenager that, one day, all users of all consoles would be able to play with each other, regardless of their choice of console, or their country, or their membership to various online subscriptions. We are certainly closer than ever before to this being the case. But there are still enormous gaping gaps between us and our compatriots.

All too often, the source of ill is money. Companies like Sony and Microsoft on either side of the ring battling for supremacy with new consoles that attempt to be the be all and end all of all consoles, until the next one of course.

Let us attempt to promote some peace and harmony, like those folks over at Nintendo seem to at least try…

Guitar Hero III / AerosmithRock BandRock Band 2Guitar Hero World Tour / Metallica
Les Paul GuitarWorksINCOMPATIBLEINCOMPATIBLEWorks
Rock Band USB GuitarINCOMPATIBLEWorksWorksWorks
Rock Band 2 GuitarINCOMPATIBLEWorksWorksWorks
Guitar Hero World Tour GuitarWorksWorksWorksWorks
Rock Band USB DrumsINCOMPATIBLEWorksWorksWorks
Rock Band 2 DrumsINCOMPATIBLEWorksWorksWorks
Ion Drum RockerINCOMPATIBLEWorksWorksINCOMPATIBLE
Guitar Hero World Tour DrumsINCOMPATIBLEWorksWorksWorks
CAN YOU USE GUITAR HERO GUITAR FOR ROCK BAND

Wii Compatibility

At first glance, it might seem as though the Wii is far less compatible than its contemporaneous counterparts. Though it is worth taking into account the fact that the Wii already accommodates fewer versions of the game, meaning there are fewer opportunities for it to represent itself.

Perhaps it is only because of the way this list is laid out. But there is a real pattern formed from the information here listed and arrayed in this way, where instruments compatible with one another criss-cross with those that are incompatible like some sort of non fungible game of noughts and crosses, or a bass wood tapestry of gargantuan proportions, where playing an instrument is equivalent to seeing, and an instrument played is an instrument watched.

Is it such an unacceptable request, to want to use ones USB guitar on another franchise, to feel their support in exploring your sense of self through music? It certainly seems that way sometimes. For the Wii, though I love it dearly in other respects, the opportunity for cross pollination of USB guitars and drums and the like is all but futile.

There is talk online that any USB guitar produced after Guitar Hero 3 will work with any Rock Band game, though this has been proved to be untrue.

Guitar Hero III / AerosmithRock BandRock Band 2Guitar Hero World Tour / Metallica
Les Paul GuitarWorksINCOMPATIBLEINCOMPATIBLEWorks
Rock Band USB GuitarINCOMPATIBLEWorksWorksINCOMPATIBLE
Rock Band 2 GuitarINCOMPATIBLEWorksWorksINCOMPATIBLE
Guitar Hero World Tour GuitarWorksINCOMPATIBLEINCOMPATIBLEWorks
Rock Band DrumsINCOMPATIBLEWorksWorksINCOMPATIBLE
Rock Band 2 DrumsINCOMPATIBLEWorksWorksINCOMPATIBLE
Guitar Hero World Tour DrumsINCOMPATIBLEINCOMPATIBLEINCOMPATIBLEWorks

Final Tones

So, there you have it! Hopefully you are now feeling more comfortable and at ease about navigating the oft confusing and overwhelming world of Guitar Hero and Rock Band cross pollination in this year of our lord 2023.

Something that ought to be easy and convenient can be rendered surprisingly difficult by the shrewd and stubborn attitudes of manufacturers who refuse to meet in the middle and provide a platform where all can converse in relative harmony.

Hopefully this has been of use in finding your own equilibrium.

FAQs Can You Use Guitar Hero Guitar for Rock Band

Can you use a Guitar Hero guitar for Rock Band 4?

While the answer to this question will vary from console to console and from generation to generation, you can be almost certain that a wireless instrument from Guitar Hero (as introduced from Guitar Hero 3 and onwards) will work a treat with most games that use these kinds of wireless guitars. If, however, the guitar uses a wire, then it is safe to say that it will likely not be compatible.

Are Rock Band and Guitar Hero instruments compatible?

Sometimes, yes, and when they do work together they work a treat. I used to play the Beatles Rock Band, for example, with my cousin regularly, popping over to his house after school to soar our way through all the hits and then some (though we were particularly fond of ‘I Want You (She’s So Heavy)’ – certainly not one of the easy Beatles songs for beginners). Though this game was released alongside a bunch of dedicated instruments, we managed to use my cousin’s old wireless instruments just fine, using a Rock Band guitar and drum kit, alongside a Guitar Hero guitar and microphone, all of which did the job more than satisfactorily.

Can you use a Guitar Hero guitar for Rock Band Wii?

Sadly not, at least not one of the older versions of the game. The cross compatibility with regards to the Wii is quite poor, at least in terms of the Guitar Hero x Rock Band relationship. There is not a single combinations of instruments to games that will lead to success, other than those specifically designed for the Wii version of Rock Band and Rock Band 2.

Do Guitar Hero guitars work with Rock Band 3?

Though it will depend from console to console, the consensus is that, yes, your Guitar Hero guitars will work with a game like Rock Band 3, they might simply be a little slower on the mark. That is, however, only if the guitars in question are the wireless kind, such as those introduced with the release of Guitar Hero 3 and onwards, for the wireless aspect can be used more or less at will with any other game that uses similar technology, especially if it is the same console. If, though, it is a wired guitar, then chances are it is not compatible and will not work.

What guitars are compatible with Rock Band?

This very much depends on which console you are talking about. Arguably, the most compatible console for cross pollination of this kind is the Xbox 360, which allows for much cross compatibility across the two franchises of Guitar Hero and Rock Band. Then, it is the Playstation 3, then the Wii, the latter of which offering next to no opportunities for this kind of cross contamination of wireless whims. If you wish to know specifically which guitars are compatible for your console’s version of Rock Band, then you will have to consult a dedicated compatibility chart.

By Nate Pallesen

Nate is just your average (above average) guitar player. He's no Joe Satriani, Jimi Hendrix or Jimmy Page - wait this site is about acoustic guitars (sorry) He's no Django Reinhardt, Chet Atkins, or Michael Hedges, wait? who!? He's no Robert Johnson, Eric Clapton or Ben Harper - more familiar? Anyway you get the point :-)

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