Rock Band clutter

One of the most popular games this holiday season is Rock Band. Think Guitar Hero, but multiplied by three. The game not only includes a guitar, but a drum kit and a microphone. Now, all your friends can pretend to be rock stars at the same time!

I’ve never played Guitar Hero (and I don’t intend to start), but Rock Band seems like an unclutterer’s nightmare. The storage space needed for all of these fake instrument controllers is ridiculous. For all the strides that gaming has made in making their systems smaller and wireless, they have been demolished by Rock Band. Not many homes are equipped for impromptu jam sessions, so be forewarned as to what you are purchasing for your children. You will have to deal with the consequences of your clutter. And more often than not, you will most likely have to play the roadie and clear the stage of all the fake instruments. That is when I would threaten to sell the game and all of its peripherals. Mom and Dad aren’t roadies and the den isn’t going to be a studio.

For more on Rock Band, here is an article in the Charleston City Paper.

31 Comments for “Rock Band clutter”

  1. posted by Marci on

    This article raises a question for me – when is a little clutter worth it?

    You see, this year, my family got my Dad Rock Band for Christmas. After the madness of Christmas morning gift exchange ended, we spent two days together playing the game as a family and having a fantastic time.

    You’re absolutely right about the peripherals being a nuisance to put away, but for us, it is absolutely worth it.

  2. posted by Baerana on

    My BF really loves this game, and I am planning on getting it for him. I hadn’t considered all the clutter – but he loves it so much, I’ll just have to deal with the clutter.

    Does anyone have any solutions for the clutter? The mic is easy enough to put away. Maybe wall mount the guitar? heh, it seems silly to wall mount a fake guitar.

    But the drum set… no ideas there.

    Any suggestions, please? Thanks!

  3. posted by Anna N. on

    I don’t disagree in theory, but the people that I’ve seen talking about how great a game it is to play aren’t people with kids but adults who love gaming. This just seems to me to be a simplistic way to look at it.

    Also – make the kids clean up after themselves. My parents made me and my sister do it! They occasionally tell the story of the time I refused to clean up my Legos and instead of doing it for me, they canceled our plans for the evening (I think we were going to go out to dinner with some friends) and waited me out. Eventually I cleaned it up, and that taught me a lesson. I was not rewarded for refusing to do it.

  4. posted by Christine on

    Rock Band is definitely worth the clutter. As I write this, I’m staring at the three guitars (two for Guitar Hero, and one for Rock Band) and the drum set for Rock Band, but it’s all worth it. My fiance and I play the game every night, and I even get to play online with my brother in another state. It’s a bonding experience.

    There’s really no good way to store the drum set. We move it to a corner of our apartment that is out of the way, but accessible enough to get it out for our nightly jam sessions. The guitars we’ve been storing under the entertainment center.

    I also agree with Anna – most of the people playing this game are at least teenagers, so they should be used to cleaning up after themselves. If not, the parents probably should have taught that lesson a long time ago.

  5. posted by nat on

    Baerana: my boyfriend’s sister uses wall mounts for all her gaming guitars. they keep the guitars off the floors and couches and end up looking pretty cool, too.

  6. posted by Erin Doland on

    I LOVE playing video games, but I’m completely in agreement with Matt on this one. This game is out of control with the peripherals! If you’re going to store a piece of equipment, why not a real guitar? I’m totally baffled by this game.

  7. posted by John of Indiana on

    Shouldn’t be any harder to store away than 3 guitars.
    I think you can take Morris’ admonition about Beauty and Usefulness a LITTLE too far…

  8. posted by Resolian on

    I own Rock Band (received it for Christmas), and though I haven’t had time to play with it much yet, I’ve been considering how I will store it. I’ve come up with a couple options, it would require me to move some other stuff around, but it should work pretty well.

    Clutter honestly shouldn’t be that bad with this game-wire ties for the cords keep it looking fairly organized at the /very/ least.

    If you really want to keep it even more organized, spend a little money on a microphone stand-it’ll keep that part of the game out of the way and look pretty sweet at the same time.

    As for the guitars-I’ve currently got two (one for Guitar Hero 2 and one for Rock Band), and I might have a way to wall mount without drilling any holes or making things look messy. I found something called Picture Hanging strips from 3M (linked at “My Website” above-I’m sure there’s other companies out there that make them). I plan on getting the velcro ones made for the heavier stuff and putting 5 on each guitar-having the not so brilly side on the guitar. Then you put them on the wall wherever you think they’d look nice, in any angle you want them. Take them down when you want to play.

    As for the Drum Set, just find a place to put it off to the side. A lot of times if you just organize things correctly, these things just blend in.

  9. posted by Charles on

    I am also baffled by this one. I don’t see why so many people are so fascinated with this game. I don’t see it getting you chicks.

    That said though, everything is clutter. You should just choose the clutter you love. If you aren’t playing this game a couple times a week, it doesn’t seem worth it though. For the couple above that is playing every night and loves it, then I imagine they feel the clutter is worth it.

    I probably wouldn’t be buying this game for my kids, as it is a ton of clutter, requires 3 players, and is almost $200 for a toy that will probably end up being a fad, somewhat akin to pogs or beanie babies.

  10. posted by Cara on

    My friend uses a “real” guitar stand to hold his guitar controller in when he’s not using it, and I thought it looked really sweet! We stick our guitars and drums in a corner out of the way with the cords rolled up all neat. It’s not too bad of an eyesore, really. Considering it all comes in a box in the first place, if you’re that concerned about it being an eyesore, you could put in the five minutes of extra effort to disassemble the drums to fit them in a smaller space when you’re done playing.

    But, I had an idea. If you love Rock Band THAT much, why not try to somehow incorporate the “instruments” into your decor? I haven’t gotten to the part of the thought process of HOW you would do that, haha, but it’s an idea!

    (Rock Band is an amazing game by the way; kinda sad to see it spoken of so negatively here cos I like the game and this blog so much!)

  11. posted by Johnny on

    I wont lie, I love rock band, but it really is only a single function device. I have it up at school and we use the whole living room space for the rock band setup. Believe me, its fun, but when it takes up the space that you would typically have social events, it tends to be a hassle.

  12. posted by Lorie Marrero on

    My kids just got this for Christmas, and I am a Professional Organizer… I could not agree more with the theme of this post. It is a huge space hog. I can’t believe that they couldn’t at least put on a simple microphone clip on the drum set, so that you can just stick it on there like you can stick the drum sticks in that hole in the center of the drum set. I guess they want you to buy the microphone stand instead… The cords are a huge problem because they don’t seem to disconnect from the instruments. It would be great if you could leave it all hooked up to the console and just unplug right from the instrument itself. – Lorie

  13. posted by Andrew on

    My wife and I have been playing Rock Band very heavily for the last month or so. One important difference between the Rock Band drums and a real kit is that the plastic drums are very light. This allows us to keep the kit on top of one of the shelf units (a 4×2 Ikea “Expedit”) in the living room. This saves precious floor space while still being accessible for nightly jam sessions with our little plastic band.

  14. posted by Raisin on

    I’ve played drums for nearly my whole life, and drums are more ‘clutter’ than rock band ever will be. The key to making drums not ‘clutter’ is to ‘display’ them, so that when they are not being used, they are being displayed as a work of art. Some of the nicer drums, such as the DW Collectors Series, Ludwig American Classic, Yamaha Washi, and Tama Exotix look like works of art when they are properly set up and cleaned in the corner of a room.

    I could easily see the drumset and guitars for rock band ‘displayed’ on top of a half bookcase or something similar when not in use.

  15. posted by randomelginguy on

    It can all be folded flat if you are really concerned about it cluttering the place when not in use. And guitars can easily be wall mounted.
    It will still take up space compared to a normal band setup, with drums, guitars, amps, pedals, cables.
    I say its worthwhile because I really enjoy the guitar hero series, and I am waiting for the release of rockband in the UK so I can play it too.

  16. posted by Tamara on

    I’m glad other people have the same concerns — I thought I was the only buzz-kill. πŸ™‚

    Right now, we keep the 4 remotes, game discs, and the dance mat inside our coffee table. We didn’t buy Rock Band because it doesn’t fit. We’ll let our friends in larger homes have us over for band fun. πŸ™‚

  17. posted by Kris on

    We’ve got the real stuff. A real drum kit, amps, an electric bass, an electric guitar and a keyboard. We leave it out/set up in our rec/family room. It’s cool to look at when it’s not in use and it’s the ‘real’ deal, so people who come over actually sit down and play.

  18. posted by liz on

    Yep, it’s clutter but I have to say in the 18 Christmases that I have had children, it is by far the most played with toy that they’ve ever received on Christmas morning. It would be nice if it was wireless though.

  19. posted by eric on

    Matt’s just an old clutter-fart, that’s all. Kids, (video) games, clutter? No way!

  20. posted by Erin Doland on

    @Eric — Hey! That wasn’t very nice. Matt is a pretty young and hip guy. Seriously. Instead of playing video games inside, though, he walks the streets of Pittsburgh taking amazing photographs:

  21. posted by Julie on

    I think Charles has hit the nail on the head. Everything is clutter. And you do have to love the clutter you have.

    While I agree that Rock Band has a ton of peripherals, I spent three hours playing it at my nephew’s yesterday and it is a blast! I would gladly figure out what to do with this clutter, if only I had an XBOX.

    I think that the whole point of unclutter is to get rid of what you don’t use and love and keep only what is really important.

  22. posted by Cyrano on

    Rock band, like Guitar Hero, is absolutely awesome. It’s great at parties, and is tons of fun.

    Also, I don’t understand the “get a real guitar” argument. As someone who plays real guitar, I can tell you both experiences are very different. One is a video game, the other is a musical instrument. It’s like my dad who tells my brother and me that with the money we’ve spent on paintball we could have bought real guns. They’re completely different things. I can play Misirlou in real life, but can’t beat it in Guitar Hero, and there are songs in Guitar Hero I can pass that I can’t play in real life.

  23. posted by Brian Dirk on

    Wow. I’m amazed by this post.

    I was under the impression that Unclutterer was intended to intelligently handle the discussion of handling clutter in our lives.

    The tone of this post, however, sounded more like a frustrated parent harping on the subject of rock band because they had to clean up the den one too many times. (regardless of whether or not this is true, the tone felt this way to me)

    Perhaps in the future, a more constructive thesis than “don’t buy because it has the potential to create clutter” should be used. Maybe a discussion on being aware of the consequences before purchasing would have been more constructive / blogworthy. You could even have delved into ideas of how to manage the storage and clutter created by contemporary simulation gaming controllers (I.e WII motes, Dancing games Dance Pads, Guitars and other peripherals from rock band/guitar hero/drum hero). Some suggestions would have been nice.

    Those suggestions are,after all, why we come around.

  24. posted by M.R. on

    Wow. I am still seething about this game. My boyfriend, who does not live with me, was given this game for his birthday by his friends. The problem is that Boyfriend does not have an xbox 360….my roommate does. So essentially, Boyfiend’s friends bought him a HUGE CLUTTERING GAME that lives at MY HOUSE. And I am an extreme minimalist. Mostly, I’m just really pissed off because I know Roommate will play it all the time and never put it away…and I have no leverage with him. Any ideas? Please help!

  25. posted by M.R. on

    Wow. I am still seething about this game. My boyfriend, who does not live with me, was given this game for his birthday by his friends. The problem is that Boyfriend does not have an xbox 360….my roommate does. So essentially, Boyrfiend’s friends bought him a HUGE CLUTTERING GAME that lives at MY HOUSE. And I am an extreme minimalist. Mostly, I’m just really pissed off because I know Roommate will play it all the time and never put it away…and I have no leverage with him. Any ideas? Please help!

  26. posted by Anjali on

    I have to agree with those who are put off by the tone of this post. I was initially excited to see a post about Rock Band because my boyfriend (a big video game nerd) recently got the game and I was actually thinking of emailing to ask if you had any suggestions for how to store the peripherals. Judging from the other comments, there are quite a few people out there wondering the same thing. Unfortunately what we got was a rather condescending condemnation of the game, with no useful suggestions or even an invitation for readers to make their own suggestions. The useful suggestions in the comments seem to be there IN SPITE of your post, not because of it.

    Every hobby has clutter. My boyfriend’s hobby is playing video games. My hobbies include knitting, sewing and reading. Were you to pile his games, consoles and peripherals next to my yarn, fabric and books, you’d see my hobbies take up far more physical space than his do. Does that mean I’m going to toss out my books or quitting knitting? Obviously not. It’s just a matter if organizing that stuff and keeping it under control, so that your hobbies contribute to your quality of life rather than detract from it.

    And clearly you haven’t played the game, or otherwise you’d be agreeing with everyone who has: it really is a lot of fun!

  27. posted by JenK on

    Wow, MR, did you have to post 3 times? I guess you are seething…

    Seriously – why on earth would the game have to live at your place? Why should your boyfriend expect that he can use your roommate’s stuff? Does he also use her car and makeup? Geez. Grow a spine and tell him “No”. He can pop for an xbox, he can return the game, he can sell it on ebay or craigslist. This is not rocket science. πŸ™‚

  28. posted by Family SBN on

    Clutter is a big no no in our home. We have 4 children 3 cats and a Great Dane. We have a big living room with a good deal of media, including Rock Band. Everyone has a blast and I feel it’s a great tool to spend family time together. But the clutter around the T.V. gets to be a bit much. Yes we have tried to rearrange, but still no luck keeping down the clutter. I was just wondering if anyone has came across any type of cabinet that would conceal..Rock Band, and the rest of our entertainment media with out connecting to our T.V.? Maybe something we could set aside.

  29. posted by Jesse on

    I have Rock Band, Guitar Heros I, II, and III, and an office which is “allowed” to be more cluttered than the rest of the house. But I still have *FIVE* guitars (*FOUR* of them wired), the drum set, mic, and various games.

    The solution for me was a bunch of those ever-so-lovely Velcro cables straps from Lowes. The ones linked are long, but they’re 50 for $5, so they’re worth cutting short and saving the scrap. One strap goes on each cable to wrap them up when done, the 5 guitars get tucked into a small niche next to my desk, and the drumset fits perfectly into my closet.

    I already have wall-hangers for my REAL guitars, I might have to look into them for my FAKE ones, as well πŸ™‚

  30. posted by Math Teacher on

    I recently purchased Rock Band. I had planned on transporting from home to my club at school where I teach. While at Wal*Mart I purchased the largest suitcase they had with a handle and wheels for about $30. The suitcase appears to be more like a duffle bag and holds my PS3, games, controllers, and all of the Rock Band accessories. It works really well. The only down fall is that I have to disassemble the drums to transport them. This may be a solution to some of your concerns.

  31. posted by NIcole on

    Our family loves playing GHIII and Rock Band. Although the peripherals make a ton of clutter, something we usually avoid, it’s worth it because we have such a good time together.

    Here’s a picture of what we did:

    We used finishing wood and super tool hooks – a total cost of about four bucks – and I think it looks a lot better than piling them in the corner and pretending their just temporary.

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