Wireless Fender Mustang PRO-Guitar Review

Out of all the new features being introduced in Rock Band 3, Pro Mode was easily the most interesting and revolutionary. It bridges the gap between playing plastic arcade instruments and playing real instruments. Harmonix even said that the mode could introduce beginners to guitar and help ease them into picking up a real one and learning how to play.

In my review, I was able to test out Pro Keys and Pro Drums, but at the time, the guitar wasn’t released yet. Now that Mad Catz’s Wireless Fender Mustang PRO-Guitar has hit the market, I have been able to pick one up and give the guitar a thorough test.

The guitar itself is a well crafted product, and it better be at the $149 price tag. The guitar sports 102 buttons, 6 buttons per each of the 17 frets. The buttons range in size as they start at the top of the guitar to the bottom, simulating the fret length. Six low-latency strings are featured which you will play to simulate strumming the respective chords and notes. It also comes with two picks, black and white, embossed with the Fender logo, and a strap. A MIDI port is at the bottom of the guitar so you can plug into a MIDI sequencer and play that way as well. Along the top of the neck are numbers indicating each odd numbered fret, making it a bit easier for you to identify which fret is which when you look down.

Fret buttons

The buttons are highly responsive and of solid construction. Moving your fingers between buttons, even sliding them, works just as it would on a string guitar. The six strum strings at the bottom are even more responsive, picking up even my most subtle plucks. Sometimes this worked against me as I learned, as other slightly moving strings would be registered by the game and communicated as errors.

The Fender Mustang is a good beginner guitar tool for people looking to learn guitar. The buttons and softer strum strings are kinder to your hands and fingers then real strings would be, causing less injury to you as you learn the basics. There is also the added benefit of not having to tune this guitar, as you would with the Fender Squier, Harmonix’s own guitar being created by Fender with real strings and sensors under said strings. My only issue with the guitar is that the buttons are not the same length as the strings they are supposed to be emulating. This caused me to constantly push multiple buttons on the same fret or miss a button all together because every buttons feels the same. Same goes for the bottom strings, which are all the same size, so discerning which string you are plucking is a challenge when starting. You also cannot mute the strings on the guitar, as there are no strings, so finger muting and palm muting is not possible.

Low latency strings

The Fender Mustang is a piece of equipment and will almost instantly give you the feeling of being more advanced than the standard instruments that come with Rock Band. It’s step one on your path to becoming a serious guitar player, and if you are looking for a good way to ease your way into the world of calluses and rocking all night long, this is a solid choice. Just be ready to upgrade to a real guitar or the specialized Fender Squier once you have outgrown this one.


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Author: Matt Erazo View all posts by

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