Frequently Asked Questions About Rock Band Kits for the Wii

"Rock Band" is a series of musical games released by Harmonix for the Wii console. Using realistic instrument peripherals, the game scores you based on how well you perform at matching up your button presses to the rhythm of colored notes on the screen. Most copies of the game available on eBay will come with an instrument kit and everything you need already bundled in.

Which games come with an instrument kit?The Wii had five major releases from the series, which include:
  • "Rock Band"
  • "Rock Band 2"
  • "Rock Band 3"
  • "The Beatles: Rock Band"
  • "Green Day: Rock Band"

A spin-off version, "Lego Rock Band," is also available. The Green Day and Lego versions are the only releases that did not come with an instrument bundle, so you will need to either purchase the instruments separately or own another bundle.

How do you choose the right kit?

Just by purchasing a game bundle, you should have everything you need to start playing. Otherwise, you may want to purchase certain instruments separately that are available on eBay. Here is what you need to know about the instruments:

  • Guitar:The original "Rock Band" guitar is modeled after the Fender Stratocaster. It consists of five fret buttons, a strum bar, and a whammy bar, plus a special effects switch. The sequel added an optical sensor and microphone that allow players to calibrate their video and audio setup. "Rock Band 3" featured a major upgrade to the basic controller as well as a new pro controller and a bass guitar. For the release of the Beatles version, a Rickenbacker 325 guitar, a Gretsch Duo Jet guitar, and a Hofner bass were made available.
  • Drums:The drum kit consists of four rubber drum pads and a bass pedal. "Rock Band 2" introduced a quieter drum pad and wireless controls, while the third game introduced a pro drum set. The Beatles version came with a special Ludwig kit.
  • Keyboard:First introduced in "Rock Band 3," the keyboard resembles a keytar. It is necessary to play certain keyboard parts of the pro mode.
  • Microphone:The "Rock Band" series uses a basic USB microphone, which judges the player based on the pitch of their singing.
Are the instruments interchangeable between games?

For the most part, you only need one set of instruments to play all "Rock Band" games on the Wii, as long as you own the instrument in question. The only exception is the pro mode in "Rock Band 3," which accurately simulates the experience of playing a real instrument note-for-note. Due to the difference in controls, the pro mode requires the use of specialized pro versions of the instrument peripherals, which also double as a functional MIDI instrument. The pro mode instruments will work in standard mode as well.

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