How to Use the New Keyboard for Rock Band 3

Rock Band 3 offers advanced game-play and new keyboard controllers. Check out how to use this new feature.


Up next in Gaming Tips and Tricks (20 videos)

Attention, gamers: Improve your video game performance with the gaming tips and tricks in this Howcast video series.

You Will Need

  • Rock Band 3
  • Keyboard controller
  • Music-writing software (optional)
  • MIDI keyboard (optional)
  • Rock Band 3 MIDI Pro Adapter (optional)


  1. Step 1

    Check it out

    Examine the new keyboard -- 25 piano keys span 2 full octaves below a 5-color bar that corresponds to standard Rock Band instruments. Use the top control panel to navigate the game and the touchpads on the handle to activate Overdrive and bend pitch while playing.

  2. Step 2

    Pick it up

    Place the device on a flat surface to play it like a piano, or sling the available strap over one arm like a keytar.

  3. Step 3

    Play in Standard Mode

    Set the game to Standard Mode. As the colored bands move across the screen, press any key underneath the corresponding color to score points. Move up the ranks from Easy to Expert.

  4. Step 4

    Go pro

    Once you've mastered Standard mode, switch to Pro Mode. Play along with the scrolling onscreen note board. Increase your playing level from Pro-Easy to Pro-Expert, when you'll play the actual notes and chords like on a real piano.

  5. Use the Trainer feature for additional keyboard practice and to unlock game rewards.

  6. Step 5

    Connect to a computer

    If you have a computer with music-writing software, connect it to the Rock Band keyboard through the controller's MIDI port. Then, use the keyboard to compose your own tunes.

  7. You can also plug a MIDI keyboard into a Rock Band 3 MIDI Pro Adapter to play the game.

  8. Step 6

    Play well with others

    Play Rock Band 3's new keyboard with up to 6 friends -- a drummer, a guitarist, a bassist, and 3 singers. Once you've got a groove, conquer the over 80 songs together and achieve videogame stardom!

  9. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart wrote his first piano sonata when he was 4 years old.