The Sims 4 Guitar
Skill Unlocks, Playing for Tips, and Licensed Songs
by Tom "Metro" Schlueter
The Guitar skill is a fun way for your Sim to not only earn some extra money, but also provides some interesting (and sometimes amusing) socials with other Sims. I have never been very good at recreating Sim versions of real people, but my guitarist is supposed to be Tom Morello, famed Rage Against the Machine and Audioslave guitarist. Well, at least I got the gender right. The grimace on Tom's face after he initially plucks his guitar for the first time is the telltale sign that he is hearing a soothing combination of fingernails on a chalkboard and a dying cow.
Hitting the Right Note with Traits
- Creative - Creative Sims are often Inspired, so this is the clear no brainer choice because being Inspired while they are learning Guitar will ramp up the skill gain rate.
- Music Lover - Just seems like another natural compliment to a Guitar Sim. These Sims will not only gain more mood boost from listening to or playing music, but you can turn to some stock socials to quickly help build relationships.
- Loves the Outdoors - If you plan on having your Sim frequently go to public places like the park to earn some extra money to get tips, then this is a good trait to boost their mood. A couple other options would be Cheerful, and Art Lover.
- Musical Genius - I chose this Aspiration for Tom. The bonus trait is perfect, Muser. Musers get more skill gain while Inspired.
You will obviously need to buy a Guitar, so Press F2 to enter Buy Mode and sort by Activities and Skills > Creative, then pick the Pied Piper Acoustic Guitar for $600. You could buy a book and start learning that way, but half the fun with Sims is watching them interact with objects. Besides, your Sim is a future famous musician - not a bookworm! To unlock the skill, click on the guitar, choose Practice, and away you go. Aside from the guitar, the only other object I initially purchased for Tom was a small portable stereo.
Guitar Level Unlocks
- 2 - Strum for Fun (while Playful); Research the Guitar (computer); Appreciate the Blues (stereo); Enthuse about Guitar Solos (social)
- 3 - Pluck Some Inspiration; Play Blues Songs
- 4 - Jam; Play Rock Songs
- 5 - Play Country Songs
- 6 - Serenade other Sims; Play Ballads
- 7 - Play Latin Songs; Lull Sims to Sleep; Promise to Dedicate Song
- 8 - Write, Scrap, and Name Songs; Play Classical Songs
- 9 - Play Jazz Songs; License Songs at the Mailbox
- 10 - Mentor in Guitar (social)
Before you begin skilling up guitar you want to try and be in an Inspired state. So, take a Thoughtful shower, and follow it up with Listen Deeply to a boombox. You'll be immediately working on the first component of the Aspiration too which is Listen to Music for 4 Hours. Once you hit skill level 2 you can purchase a cheap computer to have nearby so you can Research Guitar. If your guitarist is an Art Lover they can also look at art on the computer for yet another quick moodlet. If you queue everything up in a nice sequence, then you can hit Very Inspired...
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At skill level 2 you still only have the guitar interaction of Practice available, and when you choose Practice, then nearby Sims will not toss you any tips. The upside of choosing Practice is uninterrupted skilling - choosing Play Song or Jam means your Sim is occupied while playing the song (and can get tips), but when it's over the animation cancels. You'd think Jam would be uniterrupted too - a nice long session, but it's not. At least when Jam unlocks at level 4 you can queue up a few actions of it and the animation does not stop. Led Zeppelin fans, you know what a good jam is, right? Did Jimmy Page ever put down his guitar in nearly 30 minutes of Whole Lotta Love on the Song Remains the Same? Go buy the double CD right now and get Inspired.
After being cooped up in his tiny home for awhile to get to skill level 3, Tom's social bar was tanking fast. I had Tom go to the park to meet some other Sims. One thing I love in Sims 4 is it's so easy to quickly get 7-8 new aquaintances because you could be sitting at the chess table like Tom and then just keep clicking on various Sims walking through the park...they'll come to you and wave without your Sim needing to get up and chase them down...
Pro Tips on Getting Plenty of Tips
You can start getting tips at skill level 3 and all tips are a flat amount now - no more variation. At level 3, you'll receive $6 per tip. Tips increase $2 per skill level, so at skill level 4 you'll see $8 tips, and finally when you cap the skill at 10 you'll bring in $20 tips.
The best place to get tips is the park in either town. Actually any public place like the Nightclub, the gym, or the library is fine...it's just that I found at other places besides the park Sims have more distractions and are often tied up in an activity - drinking at the bar, using a computer, or running on a treadmill. So, my suggestion is the park, and choose to play right at the same spot you teleport to. See the lady in the background in overalls by the fountain? Minutes later she comes to listen to Tom...
So, while the individual tips are not as big as they were in past Sims games, one thing I think Sims 4 does better than Sims 3 is give your guitarist an enormous radius where Sims are pulled in from huge distances to come and toss a tip. A capped guitarist who brings in $20 tips can most definitely net $1000 in a day provided they show up at the park with all their needs green and can stay for hours.
A big reason why I had Tom initially meet a bunch of townies in the park is every time I went to the park for tip playing I opted to go with 7 other Sims. And sometimes those 7 Sims would materialize with even more Sims. So, right off the bat for a tip playing session you have a huge crowd of Sims tossing you money.
My last piece of advice on tips is do not stay in the park much after 11 PM. I guess that's the official beddy bye time for other Sims because if you are playing for tips close to the initial teleport location, then you'll start to see Sims walk and run to that location and then disappear.
Tom decided to kick things up a notch in the social department with Lillian McClelland and Serenade her (level 6 unlock) since she was a Romantic Interest. Those bedroom eyes are hilarious.
Licensing Songs is a means of making reliable money with Guitar. It's a daily source of revenue and if you go the non career route it's one more way to supplement your tip playing income. Start writing songs at level 8, as opposed to using the Practice or performance options, so that you can start making money from this feature.
Royalties from licensing a song are paid daily at 10 AM, and you'll soon discover there is a wide range of possible amounts. It may be in the neighborhood of $150, but could go up to $500. Here's some bad news: you can only license one song at a time. This greatly reduces your guitarist's potential income when you compare a writer receiving royalties from multiple books. If you want to License multiple songs, you need to make a well-rounded Musician and put out songs for Piano and Violin to make extra cash.
Choosing a Couple of Good Rewards
My first few days with Tom were focused on building the skill as well as fulfilling as many Whims as I could - there were Creative Whims, Whims relating to him being Inspired often, Whims relating to his Outdoor trait, and of course many musical related Whims - I just went on a Whim fulfilling frenzy to get the Independent reward for 2000 Satisfaction. I think Independent is the perfect initial reward because then your guitarist's social bar will not decay so rapidly. You'd think playing guitar in front of 10 other Sims at the park would fulfill some of their social needs, but it doesn't.
The only other reward I ended up purchasing is Night Owl (1000 Satifaction) which was helpful in increasing the skilling time at night. Those last few guitar levels took quite a bit of time and Night Owl helped a lot.
Guitar was hands down my favorite skill in the Sims 3. I often used it in various challenges where obtaining huge amounts of money was an important strategy. So, what's my final assessment of the new guitar skill? Well, this is not your Sims 3 Guitar Skill anymore where you could make thousands Playing for Tips in a subway. Tips are a flat rate now and pretty low in comparison. And the amount of money you make from Licensing Songs is not horrible, but the one song limitation is a bit baffling. Because of all this you may want to go the Entertainment Career option to make more money for your guitarist. There's a lot of Charisma and friendship stuff going on in the career as well as needing to also learn the piano, but there's something to be said for having steady predictable income.
I never finished Tom's Musical Genius Aspiration because I ran into a serious roadblock with one of the 4th and final stage components - mentoring Sims 15 times in a musical instrument. The problem? I never saw a townie voluntarily playing the guitar, and if mentoring a Sim in a musical instrument is the same as the Fitness mechanic, then the target Sim needs to be engaged in the activity first. Therefore, if you want to complete this Aspiration you'll need household members, at least one. You can perform Mentor over and over, and so long as the Sim does not reach level 10, you can use this Sim to complete it.
In the end, it's all about fun and playing and learning the Guitar skill achieves that for your Sim. When compared with Woodworking, Painting, and Writing, income potential for a Guitarist falls quite a bit short unless you also pursue the Violin and Piano Skill - but it's a huge time investment. More money will be made by focusing hard on one while also progressing in the Entertainer Career.
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To resume writing the song, oen your sims inventory where you will see what looks like a little book. Click on that and resume writing the song.
When your sim completes the song it will not be visible in the sims inventory but you can play it by clicking on your sims guitar and choose Play Song>Written song. You of course can send it away to be licensed by clicking on the mailbox. Your sim will always be able to choose to play their written songs even after licensing.
It is best to stop your sim while in the middle of writing a song so that the music sheet appears in their personal inventory. To resume writing the same song, click on the music sheet in their personal inventory and click on 'resume'.
Stats.set_skill_level major_guitar 1 and so on until 10
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