Piano, Bass, and Drums in The Sims 3
Mastering the New Instruments of the Late Night Expansion
With The Sims 3 Late Night comes three new musical instruments Sims can play: Bass, Drums, and Piano. In this skill guide, you'll learn the benefits of learning to play these 3, and tips to help your Pianist, Bassist or Drummer master these instruments.
With Guitar, which came as a skill with the original Sims 3, Sims in Late Night can now form a band and tour the city earning money. Much of these three new musical instruments' skill progression is similar to guitar. In fact, the challenges are all the same.
Since Simmers now have access to three new instrument types, our Sims can now form a band with other musicians and play gigs all over town.
Band Skills Self-Employment Table
The Sims 3 Ambitions brought us the ability to label Sims self-employed in any of the money-making professions. To register as self-employed, simply gain a level in the skill and head to city hall. Here are the levels for this skill:
|Level||Job Rank||Needed to Level||Bonus|
|4||Dive Bar Opening Act||$4050||-|
|5||Dive Bar Headliner||$6562||$500|
|9||Culture Defining Band||$35437||$2500|
Learning to Play Piano, Bass, and Drums
Learning these skills is as simple as buying one of the instruments below, playing instruments at one of the bars or night clubs in town, or taking a class at the theater. Taking a class is a great way to get past the level 1 hump. The first level of any skill generally takes longer than subsequent levels.
The four instruments are all purchasable from the Study Tab in Buy mode, under the hobbies and skills category. Prudence Pennypincher's Portable Piano runs $700, the Marvin Beats Drum Kit is $825, and the Shibata String Bass goes for $750. All three of these are portable, teach the associated musical skill, and provide 2 fun. There's a fourth available instrument, the Schnadahupfl Virtuoso Grand Piano for $5000, which is beautiful and provides an environment score of +8. Naturally, the Grand Piano isn't portable but a master pianist may want one in the home.
Good Traits, Rewards, and Lifetime Wishes for Musicians
The Virtuoso and Artistic traits will affect the new instruments. Virtuoso will raise the amount of tips a Sim can earn, while artistic is less beneficial providing only a small boost to learning rate. The Star Quality trait is helpful, as becoming great at an instrument is one path to being a celebrity. Other good options are Friendly, Charismatic, and Schmoozer to lure celebrities into the Sim's band. The Next Big Thing Lifetime Reward for 10,000 is a wise way to spend those reward points if your Sim is going to be in a band. The 'Always on the List' choice may be helpful to getting into night clubs that require a high celebrity rating, like Aquarius or the Prosper Room. On the Lifetime Wish front, Rock Star is of course an option, but the new LTW 'One Man Band' may be up your alley if your Sim wants to learn all four instruments.
All three of the instruments progress the same. For the first five levels, your Sim will not be of much use musically and must practice. They'll gradually get better during this phase.
For great info on playing for tips, see the Guitar Star guide. You should know that the single best place to play for tips in The Sims 3 is Bridgeport's Subway system. Your Sim will go inside, and the money will start rolling in. We feel it's actually bugged because of how powerful this is as a money-maker.
At the fifth level, they can play music for tips. This can be done anywhere, but places with a lot of foot traffic are the best. For example, outside the town's theater before and after show time, or even outside a night club to snag patrons as they try to enter. They'll also be able to learn new compositions by purchasing sheet music from the bookstore. You should do this, as after learning a new song, using the perform interaction on their instrument will increase the rate they gain skill. At level 6, they can serenade a Sim, which can help win their heart.
Bass, Drums, and Piano Skill Challenges
Since these are accomplished the same, I'll combine them. The only difference are the names. Plug in the other instrument name for Piano and Bass.
Mastery comes after learning all compositions. You'll need to visit the bookstore and buy the various sheet music in order to complete this. With the sheet music in your Sim's inventory, click the instrument and select learn to practice the song. This will give your Sim a master composition.
Drum Star is like the Guitar Star challenge. You can read a guide to the Guitar Star Challenge, but I'll give you the quickie version. The description is a bit off. While it says you need play at venues and parties, you really need to complete ten opportunities with an instrument skill. To increase the odds you get that particular opportunity type, it's best to keep from taking on too many skills so that an opportunity is more likely to be for the skill you want. You'll want to keep the skill opportunity slot empty to allow them to come up. Completing this difficult challenge, one of the most difficult in the Sims 3, will increase the amount of cash your Sim earns from playing that instrument.
After making $25,000 total from your instrument, you will earn a second master composition.
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