The third full entry in the series of music games developed by Harmonix, Rock Band 3 introduced a number of new features:
- Pro Guitar and Bass, using controllers that allow the player to press fret buttons and pluck strings to match notes and chords; the Fender Squier Stratocaster uses actual strings rather than fret buttons, bringing gameplay closer to actual guitar play. (The same controllers are used for both bass and guitar play, using just the lowest four strings for bass.)
- Harmony vocals, allowing up to three different players to sing specific tracks on songs that provide multiple vocal tracks.
- Pro Drums, requiring players to distinguish between cymbals and drums rather than treating both equally. (This feature was available on all existing tracks due to the code Harmonix had in place to distinguish between cymbals and drums to produce matching sounds, even though the game credited the player for hitting either.)
- Keyboard, allowing players to use a keytar or MIDI keyboard to match notes on a five-color track like normal Guitar or Bass play, and Pro Keyboard, allowing player to play notes and chords on the full two-octave keytar. (Pro Keyboard charts show what is basically just right-hand play, assuming that your left hand is used for the effects touchpad and Overdrive button.) The keytar can also be used to play guitar and bass tracks, and guitar controllers can be used to play normal Keyboard tracks as well.
- All Instruments Play, allowing up to seven people to play on the same song (bass, guitar, keyboard, drums, three vocalists). Note that the vocalists will not use a controller due to the 360's limitation of four logged-in controllers per console.
Almost all songs from previous Rock Band games (other than Beatles Rock Band) can be exported to Rock Band 3, and songs available from both Harmonix and the Rock Band Network give players thousands of songs to download and play. The list of songs on the Rock Band 3 disc is available here, and the complete list of downloadable content is available here.
Questions using this tag should concern this game in the series. For questions about earlier games, use the specific tag for that game (such as rock-band or rock-band-2); for questions about the series as a whole rather than any game within the series, use rock-band-series.
For more information, read the Wikipedia page, the official website, and the Facebook page for Rock Band. Note that there is also an official Rock Band Dashboard app that gives you a summary of your progress on each instrument (total score, songs played, gold stars, percentile, and overall score), as well as a report for each song you've played on each instrument.