Macs All-in-One For Dummies, 4th Edition (2014)
Book IV. Your Mac as Multimedia Entertainment Center
Chapter 5. Making Your Own Kind of Music with GarageBand
In This Chapter
Recording your music
Editing your recordings
Saving your music
Taking music lessons in GarageBand
When you mention that you use a Mac to a group of non-Mac users, one of the first things you hear is, “Oh, yeah, Macs are great for graphics.” And although that’s true, your Mac is a pretty terrific music-making machine, too — and we’re not talking iTunes here (although we do talk about iTunes at length in Book IV, Chapter 1).
With GarageBand, which is part of Apple’s iLife suite, you can record and compose music and ringtones, as well as presentations and speeches. In its simplest form, GarageBand provides instruments (such as drums, keyboards, and guitars) and prerecorded tracks that you mix up to create a virtual one-person band. You arrange the separate audio tracks and put them together to create your own songs.
GarageBand really sings (bah-dum-dum) when you record your own music. You have the option of using your Mac’s built-in microphone or connecting your instruments and hand-held microphone to your Mac and recording directly. After you lay down the individual tracks, you can clean up the sound, alter the rhythms and timing, and cut and splice the best performances to generate a CD or iTunes-quality recording.
If you want to learn to play an instrument or brush up on your childhood music lessons, GarageBand even offers guitar and piano lessons to get you started. You can play along, and GarageBand will evaluate your progress.
In this chapter, we introduce you to the most basic functions of GarageBand and provide an overview for using them. We recommend you learn the basics and then play around. The more you use it, the more you see how powerful and flexible an application GarageBand truly is.
Because GarageBand works with audio, the first task is to record audio into GarageBand by using your Mac’s built-in microphone, an external microphone, or audio input (such as a keyboard or guitar plugged directly into your Mac).
If you don’t have a real instrument, GarageBand provides a variety of software instruments — virtual musical instruments, such as pianos, guitars, and drums — that you can play and control through your Mac. All you have to do is specify the notes to play and the tempo, and the software instruments let you hear your music played by the instruments you choose.
In this section, we show you how to create and record music with GarageBand’s built-in software instruments first; then we show you how to use real instruments. We also explain the various GarageBand controls you find at the top of the window. Regardless of what type of instrument you record, you create one instrumental track at a time, gradually layering additional tracks until you’ve defined the parts for an entire band or orchestra.
Creating music with software instruments
To use software instruments, you specify the instrument you want to use, such as a baby grand piano or a steel-string acoustic guitar. Then you define the notes you want that instrument to play by using a virtual keyboard — using either the keyboard on your Mac or an external keyboard that you connect to the USB port — to play the notes.
If your Mac came with an older version of GarageBand, the newest version 10.0.1, which this chapter refers to, can be downloaded for free at the App Store, but be prepared to wait up to an hour for the complete download to finish.
To create a software instrument, follow these steps:
1. Open GarageBand by clicking the GarageBand icon on the Dock or from Launchpad.
The GarageBand chooser opens, as shown in Figure 5-1.
2. Click the Empty Project icon. Or, if you want to jump directly to a specific genre or type of instrument, click one of the other icons (such as Keyboard Collection or Hip Hop) and then skip to Step 8.
Figure 5-1: Choose the type of project you want to create in the GarageBand chooser.
3. Click the Details disclosure triangle to select a tempo, and then use the slider and pop-up menus to choose the following:
· Tempo: Drag the slider left and right to adjust the tempo of your new project.
· Key Signature: From the pop-up menu, choose the key for your project and then select the Major or Minor radio button.
· Time Signature: Click in the field to type the time signature you want to use or click the arrows to the left and right of the field to increase or decrease one fraction at a time.
Without getting into a full-blown music lesson, the key signature indicates the key in which you play your music, such as C-sharp or A-flat. The key signature can be in different scales or a series of ascending or descending notes. The key signatures are built on major scales, for example the C major key begins and ends with the C note. In minor scales, some of the notes are raised a half-step. Tempo sets the pace for the entire piece, and time signature tells you how many beats of which type of note occur in each measure. A waltz’s tempo may be adagio, which means play slowly, with a 3/4 time signature, which means three notes played with the beat on the quarter-note in each measure, which comprises the notes and rests between two bar marks — see it’s already getting complicated, just go play!
· Audio Input and Audio Output: If you connect an external mic or speakers, choose those from the respective pop-up menus. If you use your Mac’s built-in mic and speakers, choose Built-In or leave System Settings.
You can adjust these settings after you create your project, so don’t worry if they aren’t exactly right.
4. Click the Choose button.
The Recording Options window opens.
5. Click the Software Instrument icon, as shown in Figure 5-2, and then click the Create button.
A window appears, displaying a Musical Typing keyboard and a single audio track for a classic electric piano waiting to be filled with your recording.
Figure 5-2: Choose Software Instrument to use sounds pre-loaded in GarageBand to create your song.
6. To change the instrument you want to play and record, click an instrument category (such as Bass or Guitar) in the Library pane, and then click the specific effect to use (such as Upright Studio Bass or Classic Clean Guitar), as shown in Figure 5-3.
The instruments and their effects are called patches. Two other terms you should be familiar with are loops, which are pre-recorded snippets of music or sound effects, and tracks, which contain the recorded music of each instrument or voice and can also hold loops. Many tracks together make up the song.
7. Press the keyboard keys associated with the notes you want to hear to test the sound.
For example, A plays a C note at the low end of the octave and K plays the C note at the high end. You can play one octave at a time; press the Z and X keys to move down or up an octave. The blue highlighted section on the keyboard at the top of the window indicates which octave you’re playing.
8. Click the Record button (the red dot inside a black circle at the top of the GarageBand window) and type on the Musical Typing keyboard to record the notes you play.
If you don’t see the Musical Typing keyboard, choose Window⇒Show Musical Typing.
Figure 5-3: The Library pane displays a list of different instruments you can choose.
9. Click the Stop button to stop recording.
10. Click the Locate button — it replaces (toggles to) the Stop button to the left of the Play button when the recording or playing has stopped — to return to the beginning of your recording, and then click Play to hear the notes you recorded.
11. Click the Save button at the bottom of the Library pane or choose GarageBand⇒Save.
12. Type a name for your project in the Save dialog that appears and then click the Save button.
To add another software instrument, follow these steps:
1. Click the Add Track button (+) at the top of the tracks list or choose Track⇒New Track.
The window shown earlier in Figure 5-2 appears.
2. Click the Software Instrument icon, and then click the Create button.
The new instrument track appears in the GarageBand window.
3. (Optional) Choose View⇒Show Library if you don't see the list of instrument patches.
4. Repeat Steps 8–10 in the preceding step list to record a track with the new instrument.
5. Repeat this procedure to record a song with an entire band of instruments.
GarageBand comes with a lot of sounds to choose from, but you may have noticed some of the selections are dimmed. The dimmed patches are available as a one-time, in-app purchase for $4.99, which you access by choosing GarageBand⇒Purchase More Sounds. As with any Apple purchase, you need your Apple ID, which we explain in Book I, Chapter 3.
Interpreting the Control bar
Consider the whole GarageBand window a music composition, mixing, and editing workspace. Depending on the task you want to perform, you can show or hide a pane, which displays the tools that control the desired task. GarageBand lets you show panes with menu commands or with the buttons on the Control bar.
The callouts in Figure 5-4 identify the Control bar buttons, and here we tell you what each does and what its menu counterpart is in case you prefer to use menus instead of buttons. For the most part, click a button to perform an action and then click it again to stop the action or do the reverse of what you did. For example, click the Library button once to show the Library, and click it again to hide the Library.
Figure 5-4: Buttons on the Control bar command your views, playback, tempo, and more.
The buttons are
· Library (View⇒Show/Hide Library): Reveals the patch library, which is where you choose the types of instruments you want to play in the tracks.
· Quick Help (Help⇒Quick Help): When selected, a Quick Help window appears. Then, you hover the pointer over a button, and the explanation appears in the Quick Help window.
· Smart Controls (View⇒Show/Hide Smart Controls): Smart Controls let you modify the sound of the selected patch. The appearance of the Smart Controls changes, depending on the patch, although for each you can tweak the tone, compression, and effects.
· Editors (View⇒Show/Hide Editor): Depending on the selected track type, you can edit audio, drums, piano, or the musical score.
You can view Smart Controls or Editors but not at the same time.
· Playback controls (always in view): These buttons work as those you may know from other recording machines or stereos: Rewind, Fast Forward, Stop/Locate (which moves the playhead back to the beginning of the track), Play, and Record.
· Position Display (always in view): The first button on the left in the display toggles between the Beats & Project view and Time view, which changes the information in the display and the ruler above the tracks. In Beats & Project view (as shown in Figure 5-5), the numbers and fields do the following:
· Playhead Position indicates the playhead position by Bars, Beats, Divisions, and Ticks, each being a fraction of the previous. Double-click any of the numbers to type a different value and move the playhead; this can be a precise way to position the playhead exactly where you want it.
· Beats per Minute indicates the tempo. Double-click to select the value and type a new one to change the tempo.
· Key tells you what key your music plays in; click to open a pop-up menu and choose a different key.
· Time Signature is the time your music uses. Drag the beat (top) number vertically to increase or decrease it; click the note value (bottom number) to open a pop-up menu with possible values. Or, double-click and type in new values.
Figure 5-5: Beats & Project.
In Time view (as shown in Figure 5-6), click any of the elements and drag vertically to change the value, or double-click and type a new value to move the playhead to that position.
· Figure 5-6: Move the playhead in Time view.
· Cycle: When you turn on Cycle mode, you replay the highlighted part of the project, allowing you to rehearse the section or record multiple takes. Click and drag the ends of the cycle to resize it; click in the center and drag left or right to reposition the cycle; click the Cycle button again to remove the cycle.
· Tuner (active when instruments are attached to your Mac): Click to open the tuner and tune your instrument.
· Count-In: When on, the metronome will count-in none, one, or two bars when you begin recording. Choose Record⇒Count-In to select One or Two Bars, or None.
· Metronome: Click to turn on a metronome that will knock to the tempo of your project. When Count-In is selected, you can use the metronome during the count-in bars only or throughout the project.
You can see one of the following at a time, and the Library pane is hidden when one of the following panes is open. If you choose View⇒Show Library, any of these panes that are open will close:
· Note Pad (View⇒Show/Hide Note Pad): Opens, or closes, a pane where you can jot down notes about your project.
· Apple Loops (View⇒Show/Hide Apple Loops): Opens, or closes, the pane where you can select Apple Loops (as explained a few sections further on).
· Media Browser (View⇒Show/Hide Media Browser): Opens, or closes, a chooser where you can browse and select media from other apps, such as iTunes or iPhoto, to use or refer to in your project.
Playing with a real instrument
The easiest way to record on GarageBand is to sing or to play an instrument within hearing range of your Mac’s built-in microphone. For better quality, however, connect a hand-held microphone or instrument to your Mac’s audio input or USB port. By playing with a real instrument, you can record yourself or your whole band, edit the sound, and save your recording. You can play or sing along with your own recording. Record other single tracks while playing different instruments and mix them together, and your recording sounds like a multipiece band or orchestra.
If you connect a MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface) keyboard to your Mac’s USB port, instead of using the Mac keyboard to play GarageBand’s software instruments, you use the MIDI keyboard, which gives you more octaves and familiar keyboard playing, and turns your Mac into a synthesizer. If, instead, you want to use GarageBand to record what you play on your keyboard, plug it into your Mac’s line-in port. Choose GarageBand⇒Preferences⇒Audio/MIDI to confirm that your keyboard is connected.
To record a real instrument connected to your Mac, follow these steps:
1. Click the GarageBand icon on the Dock or from Launchpad.
2. Click the Empty Project icon.
3. Click the Details disclosure triangle, and select the tempo, key, and time for the project.
4. Click the Choose button.
The Recording Options window opens.
5. Click either the Microphone or Guitar/Bass icon under Audio, as shown in Figure 5-7.
Figure 5-7: Record audio from a microphone or guitar connected to your Mac or with your Mac’s built-in microphone.
6. Click the Create button.
The recording window opens (refer to Figure 5-3).
Control-click by a track name and then choose New Audio Track or New Software Instrument Track from the contextual menu.
7. Click one of the Voice or Guitar categories and patch choices in the Library.
8. Click the track you want to record.
9. Click the Smart Controls button, and then click the Inspector button (i).
10. Adjust the Recording Level by dragging the slider or clicking Automatic Level Control.
11. Choose the input source from the Input pop-up menu.
12. Click the Monitoring button to hear your microphone or instrument as you record.
You can also click the Monitoring button by the track name to activate this feature. GarageBand may suggest using headphones if you select this option.
13. Click the Record button on your track and then start playing away.
When you finish playing, click the Stop button.
14. (Optional) To record multiple takes of the same track, click the Cycles button.
When you click the track to record again, a folder is created on the track that contains all the takes. You can then, later, listen to the different takes and select the best one, or use bits and pieces of different takes to create a track.
15. (Optional) If you want to add more instruments, choose Track⇒New Track or click the Add Track button (the plus sign) at the top of the Tracks list.
Repeat the steps for adding a Software Instrument or Audio.
You can combine real and software instruments in your recordings to create a custom sound.
16. (Optional) To add a drum track to your song (you can add only one per project), click the Add Track button, click the Drummer icon, and then click Create.
The Editors pane appears in the GarageBand window, as shown in Figure 5-8.
1. Click the menu above the drummer avatars to choose the genre.
2. Choose a drummer from the selection.
3. Click a preset and then click the Play button to hear a sample.
4. Repeat to audition other drummers before deciding which one best suits your band, er … project.
Figure 5-8: Add a drum track.
For the best recording quality, connect an audio interface to your Mac’s USB, Thunderbolt or line-in port. Then connect your instruments to the audio interface. Make sure that the audio interface is compatible with OS X.
Using Apple Loops
No, this section isn’t about recording the sound of a certain cereal. Apple Loops are prerecorded snippets that you can use with video you post on your web page or use as background music in an iMovie production or Keynote presentation. (Find more on Keynote in Book V, Chapter 4.) Rather than play “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star” on your keyboard or shell out the bucks for a Fender Stratocaster to create an attention-grabbing riff, you can easily create your own little ditties with the loops that come with GarageBand. Combine several loops into short jingles or even full-length songs.
To create a song by using Apple Loops, follow these steps:
1. Click the GarageBand icon on the Dock or from Launchpad.
2. Click Empty Project and then click the Choose button.
3. Click Software Instrument and then click Create.
You can close the Musical Keyboard window by clicking the red Close button in the upper left of the window.
4. Choose View⇒Show Apple Loops, or click the Apple Loops button at the right end of the Control bar at the top of the GarageBand window.
The Loops browser opens, as shown in Figure 5-9.
Figure 5-9: Use prerecorded Apple Loops to create background music for presentations and videos.
5. Choose instruments and styles from the Keywords buttons in the top half of the Apple Loops pane.
As you make your choices, some choices dim because they aren’t compatible with those you made.
Narrow your choices by doing one or more of the following:
· Loops pop-up menu: From this menu, at the top of the pane, select a music genre.
· Scale pop-up menu: Choose select Major, Minor, Neither, or Good for Both.
· Column view button: See Figure 5-10; make successive choices to narrow the results.
The loops that meet your criteria appear in the list on the bottom half of the pane, and show the name, beats, tempo, and key of the selection.
6. Click the filenames to hear samples of the songs listed.
7. Click to deselect instruments and/or styles to see more, or different, samples.
Figure 5-10: Select criteria in the column view to see the number of choices you have.
8. When you find one you like, click and drag the file to the Tracks pane in the middle of the window (refer to Figure 5-9).
Audio loops, which are single instrument loops, have a green icon next to them in the list at the bottom half of the pane and can be dragged into a software instrument or audio track or be used to create their own track.
9. (Optional) To add other music clips and create a song with multiple instruments, click Reset and then repeat Steps 5–8.
10. (Optional) Click and drag the right end of the loop to repeat the loop one or more times.
11. Click the Play button to hear your composition.
Editing Audio Tracks
One of the great things about recording with GarageBand is that you can edit your audio. If you lay down multiple tracks and find that the timing is off between them, you can use one as the base and correct the others. If you play a riff off-key, delete that section and even replace it with a riff from a different part of the track. If you want the song you recorded in your basement to sound like you were in a stadium, add a concert-hall sound effect. You get the idea — the options are virtually endless.
In this section, we explain the editing basics, but we encourage you to be adventurous and play around with GarageBand to develop your own particular performing style.
Expanding track views
Whenever you add a software instrument, audio, drummer, or loop, a new track is added to your project. You can add editing tracks that help you manage and refine your project. Open the Track menu and choose to show, or hide, one or more of the following:
· Arrangement Track: Use to add a track at the top of the tracks where you can add markers to quickly rearrange parts of your project.
· Movie Track: When you’re laying tracks to accompany a movie project, you can view thumbnails from the movie in this track to see at what point the music will play.
· Transposition Track: Change the pitch of parts of the project.
· Tempo Track: See all the tempo changes in the project.
· Master Track: Use the Master Track to control the overall volume of the project. This track always appears at the bottom of the track list.
From the Tracks menu, you can also choose which buttons to show in the Track header, which is where you see the name of the track. You can see some or all of the following buttons in the Track header:
· Mute (always present): When selected, the tracks audio is silent during playback.
· Solo (always present): When selected, the track will play alone, and other tracks will be muted. The Mute button on muted tracks blinks to let you know those tracks will be absent during the solo.
· Track Lock (Tracks⇒Track Header⇒Show/Hide Track Lock Button): When you create a track that’s exactly how you want it, click the Track Lock button to avoid accidentally changing it.
· Record Enable (Tracks⇒Track Header⇒Show/Hide Record Enable Button): When activated, you can record the track. Record Enable can be activated on more than one track at a time.
· Monitoring (Tracks⇒Track Header⇒Show/Hide Input Monitoring Button): When activated, you can hear sounds on tracks that aren’t Record Enabled. For example, before recording, you can perform a sound check and adjust the volume or other controls.
· Volume: Drag the slider left and right to decrease or increase the volume of the track.
· Pan: Click and drag the dial to the left or right to change or emphasize playback on a specific side.
If you have an iPad, download the free (Apple) app, Logic Remote, and use the iPad’s touchscreen controls to manage GarageBand on your Mac.
Splitting a track
When you first record an instrument, GarageBand saves it as a single, long track. To make it easier to edit this track, you can split a track into parts that you can modify individually, save and reuse, delete, or rearrange in a new position. The parts of a track are audio regions, sometimes referred to as just regions.
To split a track, follow these steps:
1. Select a track that you want to split.
GarageBand highlights your chosen instrument.
2. Drag the playhead to where you want to split the track.
If you can’t find the playhead, click the Locate button to move the playhead to the beginning of your track.
3. Choose Edit⇒Split Regions at Playhead or press +T.
GarageBand splits your track.
4. Double-click any track, or select a track and click the Editor button on the Control bar, to bring up the Track Editor pane.
The Track Editor zooms in on an audio region of the track so you can split a more defined point, as shown in Figure 5-11.
Figure 5-11: Splitting a track can make it easier to edit.
Joining a track
Even if you split a track, you can always rejoin the parts. To join two audio regions of a track, click and drag them so they’re adjacent and then follow these steps:
1. Click the first part of the track that you want to join.
2. Hold down the Shift key and click the second part of the track you want to join.
3. Choose Edit⇒Join Regions or press +J.
GarageBand connects the two parts.
After you record two or more tracks, you may want to adjust how each track plays relative to one another. For example, you can make one track play before or after a second track to create interesting audio effects. To move tracks, follow these steps:
1. Click the track that you want to move.
GarageBand highlights your selected instrument track.
For more flexibility, split a track into multiple regions so you can move each region separately.
2. Click and drag the track to the left or right to adjust the relative positions of the two tracks.
3. Release the mouse button when you’re happy with the new arrangement of the tracks and regions.
Quantize the times of real and Software Instruments
You can quantize, or automatically correct and regularize, the timing of regions of the tracks in recordings done with both real and Software Instruments. The sequence is slightly different between the two types of instruments:
· In tracks recorded with real instruments either connected to your Mac’s line-in port or directly through the Mac’s microphone or an external mic connected to your Mac, you can use Flex Time to adjust the timing of individual notes.
1. Click the Flex button (the wave form in the top left of the Editors pane) to turn on Flex Time.
2. Move the pointer over the zoomed track in the Track Editor.
It becomes a wave symbol.
3. Click and drag to shorten or stretch notes within the track.
4. Click the Flex Time button to see the difference between the two versions.
· With a Software Instrument, you can set the Time Quantize before recording, in which case the region is quantized automatically.
To quantize after you record
1. Click the Software Instrument track you want to quantize.
2. Click the Editors button (if the Track Editor pane isn’t open).
3. Choose the note value you want from the Time Quantize pop-up menu.
You can change the beat, tempo, and key of your project with the buttons in the Beats & Project Display on the Control bar.
When you record your instruments separately, the timing within each may be fine, but they still aren’t synchronized. GarageBand saves you from painstakingly matching each track or re-recording by letting you designate one of the tracks as the Groove Track. To do so, follow these steps:
1. Choose Tracks⇒Track Header⇒Show Groove Track.
2. Identify the track you want to use as the groove standard for your song.
3. Hover the pointer over the left side of the track name until you see the outline of a star, and then click that track.
Check boxes appear to the left of the other track headers.
4. Select the check boxes next to each track you want to match to the Groove Track.
5. To make a different track the Groove Track, repeat Step 3 by a different track header.
You can’t use groove matching if a track is automatically quantized.
After you finish arranging and modifying your song, choose File⇒Save to save your GarageBand project (so you can edit it later). If you want to share your creation with others, you can do one or more of the following:
· Save as a song or ringtone in the iTunes library.
· Upload to your SoundCloud account. (More on SoundCloud in a bit.)
· Export to an optical disc.
We show you the steps for each in the following sections.
Saving a song in iTunes
If you create a song that you want to save and play later, you can store that song in iTunes by following these steps:
1. Choose Share⇒Song to iTunes.
A dialog appears, as shown in Figure 5-12.
Figure 5-12: Choose a playlist, artist name, and audio setting for your song.
2. Click the Title, Artist, Composer, Album, and iTunes Playlist text boxes and enter any information you want to store.
Choose GarageBand⇒Preferences and click the My Info tab to enter default information that will be used whenever you share your projects.
3. Choose a setting from the Quality pop-up menu.
4. Click the Share button.
Your song appears in your iTunes library.
Saving a song as a ringtone
Any of the songs you create can be used as ringtones for your iPhone — or as a FaceTime notification on your Mac, iPod touch, or iPad, or as a text tone with iMessage on any iOS device or the Messages app on your Mac. Just follow these steps:
1. Choose Share⇒Send Ringtone to iTunes.
Ringtones can’t be more than 40 seconds. If your selection is too long, a dialog asks whether you want to adjust it — if you don’t, GarageBand will truncate the selection for you. Click Adjust, and then drag your selection left or right so the start and end points for your selection include the segment you want to hear as a ringtone (or notification or text tone).
2. GarageBand automatically converts your song and opens the iTunes application.
3. Your song appears in the Ringtones library on iTunes, ready to be synched to your iPhone.
You can also create a ringtone from scratch by clicking the Ringtone icon in the GarageBand Project window and then click the Choose button. Create a tone from Apple Loops or by adding new tracks of your own, just as you would if you were recording a song.
Sharing your song on SoundCloud
SoundCloud lets you share songs you create with others on a social network, and you can listen to others’ musical creations too. If you use the SoundCloud social network, you may want to send your songs directly from GarageBand so others can hear your recordings and creations. Choose Share⇒SoundCloud, and then sign in to your SoundCloud account. (If you don’t have an account, you can use your Facebook or Google account information or click Sign Up to create a SoundCloud account.) After you sign in, GarageBand can access your SoundCloud account, and songs will be automatically uploaded when you next choose Share⇒SoundCloud.
Saving a song to your storage drive
If you don’t want to store your song in iTunes, you can save your song as a separate audio file that you can store anywhere, such as on an external hard drive or a USB flash drive. To save your song as an audio file, follow these steps:
1. Choose Share⇒Export Song to Disk.
The Export Song to Disk dialog appears.
2. Type a name for your project in the Save As field.
3. Choose a setting from the Quality pop-up menu.
4. Choose a location for storing your project from the Where pop-up menu.
The GarageBand folder is the default location. Click the disclosure triangle to expand the Save dialog and scroll through the directories to save your project in a different drive or location.
5. Click Export.
Burning a song to CD
If you create a song that you want to share with others, you can burn it to a CD and then give the CD away. To burn a song to a CD, follow these steps:
1. Choose Share⇒Burn Song to CD.
A dialog appears, telling you that it’s waiting for a blank CD-R or CD-RW.
2. Insert a blank CD-R or CD-RW into your Mac and click Burn.
Learning to Play the Guitar and Piano
You can learn piano or guitar basics with GarageBand music lessons. GarageBand provides 40 free lessons for learning piano and guitar.
Your first two free lessons are preloaded in GarageBand; you can download the remaining 38 free lessons by clicking the Lesson Store in the GarageBand chooser window, and then clicking the Basic Lessons tab and clicking each additional lesson you want to download. Additionally, you can click the Artist Lessons tab to purchase and download lessons taught by distinguished musicians, including Sting, Norah Jones, John Fogerty, and Sarah McLachlan.
You can follow the lesson with your free-standing piano or guitar or with a keyboard or guitar hooked up to your Mac. To take a music lesson, follow these steps:
1. Click the GarageBand icon on the Dock or from Launchpad.
The GarageBand chooser appears.
2. Click Learn to Play in the sidebar on the left.
3. Click the Guitar Lessons, Piano Lessons, or Artist Lessons tab at the top of the window.
4. Click a lesson in the list that appears, and then click the Choose button.
A full-screen window opens with an instruction video and a keyboard or guitar, and the lesson begins, as shown in Figure 5-13.
Notice the buttons in the top-right corner of the lesson window:
· Glossary gives you a reference tool for musical words and definitions.
· Tuner helps you tune your guitar.
· Mixer lists options for what you hear while you’re taking the lesson.
· Setup lets you customize your learning interface.
· Notes lets you choose what kind of musical notation you see on the lesson window.
5. Click the Play button in the playback controls.
The lesson begins. Click the Play button again to stop the lesson.
· Chapters: At the bottom of the lesson window, a bar is divided into the lesson chapters. You can click on their titles to jump from one section of the lesson to the next, or drag the slider to the point you want to review.
· Cycle button: Click the Cycle button (the two arrows chasing each other in a circle) to highlight the chapters. With the Cycle button on, you can highlight a chapter, and the Rewind button takes you back to the highlighted chapter if you move to a different point in the lesson. When the Cycle button is off, clicking the Rewind button takes you to the beginning of the lesson. You can also adjust the speed of the lesson with the slider to the left of the playback controls, although with slower speeds, the instructor’s voice is muted.
Figure 5-13: Learn to play an instrument with GarageBand.
6. After you take the lesson, you can play along. Hover with the pointer to the left of your instructor to see two chapters: Learn and Play. Click Play.
7. If you’re using an acoustic instrument, position yourself near your Mac so the microphone picks up your practice. If you’re using an electronic keyboard or guitar, plug it in to the USB port on your Mac.
8. Click the Record button and play along.
GarageBand records your practice and tells you the percentage you got right with the How Did I Play? feature. GarageBand also keeps a history of your practices so you can track your progress. Click the My Results or History buttons in the lower-right corner to see how you did.