Are you  just starting down the path to GarageBand enlightenment?
Wouldn’t it be great if someone put together some sort of list or GarageBand tutorial that outlined a selection of the best tricks and tips?

Lucky old you….

Whether you’re a complete beginner or are just looking to learn a few new tricks, you’ll love these essential tips to get you started.

In it, I’ll take you through my list of 5 essential things that every aspiring GarageBand Ninja NEEDS to know….


 How To Set Up Your New GarageBand Project

Opening GarageBand for the first time , you’d be forgiven for feeling overwhelmed. There are a ton of options, templates and controls to deal with before you even get to the main workspace.

It’s important to set your project up the right way. Doing so will keep things simple and allow you to get to grips with the program faster.

In the video below, learn how to set up your new project using GarageBand’s super helpful templates:




Beginner’s Guide to Software Instruments

Garageband’s Software Instrument tracks are a great way to fill out your project. Whether you want to add a bass line, synth melody or silky smooth harpsichord solo, you’re going to need to know your way around the Software Instrument Track.

In the video tutorial below, find out how to set up your Software Instrument track, find your way around GarageBand’s library pane, how to record and edit your chosen instruments and a few tricks to keep your project running smoothly!



Musical Typing

From classical pianos to EDM synths, percussion to hard rock guitar sounds; GarageBand 10 comes pre packaged with a ton of great sounding virtual instruments that can really bring your project to life.

Digging into the instrument sounds available to you is as easy as opening a new Software Instrument track and choosing a Patch from the Library pane, but what about actually playing your chosen instrument? Ideally you could attach a USB keyboard or controller to your Mac, but maybe you’re just getting started with Garageband and don’t have access to one? Or maybe you’re on the move and didn’t have room to pack your keyboard/controller?

Luckily GarageBand has an ingenious built in solution – Musical Typing.

Here’s how it works:


To open Musical Typing, first click on “Window” in the toolbar at the top of your screen.


Next, click on “Show Musical Typing” (Alternatively, use the keyboard shortcut ⌘+K)


The Musical Typing window will appear in all it’s glory!


Here’s a rundown of the features:


Pitch Bend: You can use the 1+2 keys to adjust the pitch of whatever note/s you are playing in real time.

Modulation: Keys 3 through 8 will add a set amount of modulation to the note/s played. The effect will differ depending on the instrument you have selected.

Sustain: You can toggle sustain on and off with the Tab key.

Black and White Keys: These are the keys you’ll use to create your melody. Garageband presents them in a way that corresponds to a single octave (C3 to C4 by default) on a Piano keyboard.

Octave: Use the Z and X keys to shift octaves for lower or higher pitched notes.

Velocity: The C and V keys allow you to change to velocity (how hard the note is struck) of your chosen instrument sound.

All that’s left for you to do is hit record and start playing! It can take a bit of getting used to, especially if you have larger fingers (my big fat fingers seem incapable of playing anything but the simplest melodies in Musical Typing), but you’ll soon get the hang of it.


Recording Takes

Jumping into recording your chosen instrument in GarageBand is really exciting, but getting to grips with the tools on offer in your favourite Digital Audio Workstation takes time.

What’s more, making sure you capture the best performance possible can take even longer.

Having to set up, record, mess up, hit stop and start all over can be time consuming and pull you out of the ‘zone’. It’s not fun to have to stop and start between takes!

Luckily, GarageBand has a built in feature that will make getting that face melting guitar solo just right or nailing that vocal hook a breeze! You’ll be recording takes and capturing your very best performance before you know it!




Improve Your Workflow with Keyboard Shortcuts

Getting to grips with all of the GarageBand 10 keyboard shortcuts is something you’ll want to do as soon as possible.

You’ll get your projects up and running faster, so you don’t need to worry about finding your way around Garageband’s interface and can concentrate on the creative side of things.

Find out more about GarageBand’s Keyboard Shortcuts (and download your free Shortcut Cheat Sheet) right here.


Once you’ve mastered the 5 things that you need to know in this GarageBand Tutorial, grab your free copy of my GarageBand Quick Start Guide and find out just how deep the rabbit hole goes…

Need a helping hand? Got a question about GarageBand? Leave it in the comments or get in touch via The GarageBand Guide Facebook page!