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Taking music lessons

From: GarageBand '11 Essential Training

Video: Taking music lessons

While GarageBand was clearly designed to be a digital audio recording application geared around the production of songs, there are a number of other features the application has to offer that I'd like to just spend a few minutes covering in this chapter. iPhone ringtones, podcasting, movie scoring, and first up, guitar and piano lessons. So plug in and let's start there. One of the exciting features that Apple introduced into GarageBand in Version '09 and has expanded upon the idea in GarageBand '11 is the Learn to Play lessons as part of GarageBand.

Taking music lessons

While GarageBand was clearly designed to be a digital audio recording application geared around the production of songs, there are a number of other features the application has to offer that I'd like to just spend a few minutes covering in this chapter. iPhone ringtones, podcasting, movie scoring, and first up, guitar and piano lessons. So plug in and let's start there. One of the exciting features that Apple introduced into GarageBand in Version '09 and has expanded upon the idea in GarageBand '11 is the Learn to Play lessons as part of GarageBand.

So the idea here is to learn to play the guitar or the piano better by taking lessons that are built into GarageBand. So they have a very friendly chap who teaches you the way to finger chords and the way to follow rhythm. It takes you all the way through basic guitar and basic piano lessons. You can actually go into the Lesson Store and by choosing Guitar or Piano, download additional lesson series for rock guitar, for example.

You can download them individually or download all of them at once. Same with Piano. There is the basic set and then as well as Pop and Classical Piano and you can just click on them and choose which one you'd like to download, do it one at a time. For instance, I will download quickly the Pop Piano Major and Minor Chords. One thing to keep in mind about downloading lessons is they do take up a lot of hard drive space. So make sure you have room to download. This one, for example, takes 731 megs. It's telling us here in the readout.

I can pause my download just by clicking Pause and come back and resume at a future time. For instance, if I am downloading to my laptop and want to close the laptop and leave for my WiFi network, then come back later and resume the download, I can do that. Once these files are downloaded, they are always going to be located here under Learn to Play, in this case under Piano or Guitar, and you'll be able to utilize them once they are fully downloaded. And all of the additional sets, Basic Piano plus the two others, and Basic Guitar and the two others are free. They just don't come preinstalled because of how much space they take up.

So another thing that you can do is if you click on the Artist Lessons category under Learn to Play, any artist lessons you've downloaded will appear under that tab. To get artist lessons, go to the Lesson Store. You can either go back to the home screen and click on Artist or you can just go directly to the tab up top, and you can download any of the guitar lessons or piano lessons you see from your celebrity contributors and learn from the masters how to play great songs like "Limelight" and "The Spirit of Radio" from Alex Lifeson or "lack Coffee In Bed" from Squeeze.

If you don't currently have your Apple ID and iTunes account information configured, you can click on the Account tab and fill that stuff in here. You can create a new Apple ID if you don't have one and the artist lessons cost $4.99 and the other lessons are free. So once you are in Learn to Play, I don't have a guitar connected to the system right now. So I won't actually do the Chord Trainer, but I double-click on Chord Trainer, I can show you that this is set up to allow you to play along and choose from this menu here whether you want to learn Major Open Chords, Minor Open Chords, Major Barre Chords, or Minor Barre Chords.

So if you choose, for instance, Major Open Chords, it's going to take you through playing a C chord, D chord, G chord, et cetera, and what you do is play along and it tells you if you are correct, so it can sense what you are actually playing. You plug your guitar in like you would to record an electric guitar track. Every tuner built in as well so you can tune up, make sure everything is hunky dory, and if you go into Setup, you can adjust your input devices, set the specific parameters of them and decide whether to monitor or not.

You can also change for a left-handed view if you are a left-handed guitar player or show the fretboard top- down as opposed to bottom-down. You also have access to GarageBand's Preferences directly from here if you need to get to them, and you click Setup again to return. I'll click the X in the upper left to go back to my main window and click over on Piano Lessons. If I choose Intro to Piano by double- clicking, the lesson takes over the window and you can click Play and learn the lesson. (Male speaker: Hi, I'm Tim. This is the first in a series of lessons that will help you learn to play the piano.) So you can pause the lesson at anytime, and if you click on Setup you have a lot of options about how your preview is displayed.

You can, for instance, show the keyboard as well. If you go back, you'll see that now a keyboard is displayed here. So anytime he presses on the keyboard, you'll see numbered fingers on the keyboard below and you can make a bunch of different choices about which notation style is shown in the middle section of the screen or no notation. Again a large view area and keyboard only. So you can set this up any way you like. You also have access to the mixer which lets you adjust the relative volume of the teacher's voice, the teacher's piano, and the backing band.

If you are playing along at the end each of these lessons has a sort of band track that you can play to. You can adjust the volume there, as well as make individual adjustments for the members of the band, and you can adjust your instrument, which is the piano that you are perhaps playing along on. There's also a nice glossary in here that gives you a lot of musical terminology explained. You can find out, if you are really new to this stuff, what is a major chord. I might have chosen Open Major Chords from that menu.

If you are saying what major open chords, well, it actually takes the time to go through. (Male speaker: There are several ways to play an open A Major Chord.) Little videos and a description as well as some illustration is taking you through it. So this is pretty comprehensive basic music theory and guitar and piano theory. So it's actually quite helpful. While you are playing the lesson, you can also access your notation settings directly from this menu in the upper right-hand corner. If you'd like to check out the How Did I Play feature, you have to select the Play chapter, which is just move your mouse up here, click on Play and then hit Record.

What will happen is it will take you through the piano lesson that you just learned and you play along and basically GarageBand will grade you on your performance and let you know and it tracks you progress through history and you have history results that you can view and keep tabs on your progress. So I am going to press Record and show you how it works really briefly here. (Music playing) Okay, so as you've heard, I played a wrong note in that chord there.

So it's showing me that I made an error in that bar, but these other four bars were fine and I've got 89% success rate, so I am doing pretty good. You can also cycle this around and run through it a number of times in a row. Same as the cycled region in GarageBand. And a button for going back to the beginning and starting over and you can even slow it down if you are feeling like the tempo is too fast. Use the slider to adjust to a slower tempo. And it tells you that you'll be muting the teacher's voice because you've slowed the Lesson Tempo down, then it will drop down to 83 and you now have - (Music playing) --more time to get your piano on.

So if it's going too fast, you can just slow it down and work at your own pace. So the lessons are really helpful way to learn the basics of piano and guitar right inside GarageBand.

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This video is part of

Image for GarageBand '11 Essential Training
GarageBand '11 Essential Training

50 video lessons · 23364 viewers

Todd Howard
Author

 
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  1. 2m 17s
    1. Welcome
      1m 13s
    2. Using the exercise files
      1m 4s
  2. 23m 4s
    1. Connecting instruments, MIDI controllers, mics, audio interfaces, and speakers
      4m 24s
    2. Setting important Mac OS X and GarageBand preferences
      4m 32s
    3. Creating a project with tempo, time signature, and key
      4m 37s
    4. Creating a track
      9m 31s
  3. 25m 42s
    1. Exploring Real Instrument tracks and setting a good input level
      6m 20s
    2. Exploring Software Instrument tracks, keyboard velocity, and MIDI
      6m 59s
    3. Exploring Electric Guitar tracks and monitoring
      7m 48s
    4. Positioning the cursor on audio regions to access different tools
      4m 35s
  4. 10m 23s
    1. Choosing a genre in the Project Chooser
      2m 3s
    2. Auditioning players in the band and hiring new players
      8m 20s
  5. 16m 45s
    1. Browsing and filtering the Apple Loops library
      5m 20s
    2. Dragging Apple Loops into your arrangement and choosing from alts
      6m 33s
    3. Jamming along with your composition
      4m 52s
  6. 35m 11s
    1. Setting tempo, enabling count-in and metronome, and dragging in a drum loop
      5m 22s
    2. Using GarageBand as a scratchpad for recording new ideas
      3m 29s
    3. Using the Arrange track to create song form sections
      3m 1s
    4. Splitting Apple Loops and choosing alternates to build a drum part
      6m 36s
    5. Recording multiple takes with cycle record
      4m 32s
    6. Punching in a small section of audio
      6m 20s
    7. Using Groove Matching to tighten up the rhythm of a performance
      5m 51s
  7. 33m 56s
    1. Tuning up and tracking a rhythm electric guitar part
      4m 26s
    2. Customizing the guitar sound using amps, stompboxes, and effects
      11m 44s
    3. Using Flex Time to fix a double-tracked rhythm guitar part
      7m 40s
    4. Using Cycle Record to record multiple takes for soloing
      3m 40s
    5. Compositing a final guitar solo from multiple takes
      6m 26s
  8. 19m 25s
    1. Recording a Software Instrument track
      3m 48s
    2. Editing the parameters of Software Instruments
      8m 44s
    3. Editing MIDI notes in the piano roll editor after the performance
      6m 53s
  9. 14m 12s
    1. Recording lead vocals
      6m 39s
    2. Correcting pitch with automatic tuning
      4m 16s
    3. Reordering, duplicating, and deleting song sections using the Arrangement track
      3m 17s
  10. 1h 7m
    1. Creating successful mixes
      7m 4s
    2. Pre-mixing
      15m 31s
    3. Equalizing tracks
      5m 51s
    4. Compressing tracks
      10m 13s
    5. Adding reverb and echo effects to individual tracks
      6m 39s
    6. Creating automated volume and pan moves
      10m 41s
    7. Freezing tracks to improve system performance
      2m 0s
    8. Using master track effects and automating a fade-out
      3m 31s
    9. Creating a final mixdown: Exporting a finished song to disk
      5m 40s
  11. 12m 51s
    1. Sharing your songs with iTunes and burning CDs
      3m 6s
    2. Opening a GarageBand project in Logic
      4m 26s
    3. Archiving GarageBand project files
      5m 19s
  12. 36m 44s
    1. Taking music lessons
      7m 32s
    2. Creating ringtones
      3m 50s
    3. Creating podcasts
      14m 12s
    4. Scoring a movie
      11m 10s
  13. 53s
    1. Goodbye
      53s

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