Garage Band

Back to Project Menu



1.    Getting Started:  Click on the Guitar icon  on your dock.

The following start up page should appear:

Click on “Create a New Project”

*if you have already saved a project click “open existing project” find your project name and click on it.


The following page should appear:


Give your song a title (can be changed when saving)

Choose where you want to save it, most often your house but there may be times when you will need to save someplace else.  Click the black arrows after it says “Where:” and choose the place where you want to save it.

All other information can be left as you can change this when you are creating your song.


Click “Create” and the following screen appears:


2.  The Compositon:


For your first project we will delete the keyboard and the “Grand Piano” track.



Click on the red “x” in the right hand corner and the keyboard will disappear.  You can bring it back by clicking on “view in the menu bar and selecting keyboard.

To delete the Grand piano track, go to “Track” in the menu bar.  Highlight “delete track” in the drop-down menu.



3.    Adding Tracks:  Add a “New Basic Track” from the drop down menu. 



A new track will appear:


4.   Opening Instruments:  Click the “eye” and track choices will appear. 


5.   Selecting instruments:  Choose an instrument such as “piano.”  Several little songs called “loops” will become available in the right hand column

    When you click on one of these “loops” it will play  

    for you.  If you really like it click on the “fav” box. 

    This will help you remember your favorite loops. 



6.   Placing Loops:  When you have found a loop you want to use, click and drag it to you track.  If you want to use it again, you may copy the loop.  Go to “edit” in the menu bar and select “copy” from the drop-down menu.  Move the “play head” to the spot where you want the loop.  Go back to “edit” in the menu bar and select “paste” from the drop-down menu.

*(the apple key + “c” key is a short-cut for copy)

*(the apple key +“V” key is a short-cut for paste)


7. Adding new tracks.

Add new tracks in the same way you added the
New basic track to start the project.

“Track” from the menu bar selecting “New Basic Track” from the drop-down menu.

*(or you may click the + sign)

Choose a new instrument and loops to add to the new track.


7.    Changing Counter: To keep track of how long your “song” is you will need to change the counter to “real time.”  Click the music note in the counter section.



The counter will then look like the picture below.


8.  More Tracks:  Continue to add tracks and instrument loops until you have the song you imagined.  An example song may look like this:






9.  Play your song.  Click the far left arrow in the “play” section to take the “play head” back to the beginning.  Click the single right arrow to play.

10.  Adjusting track volume.

Open the track volume by clicking on the arrow key in the track.  A volume line will appear.  Open the volume for each track in the same manner.










Click on the line where you want to change the volume.  Pull the line up or down.

11.  Deleting and moving loops.

You may delete any loop by clicking on it so it is highlighted and press the delete key.  To move a loop you click on it and drag it to where you want to put it.  You can even move it to a different track.


12.                Recording.

You may record your voice or other instruments.  Place the play head where you want to add the sound.  Click on the red record button and begin, speaking, singing, or playing.  Press the record button again when you are finished.


13.  Saving.

Go to “File” in the menu bar click on “save as” in the drop-down menu.  Here you may change the title and the location where you save your song.




14.     Tips for troubles.

The possibilities for Garage Band are endless.  Experiment.  There are more things that can be “tinkered” with that are not described in this short lesson.  Be creative and take some risks.  But, remember to save what you do like just incase something happens while you are experimenting.


You can add tracks that are not the basic track.  You can choose from various software and real instruments.  Software instruments take more memory than real instruments.  Use with caution.


If you get an error message you may have too much going on at the same time.  Move the loops around or delete some loops so they are not all playing at the same time.


Watch the color of your loops and tracks.  You can put both blue and green loops in a blue track but you may put only a green loop in a green track.


Watch your key signatures.  If the loops do not sound good together it may be because they do not have the same key signature. All loops should have the same letter name under the “key” column.