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Learn to play music with your Mac and GarageBand – tutorial

Always wanted to learn an instrument? GarageBand’s Learn to Play lessons give you all the necessary tools. Here's how to turn your Mac into a music tutor.

GarageBand - Learn to Play - Featured

GarageBand - Learn to Play - Sidebar
GarageBand - Learn to Play - Featured
There are many ways your Mac can help you be more creative, but one of the lesser-known ones is teaching yourself a new instrument with GarageBand’s Learn to Play feature.
Learn to Play is your Mac’s built-in guitar or piano tutor, complete with video tutorials, interactive diagrams and songs to play along with to help you master your instrument. It’s a truly wonderful feature!

What’s more, you can even record the songs you play along with and get feedback on what you’ve played. You can download further lessons for each instrument, as well as artist lessons to learn both simple and complex versions of songs that they made popular. Getting set up is easy and all you need is your Mac, GarageBand, an instrument to learn with and our great guide. What are you waiting for?

GarageBand - Learn to Play - Step-by-Step

GarageBand - Learn to Play - Step 1

Step 1: Lesson number one

From the New Project window, select Learn to Play in the main sidebar to view any currently downloaded guitar or piano lessons from the selection available.

GarageBand - Learn to Play - Step 2

Step 2: Select and choose

From the list of downloaded lessons, select the one you want to work on (by default your only option is Intro to Guitar), and click Choose to begin.

GarageBand - Learn to Play - Step 3

Step 3: Learn or Play

In the lesson window itself, you can choose from two options: Learn or Play. Start off by clicking Learn to watch the video tutorial. Click Play to play along with the tutor.

GarageBand - Learn to Play - Step 4

Step 4: Check your work

In Play mode, you’ll play along with a virtual band and your tutor. Click Play and Record to start. View your progress afterwards by clicking My Results.

GarageBand - Learn to Play - Step 5

Step 5: On the tab

In Learn mode, clicking on the note icon in the top- right corner brings up a list of different view options to show chords, standard notation and tabs as notes.

GarageBand - Learn to Play - Step 6

Step 6: Fix the mix

Hitting the Mixer button brings up an audio mixer that lets you control your instrument’s volume, the tutor’s instrument and the backing band while you play.

(Click on the image below to zoom in and view the annotations)

GarageBand - Learn to Play - Annotated