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How to Record Takes with GarageBand's Learn to Play Feature in iLife '11

In iLife'11, GarageBand can help you learn to play the guitar or piano with its Learn to Play feature. While you're learning a song, you can record your playing so you can listen to or study it later. Before you start recording, though, check out the tools for setting the metronome and using the tuner:

  • Metronome: The GarageBand metronome plays an audible click for each beat of the measure, not recorded with the music, to help you keep time while playing your instrument. And, just like a bandleader counting 1-2-3-4 to prepare the band to begin a song, GarageBand plays the metronome clicks exactly one full measure before starting to record, so that you can prepare to perform along with the beat. You can turn the metronome on and off by clicking the Metronome button in the bottom row of buttons on the lesson screen.

  • Tuner: To tune your guitar before playing along, click the Tuner button. The screen fills with a tuner that shows you which key you're playing when you pluck a string. (You can pluck a string on the animated fret board by clicking it.)

When you're ready to start recording, follow these steps:

  1. Choose Play from the chapter menu.

  2. (Optional) If you want to record multiple takes of your instrument while playing along with a lesson, click the Cycle button on the control bar.

  3. Click the section you want to record in, or move the playhead to the point where you want to start recording.

  4. Click the red Record button on the control bar and start playing.

  5. To stop recording, click the red Record button again.

    Play along with the lesson.
    Play along with the lesson.

GarageBand displays a performance meter as well as notes on the guitar's fretboard or piano keyboard. Mistakes and missed notes appear in red. After completing a recording, click the History button in the lower-right corner to see a progress chart.

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