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Using GarageBand on iPad

by Josh Osborne Osborne.Josh@MacPhail.org

GarageBand would be the one app on my iPad that I use every single day. It's changed my teaching because now I have a live, changeable accompanist in my work bag. I use the "Smart Instrument" options (there's Smart Drums, Piano, Guitar, Bass, and Strings) as my accompanist during my teaching. While there are many instrument choices, I'll be highlighting the Smart Guitar for this post because I use this one the most. 
In my work as a music therapist, often times I need my hands free to assist clients, but still need some sort of musical motivation present in the lesson. While it is possible to play percussion, guitar, provide hand-over-hand assist, and cue speech at the same time, it certainly can become tiresome.

For these situations, I usually use my pre-saved guitar accompaniment on GarageBand. I've saved the song so that when I select it, it loads with the chords I need already available. In most cases, all I need are I-IV-V chords, but there are a multitude of other chord options from major 6ths, diminished, minor 7, etc. Basically any chord progression you need to replicate, can be edited inside the Smart Guitar section. Below I have an image of where to edit key signature, time signature, and chords.

     **Make sure the "Run in Background" is turned ON, so that you can run GarageBand while being in other apps. For instance, if you want to have a GarageBand accompaniment playing while reading sheet music on the iPad, you'll need to have this ON.

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