Make studying music fun and engaging with GarageBand

Christopher Britt is one of our music tutors, teaching piano and guitar. Here he introduces one of his students, Digby, who has put together some top tips for using GarageBand. Over to you Christopher and Digby…

Introducing Digby

Digby is an 11 year old pianist and drummer who is currently studying piano with me. As well as his instrumental studies, Digby is also a keen songwriter and producer.


What is GarageBand?

GarageBand is a free app that comes with IOS available on Mac computer, iPad and iPhone. It offers professional level recording software that enables you to write and produce your own music.  All you need to get started is a device and the app itself. You can make a track on your phone in minutes.

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It is a fantastic app for music students as it allows you to apply music theory in a fun and engaging way doing what it’s all about - being creative!

I wanted to take this opportunity to showcase some of Digby’s amazing songs and also help others get into songwriting & production - an excellent way to enhance your music studies.

Here are Digby’s top tips for getting into songwriting on GarageBand: 

My Tips for GarageBand by Digby

  • To make your MIDI track synchronised here is how to time quantise it:

  1. Press the scissors icon in the top left

  2. Then press the question mark button - some yellow boxes with writing will appear

  3. Press region in the left hand column

  4. Press Piano Roll. 

  5. Finally press the time quantise button then select the one which sounds best / synchronises the track to the rest of your music

  • If you find a MIDI sound that you like then use the transform pad to add an effect to make it sound more interesting.

  • To get yourself going use a mixture of apple loops (already supplied) and MIDI tracks

  • Get inspiration from other songs that you like

  • To move your piece along continue to add sounds / instruments up to a crescendo for 4 bars then stop the track completely for about 4 beats then bring the beat and melody back.

  • If you are really interested in it just muck around with sounds, chords and beats for hours on end and have loads of fun!

If you go to Warden Park you’ll probably see me in the music department as I’m just about to start in September, so come and say “Hi!”

Thanks Digby for those great tips!

There’s more about Christopher and his teaching background here or get in touch if you’d like to discuss having music lessons with him.