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Basics: Demoing with Garageband

November 20, 2008

This may seem like pretty obvious stuff, but I am the type of person that needs to be told things a few times and even then it’s best just to show me. So below are a few clips on how to use Garageband.

The program has become an indispensable part of my music. Often I’ll hit record and using the built-in Mac microphone I am able to capture the essence of my musical ideas.

This past weekend I booked some studio time to record a song that I had previously demoed on Garageband. I spent a loooong time demoing the song. When it came time to record the track, I was able to save time and money because I knew exactly what I wanted.

So here are my 3 steps to recording a great demo:

  1. Create a New Track. At the top of the screen there is a Track tab. Click it and choose created a new track. Then choose Real Instrument.
  2. Adjust the Recording level. Go to the bottom right of your screen. If you’re playing with a band turn the level down. If you’re playing a acoustic number turn it up.
  3. Turn off the Metronome. At the top of the screen there is a Control tab. Click it and turn off that Metronome.  That metronome has thwarted so many groovy jams.

Now Jam out Friend!!!!

Note: If you’re jamming, create a new track for each new jam. It’s always a pain in the ass to listen to 2 hours of free form improvisational jam music looking for that golden nugget. So make it easier on yourself, make sure you are creating new tracks as each jam progresses.

So there you go, a quick and dirty approach to demoing your songs.  For you non-Mac users I’ve heard good things about Cubase and rumor has it that ProTools can be acquired for very little cash. Whatever program you use, just remember to demo any crazy idea that you have. Having a home studio, even if it’s on a laptop, will allow you to explore your music and can only make you a better musician.

Take Control of Your Music,


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4 Comments leave one →
  1. November 20, 2008 10:48 pm

    how bout a link to your new track?

  2. November 21, 2008 5:34 pm

    I really recommend against taking the click track off. Once you’ve got one basic track down, be it rhythm guitar, drums, or bass, then take the click off, but if you’re not in time, it will be difficult to overdub anything else especially if you punch in and out. Also, the discerning ear (which will be listening to a demo), will notice timing difficulties and it will be a stroke against you.

    Great site you have going though. Keep it up!

  3. November 21, 2008 7:19 pm

    Good call Alex. But for me, that particular metronome is the bane of my existence. There have been many a jam where I hit record, and then 10 minutes into it I realize that the click clack was still on…. maybe we shouldn’t play so loud…. nah.

  4. November 30, 2008 2:04 am

    I use garageband exclusively, it works great for what i do

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