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III. Appendixes > A. The GarageBand Music Crash Course

Appendix A. The GarageBand Music Crash Course

As you know from Chapters 2 and 3, it’s perfectly possible to glide right through a career in GarageBand without knowing anything at all about music. The new sheet-music view is optional, so you don’t have to know how to read music; the loops come prerecorded, so you don’t have to know how to play music; and the automated “players” respond only to dragging and dropping, so you don’t even have to know how to talk music.

Here and there, however, you can’t avoid at least seeing a few musical concepts flash before your eyes. Every time you create a new GarageBand document, you’re asked what key and time signature you want. The tempo control is glaring at you from right beside the Play button. And then there’s that business of the grid, which helps you (or hinders you) every time you try to drag a region or a note, and whenever you use the Align To button. Unless you have at least some concept of what “1/1 Note” or “1/8 Swing Heavy” means, you’ll never be quite in command of even the nonmusical features of GarageBand.


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