I’m no musician, well I occasionally try a few notes on my guitar but I’m complete rubbish at it, but I thought I would try the GarageBand app on the iPad, that’s the iPad 1. Many people seem to think that it will only work on the iPad 2 as the two products were announced at the same launch but it works perfectly well on the first generation model.
Now I started off by saying I’m no musician and put me in front of any traditional instrument and you’d be right, but using GarageBand has allowed me to make music, or maybe sounds that just sound a lot better and to me that sounds like music. Does this make me a musician, does it matter what the tool is to allow you to make music that determines if you are a musician? Musicians spend many hours practising their craft and then along comes a device that changes that. Of course, like with anything, you would still need to practise with GarageBand to become really good, but it appears that immediately you can create something.
The other thing GarageBand will do is open up the doors to possibly picking up an instrument that perhaps one hadn’t considered before. Perhaps some latent music talent will be discovered. As GarageBand has an array of instruments you may find there is a particular instrument that appeals to you without having to go and try all of them possibly at great expense.
There are many things I like about GarageBand for iPad including the built in eight track recorder and the ability to export your masterpiece to iTunes or email it.
The drum kit is great and it appears to be touch sensitive, depending on how hard you hit the drums depends on how loud they are. Somehow this uses the accelerometers built into the iPad even when it is on a flat surface, not sure how they did that, how can an accelerometer work if there is no movement? Anyway it does.
As for keyboards and synthesizers there is a huge range to choose from, you could spend a lots of time just exploring the sounds of each one and making adjustments, my favourite at the moment is the Fifties Sci Fi synth.
Guitars allow you to bend strings and if you need help there is the Smart Guitar which makes playing chords easy. In fact there are a number of Smart instruments in addition to the guitar are keyboard, drums, bass and a drum machine.
If you really do play the guitar and want to record onto the iPad, and add in more instruments, then there are attachments that allow you to connect your guitar.
As with so many apps the price is very reasonable too, I paid £2.99. At that sort of price it makes you feel like it is worth having a go. Check out the video on the GarageBand page on the Apple website http://www.apple.com/ipad/from-the-app-store/garageband.html