Ditch the Metronome! Use GarageBand Loops Instead

If you study music or studied music at some point in your life, you have likely encountered the metronome. Young students seem to run away in fear with the instructor simply mentions its name. Use of the metronome is critical for all musicians as it provides an accurate and consistent tempo and beat to which the musician must remain accountable.

Do you know what else accomplishes the same task with a much greater fun factor? Yes, GarageBand loops! They are all included for free with GarageBand and can make practicing more fun, motivating, and efficient.

  1. Open GarageBand, with any type of instrument as your first track.
  2. Open the Loop Browser (top right).
  3. Find a loop that works well with your musical excerpt. [Note that some loops may be in different divisions of the beat and may not line up well with the excerpt being practiced. Consult with a music teacher (or me) if you have questions about specific examples.]
  4. Under the Settings icon (top right), tap Tempo and adjust to the appropriate tempo for your excerpt. [You can even use 'Tap to set Tempo' to teach GarageBand the tempo you are seeking. It takes 4-8 taps to even out the tempo.]
  5. Tap play and enjoy!

Here's a short video made with Clips illustrating the process!

Happy practicing!

3 replies

March 20, 2023

Love the video - fun!

April 03, 2023

This is certainly a way to make practicing a bit more fun... and could easily turn into a musical composition mashup.

Using the Audio Recorder in GarageBand, you can record your practice and then bring in additional Apple Loops to create a new masterpiece -- or Shostakovich hip hop 😉.

Thanks for the share, Donald!

April 03, 2023

Yes! I am always surprised at the audio quality of the microphones on iPad, even for loud sounds and ensembles. I use iPad frequently to record performances in lessons and rehearsals. Although use of headphones would reveal the best product, I might just have my students record some of their least interesting etude exercises like this and have them upload them to our shared Note! Thanks for the inspiration/challenge, Erika! 😁🎶🎺

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