As I mentioned a few weeks ago, I decided to emulate my Guitar Hero son Tazer and start playing guitar as well. I love to try out new things and usually I try to pick up as much as I can on my own. This is two-pronged: one, I am one who learns more from doing and making mistakes and two, I am a cheap son-of- a-bitch. So I’ve been exploring differing ways to learning, starting close to home. Our Mac computer comes with GarageBand, Apple’s multi-faceted app.
"Welcome to the school of rock. A Mac-size practice space. Your own recording studio. If you want to learn to play an instrument, write music, or record a song, GarageBand has everything you need.
First GarageBand teaches you how to play. Then it tests your chops. As you play along with any lesson, record yourself. GarageBand listens in real time and tells you how you’re doing. You’ll see how well you played with colored notes, a progress bar, and a performance meter. You can check your rhythm and note accuracy, keep track of your progress, and beat your best score — all while perfecting your skills.
With 22 new genre-based lessons (40 in all), you can pick up the basics of piano, guitar, or even both. Video demonstrations, synchronized notation, and instrument animations make lessons fun and easy to follow. And you can learn at your own pace. You’ll jam with the Blues Guitar and Rock Guitar series. You’ll master classical piano pieces by Bach, Beethoven, Mozart, or Chopin. And you’ll play Top 40-style piano with the Pop Piano series. The new built-in glossary is a great reference for tuning your guitar, changing strings, reading music, finding basic chords and scales, and more. With the Chord Trainer, you’ll master the most important guitar chords by shape, which makes it easier to keep them straight."
The GarageBand built-in tuner is relatively intuitive and useful. The lessons start out simply enough, but rapidly increase in difficulty almost right away. Though it’s a pretty package, I’d say this is too complex for most people to start out on, or at least it was for me. I know that someday I’ll come back to this, both as a refresher and to avail myself of the myriad features included.
Do you play guitar?
Did you learn on your own or use a teacher?
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