How To Make Beats On GarageBand

Are you looking to start producing music? Do you want to learn how to start making beats on Garageband? Perhaps you are curious about beats and want to know more?

Then keep reading as we have the answers for you! In this article, we will be showing you how to create different beats using Garageband.

Garage Band is Apple's free audio recording software. It allows you to record your voice or instruments and produce professional-quality tracks.

It is one of the simplest versions of music software that you will find and is perfect for those not yet ready to tackle FL Studio, Ableton Live, or Logic Pro.

Garage band strips away a lot of the additional, complex features of these other pieces of software, allowing you to make music without much difficulty. It is also very simple and beginner-friendly.

The interface is easy to use as well which means you won't be spending hours trying to figure it out.

Below is a guide to making your first beat on GarageBand. We're going to take you the earliest steps of creating a song, tracking, piano roll, and some ideas on how you can develop your music production skills.

As with all things regarding music production – it can get complicated! This article is just to help you with the basics. 

Basic Guide To Garageband

We are going to take it from the very beginning. Garage Band is easy to set up and to get started, but there are a few things you will need to begin with.

Some of these items are optional, but will greatly increase your potential when it comes to making music on GarageBand. 

Garageband App

This is an application that will allow you to make beats on Garageband.

GarageBand Instrument

This is the piece of hardware that you plug into your computer to play your music. There are many options for this, including keyboards, guitars, basses, drums, etc.

We recommend getting a keyboard if you haven't already because they're relatively inexpensive and have a wide variety of sounds available. 

If you don't have a keyboard, you can use any instrument in GarageBand that has been purchased through the app store.

MIDI Controller

A MIDI controller is a device that sends notes to your computer via USB. You can connect multiple controllers at once so you can easily switch between them. Many people prefer using a MIDI Keyboard Controller over a mouse.

Audio Interface

An audio interface is similar to a MIDI controller. However, instead of sending notes, it records sound directly onto your computer. This is useful for creating songs with vocals. You can choose between analog and digital interfaces.

Analog interfaces are better quality than digital ones but tend to cost more money. Digital interfaces are cheaper, but their quality isn't quite as good.



Your computer is what makes all of the music. Make sure you have enough RAM (Random Access Memory) space to run GarageBand properly. Also, make sure that your CPU speed is high enough to handle the load of Garage Band.


These are used to listen to your music while you work, as well as to get a good understanding of how clear your beat will eventually sound. 

Downloading Garageband 

You can download GarageBand from the App Store. Once installed, open the application and click on the Record button. Then, select Create New Session.

This will bring up the main screen where you can start recording. Click on the green plus sign next to the microphone icon to add a new track.

Creating Beats On GarageBand

Now we'll get into the actual process of making beats on GarageBand. First, you will want to create a song.

Creating A Song 

This will bring up a window where you can name your song and then press Enter. Now, you can either play your song by pressing Play or drag it into another project. When you've finished playing your song, click on Stop Recording.

Next, you will want to go back to the main screen and click on Track 1. This will bring up our first track. Press the red minus sign next to the microphone to delete the last note played. This will leave us with just one note.

 Press the green plus sign to record your first drum hit. The default setting for GarageBand is quarter note 60 BPM (beats per minute). It's important to know that the tempo of your song doesn't matter too much until later. For now, we'll keep it at 60.


Next, you will want to change the pitch of your drum hit. To do this, double-click on the drum hit. This will bring up two sliders. Drag the left slider to lower the pitch of the drum hit. Drag the right slider to raise the pitch.

Try dragging both sliders simultaneously to see how it affects the sound. You can experiment here to make some very strange sounds if you like.

Some of the most impressive hip-hop beats of all time have been made through experimentation, so it's worth trying things out. Sometimes, mistakes can mean unique sounds that you wouldn't have found otherwise! 

Tracking The Beat 

Next, you need to start making your beat. There are three different ways to do this.

The first way is to use the Piano Roll. This will allow you to play chords over your drums. To access the piano roll, simply click on Track 2. This will bring up a list of the instruments available in GarageBand.

If you don't see any instruments, then try clicking on the “?” icon.

To make a chord, hold down the key on your keyboard and click on the instrument you'd like to use. For example, I'm going to use my C Major scale. So, we would click on the C Major Scale and then hold down the key C.

If you're not familiar with scales, they're a series of notes that can be strung together to form a melody. In this case, we're using the C Major scale which is made of these notes: C D E F G A B C.

As you can see, there are 12 notes on the scale. To make sure you're holding the correct key, look at the little number above each note. If the numbers match, then you're holding the correct note.

Finishing Your Beat

Once your beat has been tracked on a piano roll, you have the basics in which you will be able to add more things on top. There are countless ways in which you can add to your beat to make it a full song.

You can loop it multiple times to create a whole song. You can match a sample to it, to create something new! You can also add additional effects or melodies over your beat so that it will be more interesting to listen to.

One thing that is worth noting here is that beats are meant to be rapped over. Of course, in modern times there have been some purely instrumental beats, but most beat producers like to leave space for vocals.

If you add too much to your beat you will find that it will be unlistenable, or unable to be rapped over. 

Final Thoughts

As you can tell, creating beats on Garage Bands is simplistic at first, but can quickly deepen in terms of complexity the more you look into it.

Producers spend an entire lifetime honing their craft, but GarageBand and the basic method of creating a beat above that we have suggested is a great way to start.

We hope that this article has given you some insight as to how to make beats on GarageBand. We've only scratched the surface here, and there will always be a lot more to learn! 

Have fun!

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