How to make a rap song using GarageBand on the iPad

For GarageBand Newbies: Easy directions on how to make a rap song
on GarageBand for iPad

(Click here for a complete tutorial or here (Apple manual) for using GarageBand on an iPad.)
Click here for this tutorial in a Google Doc.

- Open up GarageBand app
- If this is the first time you have used the app, you might get a red welcome screen. Click “Continue”. You should now be on your instruments panel.
- If this is not the first time you have used this app, make sure that you start on the instruments panel. It looks like this:

- If you are not on this panel, you can find it if you click on “Instruments”, top left hand corner of your screen (If the app opens up on the “My Songs”, click the + sign, top left hand corner to start a new song.)

- Start off with “Smart Drums”. Swipe left or right to find them. (You might need to purchase the complete collection of Garageband instruments and sounds to access this. Do it, really worth the $)
- Click on the drum. On the top left hand corner, the default drum should be “Hip Hop Drum Machine”. If it’s not, click on whatever drum is there and choose “Hip Hop Drum Machine.”
- Best tempo is 90 for a rap. Click on the wrench icon (top R. hand corner), then click on “Tempo” and change to 90. Click outside box to return to the controls area.
- The other thing you have to do now is make your song longer than the default 8 bars:
- Click on the + sign, top right hand corner.
- You should see “Song Sections”. Click on “Section A”.  To the right of “Manual”, click on the up arrow to make a song of around 40 bars. You can delete the extra bars later. Click outside this window to get back to the controls area.
- Now you can start to drag different drum types into the square in the centre. NOTE: The higher up on the panel, the louder the drum will be. The more to the left, the simpler the rhythm. Moving to the right makes the rhythm more complex.
- if you hit the dice, it will randomly change the drums around.
- Once you have a combination that you like, hit the red record button at the top and record 8 beats. When you click the record button, the metronome will count 4 beats before the recording actually starts. Click on the white square to stop. The first 2 bars on the top should be filled with green (just before the number 5, see image below).
- Listen to what you have recorded by dragging the Playhead to the beginning, or by clicking on the Return to start button, then click on Play button. Click on the white square to stop. If you want to change what you recorded, click on the “undo” button to the right of the “Instruments” (it looks like a curved arrow).
- If you like what you recorded you can now loop it for the entire song. Click on the “Tracks” button on the control bar.

- Then click your finger twice on the green “Smart Drums” track until the words “Cut/Copy/Delete/Loop/Split/Rename” show up.

- Click on “Loop”. Now the drum mix will play for the entire song.

- Now you can add more instruments or tracks to your song. Determine where you want the instruments to come in by adjusting the Playhead:


- You might want to let the drums start first as your intro, In which case you can keep the playhead at 5.
- Click on “Instruments” and choose your next instrument.
- Continue like this, adding instruments until you are ready to add your voice.

Adding voice: When you are ready to add your voice, put the Playhead where you want your voice to begin, then click on “Instruments” and swipe left or right to find “Audio Recorder”. Click on the red button to record your voice.

Important: When you are recording your voice with the music playing in the background, you need to turn the music down very low, or else you will be recording the music, too. You should also turn off the metronome so that you don’t hear it in the recording:
Turn music low         Turn off metronome

(Note: you can add special effects to your voice by clicking on the options on the right)

How to turn on Metronome:

- Note:  When you are recording your voice, make sure to speak in the microphone:

Final editing:

- Click on the “Tracks” button anytime to change the tracks in any way. You can move, cut, paste, delete, loop, split, shorten them, etc.
- If you want to cut a track short, use the “Split” option. Move the scissors where you want the cut, then splice the track with a downward swipe of your finger. Now you can delete the sections you don’t want.

- NOTE: There are some other special effects to play with by clicking this button, top R. hand corner:
- If you want to change the volume of the different tracks, click on the Tracks button, then pull the sidebar out like this:

- When your song is finished, click on “My songs” (top, left hand corner). You can rename it by clicking on the title. Then click “Select” (top, right hand corner), click on the song so that a blue box appears around it, then click on the “Share button”:



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  2. If this is not the first time you have used this app, make sure that you start on the instruments panel. It looks like this

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