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Considering Garageband for practicing guitar


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  • Considering Garageband for practicing guitar

    My wife has a Macbook and I am considering learning and using Garageband so I can practice guitar (my Carvin Legacy amp is just too loud at night even on 1). I am 100% new to plugging a guitar into a computer; have never done it ever. My goal is to be able to plug into the Mac and use Garageband to play over songs to learn them, and listen thru headphones. Does Garageband have this capability to play over songs? Also, from what I read in other threads, I just need a 1/4" mono to 1/8" mono plugged into the Mac, is this correct? Thanks, and sorry if these are such basic questions.

  • #2
    The best advice you'll get around here is to get an audio interface to play as the middle man between your guitar and the Mac. If the truth be told, I'm a little out of touch with what's on offer these days, and for how much.

    Tascam's us122 was the last low end working solution for someone in your shoes (but an admirable bit of kit) but ask around what's on the market these days. Shouldn't cost you a lot to get going....
    "(The New Testament) is a work of crude carpentry, hammered together long after its purported events, and full of improvised attempts to make things come out right." Christopher Hitchens, R.I.P


    • #3
      You also need to be aware that not all macbooks have a separate mic input. Mine doesn't. (2 year old macbook pro.) I would personally be using any type of mixer and run the macbook's itunes to the mixer and add a channel for your guitar. I've been doing something like this for a few years now. (But I don't use headphones because my practice keyboard is in the basement of my house.) A small mixer with either 3 channels of a stereo channel and a mono channel shouldn't be more than $50.

      One other advantage about doing it this way, you can also use a smart phone as your music source or an ipod or any of its imitators.


      • #4

        Plug your guitar into the 1/8th inch adapter into the line input. 

        turn on Magic Garageband, choose Slow Blues, switch to the line in input, and choose "Bluesbreaker" for your sound.

        Play or record. You should sound just like Eric Clapton. No joke.

        A USB interface is a good way to go, but most of the newer ( newer than 2008 ? maybe even older ones)

        Mac line inputs work fine this way. It generally will work and won't break anything. ( You might want to have a final 1/8th" mono to stereo plug ) . It might take a couple of different adapter thingys to get it right.

        Yes I have done it with my Mac towers after highly reccomending a USB interface on the Apple site and being informed that it was not necessary for this type of use.

        And it's fun.


        (Hmmm no delete )


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        • Joseph Kimbrell
          Joseph Kimbrell commented
          Editing a comment

          Do it!  I practice with headphones and my guitar plugged into my computer too, the only amp I have is an extremely small little Orange.  

          I like doing it this way because if I randomly think up some cool lick, I can quickly record it.