Tag Archives: tempo

Use Garageband “Loops” as a super-funky metronome!

It’s important for music students to learn to play or sing to a steady beat.  Why not swap your standard metronome for one of Garageband’s fun loops with this super easy project?

1.  Create a new Garageband “Loops” project.

While you can add "metronome loops" into any of these kinds of projects, it's easier to start with a Loops one.

While you can add “metronome loops” into any of these kinds of projects, it’s easier to start with a Loops one.

2.  Select the loop you want to use.

If you create a new “Loops” project, the loop window will open automatically; otherwise, click the “loops” icon in the lower right hand corner of the screen to open the menu.

loops button

I recommend using percussion-only tracks for a metronome, so you don’t have to worry about the key of the piece, so begin to select your track by clicking on one of the percussion filters in the loops list.  (“Beats” is a great place to start.)  To hear what the loop sounds like before adding it to the Garageband timeline, simply click it’s name in the lower part of the window (highlighted in blue).

pick a loop

3.  Add your chosen loop to the Garageband timeline by dragging it there.  Then “repeat” the loop, by dragging the upper right hand corner of the loop to the right for as many repetitions as you want.

Hint:  your cursor should turn into a circular arrow when you hover it over the upper right hand corner of a loop on the timeline.  Click from there and drag to the right to repeat the loop over and over.

add and repeat loops

Since you are not creating an actual “song,” but a metronome, you do not have to be exact with your number of repetitions; just stretch it out for LONG WAYS.

4.  If you want to experiment with different metronome tracks, add different loops below your first and repeat the “looping” step (3) above.  

Hint:  If you have multiple loops on your timeline, you will have to make sure the loop you want played is “solo” — click the little headphones icon to hear only one track at a time.  Re-click the headphones icon to silence the track or turn off solo mode.

This allows you to have multiple "metronomes" in a single Garageband project.

This allows you to have multiple “metronomes” in a single Garageband project.

5.  Experiment with changes of tempo if desired.

Switch the blue “status” bar at the bottom of the screen to “Project”

switch to project

then, use the slider bar to change the tempo.

change tempo slider

6.  You can play your metronome straight from Garageband, or export the files to iTunes if you wish.

Happy Metronome-ing!

Software used:  GarageBand ’11, Version 6.05


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