10 Artist Lessons we want to see in GarageBand '09

Sting has already enrolled as a GarageBand teacher.
Sting has already enrolled as a GarageBand teacher. (Image credit: Image courtesy of Apple)

Apple has announced that its iLife '09 software bundle is shipping as of today. This contains the latest version of GarageBand, and one of the key additions to this is the option to purchase and download Artist Lessons.

Each of these video add-ons features a famous musician explaining how to play one of their most famous songs - the likes of Sting, Norah Jones, Fall Out Boy and Ben Folds have already signed up.

Apple has plans to produce more, though, and MusicRadar has come up with a hit-list of people that we'd like the company to get. We might be living in fantasy land, but any of the following would be great.

1. Keith Richards teaching Jumpin' Jack Flash

One of the world's most famous rock riffs, but also one that most guitarists can never quite nail properly. In our video, Richards would show all, from proper fingering and stringing to rhythm technique. Plus, Keith could explain how he came to write the riff, complete with a recreation of him nodding off and snoring for 45 minutes on tape.

2. Bernard Purdie teaching Rock Steady

The homepage of Purdie's website states that he's "The world's most recorded drummer". There's a good reason for this: he's ruddy brilliant. OK, he didn't write Rock Steady, but it's his drumming that gives the song its awesome level of groove, and that break in the middle is possibly the greatest of all time. Forget learning it - we just want to watch Purdie play it.

3. Paul McCartney teaching Hey Jude

A bit of an obvious one, this - McCartney teaching anything is surely on Steve Jobs' - but it's a lesson that would be massively popular nonetheless. With its basic chord progression and simple rhythmic structure, it's a great 'first learn' for Beatles-loving pianists, though surely we can all sing the na-na-naa-naa section at the end without further instruction. We suspect that the Beatles/iTunes situation may have to be sorted out before anything could happen, though.

4. Stevie Wonder teaching Superstition

As Wonder played all of the keyboard instruments and drums on this 1972 classic, it could take the form of one somewhat protracted lesson, or two separate ones. In particular, we'd love to see exactly how those Clavinet parts were played on the original recording. Prospective pupils be warned, though:if you can't bring the funk then get the funk out.

5. Brian Wilson teaching God Only Knows

With its twisting and turning chord progression and melody, this remains one of the most fascinating pop songs of all time. Learn this and you also learn a massive amount about songwriting in general. If Wilson could deliver his lesson from a purpose-built sandpit, our lives would be pretty much complete.

6. Sly Stone teaching Family Affair

Watching Sly show us how to create the rhythm track from this slinky soul classic would be a joy to behold - a new GarageBand drum machine featuring the appropriate sounds could be supplied as a bonus. We're not sure how he'd fare when it came to explaining how the song was written, though: chances are that he can't actually remember.

7. Elton John teaching Tiny Dancer

Since the release of Almost Famous, Tiny Dancer has become one of Elton's best-loved songs, and one that sounds great when performed with just piano and voice. That intro passage might cause keyboard players a few problems, though, so a lesson from The Rocket Man himself would be much appreciated.

8. Kraftwerk teaching the 22-minute version of Autobahn

Back in 1974, synths and drum machines were somewhat rudimentary, so imagine what Ralf Hütter and "the other blokes" in Kraftwerk could do 35 years later with a shiny new MacBook and GarageBand '09? We'd insist on some rules, though. Hütter must wear a labcoat at all times, never smile, and not utter a word in the tutorial, giving out instructions only via minimalist posts via Twitter. Really, the time will fly by.

9. Prince teaching Purple Rain

We'd like to see a couple of strands to this lesson: firstly Prince could run us through the surprisingly tricky rhythm guitar part; then he could strap on his Strat and cover every note of the wig-out guitar solo. We can't ever imagine him agreeing to do it, though, not least because he seems to be opposed to any kind of internet/download activity that doesn't stem from his own site.

10. Noel Gallagher teaching Wonderwall

Not only would we like Gallagher Senior to film this - he uses GarageBand anyway, apparently, and as he ages, he looks increasingly like a secondary school teacher - but we'd also demand that Apple arrange a viewing for every single busker in the entire world. Maybe then we won't have to hear it played wrong. Again.

The MusicRadar team

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