GarageBand '09 teaches you to play

Can GarageBand '09 turn you into a concert pianist?
Can GarageBand '09 turn you into a concert pianist? (Image credit: Image courtesy of Apple)

Apple today announced details of its iLife '09 software suite, and one of the apps included is a new version of GarageBand, the company's entry-level DAW.

This launch was widely predicted and, as expected, GarageBand '09 offers the capability to download and playback Artist Lessons. These feature pro musicians giving step-by-step instructions on how to play their songs - the likes of Sting, Fall Out Boy, Norah Jones and Ben Folds have already signed up.

The Artist Lessons cost $4.99 each, but Basic Lessons - video tutorials that teach you the piano and guitar - are included with the software as standard. These feature synchronised notation and animated onscreen instruments.

GarageBand '09 also offers something for guitarists who want to generate their tone in software - specifically, five new amps and a selection of stompboxes. Over 30 complete rigs are included for you to play through out of the box.

Finally, the software's Magic GarageBand feature has been expanded - it looks to be a bit more flexible and offers an Arrangement Track.

We'll bring you more on GarageBand '09 when we've had a chance to try it - iLife '09 costs $79/£69 and will be available this month.

Ben Rogerson

I’m the Deputy Editor of MusicRadar, having worked on the site since its launch in 2007. I previously spent eight years working on our sister magazine, Computer Music. I’ve been playing the piano, gigging in bands and failing to finish tracks at home for more than 30 years, 24 of which I’ve also spent writing about music and the ever-changing technology used to make it.