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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.