I was a little discouraged at first because I kept getting feedback. If GarageBand detects the feedback, it offers to turn off the monitor (speaker output). But, playing the guitar and not being able to hear the amp effects applied by GarageBand was no fun. Even with my guitar unplugged, I was getting feedback. I was just about to give up when I remembered the built-in iSight camera. The feedback stopped when I went to the sound control panel and turned off the built-in microphone.
Once the sound input problem was fixed, I started having a lot of fun with GarageBand. It can create tracks from songs in iTunes (not sure about DRM’ed stuff). I have a CD that contains the backing tracks for my favorite “Blues You Can Use”. I ripped them into iTunes a long time ago so I could listen to them on my iPod. It was extremely simple to pull those tracks into GarageBand. After a quick trip to Radio Shack, I had the 1/8″ to 1/4″ adapter I needed to plug my guitar directly into my iMac.
I decided to create a project in GarageBand for the song “Delta Mood”. I started with the backing track from the “Blues You Can Use” CD (press the little play button to hear a snippet of the track):
I then recorded myself playing the melody on an additional track:
Next I played on a second guitar track:
Put it all together and you have my slow version of Delta Mood:
Yeah, I could use some more practice… Once you have your song recorded, you can change the amplifier settings, add a ton of effects, change the tempo and even change the key of the song.