So you think you’ve got rhythm then do you? Well Apple is trying to help you out with the launch of GarageBand for iPad – a fully functioning music app for its tablet. We bought the new app to find out what all the fuss was about.

GarageBand on iPad (iPad)


Let’s get it out of the way from the start. This is the most fully functioning music app out there giving you what the majority of individual apps offer, but only better and in one package.

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You get to play piano, guitar, bass, drums, vocals, and if you’ve got the right dongle, even record your own guitar playing as well.

Broken down into a number of different areas or instrument groups, the idea is that you can play your favourite instruments, lay down a track, and then edit and manage them into a song before exporting said track into iTunes or your desktop and then share it with your friends.

The whole experience is incredibly easy, and depending on your musical skill rather than computer skills you can create a track in minutes rather than hours.

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Take the piano area for example, here you get the ability to chose the type of piano you want to play, then set the octave you want to play, as well as whether you want to imply that you’ve got pedals or not.

Taking things one-step further you can even recreate the force in which you press the keys as the iPad works that out too. It’s very clever.

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The same level of details applies to all the music instruments, with vocals getting in on the action by letting you change the tone and location of your voice; monster or cave for example, and guitar and bass letting you change instruments within the guitar family.

If you’re worried all this sounds a bit difficult you shouldn’t. While each instrument gives you a free play mode to let you strum your way to success Apple is keen to appeal to those who haven’t got the skills.

For those people there is the ability to turn on chords rather than individual notes, and for samples to be played so you can see make beautiful music just by pressing a series of keys that will do the rest for you.

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None are better at this than the drums that gives you a grid with the words “loud, quiet, complex, simple” on it with the ability to drop different drum noises where you want to get the effect you want.

Playing music is one thing, but you probably want to record it too, and here Apple makes it very easy. Press record, you’re counted in, and off you go.

Each instrument is laid down in individual tracks and there is an editing page that gives you the control to edit it all. 

The interface is very much like GarageBand on the Mac and you can add more instruments, loops, delete tracks, expand and shrink, and basically anything else you need to create that next Number One.

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GarageBand for iPad also lets you export to GarageBand for the Mac if you want to carry on later on something more powerful. 

Hear the our tune made with GarageBand for iPad

Drawbacks? If you want to share the finished track you’ve got to plug in your iPad to a computer. We couldn’t work out a way of sharing it directly to the music directory on the iPad or emailing it off to friends, which is a shame.

At £2.99 in the UK and $4.99 in the US if you’re into music, this is a steal.

Have you tried it yet? Let us know what you think