Navigating the Music

Your current position in the song—that is, the spot from which you’ll start recording or playing—is always indicated by the Playhead (Figure 23-1) and the moving vertical line beneath it.

You can drag the Playhead around manually, of course; you can also click anywhere in the beat ruler to make the Playhead snap to that spot. You can even jump to a spot in your piece by typing in its time or measures-and-beats position into the digital time display (page 513).

But you’ll feel much more efficient if you take the time to learn GarageBand’s navigational keyboard shortcuts:

  • Jump back to the beginning. Pressing either the letter Z key or the Home key rewinds the piece to the beginning without missing a beat.


    On Mac laptops, the Z key is easier to press than the Home key, because triggering the Home function requires first pressing the Fn key in the lower-left corner. Too much trouble.

  • Jump to the end. Press Option-Z or the End key. That’s a great technique for people who like to build up their songs section by section. After you’ve finished the first part, you can jump to the end of it, ready to begin recording the second.


    As far as GarageBand’s playback is concerned, the end of your piece isn’t necessarily where the music stops. It’s the point indicated by the small left-pointing triangle on the ruler.

    Sometimes you’ll trim a piece to make it shorter—and wind up stranding the End marker way off to the right, so that GarageBand “plays” a minute of silence after ...

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