5: Q
Loop ingredients:
Shaker > Shaker 01, Shaker 02
Slide Guitar > Acoustic
Slide 06, 01, 02
Slide Guitar > Acoustic
Picking 21
Guitars > Country > Folk
Mandolin 02
Kits > Country > Southern
Beat 02
Bass > Country > Southern
Bass 02, 03
Kits > Rock Blues > Ensemble >
Percussion Combo 08
GarageBand tools:
Loop placement and stretching
Tutorial 2: Create a Basic Arrangement
One loop repeating indefinitely is a long way from a full song. By dragging
additional loops from the Loop Browser to new tracks, we’ll create new
parts and add some musical structure to our song. This will mimic the
entrances of live musicians.
1. Extend the loop: If you position your mouse over
the upper-right edge
of the Acoustic Vamp 1 region,
your cursor changes from an arrow to a
loop. Drag to the right, and you can seamlessly repeat the audio. Too
many repetitions can become boring, so repeat it just once, ending it at
m. 9. (You can see where a loop repeats by observing where its edges
curve, as at m. 5.)
2. Add another instrument: Staggering the addition of new sounds
helps shape the song, so before we bring in our drummer, let’s get the
groove going with just a shaker: try Shaker 01. Drag it into the empty
area below the guitar track to create a new track, lining up the shaker
entrance two bars after the guitar at m. 3.
3. Mix it up: Since real musicians (we hope) don’t play exactly the same
part ad infinitum, we’ll add some variation: Drag to repeat Shaker 01
once more (ending at m. 7), then add a bit more intensity to the end of
the guitar phrase by adding Shaker 02 (mm. 7–9), then add Shaker 01
once more (mm. 9–11). The acoustic guitar can switch patterns, too.
Get the song rolling:
mm. 13–20:
Southern Beat 02,
Folk Mandolin 02, Acoustic
Slide 01
mm. 17–20:
Southern Bass 02
mm. 20–24:
Acoustic Slide 02
Thicker ensemble—
all in mm. 24–28:
Percussion Combo 08
Acoustic Picking 21
Folk Mandolin 02
Southern Bass 03
Place Acoustic Slide 06 at m. 9 next to the previous loop. We’ll leave
two bars of silence in the shaker part; a drummer also playing shaker
would need time to pick up her sticks.
Get the song rolling: Adding multiple instruments gives us the sense
of an ensemble and makes this piece start to sound like music. Create
new tracks by adding and extending drums and mandolin parts. Add
another Acoustic Slide region to the existing acoustic guitar track. Since
we can shape the music as much by what we leave out as what we put
in, create a bass track but have the bass enter four bars later than the other
parts. Then add more musical variety by giving the acoustic guitar a solo:
add a different Acoustic Slide at m. 20, dropping out the other parts.
Thicker ensemble: After the guitar break, we’ll thicken things up a bit
with more instrumental layers in measures 24–28. For a fuller percus-
sion pattern, we’ll add a new percussion track to the bottom (Percussion
Combo 08 needs its own track because it’s an audio region, not MIDI,
like the Drum Kit track). We’ll also have the guitarist switch to picking
and bring back mandolin and bass (switching to Southern Bass 03 for
variety). Now click the leftmost transport button (single left-pointing
arrow) to return the track to the beginning, then click Play to hear the
results. (The arrangement will end a bit abruptly, but it’s a start!)

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