Create a quick and dirty bassline in GarageBand iPad 2

How to create a quick and simple bass line using GarageBand on the iPad.

The great thing about GarageBand is it’s simplicity.

Especially for guitarists, beginner or expert.

Creating a quick and easy backing track can be done in a matter of minutes.

This turns the iPad into a great practicing tool and a very fine notepad for composition.

For this tutorial I’m going to use a previous project that already has drums created.

This project was created in a previous tutorial on creating a quick drum track.

Let’s get started.

Open a previous project with drums or create a new project. It’s up to you.


If you opened a previous project you can add a new instrument by tapping the icon circled in red.

Scroll through and select ‘Smart Bass’

If you’re starting from scratch then scroll through instruments until you find ‘Smart Bass’


Tap the screen.


To keep things simple we’re going to leave the bass as it is, you can change the style of bass instrument if you want by clicking the icon circled in green.

Leave the icon circled in orange switched to ‘chords’

The icon we are going to work with is the one circled in red.


The dial can be switched from 1 to 4.

This changes from simple to complicated and works around the chord chosen.

To play a bassline:


On the example I’ve set the dial to ’1′ and then I’ve tapped the vertical strip with ‘Am’ written on it.

This will turn blue as it plays.

Before we go on have a play with the chords by tapping in time. By that I mean tap once on the first beat of 4 eg. 1 (2 3 4) 1 (2 3 4) – the ’1′ where you tap and the (2 3 4) where you let it play.

You could also try 1(2 3 4 1 2 3 4) – Tapping the chord on the first ’1′ then letting the bass play though the beats in brackets.

Try counting in groups of ’1 2 3 4′ at a steady pace before tapping another chord.

Ready to record?

Let’s keep it very simple to start.


Step 1:

Check that the progress icon is at the beginning of the track.

If it’s not recording will start wherever stopped previously.

Step 2:

Press the rewind icon, this will send the progress icon back to the beginning of the track.

I do this all the time, saves on mistakes.

Step 3.

Press record.

Wait for the pre click, count 4 and press ‘Am’

Once GarageBand gets to the end of the section it will automatically stop recording and will start to loop the track.

Voila you now have a very simple bassline.

If you used a previous project with drums then you’ve got a very simple backing track.

As a test why not write down 4 chords using the ones displayed and try and record them in time with the drums?

I think that should be enough at the moment.

I will sometime in the future delve a little deeper in regards to tempo and key.

As a quick note: the current tempo should be 120bpm and the key is C

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