Beauty, as they say, is in the eye of the beholder. Apparently, so is talent. I couldn’t carry a tune if I had two buckets, a bag of rubber bands, duct tape, and some Saran wrap.
Nope, no musical talent here.
How about you? You select music you like and listen to it via iTunes, right? You have an iPod crammed with songs that mean something, true? How many of those songs are your creations?
Haven’t you always wanted to really create music of your own?
Good music. The kind of music that people want to listen to. Me, too.
The talent’s just never been there. Ever. After I took a “music” test for Band while in Middle School, I was asked if I liked Art. Now, with Apple’s GarageBand, I have a couple of hit songs and I’m working on a new CD. Can GarageBand bring out your musical talents? Want to hear what my songs sound like?
They’re really good. Really. Mostly. Maybe. Maybe they’ll show up on Billboard’s music charts. Or on an MTV video. Or, on a CD I give away to my friends.
My first try at music, any kind of music, is a hit with anyone who listens to it, thanks to Apple’s GarageBand software, available free with every new Mac (and for $79 from Apple in the whole iLife package).
GarageBand lets you mix voice with recorded pieces of music called “loops.” Loops of guitar, piano, drums, strings, horns. You name it, there’s a loop out there somewhere. GarageBand assembles the loops in a string, and overlays different tracks of loops to create music sound tracks.
Well, not really. GarageBand does the work. You simply tell it what to do. Apparently, GarageBand’s part is easy, though you’ll need a Mac with plenty of RAM.
You, the user, get to do the really hard work like selecting the loops, stringing them together, overlaying one track on another, all in an effort to create a musical masterpiece.
What’s impressive is that GarageBand works. I’ve included two samples of my first try below. Look for them at the top of Billboard’s Music Charts real soon now. Maybe tomorrow. I’m thinking about a concert tour (but won’t put up any of my own money).
I have no musical talent whatsoever. My ears are made of lead. My voice is probably more akin to that of Bizarro in SuperMan. I dance with rhythm and grace exceeded by every creature to show up on Noah’s Ark, and somewhat worse than Elaine in Seinfeld.
Play a musical instrument? Puhleeze. Can Anna Nicole stop at one helping of mashed potatoes?
Make a hit CD? In a thousand lifetimes? Nope. Unless it’s with GarageBand. That’s a different story.
Here’s how it began for me. Your mileage may vary. One afternoon, I sat down at the keyboard and started listening to loops in GarageBand. Then I drug a few onto the screen and linked them together. Not bad. Then I did it again. And again.
In barely an hour I had nearly three minutes of pretty decent… uh… um… music melded together. It was an eclectic blend of sounds reminiscent of the band playing in the bar in the original Star Trek movie. In fact, it was pretty good. Everyone who’s heard it says the same thing.
Then I told them it was mine. Those who know of my musical prowess wanted to try their hand at GarageBand (they were probably thinking, “if Alex can do it, so can I”).
Possibly, given my history of being unable to create music that didn’t scare neighborhood kids. So I tried it again. This time, a little more traditional, some piano, a little background funk, some matching drums, and voila! Another hit record and I owe it all to drag and drop.
The first was called “Caravan.” This one is called “Piano.” See, I told you there’s not much talent here.
To get your fill of what can be done without talent these days, click on the links below to download each song. Let me know what you think.
Oh, by the way: “All rights reserved on the music.” Please. Genius like that can be ripped off and find its way into a movie or an Alicia Keys album.