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'Guitar' GarageBand example

Follow the instructions below to setup the Guitar instrument in GarageBand to be controlled by the Motion Synth App (Preset 4).

To make it easier to follow these instructions while also using your iPhone or iPod touch, you can email a link to these instructions to yourself on another computer here: Email setup instructions
TIP: The sound produced by GarageBand will sound much better over headphones, or connected to a good quality amplifier via an audio cable. Don't play the audio wirelessly (e.g. via a bluetooth speaker) as this will produce a disconcerting amount of latency.

In the description below the Single-Key version of the App is used to demonstrate the setup.

If you using the Multi-Key version, you can still use these instructions to get setup with Garageband.

In Multi-Key mode you will be able to choose the notes you play via the 8 key grid, rather than playing through a set melody via a single key.

TIP: If you are using the Multi-Key version of the App you can still activate Single-Key mode.
[Play in Single-Key mode] [Play in Multi-Key mode]


  • Locate the GarageBand app on your home screen and tap the app icon to launch
  • If GarageBand does not open in the Instrument view (shown below), then either press 'Continue' (at Welcome screen) or '+' (to create a new song in the 'My Songs' view) in order to access the Instruments view:

  • Swipe left or right to locate the 'Smart Guitar' instrument (shown below) and tap the icon to activate Smart Guitar:

  • After activating the 'Smart Guitar' instrument, enter GarageBand settings by tapping the gears icon in the top right hand corner:

  • Locate 'Run in background':

  • Activate 'Run in background' (this will drain battery, so deactivate after playing):

  • Go to the MS App, select the “Presets” tab and select preset 4: “4 • iOS | GarageBand | Guitar - Octave, Note Volume, Pitchbend”.
  • Then select 'Keys':

  • Shown below is the 'Keys' screen of the Single-key version of the MS app.
  • Once setup is complete, use this screen to trigger notes one after the other while controlling the sound of these notes through motion.
  • The text and images on this screen are permanently visible in the Single-key version of the MS app, but do not interfere with the triggering of notes.
  • In the Multi-key version of the MS app, these text and images are replaced by 8 notes arranged in 2 rows of 4.

How to play:

Learn how best to hold your iPhone or iPod touch while playing here: How to hold your iPhone or iPod touch (without an MS grip)

Basic Techniques

  • Hold still and touch the screen to trigger a note. Any movement will cause the pitch of the note to bend, but you can return the note to its original pitch any time by simply ceasing any movement. Movement-controlled pitch bending can be used in musical ways as described below.
  • While holding a note, wobble your hand left and right quickly to add vibrato to the note.
  • To slide up to a note, start moving from left to right just before you hit the note.

Advanced techniques

  • Tap soft or hard for different note volumes.
  • Rotate palm upwards before playing a note to add octave note duplicates (like a 12 string guitar).
public/guitar_garageband_example.txt · Last modified: 2022/03/12 03:20 (external edit)