Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Magic GarageBand Chords

Magic GarageBand Chords

I sat down to practice my guitar by improvising along with GarageBand's "Magic GarageBand" feature. This handy feature lets you put together a five-piece band from a wide selection of instruments and styles, which will play a song in a genre of your choosing. You can accompany them (using a mic, MIDI instrument, or DI from a guitar or other instrument), and record the result. By choosing the instruments and styles, you can get very different-sounding songs.

This is great if you want to jam but don't have a band with you at the moment. But, there's one bit of information that's missing.

In order to accomplish this mix-and-match, each genre (of the nine possibilities) plays the same basic chord changes. The individual parts riff all over those, but since they're following the same basic pattern, you get a good harmony. This is handy information to know if you're trying to play along! All of these have pretty straightforward patterns, but it's a lot easier to know the changes ahead of time.

Regrettably, I wasn't able to keep up with the chord changes when I sat down to play the other day. I went online to find them, but couldn't find anybody who had written them down for the world to see.All Google brought me is other people looking for the changes.

Hence, today's post: the chord changes for all nine genres in Magic GarageBand. If you have any suggestions for improvements, let me know! (I mean, something that makes this list closer to what GarageBand actually plays. I'm not looking for improvements to the songs; talk to Apple about that!)

Blues (E, 90bpm, 4/4)

When you create the GarageBand project, it says the song is in B,but it's really in E. The loops are also in the wrong key, which can lead to surprises if you try to use them in your own project!

Other than that, there's really no surprises here. This is a moderate tempo 12-bar blues, which is probably what you were expecting here. There's not even a real intro or outro.

Intro1EPickup; can use A as well.
Verse 12EEEE
Verse 214EEEE
Verse 326EEEE

Rock (D, 140bpm, 4/4)

Intro 1D Pickup
2D D D D
Verse 1 6D D D D
10F F D D
14D D D D
18F F A A
Chorus 22BmBmE E Remodulating in the chorus. Can use G♯° instead of E.
26G G A A
Verse 2 30D D D D
34F F D D
38D D D D
42F F D D
Ending 46D D D D
50F F D D
53D D D D Sustained fade

Jazz (F, 164bpm, 4/4)

This is similar to the 12-bar blues progression, but with a more jazzy twist to the chords actually being used.

The basic idea is still the 12 bar pattern F / F / F / F / B♭ / B♭/ F / F / B♭ / C / F / F. However, there's some changes that are often used:

  • The B♭ (IV) is often played as D° (vi°)
  • The F is often played as an F7, particularly in long stretches.
  • Bars 7–8 and 11–12 (of the 12-bar pattern) are usually played to walk into the next phrase (changing chords every two beats) instead of being played straight. In particular, bar 8 is very rarely played as an F, but if you're improvising over an F you'll still be fine.

First, here's the basic pattern:

1F F F F
5B♭B♭F F
9B♭C F F

Now, here's the pattern as I've interpreted it. As I said, there's a lot of possibilities here.

Intro 1- Pickup
Head 2F7 F7 F7 F7 May substitute F for F7.
6F7 C; DNot sure about this phrase. May substitute B♭ or even Fm6 for D°.
10Gm C F7; FB♭; C
Chorus 114F7 F F
18F7 C; DSome of the accompaniments can get a bit muddied in the chords here.
22B♭ Gm; CF; F7B♭; C
Chorus 2Too tired to transcribe these; it's jazz, so just get the idea from the pattern I've done so far.
Chorus 3
Head Out

Country (G, 100bpm, 4/4)

Another 12-bar blues progression, played pretty much straight this time. (In case you haven't gotten the picture, 12-bar blues is great for improvising over, so it's used a lot in Magic GarageBand.)

Intro 1- Pickup
Verse 1 2GGGG
10DCGDIf you want to keep up with the lead-in for the last bar, it's D / C / Bm / Am
Verse 214GGGG
Verse 326GGGG
34DCGDSame lead-in as the end of verse 1
Ending 38GGG Sustained fade

Reggae (C min, 75bpm, 4/4)

I don't really know reggae, so this may be totally off. I've marked it as C minor, even though when you create the project GarageBand lists it as C major.

Intro 1- Pickup
Verse 1 2CmCmA♭; Gm7Cm
6CmCmA♭; Gm7Cm
Chorus 10B♭m; A♭A♭; E♭B♭m; A♭A♭; E♭
14B♭m; A♭A♭; E♭B♭m; A♭A♭; E♭
Verse 218CmCmA♭; Gm7Cm
22CmCmA♭; Gm7Cm
26-Sustain from last note

Funk (C, 120bpm, 4/4)

Also really not sure how accurate this one is.

Intro 1CmCmCmE♭
Verse 1 5C C C CIf it's too monotonous, you can make the first and third bars F; C (two beats each)
9C C C C
13F F C C
17G G C Em7You can use a G for the Em7
Bridge 21F F F F
25F F G G
29G Fermata from bar 28
Verse 230C C C C
34C C C C
Ending 38G7G7C C
42G7G7C C
46C E♭

Latin (Fm, 98bpm, 4/4)

This is pretty simple. There's just one pattern: Fm, E♭, D♭, C,for two beats each.

Intro 1Fm Pickup
Verse 1 2Fm,E♭D♭,CFm,E♭D♭,C
Verse 210Fm,E♭D♭,CFm,E♭D♭,C
Bridge 18Fm FmFmFm
22Fm FmFmFm
26Fm FmFmFm
Verse 332Fm,E♭D♭,CFm,E♭D♭,C

Roots Rock (G, 76bpm, 4/4)

Not really sure what distinguishes the chorus from the verse, but it could just be the instruments I picked don't really do much differently. This is a simple pattern, but has a lot of room for improvisation.

Intro 1G Pickup
Verse 1 2G AmC D
6G AmC D
Chorus 10G AmC D
14G AmC D
Bridge 18EmBmAmG
Verse 226G AmC D
30G AmC D
Outro 34G G

Slow Blues (A♭, 88bpm, 12/8)

Wow, there IS something other than 4/4 in here! Unsurprisingly, it is still 12-bar blues, although with a IV in the second bar to keep it interesting.

Intro 1E♭ Pickup
Verse 1 2A♭D♭A♭A♭
Verse 214A♭D♭A♭A♭
Ending 24A♭A♭A♭The measure breaks are hinky


Facundo said...

This is now my homepage, i've been looking for this for long time.
Thank you very much! Excellent work!

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much, this is amazing!!

KingCrimson said...

Thank you very much!!!

Lindsay said...

Thanks heaps for this. Really well done, and really helpful!

Eric A. Ballinger said...

Thank you very much!

Ken Hunt said...

Thank you SO much this helps tremendously I dont know why apple didnt give this info in the first place? Cheers!