How to show, add and edit musical notes in GarageBand

If you want to work with the musical notes in GarageBand for your song, you can show, add, and edit notes. In GarageBand on Mac, you can work with notes for MIDI regions, and on iOS, you can work with them for green touch instrument regions.

Here’s how to show, add, and edit musical notes in GarageBand on Mac, iPad, and iPhone.

GarageBand editing screen on iPhone

Working with musical notes on Mac

Open your song in GarageBand on Mac, and then open the Score Editor. You can do this by double-clicking the MIDI region or pressing your N key.

At the bottom, in the center, click Score. This will display the musical notation for that region. You can zoom in or out on the display by using the Zoom slider to the right.

Score Editor Zoom GarageBand Mac

You can click on a note to hear it, move it by dragging it, or remove it by clicking it and hitting your Delete key. To select multiple notes, hold down your Shift key and click each one.

To listen to that region as you make your changes, click the small Play button on the upper left corner of the Score display.

Score Editor Play GarageBand Mac

In the Score Editor Inspector, which is the gray area on the far-left side, click Notes. You can then adjust the Time Quantize or Velocity. You can also select a note to add in the Insert drop-down box.

Score Editor Inspector GarageBand Mac

Working with musical notes on iOS

Open your song in GarageBand on iPhone or iPad, and then open the Editor. Double tap the region and select Edit.

Edit Note GarageBand iPhone

You’ll notice that this is a closeup of the Tracks view rather than musical notes. But this is where you can work with your notes on iOS. Use your fingers to pinch to zoom in or out.

Tap to select a note or to select multiple notes, tap, hold (don’t lift your finger), and then tap the additional notes (with another finger). The shortcut menu lets you cut, copy, delete, or change the velocity. To move a note, tap, hold, and drag.

Cut Copy Note GarageBand iPhone

To add more notes, either tap and hold the Add Notes button (pencil icon) on the top left or move its slider to lock it in place. Then, tap on the screen where you want the new note. You can lengthen a note by dragging the right edge of it or change its pitch by moving it up or down on the screen.

Add Note GarageBand iPhone

When you finish, tap Done.

If you want to fine-tune the regions in your song in GarageBand, working with notes is easy enough to do. Is this something you’re ready to delve into with your music? Let us know!

For more help with GarageBand, check out: