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How To Open the Keyboard in GarageBand

Garageband Keyboard

Are you struggling to open the keyboard in GarageBand? If you find it difficult to locate the keyboard, follow these simple steps below. 

Quick Answer

First, open the GarageBand app to open the on-screen keyboard on a Mac. Create an empty project; select the “Software Instrument” track and choose any type of piano from the left pane. Then, select “Musical Typing Keyboard” or “Show Keyboard” from the window menu on the top. 

For an iPad, open any song in the GarageBand app. Then, choose the keyboard icon on the top to display the on-screen keyboard.

I know this procedure seems a little brief. So, further, in the post, we will get to know you can open your keyboard and play music in GarageBand on Macs, iPads, and iPhones. Before that, let me give you a brief introduction to GarageBand. 

What Is GarageBand?

Introduced in 2004 by Steve Jobs, GarageBand is Apple’s music work studio. You can record, create your music and share it with the rest of the world. It is pre-installed on all iOS devices (i.e., Macs, iPhones, and iPads).

This app eliminates the need for expensive audio equipment and expensive studio time for musicians. The application’s numerous features are easily accessible—thanks to the application’s well-designed interface and editing environment. In addition, you can learn to play music through your keyboard.

How To Open the On-Screen Keyboard in GarageBand on a Mac? 

The point is how you can open the on-screen keyboard in the GarageBand. Well, here’s a step-wise guide you can use if you use a MacBook.

Step #1: Open the GarageBand App

First, you have to open the GarageBand application on your Mac. To do so, double-click its icon in the “Applications” folder or access it through Mac’s Dock.

Step #2: Create an Empty Project

Once you have opened the GarageBand, it will give you different options. However, don’t get confused and click the “Empty Project” if you’re starting from scratch. Other options may allow you to open existing or ongoing files.

Step #3: Set Basic Configuration Settings

After project creation, you are asked about the track and keyboard type. Choose “Software Instrument” in the pop-up menu and click “Create”.

After that, choose any type of piano from the instrument library on the left.

Step #4: Open the Musical Typing Keyboard 

Now, you can open the on-screen keyboard on Mac. 

  1. Click “Window” from the GarageBand menu.
  2. Select “Musical Typing Keyboard”. The keyboard shortcut for displaying this keyboard is Command + K.
Image 2

This is one of the on-screen keyboards available on the GarageBand. In “Musical Typing Keyboard”, you can see that the musical keys correspond to the Mac keys. So, it can be either operated through those keys or the trackpad.  

It is the standard keyboard option. However, there is another on-screen option on the Mac, which you can choose through the icon on the top left of this keyboard interface or the same “Window” option.  

Adjusting the Key Range on the Standard Layout Keyboard

You can also change the range of keys you want to choose. As you can see, there is a blue-shaded region on the top of the on-screen keyboard. Drag this blue box left and right. This changes the key range you want to use.

Adjusting the Keyboard’s Sensitivity

Choose the “Smart Controls” button on the top left to adjust the keyboard’s sensitivity or velocity level of notes you want to play.  

When you click it, this opens the “Key Sensitivity” slider. Just move the slider left and right depending on your requirements.

Step #5: Switch to the Piano Keyboard

Apart from the standard musical typing keyboard, you also have the option to switch to the piano keyboard. 

Image 4

For accessing this keyboard, you have two options.

  1. Select “Window” from the menu, then choose “Show Keyboard”.
  2. If the standard musical typing keyboard is already open on your screen, just switch to this keyboard from the icon on the top-left portion.

Unlike the previous keyboard, you cannot play this keyboard with the Mac keys. Instead, you can need to use the trackpad or mouse.  

Now that you have learned how to open the keyboard on Mac let’s explore how you can do this on an iPad and iPhones.

How To Open the Keyboard in GarageBand on an iPad

The method is quite simple to the one previously discussed. Just follow these three steps.

  1. Open any song in a GarageBand.
  2. Select the region for your instrument.
  3. Click the “Piano/Keyboard” icon on the top left.
Image 5

Swipe the center button for Glissando and change it to “Scroll”.   After that, to choose a new range, you can move the keys right or left.

Final Words

GarageBand is a built-in iOS music studio. You can record, edit, and create music videos. What fun it would be if you don’t know how to use its on-screen keyboard. I hope the methods explained in this post help you open and set the keyboard on your Macs, iPads, and iPhones.  

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