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How to play 'Louie Louie' on your iPad

Christopher Breen | Feb. 4, 2015
Recently I showed you how to record "Louie Louie" on your Mac. But why should Mac users have all the fun when this three-chord delight can also be recorded on an iPad? I can't think of a single reason. So let's get to the steps required to catch that musical ship across the sea.

Recently I showed you how to record "Louie Louie" on your Mac. But why should Mac users have all the fun when this three-chord delight can also be recorded on an iPad? I can't think of a single reason. So let's get to the steps required to catch that musical ship across the sea.

Lay down the groove

To start you'll need a copy of GarageBand for iOS, which is $5 from the iTunes Store. Once you've downloaded it, launch GarageBand and tap the Plus (+) button in the top-left corner. In the Instruments screen that appears, tap on the Loop icon in the top-right corner. This exposes the Arrangement screen along with the Apple Loops browser.

In the browser tap on Instrument and choose Drums from the Instruments list. Scroll down the list of loops until you find Bar Band Basic Drumset 2. To listen to it, tap on it. When you've had enough tap and drag it to the first track, which currently shows a microphone icon. You've created your first track, which you can hear by tapping on the triangular Play button at the top of the screen. You'll also hear the ticking of a metronome. If don't want to hear the metronome, just tap on its icon at the top of the screen. Tap the square Stop button to do exactly that.

Setting the key and playing the bass

We're now going to choose a key for our song. At the top of the screen tap on the Settings icon (it looks like a wrench) and then tap on Key. In the resulting Key pane tap on A and make sure Major is selected. Tap outside the pane to make it go away.

(A note for musicians: We're created a project in the key of A major but our root chord will actually be E. Why? "Louie Louie" uses the Mixolydian mode, which has a minor (rather than major) five chord. Creating the project in A but playing it in E gives us the mode and chords we need.)

Now tap on the Instruments entry at the top of the window to return to the Instruments screen. Swipe to the right until you see Smart Bass. Tap on that instrument and you'll see four virtual bass strings. Following the "Louie Louie" rhythm that we know and love, you're going to tap the bottom bass string (the fat one) three times under the E heading. Then tap that same string twice under the A heading, tap the second string (the one above the fattest string) under the Bm heading three times, and then tap the bottom A string twice. So, E E E, A A, Bm Bm Bm, A A.

 

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