garagebandmac100761954orig Apple

GarageBand 10.3 update makes Artist Lessons free and adds 1,000 new loops

Apple's free music creation software, GarageBand, hasn't been updated for about a year. Last summer, with version 10.2, the Mac app got a totally redesigned interface, Touch Bar support, and the ability to sync and edit projects between Mac and iOS.

This summer's 10.3 update is every bit as substantial, and perhaps even more so. It adds a huge number of new loops and sound effects, new instrument sounds, and it makes all the Artist Lessons free

First introduced in 2009, Artist Lessons are a series of videos in which famous recording artists teach you how to play some of their most famous songs on guitar or piano. Sting will show you how to play "Roxanne" on guitar, while Norah Jones will teach you how to play "Thinking of You" on piano.

It was a neat idea, but it didn't last very long. Artist Lessons haven't had a meaningful update in years. Each of the 23 Artist Lessons used to cost $4.99 as an in-app purchase, but GarageBand 10.3 makes them all free. It would be great if this was a signal of renewed interest in creating new lessons, but it's probably the opposite: Artist Lessons is all but dead, and Apple figures it might as well stop trying to charge people for years-old content.

Here's the official list of all the changes in GarageBand 10.3:

  • 2 new Drummers play Roots and Jazz-influenced brush styles
  • Free downloadable Artist Lessons show you how to play hit songs on piano and guitar, taught by the artist who made them famous
  • 1,000 new electronic and urban loops covering Reggaeton, Future Bass, and Chill Rap
  • 400 animal, machine, and voice sound effects
  • Play and record using traditional instruments from China and Japan with the Guzheng, Koto, and Taiko drums
  • Add classic sounds to your song with 5 Vintage Mellotron patches
  • Updates compatibility with GarageBand for iOS
  • Includes stability improvements and bug fixes
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