key change
Change the key mid-song             Ups and downs

GarageBand does not allow you to indicate a key change inside a region. There is a way to do it:
To change the key mid-song, make a copy of it. Place the copy where you want to have the key change, and use the transpose slider (in the lower edit panel) to adjust the key.
Transposing             calculator

Transposing to a dfferent key in a midi track is a joy compared to trying to do it with audio data: there is no distortion, so you can play around with the key as much as you like. If your knowledge of intervals could do with a little boost, try this transposing calculator:

Transposing the note or chord by becomes

Time Signature and Key                 Comment

You will be aware the GarageBand wants you to set the Time Signature and Key first, before you start recording a new project. You do this in the New Project dialogue box.
GarageBand pre-sets them for you:Time = 4/4 , Key = C

That is all right if you have studied music for some time, but what if music theory is new to you and you have no idea what a Time Signature is, or a Key to you is something you put in a lock? There are lots of sites on the Internet where you can study this. An excellent place to start is

But we have enough space here for a brief introduction for beginners:

Time Signature:
  • The top number tells you how many beats there are in a bar.
    2/2 and 2/4 are both two-beat rhythms, and are counted one, two; one two.
    3/4 is a waltz, counted one, two, three; one, two, three 4/4 is the most common time signature, and is counted one, two, three, four; one, two, three, four.
  • The bottom number tells you what type of note the one beat is: a short note (like the eighths note in 3/8 and 12/8) or the longer notes like quarter notes (in 4/4) or half notes (in 2/2).
  • Think of a key as a group of notes with a tonal centre.
  • There are twelve different notes altogether in western music (C,C#,D,Eb,E,F,F#,G,Ab,A,Bb,B,C). Each key picks a sub-group of seven notes that sound good together.
    The key of C, for example, uses these seven notes:C,D,E,F,G, A, B. They sound good together, not only in the major scale (think do-re-mi-fa-so-la-ti) but also in other scales made from it, like A,B,C,D,E,F,G (the natural minor scale) and chords like C (C-E-G) F (F-A-C) and Aminor (A-C-E). So a key is a group of seven notes out of a possible twelve.
    A different example of a group of seven notes that can be made to sound good together is D E F# G A B C#. This also sounds like do-re-mi-fa-so-la-ti. These form the key of D. You can see it has two "sharps". You can play chords like D-F#-A (Dmajor), E-G-B (Eminor) and A-C#-E-G (A7) in the key.
  • Selecting the correct key ensures that different loops have matching notes and therefore will sound good together.
    Some loops are more fussy about this than others and with rhythm loops, like a drum pattern, selecting a key is obviously unneccessary.

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