As for the title... I can't figure out... I can have drummers play only snare drum, but not when I'd like. I just want every eighth note, nothing more...

update: as suggested, I tried either to create an empty bar or record me playing drums on keyboard, but no way, I'm doing something wrong, I cannot do any of the 2. attaching new sample image.

enter image description here

  • If your basic understanding of GarageBand is so limited, you should read the owners' manual. It's found here. help.apple.com/garageband/mac/10.1
    – user1044
    Commented Jan 29, 2016 at 1:22
  • You can also find a number of books for sale that are beginners' guides to working with GarageBand. Here are some. amazon.com/s/…
    – user1044
    Commented Jan 29, 2016 at 1:22
  • thank you, I already reading the manual (I'm also a long run web developer, so quite used to study and learn by myself) but strangely enough I'm not finding too much answers. Hoped asking here would have shorten up the process. So, could you please tell me how to either "record a bar of yourself tapping eighth notes on the snare drum" or "record an empty drum bar"? :) Commented Jan 29, 2016 at 7:10

3 Answers 3


If all you want is eighth notes on the snare drum, then don’t use Drummer at all. Create that specific part yourself.

Just create a drum track and do one of the following:

  • record a bar of yourself tapping eighth notes on the snare drum

  • record an empty bar, then tap the bar and choose “Edit” and in the drum editor, pick up the pen by sliding the pen slider at top left, and draw in your eighth notes on the snare drum line

… and then loop the bar you created to extend the part over the course of your song.

Drummer is for the times when you don’t want a specific part, but rather only want to provide some guidance like push or pull the feel, play more complex or more simply, and then get back a very typical drum part of kick, hats, snare, and fills. If you have a specific part in mind, you just create that yourself. Especially if it is a very atypical drum part like eighth notes on the snare.

  • Ok thank you. I get the thing, but I just realised I cannot (don't know how to) do any of your 2 points. I'm attaching an image to the main question. I'm using an imac, not a tablet. I'm able to play the snare drum with the keyboard, but I'm not able either to record me playing (apart from the microphone, which is not the right way I guess) nor to create an empty bar. Commented Jan 28, 2016 at 7:35

Ok found an answer by myself thanks to Simon. The thing that wasn't clear was that I had to use a MIDI track, while instead I was tring with vocal (microphone) or drummer type tracks. So, the basic process:

  1. create a midi track (the type with the synth, play from your mac)
  2. change the instrument on the library, use a drum kit
  3. window > show keyboard
  4. start recording and play drums through the keyboard
  5. stop recording, double click the region and edit as you like (if needed)
  • Yup. Well done!
    – Laurence
    Commented Dec 23, 2018 at 17:27

There are icons representing each type of drum. Make sure only the sound you want the drummer to play is highlighted in yellow (click the icon to toggle).Then you can drag the yellow circle on the graph to adjust the complexity and intensity. You can allow the drummer to improvise fills or toggle that option off. I'm doing this instead of programming each 8th note of a snare so that the drummer can add in a little variety. I'm not great with coming up with drum rhythm myself and its quicker this way. It will sound less mundane than if I did it myself. I separate each sound into a different track, let the drummer play, and then build it up across several tracks until it sounds like a whole kit.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.