How To Connect Guitar To Garageband On Mac

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Hooking up an electric guitar to a Mac computer is easier than ever thanks to the latest advancements in technology. With Garageband, a Mac-compatible digital workstation, you can record, edit, and produce with your guitar right from your computer. But before you can start jamming out in Garageband, you'll need to connect your guitar to your computer.

To get started, you'll need a few pieces of gear: an audio interface, a USB cable for connecting the interface to your computer, and an instrument cable for connecting the guitar to the interface. Once you have these items, the setup is simple: plug one end of the USB cable into your Mac and the other end into the audio interface. Then plug one end of the instrument cable into the guitar and the other end into the audio interface.

Once everything is plugged in, open Garageband and go to Preferences > Audio/MIDI > Audio Inputs. From here select your audio interface as both the Input Device and Output Device; this will ensure that sound from your guitar is sent through both speakers and connected to your Mac. Next, go to Preferences > Recording and select “Monitoring On” – this will allow you to hear yourself playing as you are recording.

Now it's time to start recording! Create a new project in Garageband by selecting File>New Project or press Command+N on your keyboard then choose an appropriate template for recording an electric guitar such as Rock or Pop. After setting up all desired effects (EQ, reverb, etc) select an empty track located above the virtual instrument track then use either the “Record” button located at the top left side of the screen or press Command+R on the keyboard; Garageband will now be recording any sound coming from guitar connected via an audio interface so pick up that axe and start shredding!

Recording with Garageband has never been easier – just remember that before you can start laying down tracks you must first connect your electric guitar correctly using both USB & instrument cables along with the appropriate audio interface device as well as ensuring correct settings are selected within Garageband's Preferences menu. So grab that axe and let's rock!

How To Connect Guitar To Garageband On Mac 1

Connecting a Real Guitar to GarageBand

To connect your real guitar to GarageBand, you will need an audio interface, such as the Scarlett 2i2. Connect the interface to your computer using a USB cable, then plug your guitar into the interface using either a standard 1/4-inch instrument cable or an XLR cable. Once the cable is plugged in and your guitar is powered on, open GarageBand and go to Preferences. Select the input as the audio interface you are using, and set the output channel to “Built-in Output”. Now select an Audio track and click on the monitoring button – you should now be able to hear your guitar being played within GarageBand!

Connecting an Acoustic Guitar to GarageBand

To connect your acoustic guitar to GarageBand, you'll need a USB audio interface. This device will allow you to plug your guitar into the computer and will convert the sound into a digital signal that GarageBand can record. Once you've connected the device, select it as the input device in the Preferences section of GarageBand. Next, place your microphone on the twelfth fret of the guitar and press the red record button. Now you're ready to record your acoustic guitar in GarageBand!

Troubleshooting Issues with Garage Band Not Picking Up Guitar

There could be several reasons why Garageband isn't picking up your guitar. First, make sure you have the correct input/output settings set up in Garageband's Preferences. Next, check that your guitar is plugged into both the instrument input and the audio interface and that it is connected to your computer via USB. Additionally, make sure that the Monitoring switch is turned on in Smart Controls or on the track header so that you can hear what you are recording. Finally, check that your audio interface and drivers are properly installed and configured. If none of these steps solve the issue, then it may be a hardware issue with either your guitar or audio interface.

Plugging a Guitar Directly into an Audio Interface

Yes, you can plug your guitar directly into an audio interface. All you need to do is connect the guitar's cable to one of the quarter-inch jack inputs on your audio interface and press the ‘Inst' button in order to engage the high-impedance (hi-Z) circuitry. This will allow you to record your guitar directly without having to use additional equipment, such as a microphone or preamp. However, depending on your setup and desired sound, you may find that adding these elements can give you more control over your tone.

Connecting a Guitar Directly to a Computer

To connect your guitar directly to your computer, you will need a pre-amp with USB, Firewire, or Optical output capabilities. First, plug one end of your standard guitar cable into your guitar and the other end into the pre-amp's input port. Then, insert a USB, Firewire, or Optical cable into the pre-amp's USB or Firewire out port and plug the other end of this cable into your laptop's USB or Firewire in port. Once everything is connected correctly, you should be able to access any on your computer that supports audio input from guitars.

Finding the Best Guitar Interface for GarageBand

The best guitar interface for GarageBand in 2022 is the Focusrite iTrack Solo. It provides a professional-level recording experience with its two high-quality preamps, 24-bit/96kHz sample rate, and low latency. The iTrack Solo also comes with a suite of onboard controls, including gain knobs and direct monitoring switches, allowing you to easily adjust levels and monitor your performance in real-time. Additionally, it includes an input for both the guitar and microphone, so you can record both simultaneously. The Focusrite iTrack Solo is the perfect choice for any guitarist looking to take their recording experience to the next level.


In conclusion, guitar playing is an incredibly rewarding and enjoyable activity that can be enjoyed by people of all ages and musical backgrounds. It's not just a hobby, but a way of expressing yourself musically. With the right equipment and knowledge, it's possible to connect your guitar to a computer and record in Garageband with either an electric or acoustic guitar. Whether you're a beginner or an experienced player, the guitar is an instrument that can take you on many musical journeys throughout your life.

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James Walker

James Walker has a deep passion for technology and is our in-house enthusiastic editor. He graduated from the School of Journalism and Mass Communication, and loves to test the latest gadgets and play with older software (something we’re still trying to figure out about himself). Hailing from Iowa, United States, James loves cats and is an avid hiker in his free time.