The biggest new feature in GarageBand ’09 is “Lessons.” As Apple says, “Music video games are fun. But nothing is more authentic than learning to play a real song on a real instrument.”

There are Basic Lessons, which Apple says are “the easiest way to learn piano and guitar, right on your Mac. Follow along at your own pace with interactive lessons that teach you the fundamentals through HD video instruction, synchronized notation, and animated onscreen instruments.” Basic Lessons give you complete control over how you learn, so yo can slow things down or repeat any part to get it right.

Artist Lessons are even cooler. Videos of musicians such as John Fogerty, Sting, Norah Jones, Ben Folds, and more will show you how to play some of their iconic songs with signature style. They provide step-by-step instructions for chords, finger positions, and technique. You control the mix and instrumentation, so you can hear or play whatever you want — even slow things down to make learning easier.

The Artist Lessons library keeps growing, so you’ll always have songs to learn (and learn about).

In an alternate universe, you might even be able to get a guitar lesson from Buckethead. Imagine sitting down your child with their first guitar and the following video. “Now learn how to play!”*

  • Buckethead is not really (yet) featured in Apple’s Artist lessons.

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