Adding a Bass Line Using Garage Band and Keyboard

Adding a Bass Line Using Garage Band and Keyboard

Carol Carstensen
[email protected]
Safety Harbor Elementary

TI:ME Technology Areas Addressed:

Electronic Musical Instruments




General Music


Keyboard attached to computer
Mac Computer with Garage Band
LCD Projector


40+ Minutes

Prior Knowledge and Skills:

Students have an understanding of the structure of chords and their notes.
Students have a good understanding of rhythm.
Students have heard and recognize bass lines.
Students have a good grasp of steady beat.
Students have developed aural skills to hear easy chord progressions.
Students have some keyboard training and are reasonably comfortable playing on the keyboard.

MENC Standards Addressed:

MENC 1: Singing, alone and with others, a varied repertoire of music.
MENC 2: Performing on instruments, alone and with others, a varied repertoire of music.
MENC 3: Improvising melodies, harmonies, and accompaniments.
MENC 4: Composing and Arranging Music within specified guidelines.
MENC 6: Listening to, analyzing and describing music.
MENC 7: Evaluating music and music performances.


Keyboard attached to computer
Mac Computer with Garage Band
LCD Projector
Keyboard Cards, one for each student
Possibly pencil and paper


Students will create a bass line to a familiar song working within 2 chords.
Students will play bass line on keyboard in Garage Band.
Students will record their line, then listen to it play back.
Students will critique their performance as to correct chord structure.


1) Students will sing a familiar song, such as “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star.” (2 min)
2) The teacher then plays a simple accompaniment along with the singing. Accompaniment can be played on Garage Band if necessary. (2-3 min)
3) Teacher then demonstrates a bass line, using quarter notes, prepared in advance with the song. If the teacher so desires, it can be a live bass line. Teacher can do several different bass lines to show variety. (5 min)
4) Students discuss what they heard, and teacher can talk about notes used in the chords. (5 min)
5) Students then sing another familiar song in the same key, such as “Hot Cross Buns.”(2 min)
6) Teacher again plays accompaniment or uses Garage Band.
7) Students discuss which chords they heard in “Hot Cross Buns.” Teacher can write the notes of the chord on the white board to which students can refer while creating their own bass line. (5 min)
8) Teacher passes out keyboard cards and the students begin to e! xperiment making a bass line of their own. Paper and pencil can be available for those students who wish to write their notes down. (10 min)
9) Pair students to share their bass lines. (5 min)
10) One student at a time comes up and plays their bass line into Garage Band. A new track can be added for each student. (depending on how many students you have, it could be lengthy)
11) Once students have added their bass lines, play back and do peer evaluations to see if their lines are successful. (if time, at end of class, if not, during next class)


Teacher evaluates by watching to see if the students stay within the chord structure and listening.
Students evaluate each other by discussing each performance to see if it fits within the chord structure.

Follow Up:

As the students get more comfortable with simple songs, the teacher can add songs that have more chord changes.

Items to Purchase:


When budget should be submitted:


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