GarageBand ’11 comes with a number of new features that have been designed to help beginners become more proficient at playing instruments such as the guitar or the piano. There’s a lot more on offer than this, though. A rejigged interface, and a raft of new audio editing tools, amplifiers and effects have all been added to GarageBand ’11. In this masterclass, we’re going to look at its teaching features. See also: GarageBand 11 review.

There are more free lessons than ever, and these cover a wide range of techniques and playing styles. You can play along with your electronic tutors and then assess your progress over time, go back and try to beat your best scores, or even open a completed lesson in GarageBand itself, so you can use the program’s editing features.

1. The Lesson Store Make sure you’ve got the latest version of GarageBand by opening Software Update under the Apple menu, and then load the program. When the New Project screen appears, click on Lesson Store in the menu on the left. GarageBand ’11 offers guitar, piano and artist lessons – click Piano Lessons.

2. Choosing a lesson type The first time you open the store in GarageBand, the program will flag any new lessons for your chosen instrument. Here you can see that there are six lessons in pop piano and four in classical. Since we’ve only completed the basic lessons before, we’ll have a crack at one of the pop piano lessons.

3. Downloading a lesson This opens the New Lessons screen where you’ll find six tutorials. (If you need to see the full details of what the lesson contains, just hover the pointer over the Description and it’ll pop up). Here we’ve clicked the Download  button to get the first lesson: Major and Minor Chords.

4. Starting a lesson Once the lesson starts to download, GarageBand will take you to the main Learn to Play window. Click the Piano Lessons heading and you’ll see the new Pop Piano lesson entry with a progress bar. When it’s downloaded, click the lesson and then click the Choose button.