Seeking accessible alternatives to GarageBand for iOS

iOS & iPadOS

Hello from Alaska. My name is Julia and I am in the 9th grade. I'm takin a semester long Digital Composition class. We are supposed to work with Garage Band, but I don't think it's accessible using Voiceover on my phone. I'm not a Mac user, but I'm learning how to to type with a standard keyboard and use Jaws. Are there any other programs that are accessible on an IPhones or pc? I appreciate any advice and recommendations.
Gratefully, Julia



Submitted by Yujin on Saturday, January 23, 2016

Hi Julia

I am using Garage Band on my iPhone once in a while, mainly to play with the guitar and the audio recorder. I found it to be accessible with VoiceOver, as far as for the things I do is concerned. I don't know which Garage Band features will be used for your class, but maybe someone else can give their opinion on this to help you decide whether to try it or not.

Submitted by david s on Sunday, January 24, 2016


Garage Band is fully accessable. What device and IOS version are you using? I have an iPhone 6 on IOS 9.2.1.

Also, I have an Ipad 3, a camera connection kit and an USB midi keyboard. Garage Band works great on midi keyboards too.

HTH and good luck.

Submitted by kevinchao89 on Sunday, January 24, 2016

Did app fail to open? Did a specific feature or flow not work?
We all want to help you, Juju, with iOS Garage Band, but need more details of what's not working...

Submitted by kevinchao89 on Sunday, January 24, 2016

App defaults to landscape, so you will want to hold iPhone with HOME button to the left.
If this isn't working still, please consider deleting app and reinstalling.

Okay. I got it to work. Now I just need to figure out how to use it. I'm not very musically talented. The only reason I'm doing this is because we are going to use it at school. Are there any other apps that are similar that you recommend? Thanks for your help.

Submitted by Wayne Scott Jr on Sunday, January 24, 2016

I'm completely in the dark on 3ow to use Garage Band. I just want to record me playing my acoustic guitar and singing. I am using the latest version of IOS. I use VoiceOver and a Focus 14 blue braille display. Wayne

Submitted by Ken Downey on Sunday, January 24, 2016

If it's just recording sound you want, try Gig Daddy or MTSR, the multitrack sound recorder. They are both accessible and very good.

Submitted by Mitchell on Monday, January 25, 2016

Garageband can be confusing a times, but always remember that you don't just use the flicking gesture. You also need to scroll with 3 fingers. Thumb Jam is another accessible alternative, although Garageband is completely accessible.

Submitted by Esther on Monday, January 25, 2016

As Ken commented earlier, for simply recording sound, and specifically for just playing around with a guitar (with or without the singing) and recording oneself, GigDaddy works fine. It's posted under the iOS App Deals because it went free in November. The developer at ioMetrics worked with VoiceOver users early on. It has a nice selection of backing tracks in different styles that you can access and review under the "MIDI settings" button if you want more than a count in 4/4 to work with. Just set the beats per minute and adjust the volume. This is an iPhone app, so it works in portrait orientation. If you download it for use on an iPad you'll have to switch to full screen mode.
Hope this helps.

Submitted by Ken Downey on Monday, January 25, 2016

Thumbjam and Drumjam by the same dev are both very good. I recorded a piece recently where I was playing steel guitar, something you can't do on a keyboard since when you move from one chord to another, each note has to go farther or not as far as the next one. It's impossible to do with a keyboard, but quite easy in Thumbjam. Also, you can sample your own instruments, trim them, and assign start and end points for looping. It's one of the best apps for musicians out there.