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performing with a looper

Discussion in 'Tab, Tips, Theory and Technique' started by ndcaster, Jan 27, 2021.

  1. ndcaster

    ndcaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    I've been thinking about doing this (signs of the times etc.), and I don't want to be an idiot about it.

    Of course, I'm going to end up being an idiot about it. What's the wisdom out there from people who have done it with one looper pedal? (Mine is the TRex Image Looper.)

    Structure seems to be key. Here's the thought:

    play intro live (UPDATE: do not record)
    record verse loop while singing verse 1
    start verse loop, sing verse 2 over it
    stop verse loop, sing over chorus rhythm live
    restart verse loop, play solo over it
    stop verse loop, sing over chorus rhythm live
    play outro

    That's a straightforward song type, which is one place to begin.

    Thoughts?
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2021
  2. schmee

    schmee Doctor of Teleocity

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    Doesn't work. ? When you "start verse loop, sing verse 2 over it" the looper will be playing the intro.
    But my looper is simple, maybe yours does special stuff.

    I use 2 loopers and a switcher to "kill" one if necessary. Live it's easy to start wrong etc. I need a second to save me! Or I can use one for an intro only.
     
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  3. FenderGyrl

    FenderGyrl Poster Extraordinaire

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    All songs can be built differently
    Check out the YouTube Channel of "I Am Kawehi" .... The Gal is really impressive. She knows how to break down a song for looping while keeping it interesting.

    She does so much with so little.

    I have a Boss RC300. Think about getting another one to daisy chain.

    FG
     
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  4. Guitarteach

    Guitarteach Doctor of Teleocity

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  5. adjason

    adjason Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    well this is not much help but I would just play the song, record the loop at the end then jam it out, then stop. But I just have the simple ditto looper and this is about as good as I can get it
     
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  6. Guitarteach

    Guitarteach Doctor of Teleocity

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    I can undo / redo last overdub live with mine.. (Boss RC). Handy. So add a layer, then remove it, add another layer, remove it etc. all while basic pattern repeats. Not risked more than that.

    more sophisticated ones store them to jump to.
     
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  7. schmee

    schmee Doctor of Teleocity

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    For live, it's pretty lame to play the song with intros and chorus' before you actually start singing etc.
    If you can structure the song with something like Verse -chorus, and repeat that throughout, (v-c,v-c,v-c ) it works and you can sing through the first verse and chorus while looping. You better get the "start loop" and "end loop" exact though!

    The second looper is nice because you can loop the song last verse or etc and the jam out on that loop or something similar. It allows you to do instrumental outro's or intro's and kill with one clik if you have a kill switch also.
    The "kill switch" shown just kills either loop without killing the play through.
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2021
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  8. archtop_fjk

    archtop_fjk Tele-Holic

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    I've dabbled in live looping at a bar open mic, and the one thing to make sure of is that you can hear your guitar once the loop has started. Room echoes, people talking, and general ambient noise can make it difficult to hear both your looped and live guitars. And if you're out of sync with your loop, it's a disaster!

    Most people I see do live looping mainly use the looper to create a simple chord pattern they can jam over. Of course, the pros can do amazing stuff, but at least initially that's how I'd deploy looping in a live gig. There are some songs that are great for easy loop jamming, like Neil Young's "Cow Girl in the Sand". Just play it solo until you get to the Am-F jam part, then use your looper to create a background chord sequence for the 20 minute guitar solo! :)
     
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  9. teletimetx

    teletimetx Doctor of Teleocity

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    @ndcaster : If this vid is accurate, looks like the T-Rex Image Looper can do mulitiple layers.



    Have one friend who does a lot of solo performing and busking and he uses one frequently. Just simple approach, as you have outlined. I see no problem with what you have in your numbered sequence. You're not recording the intro, just the verse chords which you then could add alternate grips to a second verse, being your own 2nd guitar.

    Had another friend who experimented, and maybe got carried away with soloing...or not. getting the timing down so you stab the button on cue may take a little practice.

    I've heard some really interesting things via looper and some not. Like anything else, got to put a little time into it.
     
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  10. archtop_fjk

    archtop_fjk Tele-Holic

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    If you get one of the fancier loopers which can play the phrase in reverse, you could do a live looper version of Bach's "Crab Canon"!

     
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  11. fendrguitplayr

    fendrguitplayr Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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  12. ndcaster

    ndcaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    ok, so emerging approaches

    one looper:

    1. build up layers in linear sequence, i.e. the song is basically a layered vamp
    2. use looper for one section of song only, like a jam
    3. map out looper use to song structure, alternate looper/live sections if necessary

    two loopers:

    4. one for verses (or A's), one for choruses (or B's)

    one obvious goal is to bring tap-dancing on the pedal to an absolute minimum, though -- the problem with switching between A and B is that you have to hit things twice: one to stop A and another to start B
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2021
  13. 24 track

    24 track Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    using a looper live
     
  14. Obsessed

    Obsessed Telefied Silver Supporter

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    There are a lot of different ways to use a looper live and a lot of different types of loopers to do it with. My advice is to start simple and then build from there. A looper is not a pedal in our way of thinking. It is a tool that requires lots of practice. You will quickly find these issues quickly anyway, but just to let you know that it is a learning process. The main thing to remember is that you will probably need to change up the format of an existing song to make it work well and entertain with a looper. It actually becomes it's own form of creativity.
     
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  15. chris m.

    chris m. Poster Extraordinaire

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    I mainly use loopers so I can play lead over a rhythm. If I'm singing I would just sing and play live.

    Loopers are cool for building up layers. If you have a 2 or 4 measure vamp you can quickly build up 3 or 4 layers without boring the audience. Zillions of examples on YouTube so you can get the idea.
     
  16. ndcaster

    ndcaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    I suppose there's no way to use a looper to play an AABA tune without a pre-recorded loop for B...
     
  17. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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  18. Jeremy_Green

    Jeremy_Green Tele-Meister

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    I assume you are playing alone with no drummer? Loopers are great for that, but it's tough for a lot of drummers to hear the loop clearly enough to lock to it. Although I hear the new TC unit actually can listen and adjust to the beat it 'hears'. THAT would be cool if it works. Anyone tried one yet? Probably not a lot of actual band rehearsals going on these days tho
     
  19. regularslinky

    regularslinky Tele-Afflicted

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    I have a looper pedal. I have limited experience with using it live for this kind of thing (playing the rhythm part so I can play over it) mostly because it's really hard to do. If you make a mistake, you're doomed to repeat it - literally - or completely rearrange the song to fix it. You may have to sync with a drum machine - or even worse, a live drummer. I totally respect the people who put in the time and practice to do this live. That said, if you're playing pop songs in front of people, using pre-recorded (by you) tracks to perform with is 1000% easier and more reliable.
     
  20. schmee

    schmee Doctor of Teleocity

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    Yes, that's the issue. Loopers do many things... but a sequence of up to three pushes you cant do live , especially while singing! For instance; "Restart" on my Ditto is "two fast taps and a quick third". That's the main reason I use two loopers and kill switches... one tap and it's killed! I still have one to loop for a solo or etc.

    The world really needs a dual looper that:
    -One push at loop 2 starts recording and switches loop 1 off.
    -One push restarts from beginning when you have had a loop stopped (or went to the other loop)
     
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