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Took a (short) trip to the dark side.

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by Paul G., Oct 24, 2020.

  1. Paul G.

    Paul G. Friend of Leo's

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    I'm thinking after this is all over, gigging might be a bit different for ancient geezer like me, so using my time to work out an acoustic solo thing. Low key, low impact, being old would be fine in a mellow environment and even short money isn't, if you don't have to split it.

    Thought maybe it might work out to get a looper to help with solos. Picked one up, practiced getting it on and off in time, got the hang of it. But...I felt my soul oozing out of my body.

    I packed it back up in the box, took it back to the store.

    I'll just work out some better arrangements, chord melody, keep it simple. I feel better now.
     
  2. Lowerleftcoast

    Lowerleftcoast Friend of Leo's

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    Hah!

    Like using a drum machine... something is missing.
     
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  3. Chiogtr4x

    Chiogtr4x Poster Extraordinaire

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    I bought a Ditto when they first came out

    My idea was to use it so I could play ( acoustic gigs) solos against looped rhythm, say simple Country or Blues progressions on the fly at live gigs.

    But besides being uncoordinated, to execute this ( it was just hard getting in sync), it just was not natural to me.
    I gave up after 1 hour.
    Decided the way I'm playing ( and doing live gigs), my way is just fine, solid.
     
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  4. lil scotty

    lil scotty Tele-Meister

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    I keep it old school too. I've played rack harmonica for a good while now but since playing solo more and more, my harmonica playing has gotten better. There are two benefits to that: I'm having lots of fun and people really
    dig it! This is all pre-pandemic, of course.
     
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  5. Mike Eskimo

    Mike Eskimo Telefied Ad Free Member

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    It’s still you.

    That’s the thing about a looper, nothing comes out of it that you haven’t played.

    Is it mechanical self-loathing?

    I’m just asking because I see loopers being used in very cool ways - including low-key ones - multiple times in any week on YouTube.
     
  6. Mr. Lumbergh

    Mr. Lumbergh Poster Extraordinaire

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    I've seen a lot of cool stuff done with a looper, but it doesn't take the place of interacting with other players.
     
  7. Drew617

    Drew617 Tele-Meister

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    I like using my Ditto, but loopers to me are like a lot other musical gadgets, best used sparingly and otherwise leaned into. That is, embraced for whatever specific weirdness it does, not used to replace something that's expected to be organic. See: Bill Frisell's DL4, etc.
     
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  8. Festofish

    Festofish Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    Replaced my ditto With a wiretap.
     
  9. richiek65

    richiek65 Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Saw a very snazzy jazz duo, gtr and vocals, looper recording the chords while the first or second verse was being sung, played back for the guitar to take a solo, then switched off for the final verse. His switches were seamless every time, playback volume was probably only 50 percent of the guitar volume so it was just in the background and fleshed out his solos nicely without ever imposing.

    The singer played brushes on her thighs, very novel!
     
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  10. Drew617

    Drew617 Tele-Meister

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    Not specifically a looper problem: I tend to play lead, rhythm, or bass a little behind the beat. Probably a consequence of the music I like and may have been a deliberate choice at some point, but by now it's just built into my hands. If I really must play right on 1s and 3s, I have to work for that consciously.

    That works OK and may even be interesting in a band context where the players understand each other, but not everyone gets to do what I'm doing. Multiple tracks of me playing in my natural rhythm is clunky as hell.
     
  11. alnico357

    alnico357 Tele-Afflicted

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    I have a Ditto looper for use at home. I have this idea, that for me, live music should be live. Luckily I have an acoustic duo partner who plays rhythm while I solo.
     
  12. lil scotty

    lil scotty Tele-Meister

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    I hear you about them being used in cool ways. I use one at home to play chords and practice soloing. They're also useful for creating music. My choice to not use one live is twofold: I like the challenge of not having backup, kind of without a net, so to speak. I feel like it keeps me in harmony with my idols, who did and do play this way: TVZ, Dylan, Neil Young etc. Also, in the bombastic age we live in, I like simplicity and the purity of a stripped down performance. I feel like it switches the audience’s focus to the melody of the lyrics (the most important thing to me) and the lyrics themselves.
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2020
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  13. Paulie_Boy

    Paulie_Boy Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    Yep. The drummer that's always late, plays too loud and asks you to help haul his kit. :D
     
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  14. Paul G.

    Paul G. Friend of Leo's

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    That's exactly what I was thinking of doing. I just wasn't feeling it.
     
  15. 53Strat

    53Strat Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

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    The problem as I see it is that there is quite a bit of mental activity needed to make it work well without pre recording it.

    The extra stuff takes away from your enjoyment of music and there is always the potential for things to go wrong.

    The joy of any number of people making music together is what it is all about for me - something which is sadly disappearing.
     
  16. bftfender

    bftfender Poster Extraordinaire

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    Use mine as the instant riff save on the song working on currently, The get the Verse..chorus..maybe a progression in there mainly to store for a day or 2 as i work out the song. Sometimes just play to it working leads..trying dif stuff. basically its a recorder in my use.
     
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  17. stxrus

    stxrus Poster Extraordinaire

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    Nothing wrong with a looper, if used properly and with taste.
    Nothing wrong with a drum machine, if used properly and with taste

    Use whatever you need to made a memorable listening experience for the audience but with taste
     
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  18. Peegoo

    Peegoo Poster Extraordinaire

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    If you want to be 100% true to your art, playing covers in a bar is not part of that milieu because you will always have to compromise.

    But if you want to get out and entertain people, have fun doing it, and maybe make gas money, you incorporate things into your repertoire to keep it interesting. If it's just you and a guitar, that's a-ok.

    But a looper can take that singer-with-guitar shtick up several huge notches.

     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2020
  19. Paul G.

    Paul G. Friend of Leo's

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    ...not saying loopers are bad. I'm just saying, that's just not me.
     
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  20. SRHmusic

    SRHmusic Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

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    I was at an event about ten years ago where an experienced guitarist played and sang harmony with another singer. They were playing jazz standards around Christmas, very low key while people milled around. At one point I realized I was hearing him solo and the rhythm was still going. I sort of ran over and saw he had a looper, and was making it all very natural, and not in every song. Most people didn't even notice anything odd.. A real eye opener. He was very solid. Turns out he had been a Nashville pro. Still something I'd love to be able to pull off.

    But, if you can do some chord melody and keep things going all solo, I'd probably like that better, too.
     
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