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Thread: A Looper As A Rhythm Section?

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    Forum Member OldStrummer's Avatar
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    A Looper As A Rhythm Section?

    I went to a small, intimate concert last night (about 30 people in attendance) where I saw and heard a terrific singer-songwriter (Lara Herscovitch, if you must know) play an all-acoustic concert. Since I had a first row seat, I noticed she had what I considered to be a pretty substantial pedalboard for an acoustic guitarist.

    After the first couple of songs, she stepped on a pedal, made a few tap-knocks on her guitar, another pedal step, grabbed a dry paintbrush and swept across the strings she deadened with her hand, and repeated the process on more time with a pick on the deadened strings. She then launched into her next song, stepped on a pedal, and presto -- she had a rhythm accompaniment!

    I have never used a looper before, and thought they were only for repeating chord changes. But here she was, enhancing her piece by being a one-woman "combo." I was impressed!

    When the show was over, I spoke with Lara and she described her looper to me. It's an
    Electro-Harmonix 720 Stereo Looper. I looked them up on Reverb and found they aren't very expensive, and don't look too difficult to learn and operate.

    So, now I'm intrigued. In a way, this strikes me almost as a metronome on steroids. I think it could be an interesting way to practice, and possibly even enhance my (still) solo performances.

    What say you? What experience do you have with loopers, and do you have any suggestions or recommendations?
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    Forum Member Tele-Bob's Avatar
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    Re: A Looper As A Rhythm Section?

    I have seen loopers used to create great performances by people who can multi-task and keep it all straight. I can't. Wish I could. It would add a lot to the solo gigs I play.
    If you're bored, you're not groovin'.

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    Re: A Looper As A Rhythm Section?

    I have a couple of loopers I have toyed with, but never tried to master. The latest "Sdrum" can give bass and snare parts by strumming high and low strings on your guitar. I only have it because a fellow wanted my Boss '59 Bassman pedal.
    We used to have a few performers in our area who did a "one man band", but they were all using sequencers then. I remember catching a show in Ruidoso with another musician from there, really good trio act, great voice, but when the fiddle played, it wasn't on stage. My friend told me the singer had tape for extra instruments/vocals!

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    Forum Member phantomman's Avatar
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    Re: A Looper As A Rhythm Section?

    When it comes to a one-man band my mind always conjures up an image of a banjo player with a harmonica harnessed to his face, kicking a bass drum with his foot, and crashing a cymbal strapped to his knee against a mic stand. I guess in this enlightened age of digital silicon it's a whole new ball game now.
    "When injustice becomes law then rebellion becomes duty."

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    Forum Member Offshore Angler's Avatar
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    Re: A Looper As A Rhythm Section?

    I guess they have their place but a sequencer would be more apropos for a solo act. Loopers are great for new-age, man bun, atmospheric ethereal mood sounds, but to actually play a song a sequencer is the sland.
    "No harmonic knowledge, no sense of time, a ghastly tone, unskilled vibrato, and so on. Chuck is one of the worst guitar players I know" -Gravity Jim

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    Forum Member Tele-Bob's Avatar
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    Re: A Looper As A Rhythm Section?

    Quote Originally Posted by Offshore Angler View Post
    I guess they have their place but a sequencer would be more apropos for a solo act. Loopers are great for new-age, man bun, atmospheric ethereal mood sounds, but to actually play a song a sequencer is the sland.

    And here I thought phtots were the sland all these years...
    If you're bored, you're not groovin'.

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    Forum Member gibsonjunkie's Avatar
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    Re: A Looper As A Rhythm Section?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tele-Bob View Post
    And here I thought phtots were the sland all these years...
    oh - they still are!!! at least in the Bozone!
    "We catched fish and talked, and we took a swim now and then to keep off sleepiness." Mark Twain

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    Forum Member gibsonjunkie's Avatar
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    Re: A Looper As A Rhythm Section?

    I have a Beatbuddy which is an easy way of keeping the beat. Not as sophisticated as a good looper, but still a lot of fun.
    "We catched fish and talked, and we took a swim now and then to keep off sleepiness." Mark Twain

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    Forum Member ch willie's Avatar
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    Re: A Looper As A Rhythm Section?

    I’m not a big fan, but the man commanded an audience of almost 100,000 people using a looper. Here’s an example of how he uses his Chewy looper.
    If we'd known we were going to be the Beatles, we'd have tried harder.--George Harrison

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    Forum Member Offshore Angler's Avatar
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    Re: A Looper As A Rhythm Section?

    Honestly, if it's just for practice why not get the free download of Cakewalk and us it as a looper/sequencer?
    "No harmonic knowledge, no sense of time, a ghastly tone, unskilled vibrato, and so on. Chuck is one of the worst guitar players I know" -Gravity Jim

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    Forum Member OldStrummer's Avatar
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    Re: A Looper As A Rhythm Section?

    Quote Originally Posted by Offshore Angler View Post
    Honestly, if it's just for practice why not get the free download of Cakewalk and us it as a looper/sequencer?
    Cakewalk? Never heard of it. But to save you the trouble of explaining it, I looked it up. Windows only. Deal-killer.
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    Forum Member Offshore Angler's Avatar
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    Re: A Looper As A Rhythm Section?

    If you're on MAC you can use GarageBand which you already have. You can create rhythm tracks and even add drums, keys, synths, etc.
    "No harmonic knowledge, no sense of time, a ghastly tone, unskilled vibrato, and so on. Chuck is one of the worst guitar players I know" -Gravity Jim

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    Forum Member OldStrummer's Avatar
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    Re: A Looper As A Rhythm Section?

    Quote Originally Posted by Offshore Angler View Post
    If you're on MAC you can use GarageBand which you already have. You can create rhythm tracks and even add drums, keys, synths, etc.
    Yep, I've tinkered with that. And I considered it as an option. What I like about the looper pedal is that it's right there, and instantaneous (inasmuch as you record the loop and then play it). GarageBand requires me to have my Mac up and running and plugged into speakers as well as plugging in the guitar.

    I actually went and bought some podcasting gear a while back (mic, camera, boom arm, etc.) to plug into my Apogee ONE. The setup works quite well, actually. But I don't have a permanent "studio space" set up, so I have to break down all the gear after I'm done.

    I'm inherently lazy. If I can plug in a looper to my amp, and my guitar into the looper, I'm up and running in minutes. Takedown is just as easy.

    Thanks!
    Striving to be ordinary

    Proud to be a TFF Dumbass!

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