Closing the loop(er)

Just before Christmas I posted a question in the Gear section asking questions about loopers and multi-fx pedals, contemplating future GAS, post moving my electric guitar and amp from the Playroom (my home studio) to my Workroom, which now also doubles as my guitar practice room.

During the conversation, Ivan (@SS7) made the most generous offer to send me a TC Electronics Ditto looper that he had stopped using. Cut that long story short, today I finally had the looper, the power adapter, and a second guitar lead so I could plug in and try it out.

To close the loop, here is a noodle in A (something). I used an app on my tablet to play a simple drum beat through my amp’s aux input. Eventually managed to record a simple 1/4 note bass pattern in the looper and then overdubbed an A major chord (a stretch to call it a vamp). My ears tell me the timing is far from tight but it is a genuine first attempt and I solemnly swear not to inflict you with more until I’ve become more proficient. And the video is just the subsequent noodle.

Once again, Ivan bless you, I remain blown away by your generosity. I now have more to learn :laughing:


Sounding very exotic David.

Must be something in the water. I dusted down my JamMan stereo yesterday evening and had a few minutes making something not quite as nice as this ! There is a Looper strain of RBS it would seem, as I made a right dogs diner of it. More WIP it would seem.

Now get some I IV V 7 chords down and get your Blooze Mojo in gear !


:rofl: I think I am some ways from looper RBS, right now it is simple inability, Toby.

And yes, in time the goal will be a shuffle drum backing and some 12BB laid down in the looper. Like all my aspirations, now do by date on this one.

The theory is beyond me but I am guessing that a smarter person may identify the notes being played and relate it to a mode, maybe? I think I mostly played notes from A major with a couple of extras, one from minor pentatonic and one from goodness knows where (the F on the B string)

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Sweet, sweet looper noodles! Well done DP. Your vibe is to add a few non-pentatonic half-step notes to the progression. And I think it may be an intuitive thing. This is the second one that you brought some Eastern flavor to a solo. Kudos for trying to find your own voice on the instrument.

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That was great @DavidP
The first pedal I got was a looper because I seen other people use them. I thought wow that’s really cool then I found out how bad my timing was and how tricky they are to use. I need lots of practice.
I look forward to hearing more of this from you.


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@CT thanks Clint. yeah, I did lean into a similar line on my last original. No idea where it comes from but I like how it sounds.

@Dave999 tell me about it, Dave. People make it look easy. As I said to Toby, I have much practice ahead of me before I can lay down my own 12BB BT. But like everything else, it was fun.

Sounds very ‘60s classic rock in the beginning and then takes on a Middle Eastern sound and a Far East sound later. Pretty cool.

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Sounds pretty neat. Will you ever use this live in an OM setting? That to me would seem the real value in a looper. Could just be my ears but I think once you are past tip toeing through the notes and let it rip, you will be cooking along fine. Pretty good as is though. Keep up the good vibes and rock on!


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Good stuff. I’ve got the ditto x2 looper, bought it because when researching loopers I came across a number of players who said having a 2 button looper makes it easier to use. I haven’t used it a whole lot but found it relatively easy use and get a backing track of my own making going with the looper.

It was really useful when I was learning a riff to a well known song. I couldn’t quite tell if I was on time with the riff and couldn’t get it to work with the metronome, so I pulled out the looper, put down a backing track on it, and then played the riff till I got the timing right. There was something more organic about playing to the backing track as compared to the metronome for me.

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Sounds like a bit Phrygian to me David, that eastern flavour.
Nicely played, it’s great to noodle about, you start finding your way around what sounds good and what doesn’t; all good stuff!

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Was great David, very out of the ordinary scale was it all improvised or perhaps you had a little diagram for the mode/-s you were using in front of you?

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I think it might be a mix of A Lydian and Phrygian, the darker parts being Phrygian and the brighter parts Lydian.


… and knowing you DP, you’ll reach your goal and go past it. Onya maaaate.

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My comment is nice start, David! Loopers are great fun, and I find even more so when I don’t record myself so I can live under the illusion that my playing was much better than it was :laughing:


Very generous of @SS7 to provide the Ditto, and cool to see you making good use of it!

Getting used to using a looper can be a little tricky in the beginning, but like most things the more you do it the easier it becomes.

You might try the same kind of “noodle” over an Am chord or an Asus chord instead of the Amaj.

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Thank you all for taking time out for a look and to post comments.

@Thejoechoi I am drawn to that eastern sound, not sure from where that springs. Generally speaking I am into 60s/70s rock with all the melting pot of influences and the blues.

@LBro I’ll say ‘never say never’ but at this stage I’d not anticipate live looping. Mostly it is a fun way to develop play-grade and step up my play with the electric and amp. Could I one day end up with a multi-fx in front of the looper playing live with the electric, rather than acoustic camp-fire play and sing, who knows. After all when I took lesson one of the BC I never imagined much of what I do today.

@tony thanks for sharing your experiences

@DarrellW I wondered if you might offer some thoughts on particular modes. At this stage I will stay with the ‘if it sounds good’ approach and not worry to much about the theory as to why it might sound good. As you say, nice to just noodle around.

@adi_mrok no diagram in front of me. I know position 1 of major and minor pentatonic and decided to stay in that area of the neck. There was some noodling around before recording this, in which I settled on some phrases/ideas. I have picked up on the idea of playing other notes not in the pattern, so not scared to try that out when noodling. And then the final noodle was playing around with those freestyle.

@batwoman appreciate the encouragement and support, it’s all just fun, learning, and becoming an improved player over time

@Mari63 I imagine I’d also think your playing was better than you though it was if given the opportunity to listen :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:

@J.W.C I know people often say a looper is the first pedal to acquire, and I’ve also bought into the idea. And in the way in which things go, thanks to Ivan’s kindness I now have one. And that’s kind of how the whole adventure has been for me, kind of a straddle between going with the flow and being driven by pursuing set goals. Seems like things just happen when they are meant to happen, when I am ready. And yes, Am or a sus may well be tried out.

I’m happy with this effort as a first effort. In it I discovered it was easier to play the chord (in time chords) over the bass notes and drum, easier to pick up the start of the looped pattern (in this case two bar pattern).

Lots to learn and experiment with. Being able to set the amp up for a decent lead tone on bridge pup and using the guitar volume and tone to create tones for the bass pattern and rhythm with the neck pup presents a whole world of opportunity for discovery. Maybe next time I’ll see how using the single coil-split option on the neck pup for rhythm and full HB for bass may aid in balancing those two parts on the loop.

Such fun.

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David, I love it that you’re venturing down new paths as you continue in your quest to make music. Learning a looper is yet another skill that is acquired with practice. It will hone and tighten your rhythm chops for sure. :slight_smile:

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You shouldn’t have done that @SS7 , he’ll be going around in circles forever now :roll_eyes:
Nah, good stuff David.
If I close my eyes, I’m transported back to the Middle East and can smell the fresh spices of Mana’eesh and Ka’ad bread. Mmmm… :yum: :smiley:

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@Richard_close2u yeah, the benefits for being able to play in time with foot-tapping to coordinate the start and stop on beat 1 may be the biggest win, over and above fun (I’m never short on fun, perhaps too much fun and not enough deliberate practice)

@brianlarsen glad you enjoyed it, some happy associations. No doubt that extra note, which a quick look at my scale patterns suggests is the b6 which is part of the Phrygian mode (which is what Darrell suggested) has that middle eastern feel to it when thrown into the usual major scale noodle.

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And I can smell bull…. Brian😂

Well done David, you’re clearly having fun with your new toy and learning a lot of new things. Loopers are great fun but can eat up a lot of time as you search to achieve the ‘perfect’ backing loop.

If I close my eyes, I can see the Maharishi and echoes of Sgt Pepper.….

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