First Attempt with a Looper pedal Boss RC-1

Hi Justineer’s
Well I have finally got a looper pedal. I bought the Boss RC-1 as it is simple no thrills. As I prepare for doing live gigs I thought I needed to learn how to use a Looper pedal as it seems to be part of the standard kit now.
It is quite daunting actually, and it takes some time to get the timing of each layer perfect. I have a lot of work to do before I would ever attempt to use it in a live gig but I would like some feedback and what you all think of my attempt at layering for the Neil Young 3 chord classic Helpless.
What sounds good, bad or even ugly…lol
This video is warts and all. I stuffed up my attempt at a lead break and and near the end I tried to transition from looper to just guitar and I missed the double switching. So as I said warts and all :crazy_face:
Looking forward to some help on this as I move forward.


Sounded good to my ears, Ron. If you had not pointed out the muffs, I would have not noticed and just assumed you wanted it that way.
Coming in on the ‘one’ has been the frustrating bit for me, but you seem to have no trouble at all.

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Thank you for the feedback.
It took quite a lot of practice to get the coming in on the “one” right.
I am no where near ready to try it live but thank you for your comments.

Hi Ron,
your oldest video on your you-tube channel is already good enough for an open mic in an average bar around the world…

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Hi Rogier,
Thank you sir. :grinning:

Sounded pretty damn good to me Ron! Methinks you’re too hard on yourself!

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Very was nice Ron and I hope you are going to have many a years’ fun with your looper.

Only thing for me was the tapping you did on your guitar kind of got lot at times within the song. Not sure if it is supposed to be like that or if it’s a volume issue?

Happy looping. :+1:

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Well done, Ron. You seemed to manage the starting, stopping, and layering pretty well with the looper. Also like the vocal harmony you added. Worked out pretty well.

Again, like the use of fx in songs, I think a little goes a long way and I like the solo guitar-vocal performance more in the coffeeshop gig context than lots of either backing tracks or use of looper.

I think electric guitar with looper could work pretty well for Cortez the Killer or Like A Hurricane, any of those NY songs with long solos. But again easy to bore an audience that isn’t really into guitar leads over a few repeating chords.

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Hi Ron. I hesitate to comment here as I’ve recently failed to include a short solo in my most recent AVoYP without making a mistake and playing a live gig is way off my radar.
However, with my audience hat on, and I’ve been in many different types of audience over the years, here’s my opinion.

It will depend on what type of gig you anticipate playing. If it’s a coffee shop type gig then what you’ve just done there with the looper is far too complex. You are pretty much in the background in that scenario. People are out with friends and want background music that they can flit in and out of. They don’t want complex content and won’t understand/want the complexity of what you’ve just done there. They want straightforward strum and sing with a bit of chat. You can do that. You’ve shown us that in your recent AVoYPs.

On the other hand, if they’ve come specifically to the venue to see you and others playing, then that is different. They will enjoy watching/listening to the songs develop over the different layers. They will have an understanding of what you’re doing and will appreciate your skills with the looper, fx pedals or whatever.

Just my opinion of course.

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Hi Stefan,
Thank you for taking the time to review and feedback.
After listening back I agree that the drumming on the guitar is not right.
I think where you tap makes a big difference so I will spend some time experimenting with it.

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Thanks heaps Darrell. :smiley:

Hi David,
I agree that loopers and backing tracks can be over done.
There are only a few songs wher I think a looper works well.
This is one and another is With if Without you U2.
That said, it also depends on the complexity of the layering. That is where I am a novice trying to learn a new method.
I really appreciate your comments.

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Hi Gordon,
Great advice.
I can see how the looper can easily become a bit “self-indulgent” as you tend to get lost in what you are developing rather than just performing.
I will definitely consider your words of wisdom.

Hi Ron, for a first attempt with a looper you did pretty well mate. I think @DavidP and @sairfingers hit the nail on the head when it comes to performing in a live environment with a looper.

In the coffee shop environment you’re effectively background entertainment. Therefore, its better to keep it simple and don’t over complicate things.

There are probably quite a few songs where a looper works well. It’s just about how you approach it.

Maybe worth checking out Gerry Cinnamon for some ideas. He is a Scottish musician that sold one of his guitars, bought a looper, created his own record label and sold his albums directly. He now sells out stadium packed concerts as an unsigned artist.

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Thank you for the great feedback and I will check Gerry out.

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Cheers Ron, that was great, I’m only starting to loop around and this is very inspiring, nothing more to say on my part.

I had no idea it was a Neil Young song, I’d heard the Molly Tuttle version and thought it was hers :sweat_smile:

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Sounded good, sir!

Which songs to loop? Any, all, some or none. Who cares? How good can it get or how bad can it be? Chances are that anyone here in the JustinGuitarSphere will do a good job of it. Personally I like a good loop. Play on Playas!


I thought that was a beautiful cover of this song. For playing live less loops would probably work just as well. The percussion is a nice addition though. And the harmonies, and the lead line - very nice.

I don’t know the Molly Tuttle version, and I know this is a NY song and love his version, but my favorite of this song is a cover by Buffy Sainte-Marie. :slightly_smiling_face:

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Thank you Kevin.
I haven’t ever heard Molly Tuttles version….:joy:
I am a Neil tragic, he has always been an inspiration for me.

Cheers Clint, I appreciate the feedback and encouragement.

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