I’m still at grade 1 beginners course, module 6. Planning to move to module 7 soon. I’m wondering if a looper pedal could help me somehow. I’m still in the very early stages so I don’t think I’m in a position to work with layers and do all the cool stuff that loopers may offer. In the other hand I would like to record myself and try to identify my mistakes and improve my tempo. There’s a lot of basic stuff that still needs rework before I can move to other grades…strumming and chord changes to list a few.
I was thinking on buying a cheap loop pedal (maybe a Boss RC-1) but still not convinced if it can help, my concern is that it can be a distraction rather than an useful tool for practice.
I think your thinking is on the right track. Before worrying about using a looper I think being able to record yourself and making use of a metronome and then playing to a drum beat, should be priority.
This doesn’t require any more than a modern smart phone. And if you have a laptop with camera and mic or a PC with a webcam, even better.
Then there are many apps, that you can pick and choose from to deal backing and recording.
Once you have that down, then a looper is certainly worth consideration. Your value from a looper may vary, depending on what you are working on and aspiring to play. For example, if wanting to play acoustic and sing songs, then a looper may not be worthwhile, but if you are aiming to play electric, rhythm and lead, then a looper is an excellent tool.
I am in later grade 3, so my thoughts are coming from that viewpoint.
I have an effects processor with looping capability. I imagined similarly in grade 1 that I would want a looper some time. I still haven’t used it much, but I can think of things to use it for. Note that loopers often do not record very long. This may be a feature to consider for you when you do buy one.
One thing to note is that timing the recording and playback of the loop is not as easy as it sounds! It will take some practice to get it right.
In my morning mental fog, I did think of something you could find useful: use the looper for short recordings you can do quickly and listen back with minimal effort. You would throw these recordings away rather than have it saved to your computer for later. This would be a lot less effort than setting up your phone or laptop, pressing “record”, then stopping it, and playing it back. The looper would do it with just foot press on the pedal. If you really liked a performance, you could still play it back and record that with your phone/computer.
Good on you for (at least considering) making a looper your first pedal. You are going to progress quickly with a looper. If you are going to buy one now I would suggest a one button pedal. Keep it simple and useful for now.
Justin’s lessons are song centric. I can’t fault his approach which is wildly successful. I would only add that the building blocks for songs is that they are actually chord progressions. There is great value in using a looper as a scratch pad and learning tool from the outset. It will never lie to you, it will play exactly what you put into it, and can help you to self-assess on playback.
For what it is worth, I am currently in Grade 2, Module 9, and I have not used my Looper. I did purchase one, very early on in my lessons, because I think in one video Justin mentions that a Looper is a good tool to have. So, I purchased one, but have not used it. I am sure I will at some point, so, it is sitting in a box on my shelf. It is my only pedal thus far. Other than it, I have considered a multi-effects unit of some sort, mostly for fun. I do record myself using my computer, though.
I bought an RC1 few months back to have some fun with in between the “hardcore” learning . I love it, it’s been fun learning to use it it (timing etc) and great trying to put something together.
I’m having a ball working on U2 With Or Without You. I saw a guitarist do a looper version on a recent cruise and it’s been fun working on it adding in some bass, percussion and lead.
Andre, I’ve just started grade 3 after two years of playing guitar and this, for me, is the first time I’ve needed to use my looper. There is a lesson in what I’m learning at the moment that you have to play along with a guitar (preferably a jam buddy) and then play along with chords further up the neck with a capo on. Now I have no friends so my looper is my jam buddy.
I use a looper with a built-in drum machine/metronome. Earlier in my journey I really only used the drum machine/metronome, but now I record simple loops to practice improv, triads, playing a second guitar part, etc. My choice was the Boss RC-5 because it has easy bpm control and plenty of different drum sounds to keep me interested.
Same here, no jam buddies where I live so the Looper serves me well. Certainly wish I had picked one with the Metronome function but I can get around it for now.
At the moment I’m working on scales and loving putting some chords into the looper and working my scale over them, its a lot of fun
If you google “Boss RC-1 sounds muddy” you’ll probably see others are have had similar issues. It’s probably a symptom of going into the front of the amp and both the loop and your guitar signal getting combined and similar frequencies competing. It’s not uncommon. Could also just be the sampling rate the pedal uses. There may be others who have the Boss RC-1 here who can advise. There are quite a lot of comments (not just for the RC-1) online about this.