5 Tricks That'll Set Your Next Looping Performance Ablaze!
Throughout history guitarists have sought to make themselves sound like more! Why sound like one guitar, when you can sound like two, three or flippin' four guitars at once, right!? Right!
Les Paul already brought the idea of live multi-track guitar playing in to people's living rooms back in 1966 with his innovative little black box, which was used to trigger pre-recorded tape loops. Brian Eno and Robert Fripp took it a step further in the 70s with their innovative Reel-to-Reel Tape Machine called the "Frippertronics", which allowed for actual on-stage live looping. Robert Fripp later moved on to modern digital delays in the 80s for creating his soundscapes, and became an avid user of our 2290 Dynamic Delay due to its extensive delay time, which could be expanded up to a whopping 64sec.
Luckily, due to modern day technology, the inspirational power of live looping has been distilled to pedals as small as our Ditto Looper. So it's never been easier to get into looping than it is now! Here's 5 cool tricks that'll help take your next looping performance to the next level!
1. Drop the Beat!
One very simple but ultra cool trick is to create a beat with your guitar. This can be done in multiple ways, like beating the strings with the palm of your hand or as in this video, where Russel Grey creates the iconic beat from Queen's monster-hit "We Will Rock You", simply by scratching the strings with his pick.
Extra tip: Adding different kinds of reverbs to your guitar can help shape the sound of the beat. From compact to huge!
2. Harmony Leads
Admit it! There's nothing cooler than when two perfectly timed lead lines interact, creating a heavenly harmonious melody. A looper is great for creating twin-guitar lines ala Thin Lizzy, Boston or the Allman Brothers. Let Mika Vandborg show you how it's done in this breathtaking video.
3. Inspiration in Reverse
If your looper has a reverse function, like our Ditto X2 Looper, then try recording a phrase, hit that reverse button and look out at the crowd as their jaws instantly drop to the floor! Sounds in reverse have and always will be crazy cool and highly inspirational.
Here's a video of Andreas Lund creating the reverse melody part from Owl City's smash-hit "Fireflies" with help from Ditto X2 Looper.
4. Ambient Soundscapes
A looper is usually thought of as a tool for creating rhythm or lead parts, but it's actually perfect for creating beautiful cascading ambient soundscapes as well a la Robert Fripp, Brian Eno or more modern ambient/post-rock outfits like Hammock, Explosions In The Sky and This Will Destroy You. So let... well, ME show you how to create seamless repeating ambient loops with this easy little trick.
5. It's All About Dat Bass!
Another cool trick is to loop a bass part, giving you a solid foundation for the further development of your epic loop! This effect can be achieved either via having an octaver effect on your guitar or via the half-speed effect found in some modern loopers like our Ditto X2 Looper. Let Paul Gilbert show you how it's done in this cool take on the bass-line from Black Sabbath's legendary track "Paranoid".
Paul brings the bass around the 4:10 mark. But watch the whole thing, it's filled with inspiring ways to use your looper.
A Looping Bonus!
Here's a bonus video for all of you loop-thirsty people out there. It's Kasper Falkenberg's amazing impro-jam that shows how a looper can turn a simple riff into a magical moment in time!