Performing with guitar loops, is that cheating?

15 Nov 2018

Musing performs as an acoustic duo, doing covers of popular songs. Tunes that are generally recorded with a full band. With just a guitar reproducing a song, it can sometimes be a little thin. So we make use of live looping to give us more sounds to play with.

What is live looping?

If you’ve been to see a soloist or duo recently you’ve probably seen it in action, perhaps without knowing it. What we do is use a looper to record a short section of a song. Then play over that loop again.

This is done live right in front of the audience, don’t confuse this with playing along to back track that’s pre-recorded.

In our setup we might use the loop to play one guitar part, then perform another guitar part over the top. Sometimes playing a bass line underneath the loop. You can repeat this process more than once so you can have multiple layers of sound.

The result is that one guitarist can sound like 2 or even 3 or 4 musicians playing together.

How is it done?

Looper Guitar PedalGuitarists love toys, the effect pedal kind of toys. A looper pedal is just another effect. Picture here is the BOSS RC-3. A common example of a looper. The guitar is plugged into it, turning it on records the live guitar that is being played. That loop can then be played back or added to.

Lots of fun and a great solution for small acoustic musicians, who often need to sound bigger than they actually are!