Will using a looper help me learn to jam with others better?

Will it be a fun toy?

Do you have or want one?

I don't like delays in getting the music going.  Some, (bemuzic) can do a quick, smooth and entertaining transition from starting the looper to really having the song going.   Some folks... well, not so quick or smooth. 

Are they cheating?   I think music snobs would say so.  I don't want to be a music snob, but I do like my music honest and straight forward.

Can you correct and enlighten me? 

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I have a Boss RC3, it is really cool... I don't have the time to learn to use it properly... but it is only as good as your timing to hit the switch.

One cool part is you can take backing tracks in .WAV format and upload them to the pedal.

Personally, I plug my smart phone into my practice amp and push play on a backing track... It is more convenient....

Loopers can be really useful to practice with and for developing ideas, but as a help to learning to play with other people it's a non-starter. Playing together with other people is a matter of listening and responding...it should be an interactive process and the looper doesn't respond in the same way as when you are sitting in with other players.

Thanks, John, CB John and Erasmo.   I think I get what you are saying.  

CBJ, I have some good friends and good musicians I play with.   It humbles me and I am not good at playing along unless I really know the song.   I'd like to do better, but without false modesty, I lack the talent, timing and good hearing.  

Playing alone is my main and fave thing.   I play tomorrow at a nursing home.   My kind of audience!   Keeping it simple is also my thing - or the thing I do best.   So, no looper for me.....    But it might benice to borrow one for a day or two! 

I do what John does, plug a phone into an amp, and find a good jam track on youtube. Some of the best, most fun tracks I've found recently were created by turtlehead.

I have a looper on a effects unit I got recently, but have yet to try it. I guess part of me knows that it will end in frustration. 

I went to see a guy named Nels Cline a few years back with a friend of mine and his brother in a place called the Largo Theatre in Los Angeles. My friends brother  really loves this guy and has seen him many times. The guy uses what looked like multiple loopers and delay effects. He would scratch on the strings or play 3 notes, then start turning knobs and whatnot and turn it into a rhythmic, repeating type of thing. Not my thing really, but what he was doing was impressive and showed a great deal of skill. Danny De Vito was there, that was the coolest part.

UJ,I bought one a couple of years back , and it generally just sits in a drawer, if i was a better player, i'd most likely find it more useful, as it is i find it more of a distraction, and i play to serve the looper more than the other way around, one thing it is good for though is just to re play lines you've played/made up, and hearing them back, but you can do that many other ways as well.

Yes Unc, I can correct and enlighten you! I am a musician who pretty much hates tech stuff and mostly play pretty straight forward. I've got two Ditto loopers that I mostly use as practice tools. I loop the chords and then play a melody along with my loop. Or I'll loop a melody and use it to figure out a harmony part for it.This is pretty much what I did with tape players for years but the looper is easier for me to do it with. Getting the timing of stepping on the pedal to start and stop was the hardest thing for me to get used to. I agree with CB John about jamming with live people but they usually don't want go over and over a part so you can get your part right. The looper doesn't mind this one bit. I've used one for live performances occasionally but one poorly timed button push can lead to a less than wonderful stage performance. This clip is one of the few times I timed it right on stage!


I finally broke down and got a Jam Man looper. It's better than playing by yourself or with a metronome, but not as good as playing with other people. I use it to help keep my chops up because I'm unable to get out to jams like I used to. That way when I do go out, I'm not so rusty. 

I don't use the built in drum machine because it's annoying. I just record a rhythm track to a metronome, then solo over it. The Jam Man is nice because it stores your songs. 

Here is a video tutorial for loopers that helps with how to time your track and some other good tips - 


I thought this one was good too:


A looper is a great tool to use to find layering parts for your music. Say you come up with a cord progression. You have lyrics but not a real melody. Just an idea. You can use the looper to play your melody ideas over your chord progression and hear them 'live'. This is great if you don't have or don't want to learn a recording program. The second thing a looper can help you with is learning to solo. Loop your chord progression and then solo over the top of it. 

A toy or tool depends on how and how often you use it.

Yes I have one. I plan on learning how to use it live. I can play chord progressions and sing over them. Then sing and solo over the looped progression.

the good. I've seen some really good performances. People using loopers to enhance their live shows. When used right they can give a single performer more creative options. A fuller sound. And even help lift up an otherwise boring song.

The BAD. The REALLY REALLY BAD.....the horror of looping. When someone starts to play a song. Then loops that part and adds another... and another.......and another. So you sit there. Listening to the same song. Over and over and over. Till the final loop is added. But wait! There's more!!!! Now you sit through the entire completed three minute song. The one you just spend five minutes listening to. Over and over.... the horror.....

will it improve your chops? Yes. Improve your ability to solo with other people? Yes. Help you work out singing originals? Yes. But if you have a DAW ( digital audio workstation or some way to record and playback your music ) it's not really needed. Better for a live performance. You can play and sing wile looping your guitar. Then sing and solo wile your original guitar part is playing back as a loop. Or sing and wail on a harmonica with both hands. It's all in how you want to use it. 

Here's THE object lesson on how to add layers to create a song in live performance - KT Tunstall

Even though the message says the video is unavailable I've watched it before and totally agree with CB John.

We can't view this video in the USA. It is blocked.


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