Composing with a looper pedal – Improvise for Real

Composing with a looper pedal - Improvise for Real

in this video I'm going to introduce you to looping how to use a looper pedal to compose to improvise to express your creativity with what you already know from practicing improvise for real so basically how the looper pedal works is that you play a musical sentence and the looper repeated for you over and over and on top of this first layer you can add multiple layers that are going to be repeated over and over synchronized with the first layer so this way you have your musical arrangement and you can improvise and create melodies freely on top of it it's like having a musical band inside this little box that's the looper to get started with a looping and to get inspired to create your first layers you can think of these layers as different elements of a music band for example there's a page there's an accompaniment there's a singer there's percussion and all these instruments occupy different registers different frequencies and so they don't overlap they don't step on each other so you can hear them all very clearly they're very separated right like for example the bass is very low pitch the melody is very high pitch and the accompany me instruments are more like in the middle right so we are going to try to create these layers that are very differentiated trying to emulate the different instruments of a band in the next example I'm going to use my electric violin but actually you can use any instrument you play you can input your electric instruments directly to the looper but also if you play an acoustic instrument you can capture the sound through microphone and you put it also directly to the looper even your voice hand percussion sound effects there's endless possibilities even you can make one layer with a keyboard another layer with a base another layer with your voice so if you play multiple instruments you can use a looper pedal with your multiple instruments as well so the thing that this is limited just for Strings this is for everyone now you can see my palette on the screen and you see that I have a very basic looper pedal but it's all I need actually I'm very happy with it I don't need much more than this and then I have an octave panel and this is actually a pedal that's made for guitars but it works with a violin and what it allows me to do is to make my violin sound like a face it lowers the octaves the pitch of my violin to be more like a bass so here's how it sounds now I'm going to create a loop with different layers and I'm going to use a single chord no chord progression it's going to be called five which is a dominant chord and the first layer is going to be the base for this I need the octave below and the base is also going to be very simple very basic just the root and the fifth of the chord and the root is not 5 and the fifth is not now I'm going to add a second layer with an accompaniment that's going to add more definition to this chord because I'm going to use the rest of the core notes of the 5 chord which are going to be more 7 and I'm not going to play the root again because I already have it in the base and I'm going to strum it very simply now I want to add the percussion layer and for this I'm going to use my bow and I'm going to use chopping techniques but you could use shakers or whatever hand percussion you want or tapping your instrument if the instrument allows it or ham body hand percussion wherever you feel fits your composition now I'm going to let the do parade is accompaniment and I'm going to improvise over [Applause] [Applause] [Applause] I want to build another look for you now using it to quartz instead of just one the first measure is going to be a two chord which is a minor chord and the second measure is going to be the five chord which is dominant and I'm going to record first the accompaniment this time instead of starting with a bass because in this case my accompaniment it's more full and there's more rhythm there's more notes to it and it's going to serve me as a metronome to create the other layers because you'll see how my ways in this case is more spacious it doesn't have so many nodes it's not so rhythmic and and then if I started with down it would be harder for me to add the accompaniment and be accurate with my rhythm now I have a look that's working very well already has the base he has an accompaniment and some percussion because actually with his trombone technique that I use in the accompaniment and mix some core notes with chops so I don't need any more of that how many these are ready works one thing that I want to add in this case that is a very nice resource also it's a with a melodic riff I'm going to use note melodic notes from the major scale but they are not necessarily core notes that belong to this course because the quarter very well defined with your layers so now I'm going to add a little melody that's consonant to the environment that I'm playing now my loop is ready and I can start improvising [Applause] [Applause] I just show you how to be loops using this metaphor thinking of the layers like the different worlds that the members of Baron have and we use just one cord and two cords we could have used even longer chord progressions but I just show you this because it's a nice way to get started but this is not the only way there's so many ways we can add creativity to this looping and I want to show you another approach a different one it's not better or worse it's just a different way to start creating a loop so in this case I'm not going to think of a chord or a melody or a riff or a bass line or anything or a corporation I'm just going to start with an ostinato and I'm going to play this ostinato and record it and this is going to be my first layer and then the second layer before I record anything I'm going to improvise a little bit until I find something that I think it's going to be a nice addition to that first layer so I'm a record that little sentence that I just found and loop it over and over so now I have two layers and the third layer I'm going to do the same improvise for a bit until I find something and then I'm recorded and this is the third layer and so on until I'm satisfied with what I have what I do that sometimes there's not much room for a melody for improvising melodies on top of all this because it's already very full but if I play this kind of song in a performance it's a different kind of song it's something that it's built in a long time and the improvisation happens in between not too much at the end of building the loop so I like I like both approaches like there's so many things that you can do so not don't get limited by one or the other use all your creativity and explore as much as you can [Applause] the looper is a great tool to compose and create your own music but also it's a great tool to learn because for example when you play over time tracks it's like when you were a kid and you were coloring inside the drawing that was already made now with the looper you are actually making the drawing and coloring it you have all components you know you're making the accompaniment and you are playing over it and through this process you learn so much because you're creating a baseline or like a riff for the bass and you're creating an accompaniment choosing which nodes are going to be part of it you're creating a rhythm that works and you're choosing chords you're trying different chord progressions I encourage you to investigate it maybe borrow and perform a friend and try it for a week and see what you can do is it because it's so much fun and you learn so much from it I hope you like this video and thank you for watching


  • Steven Vannoy says:

    I just got a looper and have been a little shy to really get it going, so thank you so much for the demonstration and inspiration!

  • David Ramirez says:

    Love looping! Such a great practice tool. That particular looper has mic inputs and two tracks. It is on my wish list. Right now I have the simple one track ditto looper.

  • Mike Leffler says:

    Love this! I like my looper pedal already, but all I’ve used it for is rhythm guitar tracks and the programmed drum beats. This gives me a lot of new possibilities. Doing bass lines with the octave pedal looks really fun and practical.

  • Martinez Kelvin says:

    Awesome 👏!!!

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