Tag Archives: Loop

Loopers and Looping: An Article That Ends Where It Began

Recently, I sold my former loop pedal, a single-button Mooer Micro Looper, and bought a larger Zoom G1Xon. The G1Xon is a multi-effects unit which has a hundred different preset sounds, all of which can be edited. It can also function as a looper, with thirty seconds of recording time (which is plenty for regular use). The on-board sounds can be used simultaneously with the looping function of the unit.

While the Micro Looper required two quick taps to stop the looped phrase, the G1Xon has a dedicated Stop switch. There’s no longer any need to worry that I have spaced my stomps too far apart, initiating the pedal’s Overdub mode. Having two switches makes my looping a whole lot clearer and easier.

The G1Xon, while a lot better in this regard, unfortunately does not have an Undo feature. I enjoyed being able to record rhythm parts, take them out temporarily using the Undo feature for verses, and bring them back during the chorus. The Undo feature also came in handy whenever I’d mess up a note or fail to play in time. Having no Undo feature in my  new pedal meant I had to play everything perfectly. Any mistake would mean having to start over.

It’s not all so bad, however.

One of the G1Xon’s advantages over the Micro Looper is its many rhythm tracks, covering different styles and genres. The tempo could be set by adjusting the BPM value of the track through the display (Tip: It is possible to find out a song’s BPM through Google. Input whatever value is shown into the G1Xon, and play along to the song’s original tempo.). It is possible to include these in my loops by starting the loop while a rhythm track is playing. This initiates a one-bar countdown, after which the pedal begins recording. Having a drum track to play along with makes it much easier and fun to practice playing in time.

The loop could be stopped independently of the rhythm track. This means that I’m no longer stuck to looping songs that have only one chord progression.  I can now loop a certain progression, solo over it, and stop it to play a different progression. Personally, I think that Sheeran’s “How Would You Feel (Paean)” is a good song to practice on this looper, but whatever works for you. It just requires a bit of anticipation to be able to start and stop the loops at the right moment.

Looping has been really great for my playing. Gone are the days when I’d have to heavily rely on online backing tracks – looping has allowed me to string together my own chord progressions. I’ve been able to practice licks and experiment with different effects and techniques over these chords. Loop pedals also heavily penalize you for bad rhythm, and eventually necessity has forced me to improve my internal metronome. Other inconsistencies and errors are also repeated ad nauseam, and eventually you feel compelled to learn how to fix these errors. Otherwise, you condemn yourself to hearing the same mistakes, over,

and over,

and over.

I guess I’ll have to stop here before it becomes the bad kind of repetitive. I also need to catch up on some sleep; I’ve been staying up a lot recently.