Guitar looper in band context? Any practical advice received with gratitude!

I have no practical experience of using a loop pedal live, so…

Say you’re in a band, and there’s a part that would ideally be handed by a looper (or something that can play a cycled part on repeat).

Say your drummer is excellent, but no way are you using a click to play live.

The looped part is simple/short and there is time for one of the guitar players to reset/replay in the looped part occasionally.

How (in an ideal world) are you going to do this? What is your plan?


I don’t own one but my old guitar player did

I’m pretty sure he started tapping the tempo into it with his foot just before the part…then clicked it once to start sampling him… Then again at end of loop


Yeah I guess it depends on the pedal, but would have thought you could tap it to set the tempo on the fly so it’s in time with the band.

The only issue then would be if the band can’t keep time after you record the loop :upside_down_face:


Replace drummer with drum machine :crazy_face:


Tempo would surely be set by start and end points of loop though, isnt it?

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Yeh I think it can work that way…I think ours used to have some mad delay thing on it too which was beat matched

In hindsight I don’t know much about this :grimacing:

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We tried this a bunch and our drummer kept going well out of time with it, and we all did actually (we are Not Good musicians though), I ended up just playing the looped part manually instead :joy: Quite fun and meditative actually. It can be done though. Most loop pedals even have a little tempo knob for you.

Yeah, drummer caught wind and he says ‘NO!’ so that’s that…



Have seen a setup where the drummer was doing most of the work with pedals that were switching the loop on and off, tap tempo setting it and then wiping/changing the loop between songs

Bagsy not being the drummer

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Just go all Gruff Rhys and sack the whole band to play everything yourself on the pedal.

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Weirdly now a label-mate!

This chap has skills.

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:heart: Betts. Lovely man too.

I cannot wait so see his Squid stuff live; looks incredible!

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I tried this in my old teenage band, we had a song where I did one riff over and over and then when I bought a loop pedal I decided to loop the riff and do other stuff over it. But the loop always ended up going wildly out of time for me and I had to frantically stop and start it repeatedly every couple of bars to get it back in time.

Luckily the singer/main songwriter really liked the effect of that so I kept doing it

Depends on the type of band you are I guess. If you’re scrappy, noisy, punky then it won’t really matter if the loop goes out of sync with the drummer or rest of band, it’ll just be vibes.

Otherwise I reckon you’d need a click track for the drummer. Depends on the length of the loop though. Longer the loop the more of a pain it’s going to be.

If it’s a math rock band or something like that… yeah, just hire another guitarist haha.

This is just good advice in general. One less person to drink the rider.

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I would get a looper that allows you to adjust the tempo whilst you are playing back the loop. So, record your loop, and then tap tempo to keep it in time to the drums. I think EHX Stereo Memory Man with Hazarai and boss rc 202 lets you do this without pitch shifting.
Probably others.

Might not work!


I’ve seen him live in several very different things - Three Trapped Tigers, his solo stuff, Melt Yourself Down, even in a wedding band. He’s ridiculous.

Here’s his own drumcam recording of playing Goldie’s Timeless on stage with Beverley Knight

His Instagram page is just endless reels of mad tekkers


Did not know he was/is in melt yourself down! Didn’t know anything about him until the Squid stuff; absolutely love that.

Interesting, thanks!