8 Ways to Unleash Your Creativity with a Guitar LOOP Pedal

7 minutes read

*Originally posted on January ’15, updated September ’18.

Guitar effects were never something I was very fond of, until a few months ago. While I was on my travels I went inside a bar with live music in Wanaka, New Zealand. Already when I walked outside the bar I heard a very full sound, like there were at least a few people rockin’ in there.

I went in and I was surprised to see only one dude sitting there with a really beautiful Fender-style electric guitar. It took me a minute to understand that all those sounds, including the percussion sounds, were coming from his ONE guitar through his guitar loop pedal.

This dude was truly a one man band with his single electric guitar.

guitar loop pedal

Frankly, I was hooked since the first moment. He was playing classic rock songs (that I am a big fan of) and layering crazy fast and accurate solos on top of them, some of them with percussion as well, all from his one guitar. I decided that I want to get one myself and indeed got a loop pedal from Boss on my next music store visit.

There are many different ways in which you can use the loop pedal and many kinds of different stuff you can do with it that we will get to in a minute.

8 Different Ways in Which You Can Unleash Your Creativity with a Guitar LOOP Pedal:
1 – You Can Add A Guitar Solo to Any Song You Play

No more plain rhythm songs, now you can add a solo or two and spice up any song you choose to play when you are on your own. All you need is one press on the pedal to start recording a rhythm section, another one at the end of the recorded section, and then you’re good to go, improvise and work on your solos to your heart’s content.

2 – A Loop Pedal Dramatically Improves Your Playing Accuracy, Time Keeping, and Your Strive For a Perfect Technique

Nobody wants to jam to some awkward sounding loop tracks. Well, NOTHING helps you improve and see where you really are musically like an honest self-assessment through recording yourself. Suddenly all the minor fuck ups and out-of-time strums are blasting in your face through the amp.

This one has been probably the biggest benefit for me and it really did took my guitar skills up a notch just thanks to the pedal.

guitar loop pedal
Most electric pianos and keyboards also have looping and recording abilities that you can play with!
3 – Practicing Has Never Been This Fun

With all these new options, every practice sesh becomes much more interesting and you feel like there’s an extra guitarist with you who’s just waiting for your orders on what to do and how he can help you.

4 – You Will Have Your Own Custom Jam Tracks

No more need for iPhone apps or anything like this, record whatever style you want to jam to in seconds and start going at it, whether it’s reggae, rock, blues, or a classical piece that you want to go crazy with. Press the pedal, play a couple of bars, and boom, you have an instant jam track!

5 – If You Play Multiple Instruments

Then a loop pedal will be your new best friend. Record a song and decorate it with a trumpet solo, a flute solo, some jazzy piano touches… All played by you! Your options are unbelievably wide and you become a full-time song producer in a minute, conducting unique song structures and instrumental choices all by yourself.

Got two guitars? How about creating a loop on the acoustic and then improvising on the electric? That's possible too because the loop stays recorded in the effect, and then you unplug the acoustic and switch to the real improvising machine...
Got two guitars? How about creating a loop on the acoustic and then improvising on the electric? That’s possible too because the loop stays recorded in the effect, and then you unplug the acoustic and switch to the real improvising machine…
6 – You Can Be Your Own Drummer

Yes! That’s not a typo…. See this video for a perfect example of what I am talking about. Every loop pedal lets you record multiple tracks on top of each other, so once you recorded 4 bars, also record a percussion track for it. How? Drum on the guitar or blow a beat box rhythm! It sounds awesome, gives you a rhythm to follow and even help you work on your time keeping skills.

7 – A Guitar Loop Pedal Helps Ease Your Songwriting Flow

Struggling to spill some words out? Just record a 4 chord or a blues track, sit back, relax, and let the words come out while you are focused 100% on the words and not on the actual playing. It is way easier.

Practicing at your room by yourself becomes much more fun and diverse with the loop pedal
Practicing in your room by yourself becomes much more fun and diverse with the loop pedal
8 – If You Are a Performing / Gigging Musician, You Can Now Be Three Times More Interesting to your Listeners

You intrigue even the most uninterested person in the bar. You now have The Musical Edge™.

Examples Of Different Things You Can Do With A Guitar Loop Pedal:

A – Add Solos To A Song You’re Playing By Yourself / Create A Jam Track To Improvise On.

B – Create Second And Third Layers of Riffs on Your Track.

C – Create Vocal Riffs, Beat Box, And Effects.

* In case your mic is connected to the same amp and you set this up correctly through the amp and the pedal. See this video of Ed Sheeran for a great example.

D – Add Percussion To Your Music.

E – Play Multiple Instruments At once.

And probably more that do not cross my mind. People are getting really creative with these loopers.

Now I will shut it and just let Ed Sheeran blow you away:

Alright, I Want One! What’s the “Monetary Damage”?

Here you can see the variety of loopers available, but first of all, I highly recommend to keep your money in your pocket and DO NOT buy one of the more expensive loop pedals.

Usually, they just charge more than 200-300$ for a shit load of fancy features that you are never going to use. Never. Like recording 5 hours tracks. Who the hell records 5 hours tracks?! 10 minutes are way too much for just about everyone including loop masters like Ed Sheeran himself.

Anyway, there are some great 100-130$ level pedals that are of a very high quality such as the Boss RC-1 and the Ditto TC. You can get them for 130$ which is on the cheap side of any guitar pedal out there, and they will give you exactly what you need.

I personally went for the Boss RC-1 and I am very happy with it, it has everything that I can ask for and it’s done in the best quality as expected from Boss which is probably the most reputable guitar pedals company.

which second instrument
Combining a loop pedal with other instruments multiplies your creative options.

Inspiring videos And Related Articles From Around The Web:

Video – A street musician that does some amazing shit with a violin and a loop pedal. Recommended.

Video – Ed Sheeran blows you out of the water. He has definitely mastered the loop pedal and all of it’s potential uses.

Video – Layering of a rhythm track, riff track, and jamming on top of it. Beautifully done.

Video – Singing, improvising and soloing. One Guitar. This is the Boss RC-1 in action.

Video – A girl using a keyboard, a loop pedal, and a great voice to make a great track.

Article – Looping tips and techniques.

Article – A great explanation and video demonstration of using a loop pedal with a couple of different techniques.

Article – More useful tips on looping.

That’s it. A loop pedal will massively increase your joy and creativity around the guitar. Go out there, make the purchase, and continue on your merry musical way to improvement.

By the way – when you get a pedal you will also need another cable since you are “splitting” the cable between the guitar and the amp into two. If you are tired of troublesome cables that are randomly losing sound, causing hiss and other crap that most average cables do, just go for a nicer cable this time.

I’ve been using Planet Waves cables for 3 years now and never had a tad bit of a problem – only high-quality sound. They also cost less than 25$. It just makes no sense to invest in a nice guitar and nice amp and than getting a 4$ cable to connect them together…

What’s your favorite loop pedal shtick? Please do tell in the comments. If you got a video example that would be great too!


guitar loop pedal boss rc1
That’s my leg here, jamming in my music room with the Boss RC-1.
Alon Cooper

Alon Cooper

Hey! I'm Cooper, and I hope I can be a helpful friend on your musical journeys. I'm a music artist based in Austin & Amsterdam, playing venues with a band / solo, and trying to learn with the most inspiring musicians wherever I go. In the last 8 years I've lived in Australia, northern Europe, the US and more.

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The Guitar Campfire Songbook

I hope this list has given you some great ideas, and if you want to have another bunch of song ideas in a fancy PDF songbook form, then feel free to download the songbook in this link.

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