Video Guitar Lesson 17, part 2: ‘solo acoustic ideas’ – Using a looper pedal

Video Guitar Lesson 1, part 2: ‘solo acoustic ideas’ – Using a looper pedal

  1. What can help you to sound big when playing on your own acoustically?
  2. What should be kept in mind when planning an acoustic performance?
  3. How can you make up for the lack of a singer in this kind of scenario?
  4. What are some good ways to use a looper pedal?

If these questions interest you then keep reading and be sure to check our video and audio out for this lesson.

Our video on our YouTube channel (my lesson with Dan):

(see below for timings)

In this lesson, Dan helps me out with my acoustic sound for a performance I have been asked to do for my sister-in-law’s wedding.  I am performing several songs at the front of their service some of which they have chosen and some of which they have asked me to come up with.  As there is a delay on publishing our episodes, this comes after I have actually done the performance and it went very well, particularly because of Dan’s excellent advice and suggestion to use a looper pedal which I followed.

In the second part of this lesson, we take a look at how to arrange multiple parts for the looper pedal performance, particularly covering “Something” by the Beatles.

In the end, the performance was of the following songs:

  • ‘Something’ by the Beatles: Played while the wedding party awaited the arrival of the bride
  • ‘Textbook’ by We Are Scientists: Played as my sister-in-law walked up the aisle
  • ‘Pretty Ugly Before’ by Elliott Smith: Played while the register was being signed
  • ‘I Don’t Want to Know’ by Fleetwood Mac: Played as everyone left

Most songs were played using my Boss RC30 to create a long loop, then some layers added to this on the fly along with some melodic playing and improvisation.  On ‘Textbook’ the Looper was not utilised but I used reverb, chorus and a bit of delay to build the atmosphere.  The acoustic amp I use is the Marshall AS100D which is great and has an effects loop with the downside of being very heavy.

Our audio podcast on SoundCloud (my lesson with Dan)

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Some things which I am really going to take away from this lesson are that:

  1. I planned the performance and practised using a looper pedal
  2. I tried to include melodies from the song in my rehearsal

All the best, Gary and Dan

Timings for Video Guitar Lesson 17 – on looping:

00:01:05 Equipment which I have bought to the lesson: Gibson J45, Looper RC30, Marshall AS100D
00:01:51 Outlining the four songs I’m doing as part of this performance
00:03:11 Advantages and disadvantages to playing acoustic rather than electric
00:05:55 An experiment to discover what will happen when I push the AS100D a little harder
00:06:41 The low “A” note bass response feedback and how to solve using a soundhole cover
00:11:42 Alternative idea – you could use a volume pedal
00:12:47 Experimenting with the controls on the AS100D
00:17:49 Dan demonstrating ‘digging in’ on an acoustic
00:19:30 Another thing about the settings on your amp: you want the amp set so you can use “touch” to control the volume and response
00:21:11 Getting onto the songs with the looper
00:24:31 Dan’s first go with the looper playing “Something” by the Beatles
00:25:56 Dan’s second loop with correct start and end
00:29:23 Identifying the double stops which Dan was using
00:32:09 Dan’s suggestion to layer the Am section
00:33:39 Overdubbing the Am section
00:37:47 Dan harmonising the melody of the singer using guitar loops overdubbed
00:44:02 Breakdown of the Am part
00:46:16 Quick discussion about the key change and whether to include it
00:48:04 Considering other equipment like amps, pedals and different types of guitar instruments to get used to in their own right
00:51:27 “Textbook” by We are Scientists
00:52:06 “Pretty Ugly Before” by  Elliott Smith
00:56:11 Dan recording a generic chord progression and the value of double stops on acoustic
00:56:27 a) using single notes
00:56:52 b) up an octave
00:57:33 c) using sixths (interval)
00:58:00 d) using arpeggios
00:58:29 e) some more double stops
00:58:57 f) using arpeggiated triads
00:59:11 g) playing quicker – e.g. sweep picking
01:00:01 h) superimposing different chords
01:00:21 i) octaves played concurrently
01:05:51 I Don’t Wanna Know Fleetwood Mac

Last eight lessons for new arrivals or those who want to brush up on this contentCurt Mangan Strings Website:

Keep watching listening and getting in touch.  We really want to hear from you!  Keep an eye out for some improvements to our video setup coming shortly which we’re really excited about.

You may want to check Dan Davies out in action.  You can find a video I made of Dan and his band Full House on this YouTube channel: Full House Brighton Band (more to come with improved video and some different approaches to the audio).

Enjoy your musical journey 🙂

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