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 Looper Trooper (hardware) 
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Post Looper Trooper (hardware)
Here at day 258 at the Sticking, and I've reached a point where I can do complicated 2-handed basslines, and also some complicated 2-handed arpeggios on the melody side. My minimal or first goal on Stick has been merely to integrate my Sticking into my rocking out; mission tentatively f'ing accomplished! I can now record what I feel to be "professional-level" tracks (as defined by me of course) using the Stick(s) as a bass or as rhythm and lead guitars.

But the Stick (as you may have noticed) is not (merely) either a bass or lead guitar. What I can't do is play the bass and melody sides together at the same time. Principally, because I'm playing both sides with two hands, and don't have four hands. So I spent the last couple of months working on both making better (mainly bass) lines, and also on playing them one handed.

In the last week, I realized that I can now do 90% of these 2-handed basslines one-handed (which was a very big deal for me! :geek: ). HOWEVER, I'm shocked to discover that I can't get my right hand to do much while I'm doing these complicated basslines with my left. I'm a frickin' piano player and I thought that I had this two-hand interdependence thing down. (I don't!)

Steve's Oversimplification of 2-handed Independence states that it's really simple (not easy): the two hands are always either playing a note or notes at the exact same time (on the same beat) or right after one another (on consecutive beats). If you chunk each measure by measure, there really is no such things as two lines going on at the same time--it's just a succession of two-handed chords!

But that aside, I just can't give the melody side the souful, melodic noodling that it needs--and the 2-hands I need because I still kinda suck performance-wise. It occurred to me that I've been recording say 4 measures of the Railboard as bass, using my DAW (Pro Tools). Then I'll "loop" those measures and then noodle over those repeating 4 measures on the melody side. And voila! Songs are born that way.

That's a long intro to say I'd like to have a hardware looper, that I can play four measures of rocking 2-handed complicated bass, then loop that and play over it on the melody-side. I've really enjoyed watching Stickists like Rob Martino, Glenn Poorman and many others then build up layers upon layering of the looping for live performances (and even studio compositions).

I'll keep working on marrying the two sides together :ugeek: but I'd really like to explore a hardware looper as well.

Too long; didn't read (TL; DR): I wanna be a Looper Trooper! What's a good hardware looper for Stick? Thanks in advance!

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Last edited by paigan0 on Thu May 12, 2016 3:45 am, edited 1 time in total.

Wed May 11, 2016 8:47 am
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Post Re: Looper Trooper
i'm using the Boss RC-300 loop station which is GREAT !

also you may consider the small version (mobile friendly) Boss RC-3

and the Boomerang® III Phrase Sampler

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Wed May 11, 2016 9:02 am
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Post Re: Looper Trooper
Cool thread. Looping, is kind of like instantaneous, improvised recording... While everyone is listening.

I like Loopers, and dislike them for a variety of reasons. lol A lot of self contradiction! If you're anything like me, you want to play some ridiculous shredding stuff on both hands, simultaneously. The Stick is the PERFECT self accompanying instrument for this, but you're gonna have to practice. A lot. There is this independence thing that is going to have to be attacked on a few different fronts... This, I know. Silly things like "how to practice" and even "how to learn" have a pretty big effect on this. Playing bass and melody "typewriter" style is an easy way to interlock, and have some immediate fun. But true independence, that is a tricky one and a lifetime pursuit. I'd suspect that even guys who seem to have independence are probably killing themselves trying to work on their independence... In short, maybe they are just a bit further down the path..

BUT a hardware looper can be handy for this. And really fun! I have a looper equipped on each of my Boss GT-100's that I use. I will sometimes practice "creativity", "improv" and "fretboard knowledge" by creating a loop on one side, and then soloing over it. It let's me know what's "possible" and kind of gets me in a recording/composing mindset. I have a Roland RC300, but there's a lot going on with that - The GT100's loopers are VERY simple, and there's no other pedals I need to take with me. Two pedals, two amps (Sometimes only my small PA) and a microphone and stand. That's a contradiction, I suppose. I like loopers, and I practice with them to see what's possible, but really I prefer to provide my own backing, as best I can at whatever level I can execute it.

I guess it depends what "role" you're thinking of the Stick in terms of; Arguably there is an entire universe waiting to be explored on just one side of the instrument. Then there is another on the other side. That makes for a pretty big universe...

One other observation, I mentioned to you once not too long ago that when I record guitar, I go nuts with layering. Yet, on Stick it becomes really minimalist. Like, 10-20 tracks of guitar plus drums, 2-3 tracks of bass, keys and other instruments in there make for an arrangement-fest. My Stick recordings are, like a track of drums, a bass side stick track, and a melody side stick track. Maybe a keyboard type track. Anything else seems to "clutter" it... Maybe that observation only applies to me but I thought I'd mention it. I guess that's another contradiction, the same musician with pretty much the same style of playing ends up approaching documenting his music quite differently depending on the instrument played...

Here, watch this to see how it's done...


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Wed May 11, 2016 9:43 am
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Post Looper Trooper
PaiganO, your post contains 3 times the word "complicated". Replace it with "simple" and you'll have much less problems playing with one hand on each side of the Stick. Steve is right. You can break down ANY 2 hands arrangement in a serie of simple patterns, as you can break down any problem in a serie of simple problems. You may also consider learning so called "motor patterns" for each hand, which will allow the other to improvise while the pattern "runs" automatically in the background. My 2 cents. May the force and simplicity be with you. ;)


Wed May 11, 2016 9:48 am
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Post Re: Looper Trooper
Olivier wrote:
PaiganO, your post contains 3 times the word "complicated". Replace it with "simple" and you'll have much less problems playing with one hand on each side of the Stick. Steve is right. You can break down ANY 2 hands arrangement in a serie of simple patterns, as you can break down any problem in a serie of simple problems. You may also consider learning so called "motor patterns" for each hand, which will allow the other to improvise while the pattern "runs" automatically in the background. My 2 cents. May the force and simplicity be with you. ;)



Olivier, you know what I like the most about your playing? You have the LH and the RH doing a JOB. They outline the chord progression perfectly, so you can sing a song. You seem to not give a crap about solos, or anything ridiculously fancy, it's all about serving the song. And at the end of the day, that's what it's all about, right? Each new song learned is able to leverage learning and technique from previous ones... Maybe it's more about relationships.

As far as LH "Motors" go, I have practiced many of them until I was blue in the face. Sometimes, I think it's okay to simplify so that you can get some "music" happening.

Can't co-ordinate a full maj7add9#11 chord in the LH as a full sequenced arpeggio? Well You suck, then! lol Distill it down to a maj7add9, then. Okay, still giving you grief? Just a maj7th then. Still too tough? Ditch the'7th' and just play a triad. STILL too tough? Well get rid of the 3rd and play root 5th. It's what bass players usually do anyways... OK, still too tough? Maybe just play the root, and ditch the sequenced arpeggio aspect. Guitar players EVERYWHERE can build an entire songwriting career off of just power-chords and root notes. It's a great starting point...

OK, so now you have the root mastered? Add an octave and go have some fun. Maybe add a 3rd once you're ready... etc etc.

Some people don't like simple music, but sometimes simplicity is the key to getting a big repertoire. And then it can evolve from there, simple, comfortable things will evolve. And in the meantime, you'll have a heap of tunes to play. And it'll be a lot of fun!

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Wed May 11, 2016 10:05 am
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Post Re: Looper Trooper
Olivier wrote:
PaiganO, your post contains 3 times the word "complicated". Replace it with "simple" and you'll have much less problems playing with one hand on each side of the Stick. Steve is right. You can break down ANY 2 hands arrangement in a serie of simple patterns, as you can break down any problem in a serie of simple problems. You may also consider learning so called "motor patterns" for each hand, which will allow the other to improvise while the pattern "runs" automatically in the background. My 2 cents. May the force and simplicity be with you. ;)
I always forget not to refer to myself in the third person as "Steve," because I am Stickist Steve #6 (or higher). That rule of 2-handed independence is actually my B.S., not one of the Cooler And Wiser Steves, but I'm glad that you liked that! Also, your motor patterns tip is right on--that's exactly what I do for piano. But it took me YEARS to get to the point where I can right-hand noodle and not have to think about the left hand.

And I hear you on "Can't do complicated? Make it simple!" which I've done, and I'll post a video soon showing you that, but I want to do more complicated things than I can do simultaneously on both sides. :geek: This thread is related to 2-handed independence certainly, but I'd also like to also do layering (1 or 2 handed) beyond just playing two complicated parts at the same time.
Olivier wrote:
Steve is right. You can break down ANY 2 hands arrangement in a series of simple patterns, as you can break down any problem in a series of simple problems.
Also, this relates to my grander theory of "Steve (Sink)'s Theory of Life, the Universe, and Everything as a Fractal," or "All is Fractal; Fractal is All," for short. Anything complicated and difficult can be broken down into bite-sized chunks.

Jayesskerr wrote:
Olivier, you know what I like the most about your playing? You have the LH and the RH doing a JOB. They outline the chord progression perfectly, so you can sing a song. You seem to not give a crap about solos, or anything ridiculously fancy, it's all about serving the song. And at the end of the day, that's what it's all about, right? Each new song learned is able to leverage learning and technique from previous ones... Maybe it's more about relationships.
Me, too! Olivier rocks at both awesome bass lines, tasty melodies, and then singing over the top of it all. And you seem to learn songs pretty quickly! When it comes to a Stick arrangement of almost any tune, give me Olivier's first!

Also, I'm watching that looping video, Scott. THAT! Exactly that. That's exactly what I want to do with my instruments in a "live" performance context: lay down little parts layer by layer building to an orgasmic (for me anyway) finish of wonderful multi-tracking blended cacophony (or harmony--whatever).

Excellent comments so far, guys! I know this topic is near and dear to many Stickists, and totally new to me, so I welcome your thoughts, philosophies, recommendations, and experiences with looping!

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Rosewood 10-string, #5989, M4s
Sapphire Railboard, #6763, MR
Wenge-on-Wenge NS/Stick, #170130, Bass 4ths
http://soundcloud.com/stephen-sink-1
https://www.youtube.com/user/paigan0


Wed May 11, 2016 10:43 am
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Post Re: Looper Trooper
By the way, I am a HUGE, HUGE, HUGE Walk Off the Earth fan, and Gio (Gianni Luminati) of Walk off the Earth...does the shit outta looping and being a multi-instrumentalist Prince of Awesomeness. I couldn't decide which of 2 looping videos I liked best, so my apologies (no, I'm not sorry--you should be saying "thank you, Steve for the awesomeness!")

Here's him doing Bruno Mars' hit song "Grenade" using his loop pedals, a 5 gallon water jug, drums, a guitar, toy piano, and a gun.


Here's my all-time favorite WoTE looping song: Marshall and Gianni Luminati of Walk off the Earth perform their version of B.o.B.'s Magic! Gianni uses only his mouth and a loop pedal for the drums and bass.

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Rosewood 10-string, #5989, M4s
Sapphire Railboard, #6763, MR
Wenge-on-Wenge NS/Stick, #170130, Bass 4ths
http://soundcloud.com/stephen-sink-1
https://www.youtube.com/user/paigan0


Last edited by paigan0 on Wed May 11, 2016 11:04 am, edited 1 time in total.

Wed May 11, 2016 10:59 am
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Post Re: Looper Trooper
At the end of the day, we just wanna play. Whatever the fuck it takes, I guess we'll make it up as we go. I think that's why there's so many different and unique Stick players.

Check out Reggie Watts. Baddass. No instruments just his voice. We should be able to come up with something considering that we have, like a crazy self accompanying instrument, AND our voice...



And in regards to "hand independence". I personally don't WANT a "motor". I want to improvise within the framework of the harmony of the song. That means that your concentration has to be diverted at times. Steve Adelson (probably THE best LH RH I've seen and heard, he just makes stuff up as he goes, same chord progressions, always improvising.) said that it's about 70/30 division between "lead" hand and "backup" hand, and each hand can change roles at any time.

Here's another guy, really good. I feel like the right Stickist could easily do this; maybe even without a looper... All about the songs.


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Wed May 11, 2016 11:00 am
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Post Re: Looper Trooper
IMO looping for this purpose is shortcutting the process of becoming great. What I strongly suggest instead is that you:

1) Take some of your old piano music out of the box.
2) Draw all over it to make it StaffTab.
3) Practice the Dickens out of it.

If you do this, starting simple and growing complex, I think this will be more satisfying than learning to play each half of the Stick while the hardware looper makes it occur at the same time.

This StaffTab usage will help you:

a) Look at the Stick less while playing
b) Develop the ability to sightread sheet music on the Stick

The opinions of Stick players cover the spectrum of love and hate for loopers. For me, I like their usage when it is layering both sides at the same time. If you can play a full range duet with yourself, that can be neat. Other members like using extreme delay to play "rounds" with oneself.

Don't stop short. Be great.

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Wed May 11, 2016 12:51 pm
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Post Re: Looper Trooper
sagehalo wrote:
IMO looping for this purpose is shortcutting the process of becoming great. What I strongly suggest instead is that you:

1) Take some of your old piano music out of the box.
2) Draw all over it to make it StaffTab.
3) Practice the Dickens out of it.

If you do this, starting simple and growing complex, I think this will be more satisfying than learning to play each half of the Stick while the hardware looper makes it occur at the same time.

This StaffTab usage will help you:

a) Look at the Stick less while playing
b) Develop the ability to sightread sheet music on the Stick

The opinions of Stick players cover the spectrum of love and hate for loopers. For me, I like their usage when it is layering both sides at the same time. If you can play a full range duet with yourself, that can be neat. Other members like using extreme delay to play "rounds" with oneself.

Don't stop short. Be great.


I think though, that people have a lot of different reasons for using a looper. It's a fantastic tool, and like anything else, can be used in creating some amazing music-especially when used cleverly.

I am of the opinion that your audience doesn't care how you did it, just entertain and amaze them. Whatever it takes, and in whatever direction you are led...

Here's me just practicing. No big whup, just practice. Lotsa fun...


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Wed May 11, 2016 1:44 pm
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