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Watch the Timing Guides & Rehearsal online guitar lesson by Robbie Calvo from Creative Looping Handbook

We now have a clear picture of what we're about to record and all of the overdub ideas we'll be adding to the performance.

  1. Tap the tempo out with your foot; count yourself in and rehearse your performance.
  2. Keep tapping the tempo out with your foot, keeping your foot close to the side of the loop pedal or hovering over the button.
  3. Count yourself in and click the switch on the downbeat of the 1 to begin recording. When you have recorded one full cycle of your progression, click the switch again, making sure you continue playing or sustaining your idea until the end of the bar. Hit the switch on the downbeat of the 1 to stop the recording and listen to your sequence as it plays back. If your timing was good the sequence will loop seamlessly.
  4. If your sequence was clipped by your footswitch execution or your timing was off a little, you'll notice it during playback and will want to start over. It may take a few times to perfect this, but don't give up. Just laugh and try again!
  5. If your part sounds good, continue to let the pedal play your recording and get ready to record an overdub part. Repeat the process, keeping a solid grip on your timing and execution of the guitar part especially during the record in/out points. The more you practice this the better your timing and loops will become.

Simple loopers will not have a rhythmic guide for you to play too, which means you'll have to create one yourself or fly solo without and make sure your timing is spot on. Recording without a rhythmic pulse can be tricky and is one of the reasons a lot of players shy away from using a looper. If your timing is shaky, this will still take some practice but the results are well worth it. In this video, we'll take a look at how to create a simple but effective rhythm guide.