Looper Practice for Better Phrasing...

This lesson discusses and demonstrates the benefits of practicing with a looper pedal for enhancing your overall feel and for developing better phrasing into the backing chords of progressions... 

Before we get started, if you own a looper, but you're not all that great at using it, and you need a little help perfecting its application, then before watching this video, take 10 min. out and watch my YouTube video titled, "THE ART OF THE LOOP Why You're NOT Able to Use a Looper Pedal."

The many benefits of using a looper pedal are multi-faceted when it comes to teaching yourself how to obtain better feel and better phrasing.

If you don't own a looper, I'd highly suggest buying one, and if you do own a lopper, but you're allowing it to collect dust in the corner of the room, I hope this video gets you to grab that dusty looper pedal, plug it in and start using it a whole lot more when you practice.

Loopers are not very expensive with excellent base-models such as the TC Electronics Ditto and the BOSS RC-1 priced at under $100. And, more powerful /robust units like the DigiTech Jam-man pedal priced under $125. There's no excuse for not owning a looper!


Tone Targeting with Your Loops:
Whether you're working on your phrasing, or you're working on your ability to feel time (and the sub-divisions of a beat), there's almost nothing better than starting out by simply looping a single chord and then targeting into that chord's color-tones.

All you need is to have a chord being played back from off of your looper. Just record a single chord quality, and then work at targeting into the; Root, 3rd and 5th. The seventh is also viable (even if the chord is a triad).

NOTE: The chord's 7th's are easier to hear in the early days when they're actually included within the chord voicing that you've recorded onto your looper pedal.

Example #1).
Practice jam over a single chord loop that's using an "Em7" chord for the jam.

click on the above image to expand full-screen

Relative Major and Minor: 
The next step with your chord jam loop practice is to add another chord into the routine. With my own private students, I always suggest working within a four bar progression and then adding the second chord at measure three. That way, you'll have two bars over the first chord, and then two more bars for playing over the second chord.

Applying each chord for two measures will allow you a little more time, when trying to discover phrases to connect into each of the chords of your jam.

Another suggestion that I like to make, is to use the Relative Major or Relative Minor chord; in the third measure. For example, if we keep the, "Em7," as our chord for measures 1 and 2, then we would switch over to playing, "Gmaj7" on measures 3 and 4.

Here's an example of doing - just that - with a loop track.

Example #2). Two chord jam loop using two measures of "Em7" and two measures of "Gmaj7."

 click on the above image to expand full-screen

Hitting the Resolutions:
One of the important concepts that comes up time and time again in progressions that we're learning how to play over is successfully making it to a clean, "Resolution."

If you've spent time studying harmony, I'm sure that you already know how chord changes "point" at what most music instructors will call the, "Home Chord," of the key that you're song is based in.

That drop which occurs into, "Home Chord," comes along in the music with a strong sense of completion throughout the span of the chord progression. And, that strong sense of completion in our music makes this situation in playing melody or solos, one of those excellent practice areas.

As an example of this, I'm going to use a "IV," "V," "I," progression in the key of "A Major." This means that we'll be moving from a "D," to an "E," with the resolution occurring on our tonic chord of "A." Here's an example of doing that with a loop track.

Example #3). "IV-V-I" progression in the key of "A Major."

 click on the above image to expand full-screen

Owning a loop pedal is an amazing opportunity to apply backing riffs in a manner that helps you hear chord colors and improve your sense of time. Each chord found in a progression allows for us to tastefully target into specific color tones. And, that skill can make a big difference for all those people who are listening to what we're doing as musicians.

Plus, when we are working with a chord progression loop, it helps practicing musicians understand far more about our own sense of timing. This can be especially helpful when we want to explore the down-beats and the rhythmic sub-divisions implied across a chord progression.

When we develop this skill up to a high enough degree, we will be able to perform improvisations in a very natural way.

The music will start to feel effortless to produce and it will slowly become easier to play in front of others when your turn arrives on stage to play a lead melody or to perform a guitar solo.

Well, hey, thanks for joining me, If you'd like to Find Out What You Should Learn Next on Guitar - take a look at the courses over on my website at CreativeGuitarStudio.com.

My step-by-step; Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced courses will cover what you need to know, along with how to be able to move forward and become the best player that you can be.

I've worked on these courses since 1992 and I feel that all together they're the best guitar program you'll ever find. The courses will help you learn to identify what's required to get you up to the next level of guitar playing, in a very organized way, that makes sense.

I look forward to helping you further at CreativeGuitarStudio.com ...Until next time - take care and we'll catch up again on the next lesson. Bye for now!



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