MUSIC (Live Original Performance): My first performance with a loop pedal at the Barleycorn Music Club opens up a whole new world of musical possibilities!
Nervously watching my feet as I construct my first loop-pedal performance at the Barleycorn Music Club
Hello everybody on HIVE and especially those of the Music Community! I am writing to you from Cape Town, South Africa. The two hobbies I tend to post the most about on HIVE are my music and song writing (usually performed these days with fellow HIVER @clairemobey – please follow her!) and surfing.
About two weeks ago, Claire and I performed at the Barleycorn Music Club here in Cape Town. This was a real treat as the Barleycorn has been a club dedicated to promoting local music here in Cape Town since 1975, and the audience is a super supportive, listening audience… the best kind! I served on the Barleycorn committee, helping to organise the weekly gigs, back when I was a student who had just started to write his own songs. I had a lot more free time back then, but it meant I got to watch and meet a lot of inspiring talent!
Half way through our set I did the song that I was most nervous about, as I was going to use a loop pedal in public for the first time!
What is a loop pedal? It is a device that can record the instrument or microphone (in this case both) that is plugged into it, and then start playing those sounds back, allowing the artist to then do something else instead to basically “jam with himself”. You get performers who specialise in doing all of their songs like this, adding percussive sounds and trying to sound like a one-man band on every song! South Africa’s most famous version literally calls himself “Jeremy Loops”.
For the Barleycorn performance, I had a few more tricks up my sleeve (or at my feet really). I used a bass pedal to drop the sound coming out of my guitar by a full octave to make a bassline. Once all the recorded parts were done, I used a volume boost pedal to make my live guitar playing a little bit louder than the looped parts.
That volume boost pedal can also add gain (distortion) to make my acoustic guitar sound more like an electric guitar, but I plan on doing my first “Three Tunes Tuesday” post on Tuesday where I will try to demonstrate that on a more bluesy original song!
All the toys must be linked together between the guitar and the speakers!
So how did it go? Well, I was nervous! There is a lot that can go wrong if you mess up the timing while recording, or if your volume settings don’t work! I made a few little errors, but in general I’m very happy with how it came out, and with a little bit more practice I think using the loop pedal for this song is going sound polished!