How to Use a Looper Pedal When Writing Music

looper pedal

Once you catch the songwriting bug it’s impossible to shake. There’s no better feeling than moving on from being a beginner songwriter to more advanced practice.

With each step along the way, you learn to express yourself more and create beautiful music. It’s also so much fun to get curious about new techniques and tools.

Studying the masters, and music from different genres can open a whole new world of expression. Once you start mastering the basics of songwriting just listening to a new song on the radio can get you inspired.

You might think, how did they do that?

Among the essential ingredients in a songwriter’s toolkit is a looper pedal.

Beyond helping you play your music live, a looper pedal can assist you to get big sound and experiment while writing music.

We will show you how.

Here we go:

What Is A Looper Pedal?

A looper is a footswitch you can activate while you are performing, playing or songwriting. As with all equipment, there are a number of pedal varieties.

But the basics of a looper is that it is a pedal that when pressed allows you to sample and playback your own music.

Using A Looper For Songwriting

Before you’re ready to being practicing a song or working out the kinks with a band, a looper will help you find the song while you write.

And in terms of songwriting help, a looper is easy to use and very helpful. You can hear what something sounds like as you go.

Master The Chorus

Some songwriters have the chorus of their song immediately. It’s their hook and they fill in the sound and then work the lyrics around it.

A simple technique for songwriters is to get the chorus recorded using your looper pedal. Then, when you get to that part of the song you’ll have it down.

Create Your Background Rhythm

For some songs, the background rhythm drives through the entire song and builds upon itself. A looper can help you craft a background melody that is strong enough to carry the tune.

But creating your underlying loop is only the beginning with a looper. A looper pedal then allows you to experiment on top of the loop.


What’s one of the biggest differences between beginning and long time songwriters? A willingness to experiment and try out new things.

When you’re just starting out it’s difficult enough to master the basics. But for many, once you’ve got the basics down it’s intimidating to break into new ground.

Maybe you have a signature style or a comfortable approach that you hate to deviate from.

A looper pedal can break you free from the rut.

Even using a looper for some basic rhythms and building on top of them can create an innovative song filled with variations and fresh energy.

Laying down any part of your song with a looper and using replay will let you riff and experiment on top of it. These endless variations will create better songs.


We all know that hearing something a few times changes it for us. We can spot a crack in the foundation or recognize places that need some tightening up.

Using a looper pedal to write songs allows you to tinker with each part and get it right before moving on. A looper will make your songwriting stronger.

It’s like editing as you go.


What’s the key to great songwriting? Practice.

A looper helps you practice parts of your song as you go. You can fill in different parts once you have chords and chorus down.

Master the rhythm guitar and fill in the lead. Create a baseline and get the rhythm on top of it.

You will put your song together in parts and practice as you go.

You’ll get your timing down pat. But first, you’ll need to master timing to even use your looper correctly.


One of the biggest challenges for new songwriters when using a looper is getting the timing right. The difference between a good and a bad loop is knowing where to begin and where to end.


To start using a looper begin small. Try activating the switch and letting a beat ring for four beats.

When strumming, this might mean playing a chord for 4 beats. Build up to 8 beats and you have yourself a loop.

Once you learn how to put down and playback a basic loop the tool builds on itself.


Using a looper means creating great layers for your tracks. Some musicians play loop on top of loop and fill in on top.

The layering technique can allow for experimental sounds. It also creates the sound of being in a band when alone in your studio.

As loopers are so portable you can practice that new song anywhere. Whenever you are inspired pull out your looper pedal, build a loop, and you’ll be writing new parts of your song all the time.

Big Band

Some guitarists even prefer to use looper pedals when they’re performing. Ed Sheeran is knowing for creating great songs by himself with his looper pedal.

Sheeran doesn’t just write this way, he performs live.

Advanced Techniques

Once you understand how to use a looper to write music you might take your performances to a whole new level as well. The technology allows for the big sound of a huge backing band even if you’re up on stage by yourself.

You can sample your own music live and string it back into harmonies the critics will rave about.

Get The Best New Gear

If you’re like us, you’re always looking for the best gear to make songwriting easier. There’s nothing more satisfying than capturing a tune, combining it with an emotion, and making a beautiful new song.

Beyond a looper, there are many different tools on our wishlist to make playing, writing, and performing more enjoyable.

Ready to take your songwriting to the next level?

Be sure to visit our suggestions for the best and coolest gifts for musicians.

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