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I got an unexpected $100 spot bonus at work, and instead of my usual Amazon splurge (you have to use it for gift cards), I opted to get a $100 card for Guitar Center.

I wasn’t sure what I was going to spend it on, but in the back of my mind I had been eyeing a device called a Looper. A looper is a pedal that records a bit of music, and then plays it over and over, allowing you to then solo over the riff. In the way back time, you got several seconds, or maybe a minute to record, but now, digital devices are dirt cheap, and the Boss RC-1 I bought ($114 brand new) has like 14 minutes of memory.

While there are less expensive options (new for as little as $70) I wasn’t offended to pay the money for a Boss pedal. For the uninitiated, Boss is a sub-brand of an iconic company, Roland, known for innovative circuitry, reliability, and robust construction. This stomp box is no different. Being brand new, I got the box and all the documentation. I went to open it (there is a thumbscrew on the front) and install a 9V battery, and I was pleasantly surprised that as is the custom for Japanese products, a battery was included.


It is stereo in and stereo out, with a jack for an external foot pedal (to make it easier to use in a live situation). There is a 9V adapter jack, and I will be plugging it in. Apparently, this is a power hunger device, so batteries will not be a general solution.

It took me a few attempts to get it to work. It would have helped had I read the instructions (pfft, that is for losers) to shorten the learning curve. I had thought that you needed to press and hold the pedal to “record” or capture the loop. And, yes, that sorta works.

However, with some more practice, it is much easier. Press once to start, while playing, keep playing until you complete the theme or riff, and then press the pedal again, and it just keeps playing it over and over (as in a “loop”) until you press the pedal again to stop playing to the loop.

Boss makes a fancier version where you can have several different recorded loops, presumably to pre-set for playing live, but I didn’t need that level of sophistication. I just wanted to record a motif, and then jam over it.

It does save the recorded riff if you power it off. Cool. Not that I am going to replay my best riffs, but the fact that it has persistence is cool. Way cool.

I just wish that stuff like this existed when I began playing in the 1980s. Better late than never though.


Playing some 12 bar blues, some Scorpions, some UFO riffs, and then listening to them play back in a loop, I am not as rusty as I thought. Not perfect, but this will certainly help me get to the next level, and expand my repertoire.

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