There’s nothing quite like a vocal harmony done right. When good voices intertwine, the sound is fuller and richer, adding a new dynamic to the melody. But not all of us have a choir that we can sing with when practicing or performing—I’m looking at you, Rolling Stones. So, for those solo singers out there who want to experiment with more harmonies, the solution is the loop pedal.
Enabling its user to layer multiple vocal lines and other instruments with the click of a button, the loop pedal can take a vocal performance to new heights. It can also be a singer’s best tool when practicing harmonies since it will happily repeat the same vocal phrase as many times as you need without getting tired or complaining. Just stomp the pedal, sing your phrase, stomp the pedal again, and voilà! you can harmonize to your heart’s content.
Once you get your stomp-timing down—no easy feat for the feet—you can hop on stage with your looper and turn heads as you harmonize with your own voice. When you’ve got the basics down, you can explore the endless musical possibilities that the vocal loop pedal has to offer by adding percussion, guitar, beatboxing, clapping, and so much more. Check out some of the most innovative and inspiring loop pedal performances below to see how this technology is used live!
“Just for Now” | Imogen Heap
First up is Imogen Heap, known for heaping harmony after harmony on top of each other until she creates a beautiful choral effect.
“Black Horse & the Cherry Tree” | KT Tunstall
While Ms. Heap creates her sound with just her voice and some rhythmic clapping, KT Tunstall adds a guitar and tambourine into the mix. The result: an awesome one-woman-band!
“Give Up the Ghost” | Thom Yorke
Wow! KT makes it look so easy! But in fact the loop pedal is very challenging to master, especially during a live performance. Below we see Thom Yorke, Radiohead frontman, struggle to find his groove a few times before he hits the sweet spot. But boy is it sweet when he finds it! (Jump to 45 secs if you want to skip his troubleshooting).
“Rainbow” | Oh Land
So far these musicians have performed solo, using the looper pedal to create a full sound. But the magic little box can also be part of a band performance. Take it away, Oh Land!
“Wayfaring Stranger” | Ed Sheeran
And last is the king of looping! The super duper looper! The prince of—ok, you get the point. Its Ed Sheeran and his effortless live loop pedal performance of Wayfaring Stranger.