If you’ve ever wondered, “How does he do that?” when listening to a solo guitarist make it sound like there are six guys playing with him, introduce yourself to the looper pedal. The idea is simple—just record a basic track to establish the rhythm and chord progression, and then play along with it in real time. You don’t need a studio or sophisticated gear. A simple stompbox loop pedal does the trick. Of course, there are plenty of looper pedals with additional features like tempo control, drum sounds, pre-programmed underdubs, and various styles. For the basics, look for these three things.

Top Pick

This features mono/stereo and drum track options, tempo control and up to three hours storage. BOSS

All a stompbox looper really needs to do is to start and stop the initial recording, and then start playing it back. The most basic pedals are simply a one stomp switch plus a volume knob. From there the sky’s the limit with additional features (and costs).

Great Value

This stompbox option will hold five minutes’ worth of original material and unlimited overdubs. TC Electronic

The playback memory needed for your live performance or practice will dictate the memory required and storage capacity needed from your looper pedal, which can range from only a few minutes to many hours. For most applications, all you’ll need is a few minutes.

Also Consider

This includes a USB interface enabling creation and downloading of patches for storage, as well as software updating. Zoom

The ability to transfer recorded loops and overdubs for storage or editing with your computer can be a significant plus for many guitarists.